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Setup And Running Costs Of A Fish Farm


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The missus dragged me out to some ponds for sale and rent today.

There is a fairly nice pond (2 rai) and a house of sorts for sale for a reasonable price (chanowat

The surrounding ponds are for rent at 3k a year each.

The owner of the ponds sounds willing if we are interested to sign a 30 year lease on the surrounding ponds (about 15 - 20 rai depending on what we want)

So that brings me to the costs.

How much is the basic setup per rai?

How much to keep them running.

Really how much work involved.

What fish should farmed?

What is the estimated take home per rai?

and

Has anybody ever bred goldfish for export?

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For the returns your likely to make it would be cheeper just to forget the whole idear, but if your determined to go ahead with it make sure the 30 year lease is reconised in that part of the country, unlike the pattaya chonburi area, where that 30 year lease is common.

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The missus dragged me out to some ponds for sale and rent today.

There is a fairly nice pond (2 rai) and a house of sorts for sale for a reasonable price (chanowat

The surrounding ponds are for rent at 3k a year each.

The owner of the ponds sounds willing if we are interested to sign a 30 year lease on the surrounding ponds (about 15 - 20 rai depending on what we want)

So that brings me to the costs.

How much is the basic setup per rai?

How much to keep them running.

Really how much work involved.

What fish should farmed?

What is the estimated take home per rai?

and

Has anybody ever bred goldfish for export?

My uncle used to breed sea bass in Surathani. Appoximately $20,000AU dollars to set it up

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I believe that the best advice in situations like this is to forget it.

I read it as something you had not considered and is totally your wife's idea!

If you have to ask the questions, you do not have the knowledge required to start a business. It amazes me how many foreigners come to Thailand, set up a business that they have no experience in and wonder why they have to keep subsidising it!

2 years ago, in the village I was staying, a group of locals started a fish farm with a government grant, but nobody had any real knowledge hw to go about it. They had the idea that you just put in small fish, feed them and sell after a few months. They did not take into account overcrowding as the fish grew and that many fish makes much fish crap. Most of the fish died.

One question you have not asked - "Where do I sell Them?"

You will have to be able to market the product, it's no good trying to sell in the local market.

You also have to consider security, it is almost certain that the locals will consider it their right to help themselves.

Most ill considered business ideas by an inexperienced individual are doomed to fail.

I know quite a few people who have stared businesses that have just turned out to be a constant drain on their finances.

Give it a lot of thought and do your homework before commiting yourself and if you decide to go for it I wish you good luck and hope it succeeds

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Aquaculture is, globally, the fastest growing food production sector and Thailand plays a significant part in the industry. With the size of farm you are looking at there is potential for useful supplementary income but, as the other posts have pointed out, it isn't simple and could be expensive. There are no simple models of setup and running costs simply because there are so many types and levels of production system that are possible.

There are a lot of free resources on the internet regarding start-up for new businesses e.g. the UK Business Gateway website.... good, generic advice. They'll all tell you the essential first step is market research. However depending on your location and intentions/commitment/resources there could be several markets open to you. Fish, crustaceans, algae, molluscs, turtles and crocodiles are all cultured in ponds.

You could opt for a low input polyculture system with prawns and several species of fish, using only fertilizer and some rice bran if you feel like treating the fish. With tilapia in a green water system you could get 700-1000kg per rai every 6-8 months. With supplemental feeding and/or aeration you could get more. You could also have a small crop of river prawns growing on the pond bottom.

Another alternative would be to act as a middleman; if there are sufficient grow-out farmers in the area you could buy many small fry and sell them on for profit. IF there are a lot of cage farmers in the area then nursing red tilapia fry to a suitable size for cage farming can be lucrative and doesnt need a lot of pond area.

With paddlewheels you could farm prawns intensively. Feed costs can be reduced by making your own feed.

If you want to opt out of traditional local markets (where you could sell your product, some traders will even harvest your ponds for you, but you would have no control of price) then you could niche market your product. Research hydorponic systems (sometimes called aquaponics) that produce organic veg alongside fish.

