Complete Guide on How to Hatch Fish at Home (with pictures)


This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to successfully hatch fish at home for your personal use. But then, if you intend hatch in large quantities for sale, you can read how to start fish hatchery and fingerlings production business.

Build Farm Structures

Before starting to hatch fish, you have to build structures where you will raise the fish. The structures to build are shade for the breeding, installation of the plastic ponds, ponds to raise  fingerlings, source of water etc. Ensure that your water pH is between 6.5 – 8.5. pH below 6.5 and above 8.5 can greatly affect the reproduction of the fish. Extremely low or high pH leads to death of the eggs, fingerlings or larvae. pH is the measure of level of acidity or alkalinity of water. Plant some all year round green leaf plants that can provide Dissolved Oxygen, DO during photosynthesis. Example of such plants is plantain. Dissolved oxygen is the most critical and limiting factor in aquaculture especially during fingerlings production. Oxygen enters the water through photosynthesis of aquatic plants or plants within the environment or by diffusion on air-water surface, but oxygen is lost through respiration of the fish.

Hatchery Equipment Needed

You need the following instruments to carry out successful home fish hatchery:


Well regulated Water



Synthetic hormone


Saline Solution

Spawning Net


2 Towels

Tissue Paper

Plastic spoon


Steps in Fish Hatching

After building structures and procuring necessary equipment, it’s time to start production. Follow the procedure explained below:

1. Get Your Brood Stock

Selecting brood stock

Brood stock can be gotten from water bodies, fish ponds or from Nigerian Institute of Marine Research and Oceanography. 

2. Identify the Male and Female Brood Stock

Identifying gender of brood stock

Identification of the genders of fish brood stock is very easy. The male fish especially catfish sexual papilla is located behind the anus. The tip of the papilla turns red when the male is sexually aroused. The papilla is distinct to the male and the female does not have it. 

3. Inject the female brood stock with hormones

Injecting the female with hormones

The brood stock is injected with hormones to induce ovulation. Some of the hormones are ovatide, ovaprim, etc. Inject the female with 0.5ml dosage of hormone in dorsal muscle towards the tail. 

4. Collect Milt from the Male

Collecting milt from the male

Place the male fish on its back, use scissors to cut the abdomen open to see the testes. If the testes are smeared with blood, use filter paperboy clean it.  Avoid the use of water because water neutralizes the sperm cells. Remove the testes and strip the milt. 

5. Strip Eggs from Female

Striping eggs from female brood stock

The eggs are collected in a clean, dry plastic bowl. A gentle press on the abdomen of the female brings out the eggs.  The stripping is usually one between 10 am – 12 pm when the eggs are running depending on the temperature of the day.

6. Fertilize the Eggs

Pour the sperm cells evenly on the collected eggs in the plastic bowl and immediately add 0.9% saline solution for proper sperm cells motility and fertilization of the eggs. 

7. Incubate the Fertilized Eggs

Incubate the fertilized eggs in an incubator (incubating facility). Spray the fertilized eggs on a spawning mat in the incubating unit with a constant flow of water. The eggs hatch within 20-24 hours, depending on the temperature of the water. 

8. Manage the Hatchlings/ Larvae

The hatchlings are yolk sac. The yolk takes some days to absorb. Start feeding the hatchlings with fry feed once the yolk is absorbed for about 2-3 weeks. Then feed them with formulated feed rich in crude protein till the reach fingerlings.

Ikechukwu Evegbu

Ikechukwu Evegbu is a graduate of Statistics with over 10 years experience as Data Analyst. Worked with Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. A prolific business development content writer. He's the Editor, Business Compiler

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