How to build a fish holding cage?

How to build a fish holding cage? – A Step By Step Guide

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Cage aquaculture is a relatively new concept to fish cultivation. It’s a substitute fish production system for traditional pond culture. Cage culture uses the existing water of the pond or reservoir but keeps the fish in a floating cage made with plastic mesh and pipe. 

It controls the movement of fish but keeps the regular circulation of water to ensure a healthy environment. This floating cage is called a fish-holding cage. Fish-holding cage is the core part of cage aquaculture.

So, being an angler, I developed an interest in what is a fish-holding cage and how to build a fish holding cage. To have a clear understanding of fish-holding cages, I did broad research about fish-holding cages. And here’s what I’ve found out.  

A fish holding cage refers to an enclosed structure in water that controls the movement of fish but keeps the regular circulation of water. There are various types of cages available in the market.

From the research, I’ve found that the most commonly used and the simplest fish-holding cage is a cylindrical cage- 4*4 (diameter*depth) feet. This cylindrical cage is easy-to-build with minimal cost. It’s also easy to operate. 

What Do You Need to Build a Fish Holding Cage?

how to build a fish holding cage

In this scenario, a common question can be raised. Which is ‘what materials are needed to build a fish-holding cage’? The must-have components are:

  • a frame
  • mesh or netting
  • feeding ring
  • lid
  • zip ties or bell wire
  • and a floatation device

The most durable frames are galvanized iron or PVC pipe. Mesh or netting should be solid plastic mesh or knotless nylon netting. The floatation device should be waterproof foam or plastic bottles.

The lid and feeding ring will be made with a frame and mesh. These are the most available and cost-friendly items to build a fish-holding cage.

How To Build a Fish Holding Cage?

Now, comes the major question. How to build a fish-holding cage? To build a proper cylindrical fish-holding cage I followed some steps which I will be sharing now. 

The first step is to measure and cut PVC pipe for the frame. To make the frame four hoops are needed. Two for the lid and the bottom. And another two for the top and the bottom of the cylinder.  For making the hoop 4 pieces of 4 feet pipe are needed. Now tie all four sides of the pipe with zip ties by making a round shape. Make four of these by following the same steps. 

The next step is making the lid and bottom of the cage. To make the lid and bottom take those hoops and place them above the squared plastic mesh and tie the hoop properly to the net with bell wire. Cut the extra plastic mesh around the hoop and be careful to not come too close to the hoop. The lid and bottom of the cage are ready.

For the side of the cage, measure how much plastic mesh is needed to cover the whole side. Then cut the plastic mesh with the measured size. Then form a cylinder with the mesh and temporarily tie two end sides of the mesh with bell wire. After that, take the bottom hoop and place it on one side.

Then start sewing the hoop with the mesh-made cylinder. When the sewing is complete, lift it and stand the cylinder by placing the bottom side on the ground. Then take another hoop and follow the same steps for the top side of the cage.

After sewing both the top and bottom hoop tie the two end sides of the plastic mesh properly. Now, a formation is created for the cylinder cage.

A feeding ring is a vital thing for smaller cages because it prevents food wastage. To install the feeding ring take 1 piece of 13*1 feet of 1/8 inch plastic mesh. Attach both sides of the mesh to the inside of the cage under 2-3 inches from the top hoop. The feeding ring is ready. 

The next step is attaching the lid and bottom of the cage. This step is easy because the lid and bottom hoop already have been made. Now, place one side of the cylinder on the floor. Take one hoop and attach it to the top.

Then sew it properly to the cylinder hoop with bell wire and give three-four zip ties to make the attachment stronger. Then flip the cylinder so that the attached part goes on the floor. Now, take another hoop for the lid and attach it to the top hoop of the cylinder with the bell wire.

But for the lid, whole places cannot be tied. For the lid to work properly it has to be tied into several places with keeping a distance.

And the last part is attaching the floatation device. For floatation 5 liters plastic bottle is ideal. Take four of these bottles and glue their cap to avoid leakage. Then attach them to the four sides of the cage with bell wire. 

And it’s done. A perfect cylindrical fish-holding cage. 

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Fish Tank?

The cost of building a cylindrical fish-holding cage is minimal than other fish-holding cages. Because it’s smaller in size and needs fewer materials. The detailed cost of building a cylindrical cage is shown in the chart below.

Materials NameAmountPrice
PVC pipe16 pieces*4 feet = 64 feet7 Dollars
Plastic Mesh30 feet15 Dollars
Plastic Bottles4 pieces2 Dollars
Zip Tie20 pieces2 Dollars
Bell Wire30 feet5 Dollars
Total cost31 Dollars

What To Keep in Mind When Building a Fish Holding Cage?

When building a fish-holding cage few things need to be kept in mind. Not every fish cage is ideal for every reservoir or pond. Types of the fish-holding cage will be made depending on the size of the ponds, and the types of fish will be placed in the cage.

The method of harvest should be kept in mind while building a cage. Cost is an important factor to keep in mind. Not every cage costs the same. Also, what the purpose behind your cage building should be kept in mind while measuring the cost.

Another thing is using the right materials. Using the right materials is effective for both fish harvesting and cost measurement. All the materials used in building a cage should be water and rust-resistant.

The plastic mesh used for fencing should be ½ inch to ensure the regular circulation of water. Which is an important factor in keeping a healthy environment for fish. Another important thing to keep in mind is injuries.

In the process, one needs to be careful enough not to get injured. Because most of the materials used are sharp objects and there is a high chance of getting injured. 


This information was the findings of the research I’ve conducted on cage aquaculture and fish-holding cage. There is no specific guideline for making a fish-holding cage. A fish-holding cage can be made with lots of different materials.

The shape and size mostly depend on the size of the water body and the amount of cost you can bear. Also, fish type plays a great role in the shape and size of the cage. Considering everything, a cylindrical fish-holding cage is an ideal option.

It’s both times and cost-effective. Especially for small entrepreneurs with low budgets looking for a way into the cage culture. So, anyone wondering about how to build a fish-holding cage can follow this article to build a nice little fish-holding cage. 

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  • Ayaan

    Hi, this is Ayaan. I have been fishing since I was a young boy. I love the outdoors and the peace that comes with being by the water. Fishing is more than a hobby to me, it is a passion. I have learned much about fishing over the years, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others. I am happy to teach anyone who is interested in learning how to fish. I love everything about fishing – the peace and tranquility of being out on the water, the challenge of trying to catch a big one, and the sense of accomplishment when I finally land a fish. I love fishing because it is a way to connect with nature and escape everyday life’s hustle and bustle.

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