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Tank Systems for Fish Culturing

Aquaculture Innovation: Growing the Future, Nurturing the Waters

A tank system for fish culturing is a land-based enclosure designed for intensive aquaculture. These tanks can be constructed from various materials such as concrete, wood, plastic, fiberglass, or steel. The system requires a complete feed diet due to the lack of natural food sources. It can operate on different types of water and air supply systems, including flow-through and recirculation. The system is designed to rear species like catfish and tilapia at high densities, requiring regular sorting to minimize mortality due to cannibalism. The system’s success relies on maintaining excellent water quality and ensuring a year-round availability of quality water.


This technology is TAAT1 validated.


Scaling readiness: idea maturity 8/9; level of use 8/9

Cost: $$$ 120 USD

Premade suspended tanks with a volume of 2000 liter

500 kg

harvest every 9months for a stocking rate of 50 fish per square meter

330 USD

Gross margin after deducting operating costs


  • Limited Land and Water Resources: Traditional aquaculture methods require significant amounts of land and water, which may not be available in all regions.
  • Lack of Environmental Control: Maintaining optimal and constant water quality conditions throughout the culture period is a challenge in traditional aquaculture.
  • Low Production Intensity: Traditional methods may not support the high-density rearing of species like catfish and tilapia, limiting production.
  • High Mortality Rates: In traditional systems, mortality due to cannibalism can be high, especially without regular sorting.
  • Distance from Markets: Traditional aquaculture farms are often located far from prime markets, increasing transportation costs and reducing the freshness of the produce.
  • Inefficient Feed Use: In open systems, a significant portion of feed can be wasted, reducing food conversion rates and promoting slower growth.
  • Environmental Impact: Traditional aquaculture can have a significant environmental footprint, including water pollution and habitat destruction.
  • Poor Biosecurity: Open systems are exposed to the external environment, increasing the risk of disease outbreaks.
  • High Energy Use: Traditional systems often require significant energy for water pumping and aeration.


  • Efficient Use of Resources: Addressing the issue of limited land and water resources, tank systems require significantly less land and water compared to traditional methods, making them suitable for areas with limited resources.

  • Optimal Environmental Control: In response to the lack of environmental control in traditional aquaculture, tanks provide a high degree of environmental control, allowing for year-round growth at optimum rates. Key parameters like dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity, hardness, ammonia, nitrite, and pH can be maintained at optimal levels.

  • High-Density Rearing: To tackle the problem of low production intensity in traditional methods, tanks allow for intensive fish production, which is cost-effective and can meet high market demand.

  • Reduced Mortality: Addressing the issue of high mortality rates in traditional systems, regular sorting of fish in tanks can minimize mortality due to cannibalism.

  • Proximity to Markets: In response to the issue of distance from markets in traditional aquaculture, tanks can be located close to prime markets, reducing transportation costs and ensuring fresh produce.

  • Maximized Feed Use: To tackle the problem of inefficient feed use in open systems, tanks require a complete feed diet, maximizing food conversion and promoting rapid growth.

  • Lower Environmental Impact: Addressing the environmental impact of traditional aquaculture, recirculating systems in tanks can help reduce the environmental footprint of aquaculture.

  • Improved Biosecurity: In response to the issue of poor biosecurity in open systems, tanks, being closed systems, reduce the risk of disease outbreaks.

  • Energy Efficiency: To tackle the problem of high energy use in traditional systems, recirculating systems in tanks can be more energy-efficient as they recycle water within the system.

Key points to design your business plan


Manufacturing diverse aquaculture tanks revolutionizes fish farming, optimizes space utilization, and enhances resource efficiency. To successfully penetrate this market, you need to identify reliable sources for raw materials to construct the tanks, find efficient transportation methods, and secure appropriate storage facilities.

Your potential customers are: wholesale distributors supplying to retailers, development projects, government agencies, and NGOs. Building robust partnerships with these distributor networks is crucial to the success of your business. Remember, every type of tank, from breeding to grow-out tanks, has its unique place in the market. Catering to this variety can significantly broaden your customer base.


Venturing into the reselling of aquaculture tanks opens up opportunities in the thriving aquaculture industry. These tanks, ranging from hatchery tanks to grow-out tanks, cater to different stages of fish farming, making them indispensable to farmers.

To thrive in this market, it’s crucial to source tanks from manufacturers known for their quality and durability. Countries renowned for their advanced aquaculture technology could be potential sourcing points.

Transportation and storage are key logistics aspects to consider. Given the size and fragility of some tanks, secure and efficient transportation methods are essential. Similarly, spacious and safe storage facilities are needed to maintain the condition of the tanks.

The cost of tanks can vary greatly, depending on their size, type, and the technology they incorporate. For instance, a high-tech recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) tank might cost more than a simple grow-out tank. Always factor in the costs of transportation, import duties, and taxes when pricing your products.