Apart from the mass of information on the internet the technical resources in thailand are very good; every province has a provincial fisheries office and most have a government fisheries research station where there are a lot of underemployed technical staff who give free advice and training and can also be (informally) hired at reasonable rates as consultants. Many universities have excellent fisheries/aquaculture technical expertise. The Asian Institute of Technology at Rangsit has a very well stocked library of all the essential (english language) texts on aquaculture that you could need with a photocopy shop at the back of the library that can copy and bind the entire book very quickly. There is a very successful fish hatchery near Bangkok called Nam Sai Farm run by an English guy, you can google for his website.

You can probably get a lease for 5 or 6 years

Poaching can be limited by always having people around, fencing, build a workers shack in isolated spots, have a few dogs and/or geese and put plenty of large branches or anti-netting bamboo frames in the water especially around the pond edges.

A lot of research and planning is required and it probably will not be a goldmine but farming has other rewards.

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  • 3 months later...
Aquaculture is, globally, the fastest growing food production sector and Thailand plays a significant part in the industry. With the size of farm you are looking at there is potential for useful supplementary income but, as the other posts have pointed out, it isn't simple and could be expensive. There are no simple models of setup and running costs simply because there are so many types and levels of production system that are possible.

There are a lot of free resources on the internet regarding start-up for new businesses e.g. the UK Business Gateway website.... good, generic advice. They'll all tell you the essential first step is market research. However depending on your location and intentions/commitment/resources there could be several markets open to you. Fish, crustaceans, algae, molluscs, turtles and crocodiles are all cultured in ponds.

You could opt for a low input polyculture system with prawns and several species of fish, using only fertilizer and some rice bran if you feel like treating the fish. With tilapia in a green water system you could get 700-1000kg per rai every 6-8 months. With supplemental feeding and/or aeration you could get more. You could also have a small crop of river prawns growing on the pond bottom.

Another alternative would be to act as a middleman; if there are sufficient grow-out farmers in the area you could buy many small fry and sell them on for profit. IF there are a lot of cage farmers in the area then nursing red tilapia fry to a suitable size for cage farming can be lucrative and doesnt need a lot of pond area.

With paddlewheels you could farm prawns intensively. Feed costs can be reduced by making your own feed.

If you want to opt out of traditional local markets (where you could sell your product, some traders will even harvest your ponds for you, but you would have no control of price) then you could niche market your product. Research hydorponic systems (sometimes called aquaponics) that produce organic veg alongside fish.

Apart from the mass of information on the internet the technical resources in thailand are very good; every province has a provincial fisheries office and most have a government fisheries research station where there are a lot of underemployed technical staff who give free advice and training and can also be (informally) hired at reasonable rates as consultants. Many universities have excellent fisheries/aquaculture technical expertise. The Asian Institute of Technology at Rangsit has a very well stocked library of all the essential (english language) texts on aquaculture that you could need with a photocopy shop at the back of the library that can copy and bind the entire book very quickly. There is a very successful fish hatchery near Bangkok called Nam Sai Farm run by an English guy, you can google for his website.

You can probably get a lease for 5 or 6 years

Poaching can be limited by always having people around, fencing, build a workers shack in isolated spots, have a few dogs and/or geese and put plenty of large branches or anti-netting bamboo frames in the water especially around the pond edges.

A lot of research and planning is required and it probably will not be a goldmine but farming has other rewards.

Absolutly right, inland fish-farming will be the future for Thailand, with the right knowledge there are many different options, some more risky than others. The main problem in fish-farming is to make a profit, if you have no idea about what you are doing, then you will lose, due to high feed-cost and wrong management of the ponds or tanks. It is very important that you know the biological side of fish-farming, specially the water-parameters, if you are doing intensive growing, Macan mentioned 700-1000kg/rai with natural ponds and using fertelizer for the "green water" and that will work, no doubt about that. I have taken it to the next step, to recirculations systems in concrete tanks, where you can increase the stocking density dramaticly.

