The Fastest Growing Fish for Farming (with 13 Examples)

Several species of fish grow quickly and require minimal maintenance. You only need to feed them well and raise them in good environmental conditions. If you want to make your fish farm have a good turnover rate, opt for the fastest-growing fish that may help you boost your profits in no time.

The fastest-growing fish belong to species of tilapia, such as blue tilapia, Nile tilapia, and Mozambique tilapia. These fish generally mature to their harvestable size within 8–9 months. Other fast-growing fish includes catfish, barramundi, freshwater prawn, salmon, perch, carp, bass, trout, guppies, and crayfish.

Look out for the temperature, pH, and nutrient availability in the water where you grow your fish, because these are the factors that commonly affect the growth rate of these fish species. For now, let's dive deeper into these factors and the 13 fastest growing fish.

Also read:

The 13 Best Fish to Farm at Home (Least Hassle)


  • Some of the fastest-growing fish suitable to raise in fish farms are Nile tilapia, blue tilapia, Mozambique tilapia, catfish, carp, barramundi, freshwater prawns, salmon, perch, bass, trout, guppies, and crayfish.
  • When selecting the type of fish to grow in your fish farm, you must consider their growth rate since fast-growing fish equate to more profits.
  • Factors like temperature, water conditions, and nutrient availability affect the growth rate of many types of fish.

13 Fast-Growing Fish Species Suitable for Fish Farming

One factor to consider when selecting the most profitable fish to raise in fish farming is their growth rate. The faster the fish can reach market size, the more profitable your fish farm can be. Some of the fish species with fast turnover rates are the following:

Tilapia is popular with fish farms for several reasons:

  • They are easy to care for
  • They grow quickly
  • They tolerate a wide range of water conditions
  • They are edible and can be marketable
    Three of the fastest-growing species of tilapia that are highly recommended for fish farms can be found below.

1. Nile Tilapia is the easiest and fastest-growing type of Tilapia

Nile tilapia are the most recommended type of tilapia species to raise in fish farms. They grow fast compared to other species and can easily weigh 3-4 lbs in just a year. Aside from being fast growers, they are resistant to many types of diseases and can thrive even in poor water conditions. They usually grow and reach a marketable size within 5–7 months.

2. Mozambique tilapia comes second to Nile Tilapia when it comes to the growth rate

Unlike the Nile tilapia which survives even the worst water conditions, Mozambique tilapia can hardly tolerate extreme cold temperatures. For this reason, their growth rate is slower than Nile tilapia but still faster than other species. They grow to a marketable size of 1 pound every 6 months if fed adequately 5 times a day.

3. Blue tilapia also has a fast growth rate and an unstoppable reproduction rate

Blue tilapia grow to a harvestable size within 6–9 months. They are also fast-growing, but their reproductive rate also speeds up along with their growth. For this reason, they can easily become invasive species, taking over natural fish populations in locations where they do not naturally occur.

4) Catfish grows fast in fish farms making them another common choice for growers

Although taking a long time to reach a pound compared to tilapia, catfish is another good choice to raise on fish farms. They reach one pound within 8 – 10 months but can be harvested when they reach at least 80–200 grams within 3–5 months of culture.

These fish do not require a large growing space, in fact, they can even be grown in indoor setups and thrive even in poor water conditions because they are bottom feeders. They can be raised along with other fishes, are less laborious to handle, and have a low risk of catching diseases.

5) Yellow perch are fast growers among other types of perch

Perch is another famous, fast-growing aquaculture fish species. Yellow perch is the fastest-growing type of perch, capable of reaching a pound within 16–20 months. Although slower than tilapia, perch thrive better in cool waters compared to tilapia species.

6) Carps are extremely tough fish that develops quickly in just 4–6 months

Carps are tough-growing fish that can reach their one-pound weight in only 4–6 months. Raising and managing these fish is easy because of the following:

  • Some carps, like silver carp and grass carp, are herbivorous, therefore they can be fed with plants and plant-based feeds which are highly affordable
  • They are simple to manage and only take a short period to farm
  • Silver carps can be poly-cultured with other carp species
  • They grow quickly and reach a marketable size faster than any fish species

7) The barramundi has a fast growth rate if the temperature is set at 82°F

The barramundi is an edible fish that fits warm water fish farms with lots of dissolved oxygen. They grow well in water with temperatures between 78°F - 86°F, but the optimal growing temperature for them is 82°F. At optimum temperature, they can easily grow to a marketable size within 6–12 months.

8) Farm-grown bass species grow faster than wild bass

There are plenty of bass species that can be raised in fish farms, but one outstanding species is the hybrid striped bass which grows to a pound within 12 – 16 months. These breed of bass species have been tailor-fit to adapt to unfavorable conditions and to grow fast.

Another hybrid of bass species, the Tiger bass, is well-known for its fast growth rate—growing up to 16 inches within a year if all ideal conditions are provided. However, this could vary depending on water temperature and availability of food, as tiger bass are voracious eaters.

9) Prawns reach marketable size in about 4 - 5 months

Although technically not a fish, cultivating prawns in freshwater fishponds is one way to upscale your profits. These crustaceans, commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions, are very profitable because they reach a marketable size within 4- 5 months, but usually, mature sometimes up to 6 months.

10) Guppies take 6 months to grow into mature adult-sized fish

Guppies are common ornamental fish that adds color to tanks especially when grown indoors in aquariums or aquaponics tanks. They are cheap, easy to maintain, and fast-growing. It only takes 6 months for a guppy to grow from fry to a mature adult fish, usually measuring 4-6 cm.

11) Farm-raised trout reaches 1 pound in 10–12 months

Trout are not as quick growing as tilapia and carp, farm-raised trout can easily reach a pound within 10–12 months compared to trout found in the wild. They may be difficult to grow but their market value and taste are worth the effort and time investment.

To grow high-quality trout meat, they require cooler temperatures between 50°F - 60°F and good quality water.

12) Modified salmons are known to grow faster than their wild counterparts

Atlantic salmon in the wild usually grows in about 32–36 months (or 3 years in total) before being marketable. However, the introduction of fast-growing salmon has enabled to grow these fish half the time as those in the wild.

These fast-growing salmons have been approved and now allow raising salmon that reaches market size in just 16–18 months. Even though this is the case, to achieve high-quality salmon produce, they still require good water conditions and cooler temperatures, and a bit more knowledge and skills since they are hatched from eggs rather than fry.

13) Crayfish is an excellent fast-growing crustacean for fish farms

Although not a fish, this crustacean is an excellent candidate for fish farms or aquaculture. In particular, red claw crayfish are easy to manage because they have a simple life cycle and mature between 3–13 months from craylings to adults. They don’t require complex technology and require only a low-protein diet.

These invertebrates are also very tasty. Since they look like lobsters, they also have high market value. If you’re still pondering what to raise in your fish farms along with your fish, you may want to consider crayfish as they can surely give you a fast return on your investment.

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