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Aquarium Fish Hobby Turns into Lucrative Venture for Bangladeshi Schoolboy

Mosaddek Mandal Rahat, a tenth-grader from Faridpur Sadar upazila in Bangladesh, has achieved unexpected success and financial prosperity through his passion for aquarium fish. Despite his young age of 16, Rahat now earns a minimum of Tk 80,000 per month through his fish farming enterprise.

Starting with no specific expertise or capital, Rahat relied on his love for colorful fish that he had nurtured since childhood. «From that passion, I bought two pairs of molly and guppy, the most popular freshwater aquarium fish species, when I was studying in class eight two years back,» Rahat shared with The Daily Star. With the help of YouTube videos, he learned the techniques of raising aquarium fish and gradually expanded his collection to include carp, comet, molly, and guppy, which he raised in a small water tank at his house in Dayararampur village.

Over the past one and a half years, Rahat transformed 1.5 acres of family land in his village into «RM Ornamental Fish Zone,» his own aquarium fish farm. Customers from various districts across Bangladesh, including Khulna, Meherpur, Brahmanbaria, Chattogram, Naogaon, Natore, Dhaka, Sylhet, Rangpur, and Rajbari, now purchase aquarium fish from him online.

Rahat sells colorful fish, ranging from three to five inches in size, for Tk 13 to Tk 30 per piece. Throughout the year, he sells aquarium fish packed in polybags with a sufficient amount of oxygen, but sales peak in February and March. During those months, Rahat can earn Tk 1 to 1.5 lakh per month, while his monthly sales consistently reach a minimum of Tk 80,000 year-round.

Reflecting on his unexpected entrepreneurial journey, Rahat expressed, «I never thought that I would ever sell fish or become a fish seller. I started fish farming as a hobby.» Despite his involvement in fish farming, Rahat maintains a balance between his studies and his newfound passion, with fish farming not hindering his academic progress.

Initially hesitant about his son’s involvement in fish farming due to concerns about his studies, Rahat’s father, Mizanur Rahman, now wholeheartedly supports his endeavors. Rahat’s dedication, concentration, and achievements have impressed his parents and garnered their approval. Currently participating in the Secondary School Certificate examinations at Faridpur Zila School, Rahat plans to complete his secondary education and pursue further studies at Dhaka University, aspiring to become a magistrate in the future.

Rahat’s success has also earned him recognition and admiration from his community. Saif Doha, a local school teacher from whom Rahat initially collected fish, considers him a role model for other youths. Afroza Banu, the headmaster of Faridpur Zila School, expressed her excitement about Rahat’s fish farm, emphasizing the importance of nurturing such creativity among the younger generation. Shirin Sharmin Khan, the Faridpur Sadar Upazila Fisheries Officer, also acknowledged Rahat’s achievements and expressed her intention to visit his farm soon, considering it an inspiring example for others.

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