10 Easy Steps for Catla Fish Farming for Beginners

Catla Fish Farming
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Catla is well known as the major South Asian carp or Indian carp. Catla fish farming business is economically important in South Asian freshwater fish in the carp family Cyprinidae.

The moneymaking of Catla fish farming business is very high due to its fast-growing and high market demand for all time. This fish belongs to the family of Cyprinidae and the genus of Catla.  The most advantages of this fish are its fast-growing nature, taste, and nutrition value as food.

Catla fish is native to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and Myanmar. These non-predator freshwater fishes are naturally found in canals, rivers like the Padma, Buringa, Meghna Rivers in Bangladesh.

This fish can also be grown commercially in freshwater ponds. Catla fish farming business commercially farming in the freshwater pond is very favorable to make a profit as these fish are intrepid and grow very fast by eating surface feed. It is recommended to culture this fish along with other carp species like Rahu, Mrigal, Common carp, and other carp fishes.

Characteristics of Catla Fish

The most distinctive feature of Catla fish is its larger lower jaw and this forces its lip to be upturned. Its lip is thicker than the lower lip. Normally its body is short and its head is bigger than rohu fish, and this fish’s back is more convex than their belly area.

Naturally Catla fish has black colored fins, and its mouth is big compared to other Indian carp.

Catla Fish Farming Business

The commercial Catla fish farming business among carp fish farming is hitting popularity day by day. Because Catla fish is one of the very popular freshwater fish species which is raised throughout the Indian sub-continent, like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and some other South Asian countries.

The popularity of commercial Catla fish farming business is very high mainly due to its fast growth rate, easy farming system, raw materials are available, great taste and nutrition value, and also high market demand for all time.

Raising Catla fish as commercially is very easy. And its natural habitat is rivers and canals as well as big natural freshwater reserves. But if you want the fish can be raised commercially in freshwater ponds in a proper and modern scientific way.

Commercial Catla fish farming business in the freshwater pond is very profitable or moneymaking and you can make a high profit if you can do everything perfectly as we will say here.

As they are also suitable for stocking with other carp fish species, so you can cultivate or raise them in polyculture or semi-intensive fish farming systems with silver carp, Rui, grass carp, or other carp species.

Catla fish farming business
Catla fish: Image by Ruddra

How to Start Catla Fish Farming

Starting Catla fish farming is very easy, especially if you follow and do everything perfectly. Catla is a very fast growing fish species and it’s very easy to raise them in freshwater ponds.

Catla fish grows very well in temperature between 25°C and 32°C. However, here we are describing everything about starting a commercial Catla fish farming business.

Making a Perfect Plan

A perfect plan means half of success. To become successful in any project a perfect plan is pre-requested. So to become a successful fish farming business you need to make a plan.  

A perfect Catla farming business plan includes fund collection, site selection, pond design, and construction, pond preparation, watering in the pond, greening the pond, seed collection, rearing the fingerlings, stocking in the main pond, feeding the fish, proper monitoring, controlling disease, harvesting, and finally marketing. But be assured that everything must be going on as per your plan.

1. Site Selection

As a collection of the fund is a part of the plan and business plan for fund collection, and it’s an individual matter to everyone, so here we shall discuss on-site selection mainly. After fund collection, the first and most important thing is site selection for the construction pond.

So, first of all, you have to select a very good site for Catla fish farming business where you are going to make the pond.

 It will be better if you can select a site which is free from noise and all types of pollution. And you have to maintain the properties of site selection for pond construction. The temperature must be between 250Cto 350C for commercial Catla fish farming.

2. Pond Design and Construction

After selecting a suitable site, you have to design a pond for starting the Catla fish farming business. To make a perfect pond the design is very much important. Normally a pond is rectangular in figure and deep will be 5 to 7 feet.

There must be one or two dyke for the inlet and outlet system properly. The size of the pond mainly depends on your available land. But normally a pond measuring around 1 acre will be very good for the commercial Catla fish farming business. And natural or earthen ponds are considered good for a commercial fish farming business.

3. Pond Preparation

After constructing the pond, you have to water the pond and using natural fertilizer for greening the pond as the fingerlings or seeds get proper natural food. Then, you have to gear up it for growing the fish to their full size.

You have to apply both organic and inorganic fertilizers into it to prepare the pond, along with allowing for subsidiary feeds daily.

The application dosage of organic and inorganic fertilizers depends on the farming intensity and inherent productivity. You should contact your nearest aquaculture or fisheries institute for more information.

4. Seed Collection

Seed collection is another important thing for Catla fish farming business. Better fingerling from better seed and it is known to all. So, collect better seeds from any of your nearest Catla fish breeding centers or hatcheries.

