Business, Knowledge and Information

Starting Fish Farming in Nepal

Written by Roshan Bhattarai · 3 min read >

Commercial fish farming is a fairly new farming activity in Nepal. Nepal is a country filled with various water resources, making it a suitable place to start a fish farm. Moreover, making commercial fish farming is a good source of income for people.

Gandaki Rainbow Trout Farm ll Pokhara ll - YouTube
Image: Fish farm

To Begin With

The profit from fish farms can be affected by many factors like climate, diseases, lack of skilled human resources, etc. So, in this article, you will get to learn about the basics of fish farming in Nepal.

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1. Housing for Fish Farming

For fish farming, you can rear fish in an earthen pond, concrete tank, and recirculatory system. We can divide the pond for the fish rearing. The different ponds are:

a. Hatching Pits

We use these pits to hatch fertilized eggs and you can provide continuous slow-flowing water for aeration. The tank used as a hatching pit can be about 2.5mX1.25mX0.6m.

b. Spawning pond

We use a spawning pond for breeding brood fishes.

c. Nursery Pond

The size is about 15X15X1.2 meters and you can use it to rear fishes during their delicate and difficult stages of growth.

d. Rearing Pond

The pond is about 30X10X1.2 m is used to rear fish until they develop into fingerlings. 

e. Rising pond / Stocking pond

Its giant pond with a depth of more than 2 m is used for the growth of fish till they can be sold. The length and breadth of the pond depending on the fish species to be cultured. The fish are reared in this pond till they can be sold in the market.

2. Building a Fish Pond for Farming

Step 1:

According to the type of fish, we can build the type of pond. After finalizing the fish species and the fish to be reared in the building, we can start the pond.

Step 2:

The first thing to do is to choose the location carefully. The ground level of the pond should be flat. The location should have easy access to rainwater or runoff, which helps to keep the water fresh. Also, if the location is too hot or too cold, you can make sure the pond has a depth of 8 to 12 feet so that they can find enough shelter during extreme temperatures.

Step 3:

You should map out the size of the pond, once the pond location is finalized to see if the pond size well affects anything around or under the location being dug. Human labor can dig and shovel or use an excavator that can dig up the area easily. But make sure either way that the ground level is even.

Step 4:

Layer the floor of the pond with sand and line the pond with a rubber liner or tarp so that the water doesn’t seep out into the surrounding land easily. The rubber liner or tarp should be compatible with a fish pond as not to poison the pond with chemical residue.

Step 5:

Let the water in through the sides so that the tarp can confirm slowly the weight of the water. The edge of the tarp and center should be pinned bow with a heavy object so that it doesn’t fall in when the water pressure increase. Once the pond is filled the water will keep the tarp in place.

Step 6:

A pump system can be used to oxygenate water or it can be provided by running a hose in the pond 2=3 times a week for 15-30 minute intervals.

When you put fish in the new pond you should first let the water and any dirt residue settle. Then slowly mix pond water into water fish is placed in to help them get used to the pond water PH level. After the fish is used to the new PH level slowing releases the fish into the pond.

Step 7:

We highly recommend you add a small fish amount at a time to see if the fish have adapted to the new pond. If they survive for more than 2 weeks, then we can introduce others too. If fishes don’t survive then check what the problem might be and solve it.

3. Feeding for Fish Farming

Though the feeding frequency depends on the species of the fish, most fish can be fed one or two times per day. They usually take 26-24 hours to digest the food they eat so giving them feed once a day is more than enough. The only exception is herbivores who should be fed multiple times a day small amount at a time.

It is better to underfeed fish instead of overfeeding them as the remaining feed can rot and harm the fish. So in case, there is food remaining in the tank you have to remove immediately using the net.

We can feed by mixing various ingredients like soybeans, barley, rice, peas, wheat, and other plants along with insects, yeast, and algae.

Here are list of food that is like by Nepalese.

4. Budget Table for Fish Farming in Nepal

The given table shows the estimated values for the budget required for fish farming. This is just an approximate value and the actual price may differ as well.

ParticularUnit priceQuantityTotal
FishNRS 300050 fishNRS 1000000
FeedNRS 1200/50kg bag25 bagsNRS 30000
Human laborNRS 1500/ person4NRS 6000
HousingNRS 800000/ Hectare1 HectareNRS 800,000

We really hope this article will help you plan well for starting your own fish farm in Nepal.