Fast Growing Catfish Species in Nigeria: 2023 Ultimate List

byVictana May 18, 2022 livestock farming 14 Comments
Fast Growing Catfish Species in Nigeria
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Catfish farming has continued to receive attention from both the employed and unemployed in our society. This is due to recent awareness of the importance and benefits of catfish farming. To benefit from the growing interest in the business, we will look into the fast growing catfish species good for farming in Nigeria.

Many have shown interest in venturing into catfish farming either as part-time or full-time hustle. Whether you go on part-time or the other way, starting your journey with the best species of catfish whether here in Nigeria or in other parts of Africa will save you time and money. That means that the wrong selection of species could ruin your efforts.

List of Catfish Species

How many species of catfish do we have? Well, there are many species of catfish across the globe but through observation and practical experience, there seem to be some that are better to grow locally than others.

Always ask questions depending on your region (country) to know the type that best suite the market around you. Let’s see the list of catfish species we have before we proceed.

  1. Blue catfish
  2. channel catfish
  3. Flathead catfish
  4. Cory catfish
  5. Glass catfish
  6. Pictus catfish
  7. Upside down catfish
  8. Otocinclus catfish
  9. Bristlenose Pleco
  10. Stripped Raphael
  11. Bumblebee catfish
  12. Chinese algae eater
  13. Wels catfish
  14. Claria nigrodigitalis
  15. Claria gariepinus
  16. Heterobranchus bidorsalis
  17. Heterobrancus spp
  18. Clarias x heterobranchus hybrid

These are the number of catfish species we could come up with at this time but I believe the list is more than what we have. You could use the comment box to give us more names for future later updates of this post.

Among the listed, what are the ones that serve as the best species of catfish in Nigeria for now? Let’s find out.

What are the Fast Growing Catfish Species in Nigeria?

If you venture into catfish farming whether in Nigeria or anywhere else without selecting the best specie or species suitable for the local market no one will patronize you. Every country or state has the type of fish they prefer. That means growing the wrong type will not just waste your time but resources.

Note that Blue catfish and Wels are the two biggest catfish in the list above. However, they cannot be raised domestically and for commercial purposes.

So, when it comes to growing catfish in the concrete pond, earthen ponds, and even tanks, we look at clarias gariepirus, heterobranchus bidorsalis, clarias x heterobranchus hybrid, clarias nigrodigitatus, and heterobranchus spp.

  • Clarias Gariepirus
Clarias Gariepinus

This type of catfish is one of the best species found in Nigeria and is suitable for the local market. The reason is that it possesses all the qualities of an aggressive and invasive species. It has a high tolerance to an extreme water condition, grow rapidly, and flexibly, and the mortality rate is low. That does not mean that one should not consider the causes of catfish mortality and find ways to prevent them. Its adaptive nature to extreme environmental conditions makes it one of the best catfish species to farm in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

  • Heterobranchus Bidorsalis

Heterobranchus specie is also strong and rugged due to their outstanding characteristics such as the ability to survive in an unfavorable environmental condition. Studies have shown that this type of catfish is one of the best to be grown for the African market. The specie has the capacity to grow from fingerling to table size within 26weeks when other factors are put in place. These factors include feeding them with high-quality feed and proper stocking in the pond and frequent water renewal so as to help their growth.

  • Clarias X Heterobranchus Hybrid

Hybrid is a well-known specie among catfish farmers due to its ability to withstand stress. This specie is derived from cross-breeding of clarias gariepinus and heteroblanchus longifilis. Aside from its popularity and fast growing nature, the catfish is known as the best among other breeds you can find not just in Nigeria but in Africa as a whole.

Fast growing catfish species in Nigeria

The hybrid species can attain 1kg within five (5) months. It also has high resistance to diseases. The mortality rate in clarias x seems to be the lowest. It grows faster and bigger than other locally cultured catfish and also appealing to the eyes.

  • Clarias Nigrodigitatus
Claria Nigrodigitatus

Nigrodigitatus is among the dominant African commercial catfish of high economic value and widely serves as food in West Africa. The specie usually come in grew silvery colour with a white belly and black adipose. Its rugged nature makes the specie one of the species to be considered in catfish farming.


Hybrid, heterobrantus bidorsalis, clarias gariepinus and clarias nigrodigitatus have been identified as the fast growing catfish species found in Nigeria. They are good for fish farming due to their fast growth and ability to withstand extreme weather conditions in Africa. So, it is advisable to choose these or any of the species when you intend to go into catfish farming.

Adequate management especially when these fish are newly hatched is very important if not they will start dying. We have explained how to prevent catfish fry mortality so as to help your journey in catfish farming business.

Your opinion is welcome for the future update of this post especially on the list of catfish species.

Make use of the comment box to lend in your voice.

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