How to Make Catfish Grow Faster and Bigger

How to make catfish grow fast and bigger

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to make your catfish grow faster and bigger in Nigeria! You are at the right place if you are a catfish farmer or considering entering the catfish farming business.

In this article, we will walk you through the key strategies and practices that can help you maximize the growth of your catfish, ensuring a healthy and profitable harvest.

To grow catfish faster and bigger lies in the quality of fingerlings, adequate feeding, proper water management, disease prevention, and good stocking density.

Factors that Influence Catfish Growth

Before we go into the techniques to accelerate catfish growth, it is crucial to understand the factors that influence their growth and development.

Catfish growth is influenced by several factors, including water quality, nutrition, stocking density, and temperature. Let’s go through these factors in detail.

1. Catfish Species

Choosing the right species is the first step in growing catfish faster. In Nigeria, three popular choices for commercial farming are Clarias, Heterobranchus, and Heteroclarias (hybrid catfish).

These species are known as fast-growing catfish species in Nigeria.

2. Water Quality

Catfish thrive in clean, oxygen-rich water. Maintaining proper water quality involves regular monitoring of parameters such as pH levels, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, and nitrite concentrations.

Ensuring optimal water conditions creates an environment where catfish can grow faster and bigger.

3. High-Quality Feed

Catfish are omnivores and require a balanced diet to grow better. Commercial catfish feeds are available in various formulations, and selecting the right one for your fish is essential.

The feed should contain protein, vitamins, and minerals for rapid growth. Regular feeding schedules and portion control are also important aspects of catfish nutrition.

This implies that the box for quality feed must be ticked when trying to find out what makes catfish grow faster and bigger.

4. Feeding Schedule

Establish a regular feeding schedule. Catfish are opportunistic feeders, so providing consistent meals encourages growth.

Divide the daily feedings into smaller portions to ensure all fish have access to food. You can make use of alternative food to supplement.

5. Proper Stocking Density

The stocking density, or the number of catfish per water unit, affects their growth.

See our guide on pond size for 1000 catfish and make use of the calculation there to solve any issues you might be having as regards stocking density of catfish in concrete ponds.

We have prepared a piece on stocking density of catfish in plastic tanks in case you are making use of plastic ponds.

Overcrowding can stress the fish and lead to slower growth rates. It is essential to find the right balance to ensure that each catfish has enough space to grow comfortably.

6. Temperature Control

The body temperature of catfish is regulated by their environment. They thrive in warmer water, and maintaining the right temperature range can significantly impact their growth rates.

Natural sunlight can be used to control the water temperature effectively. Ideal temperatures range from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 29°C).

Tips on How to Make Catfish Grow Faster and Bigger

Now that we have covered the fundamental factors affecting catfish growth, let’s discuss specific strategies to help you grow them faster.

1. Quality Fingerlings

Start with high-quality fingerlings, as the initial growth stage sets the foundation for the catfish’s development.

Ensure that the fingerlings you purchase are healthy and disease-free. When you want to buy fingerlings, ensure you buy the shooters because they can grow faster than others.

2. Adequate Feeding

Establish a consistent feeding regimen, by providing the catfish with the right amount of feed at regular intervals.

Also, monitor their feeding behaviour, and adjust the feeding schedule as needed. Remember that overfeeding is bad and leads to waste.

To make your fish grow faster and bigger, good feeding habits must be practiced.

3. Proper Water Management

The importance of water quality in catfish growth cannot be over-emphasized. Maintain good water quality through regular testing and changing of the water at least 3 times weekly.

Adequate filtration systems and aeration can improve oxygen levels and overall water quality.

4. Disease Prevention

Every serious catfish farmer must implement a robust disease prevention programme.

Quarantine new fish on arrival on your farm, and regularly inspect your catfish for any signs of illness.

Meanwhile, you need to know some of the signs of common catfish diseases and how to treat them to be successful in the business.

Note that taking quick action when you notice any funny behaviour among your fish can prevent growth setbacks.


To succeed as a catfish farmer, you must understand how to make your catfish grow faster for profit maximization.

Growing your catfish faster is not just about one aspect but a combination of factors working harmoniously.

What makes catfish grow faster and bigger include water quality, quality feed, stocking density, temperature control, and implementing growth-enhancing strategies.

Catfish farming is a long-term endeavour requiring dedication and continuous improvement.

By following the guidelines provided in this article, you’ll be on the path to success in the lucrative world of catfish farming.

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