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With a capital of 16 USD, a 20-year-old man earns thousands of dollars a month

Only 23 years old, Tran Quoc Dat has earned an income of nearly 100 million VND per month by bringing to market 6,000 goldfish and 2,000 types of fish food. (1$=25,000 VND)

Start a business with 16$ accumulated

With a capital of 16 USD, a 20-year-old man earns thousands of dollars a month
Tran Quoc Dat turned his passion for watching and taking care of goldfish into a job earning hundreds of millions of dong per month (Photo: Nguyen Vy).

At the end of 2016, Tran Quoc Dat (born in 1999, living in Cu Chi district, Ho Chi Minh City) decided to drop out of culinary school to fulfill his business dream. Once introduced to goldfish by his brother, Dat quickly “falls in love” with this eye-catching animal. Quoc Dat focuses on developing two popular goldfish lines, Ranchu and Oranda, with prices ranging from VND 10,000 to VND 10 million.

By 2022, Dat can supply more than 6,000 goldfish seeds and 2,000 fish food products to the market every month. The orders come from all over the country, popular in big cities and provinces such as Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hanoi… Only 23 years old, Dat already has an income of 80-100 million VND/month.

From 4 small lakes, Dat has developed a fish farm with 42 ponds (Photo: Nguyen Vy).

Sharing about the start-up process, the 9X guy said, he started with 400,000 VND, buying the first 4 goldfish. At that time, Dat went to see how his brother bred fish and then practiced doing it. However, due to not knowing how to balance the pH and disinfect the water, the goldfish died a lot and the number of fingerlings decreased sharply. Seeing this, the young man researched and learned from many books and newspapers online and gradually overcome those weaknesses.

Later, the adjustment is more suitable, the number of fish keeps multiplying. From raising in Styrofoam containers, Dat switched to plastic containers and built 4 small aquariums. Up to now, Dat has owned a farm on the outskirts of the city, invested in 42 aquariums, each with a size of 3.5m2, equipped with oxygen and drainage systems, … 

While earning a high income while pursuing his passion, Dat said it is difficult to describe his current feelings. 

The Ranchu and Oranda lines are two lines of goldfish that Dat is developing (Photo: Nguyen Vy).

“At first, my family strongly objected because I didn’t like doing business related to animals, partly because I also wanted to have a stable job. But I believed in myself, trying every day to pursue my passion. Now I was successful, my family and friends were very supportive,” Dat confided.

According to the 9X guy, their most memorable memory is the first order from Da Nang, selling 100 children. Holding the amount of 1 million VND, Dat seemed to burst because all his enthusiasm was rewarded. 

“At that moment, I thought I was on the right track, so as long as I have faith, I can definitely do it, all difficulties will pass,” the guy said.

The secret of the owner of the fish farm

Every day, Quoc Dat has to get up early to check the water, then start feeding the fish the first out of 4 meals of the day. The food of goldfish here is mainly worms, bo bo, bran and steamed eggs. 

During the spawning period, Dat put the male and female fish in the same tank so that they could mate themselves. Farmers will let loose or tincture for fish eggs to stick. Then, Mr. Dat uses a bucket of clean water, picks up the eggs and gives them oxygen, the eggs will hatch on their own. On average, every 5,000 eggs will hatch about 3,000 fry.

Dat said he will continue to invest in more lakes to increase the number of fish supplied to the market (Photo: Nguyen Vy).

After 6 years of starting a business, Quoc Dat has accumulated a lot of experience in goldfish farming in particular and starting a business in general. Dat said, the required element is passion because every job is hard. 

“Especially have to love fish. Goldfish, however, are very attached to their owners, if it feels the owner’s affection, then when it realizes, the fish will flock,” Quoc Dat said.

Besides, knowledge of the profession is also indispensable. For goldfish farming, Dat shared, it is necessary to accurately determine the pH and how to disinfect, because water is the most important factor. 

Specifically, for goldfish to grow well, not get sick, suffocate, the pH of the water must be controlled in the range of 7.0-7.5. At the same time, the water must be reduced by boiling oxygen to avoid contamination with alum, zinc, etc.

“To balance the pH and disinfect, farmers should use coral or soda. This stage must pay a lot of attention, because it determines the survival of the fish,” Dat said.

The young man thinks that fish can feel the owner’s affection and become attached to the owner if they are close (Photo: Nguyen Vy).

Regarding fish varieties, Quoc Dat shared that in addition to Vietnam, he also prioritizes importing from countries such as Indonesia and Thailand in order to diversify designs and quality.

“In the near future, the farm will grow to 62 lakes, to ensure the quantity supplied to the market. If given the opportunity, I plan to participate in some contests and exhibitions on ornamental fish to interact with the community. the same passion”, the 9X guy hopes.

Photo: Internet (

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