Your potential customers are diverse, ranging from small-scale fish farmers to large aquaculture projects, and even fisheries cooperatives. Understanding their specific needs and offering tailored solutions can set you apart in the market. For instance, small-scale farmers might prefer affordable, easy-to-maintain tanks, while large projects might look for high-tech, high-capacity tanks.

Remember, in the aquaculture industry, the success of your customers is your success. So, offering after-sale services, such as installation guidance and maintenance tips, can go a long way in building strong customer relationships.

Fish growers: 

Using various types of aquaculture tanks, including those built with durable concrete materials or premade tanks, can significantly enhance your fish farming operations. Concrete tanks offer increased durability and longevity, making them a worthwhile investment for long-term operations. On the other hand, premade tanks can provide convenience and speed in setup, which might be more suitable for certain operations.

Key partners in this venture include reliable tank manufacturers and logistics partners. It’s crucial to source tanks that are known for their quality, whether they’re made of traditional materials, durable concrete, or are premade.

Costs can vary based on the tank type, size, and construction material. While concrete tanks might have a higher upfront cost, their durability can lead to cost savings in the long run. Premade tanks, while potentially less durable than concrete, offer the advantage of lower initial costs and faster setup times.

Moreover, using aquaculture tanks can lead to savings in other areas. For example, the controlled environment of a tank system can reduce the risk of disease outbreaks, thereby cutting down on healthcare costs. Similarly, the efficient use of feed in tank systems can minimize feed expenses.

Remember, the successful operation of these tanks requires technical knowledge and skills. Therefore, investing in training and capacity building is crucial. This could involve learning about water quality management, feed management, and disease control specific to tank systems. Whether you’re using a traditional tank, a durable concrete one, or a premade tank, proper management is key to successful fish farming


Positive or neutral impact

Adults 18 and over
Positive high
The poor
Positive medium
Under 18
Positive medium
Positive medium

Positive or neutral impact

Climate adaptability
It adapts really well
Adaptability for farmers
It helps a lot
It helps them grow and thrive
Carbon footprint
It reduces emissions a little
It makes a big difference
Soil quality
It makes the soil healthier and more fertile
Water usage
It uses a lot less water

Countries with a green colour
Tested & adopted
Countries with a bright green colour
Countries with a yellow colour
Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burundi Burkina Faso Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Côte d’Ivoire Eritrea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Cameroon Kenya Libya Liberia Madagascar Mali Malawi Morocco Mauritania Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Zambia Senegal Sierra Leone Zimbabwe Somalia South Sudan Sudan South Africa Eswatini Tanzania Togo Tunisia Chad Uganda Western Sahara Central African Republic Lesotho
Countries where the technology has been tested and adopted
Country Tested Adopted
Angola Tested Adopted
Benin Tested Adopted
Botswana Tested Adopted
Burkina Faso Tested Adopted
Cameroon Tested Adopted
Central African Republic Tested Adopted
Democratic Republic of the Congo Tested Adopted
Djibouti Tested Adopted
Equatorial Guinea Tested Adopted
Eritrea Tested Adopted
Guinea Tested Adopted
Kenya Tested Adopted
Liberia Tested Adopted
Madagascar Tested Adopted
Malawi Tested Adopted
Mali Tested Adopted
Mozambique Tested Adopted
Rwanda Tested Adopted
Senegal Tested Adopted
Sierra Leone Tested Adopted
Somalia Tested Adopted
South Sudan Tested Adopted
Sudan Tested Adopted
Tanzania Tested Adopted
Togo Tested Adopted
Uganda Tested Adopted
Zambia Tested Adopted

This technology can be used in the colored agro-ecological zones. Any zones shown in white are not suitable for this technology.

Agro-ecological zones where this technology can be used
AEZ Subtropic - warm Subtropic - cool Tropic - warm Tropic - cool

Source: HarvestChoice/IFPRI 2009

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are applicable to this technology.

Sustainable Development Goal 2: zero hunger
Goal 2: zero hunger

The procedures for catfish farming in tanks and cages are:

1. Stocking Density: Depending on your desired harvest size and time, choose your stocking density. For catfish in tanks, you can stock 25-gram fingerlings at a rate of 1,500 fish per cubic meter to achieve 50- to 60-gram fish in 5 weeks. Alternatively, stock at 1,000 fish per cubic meter for 100-gram fish in 9 to 10 weeks.

2. Regular Sorting: To prevent mortality due to cannibalism, it's crucial to sort the fish every two weeks. Identify and remove faster-maturing individuals from the stock.

3. Maintaining Clean Environment: In both tanks and cage systems, ensure that uneaten feed and feces do not accumulate. Regularly remove any waste material underneath the tanks or cages to prevent the proliferation of parasites and diseases.

4. Adequate Space Below Cages: Maintain a minimum distance of 3 meters below the cage. This space ensures proper water circulation through the cage and minimizes undesirable accumulation underneath.

Last updated on 22 May 2024