Catla fish breeding is very rough-cut and inducted breeding is playing a major role in entire seed necessities in all the countries where Catla fish is available.

Incidentally, you should collect the seeds from any of your nearest hatcheries or own farm. You can also contact your closest agriculture extension office or any fisheries institute for having more information about available better Catla fish breeding hatcheries in your area.

5. Rearing the Fingerlings

As it is mentioned above, you must not stock only Catla fish in your pond. Rather, Catla should be reared along with Mrigal and Rui. The proportion must be 1:1:1. For raising the fry in the nursery pond, you can stock up to 0.15 million fries per acre pond.

Generally, Catla carp with other carp species of 2.5 cm fry are raised in the nursery pond, and then you have to raise the fry until they reach around 10 cm length or fingerling. And finally, you can stock them in the main pond to raising them commercially.

Generally, the endurance rate of Catla fingerlings ranges up to 70%. Contact the nearest aquaculture or fisheries department for exact pond manures and further information or follow a well-defined Catla fish farming business plan.

6. Stocking in the Main Pond

After raising the fry to fingerling in the nursery pond, you have to stock them into the main pond. Commercially this step is very important for Catla fish farming business. You can stock a total of 30,000 fish in a one-acre pond. And the ratio of Rui, Catla, and mrigal must be 1:1:1, but if any suppose that this ratio will be 3:3:4 then there is not a big problem. But before stocking in the main pond the pond you must be greening with natural food for fingerling.

7. Feeding the Fish

To get better Catla fish timely you have to provide a subsidiary feed which is very important for commercial Catla fish farming business. Without providing enough subsidiary feeds, you can’t expect better growth of the fish.

Catla fish naturally consume food from the upper level of water in the pond. They are natural food lovers and eat normally whatever insects of small plants float on the surface of the water.

But in the case of the commercial Catla fish farming business, you have to feed the fish with subsidiary feeds to get proper output. Generally, the lion share of the farmers uses ready-made commercial feeds for feeding their fish.

The total amount of feeds depends on the number of fish stocked in the pond. But the main rule is that ‘you have to feed the fish with 5% food daily of their total body weight’, e.g., if you have stocked 10,000 fish and each fish weighs 20 grams then you have to provide 10,000 grams or 10 Kgs of food daily.

You have to also consider the death rate while ascertaining the total amount of food. And it’s advocated to feed the Catla fish multiple times in a day rather than all at once.

8. Monitoring

For a successful Catla fish farming business monitoring is very much important. Suppose everything is going well, but if there is a single problem then the total project will be hampered. So monitoring the farm must be emphasized. Monitoring may be on various things such as proper growing monitoring, disease monitoring, feed controlling, etc.

The common disease of the Catla fishes is tail and fin rot, gill rot, epizootic ulcerative syndrome, white spot disease, black spot disease, argulosis, leech, vibriosis, furunculosis, red mouth disease, etc. So you have to aware of it.

9. Harvesting

Finally, you can have a bun in the oven to harvest your fish when they reach your desired size. Generally, it reaches a weight of 1200-1400gm in one year. But for better market value, you should not wait. You can catch or harvest in the time of appropriate market value and body weight between 1000 gm. to 1400 gm.  

You can harvest the fish from the pond by using the fishing nets and morning is the best time for harvesting. Harvesting can be done based on the size of the fish and also depending on market demand.

10. Marketing

You need not late for marketing after harvesting. And you should send the fish for marketing instantly after harvesting the fish. Catla fish is very tasty and it has a very good market demand, especially in the South Asian countries all year round.

Catla fish normally is used for cooking fish curry, fish fry, and even for making fish pickle in India, Bangladesh to eat with boiled rice. You may target your local market first for selling your products.

The total affords and profits from commercial Catla fish farming businesses depend on various factors. And it’s very difficult to tell the exact figure out the exact matter. But commercial Catla fish farming business is very profitable and you can make a good profit from this business if you can do everything perfectly.

We hope this guide has helped you a lot. So are you ready to start a Catla fish farming business?


There is a special advantage of Catla fish farming business with other carp fishes, as we know the optimal use of food using in the pond varieties of carp fish farming is important. If you can stock other fish species with Catla fish that consume mid-level and bottom-level feeds, such as Rui (Rohu) or Mrigal (Mrigala).

Mrigal consumes feeds from the bottom level, and Rui fish take food from the mid-level of the pond which will assure you the optimal use of all inputs as food. So, while doing commercial Catla fish farming business, it is advocated for you to stock other fish species.

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