Tilapia.

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I personally know 4 people who tried this and each one of them lost loads of money on the venture, leave it to the Thais.

You are right, many people have lost money on fish-farming, and the main reason for that is that they dont know enough before they start...It is not just to dig a pond, buy some fry, and then it will take care of itself, there is much more to it, if you want to make it work, and it is possible but it takes alot of effort, headache and fighting with the missy.....to get to the point where it makes a profit.

Tilapia

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  • 3 years later...

1) For information on all forms of aquaculture visit http://www.enaca.org the Network of Aquaculture Centers Asia-Pacific

2) If any one is looking for feed suitable for Barramundi, we currently have approx 1 ton of Tasmanian Scallop membrane, from scallops processed here in Ranong, and are looking for a buyer. In the

next year we expect to have about 60 tons.

Sincerely

Big John

0834380599

Pitsmai International Trading Services

206/2 Moo 1 Soi 15 Rattabakosin, 200 yr Rd. Bangrin Amphur Muang,

Ranong 85000 Thailand

Ph. 077 830030 Fax: 077 833040

The missus dragged me out to some ponds for sale and rent today.

There is a fairly nice pond (2 rai) and a house of sorts for sale for a reasonable price (chanowat

The surrounding ponds are for rent at 3k a year each.

The owner of the ponds sounds willing if we are interested to sign a 30 year lease on the surrounding ponds (about 15 - 20 rai depending on what we want)

So that brings me to the costs.

How much is the basic setup per rai?

How much to keep them running.

Really how much work involved.

What fish should farmed?

What is the estimated take home per rai?

and

Has anybody ever bred goldfish for export?

My uncle used to breed sea bass in Surathani. Appoximately $20,000AU dollars to set it up

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me my self and i start alrady now a catfish farm with a pond size about 50 meter by 25 meter with in there 100000 catfish in there.

With a good grade food level pr 127 and one time a week pump out some 50000 liter water you will can do it witout no problem.

And about 4 rai ponds ,i know a thia guy he put in there 1000000 :o catfish in the pool.

without no oxygen tradment nothing.

I dont know what all that poeple have a problem with that.

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You are over stocking your 50 x 25m pond my friend, for a half rai pond (800msq) the standard is 20'000...25'000 with good water inlet/outlet, i stock 15'000 on a half rai pond, the different is overstocking will result in a longer time to raise them and i can garantee that you will have hundreds of kilo of small size fishes in the range of 10 fishes/kg.

My three 50 x 25m ponds are stock thin with only 18-20'000 fishes and my last harvest, average profit per fish is 1.57 Baht and size 2,3,4,5,6 fishes/kg, 50kg basket ratio is (big) 4:1 (small 5,6 fishes/kg). You won't get my kind of result if you overstock even with premium feed.

In an example, overstocking a pond is like cramping 100 people into a small room that fit 30 comfortably, it's hard to move and it's hard to breathe. Fishes excrete in the same pond they live, if the aerobic cycle of the pond are out of balance, you will have disease outbreak like the "Deesan disease" (gall and liver disease) and brown blood disease.

What i've mention here are stages and experience of my trials and errors, i've done what you're doing before when i was new to catfish farming.

And i can tell you this...the Thai with the 100'000 in 4 rai pond knows what he is doing, i stock 60'000 in my 2 rai pond ;)

(I take it that you type wrongly 1000000 in your post above)

Edited by RedBullHorn
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You will need a wholesaler to commit to the volume of fishes before you could start farming commercially, they will honor the deal better if fingerlings and feed are supplied by them, otherwise you will find yourself at the back of the queue and losses might occur when you miss the good farmgate price.

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You are over stocking your 50 x 25m pond my friend, for a half rai pond (800msq) the standard is 20'000...25'000 with good water inlet/outlet, i stock 15'000 on a half rai pond, the different is overstocking will result in a longer time to raise them and i can garantee that you will have hundreds of kilo of small size fishes in the range of 10 fishes/kg.

My three 50 x 25m ponds are stock thin with only 18-20'000 fishes and my last harvest, average profit per fish is 1.57 Baht and size 2,3,4,5,6 fishes/kg, 50kg basket ratio is (big) 4:1 (small 5,6 fishes/kg). You won't get my kind of result if you overstock even with premium feed.

In an example, overstocking a pond is like cramping 100 people into a small room that fit 30 comfortably, it's hard to move and it's hard to breathe. Fishes excrete in the same pond they live, if the aerobic cycle of the pond are out of balance, you will have disease outbreak like the "Deesan disease" (gall and liver disease) and brown blood disease.

What i've mention here are stages and experience of my trials and errors, i've done what you're doing before when i was new to catfish farming.

And i can tell you this...the Thai with the 100'000 in 4 rai pond knows what he is doing, i stock 60'000 in my 2 rai pond ;)

(I take it that you type wrongly 1000000 in your post above)

OFFCOURSE you have experience that i can see on your post.

But the 1000000 its really true .

I stay stock here in the rice fields outlet of water no problem,inlet wel be dreaning water with a cubota motor, every week pump out some 30 cm meter of the pool.

But i will make fotos about that pools from the thai,he have not only 4 rai but 32 rai includes all over the places.

And he have small pools big pools.

One pool when you see that ,than you wil think what its that,that pool its 6 meter tall and 15 meter long,bilieve ore not the he put 40000 fishes in there.

He told me like this,he buying the really small fingelings like a expemple price 1000000 of them for 30000 baht.

Not from nam sai farm but others.

The bakhoe its alrady finish here in the pool.

Than i will put on the flore like thailand say Slam net.

When you say to ,yes he will only put some oversize of fish in there Yes,and no oxygen pedels system nothink.

But the fingerlings they a really small ,he say 6 months period it its finish.

But redbulhorn i will be follow you.

But the vitamins en minerals what are you showing,how do you give the medicine to the fishes.

And how often?

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Hi Travelguy1,

Ok~ i got what you mean....I think you guys are raising "Pla cent" or "Pla tomb" (as the Northern Thai called it) in paddy fields, pinkish baby catfish (some still with york attached, really small), the price is about 28 satang (0.28 Baht) per fish for pla cent and about 800 Baht per container scoop for pla tomb (bathing scoop). Take note that this are fries in mm to not more than 1'' inche... unlike fingerlings that measured 2'',3'',4'' or 5'' inches(Pla niew) and mortality rate are high and can also be raised in fence up paddy field plots as optional income supplement when farmers are not doing second crop, the adventage is fishes excrete fertilize the soil. (common practice in China raising Carps and Tilapia)

Medication and supplement that i use are first dissolve in water in a bathing scoop, pour out the fish pellet into tub, pour dissolved mixture into feed and hand mix them, make sure you reach deep into the tub, post mix feed should be damp, not soggy. I usually do it upon the arrival of my fingerlings for 3 days in a row to strenghten their immune system.

:)

Edited by RedBullHorn
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  • 9 years later...
On 4/23/2007 at 1:19 PM, Tilapia said:

Absolutly right, inland fish-farming will be the future for Thailand, with the right knowledge there are many different options, some more risky than others. The main problem in fish-farming is to make a profit, if you have no idea about what you are doing, then you will lose, due to high feed-cost and wrong management of the ponds or tanks. It is very important that you know the biological side of fish-farming, specially the water-parameters, if you are doing intensive growing, Macan mentioned 700-1000kg/rai with natural ponds and using fertelizer for the "green water" and that will work, no doubt about that. I have taken it to the next step, to recirculations systems in concrete tanks, where you can increase the stocking density dramaticly.

Tilapia.

Why does it seem like all the people from pattaya, Bangkok, and city folks... seem negative  on a good days work and making farming work?

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