Techniques

Five Best Fish for Aquaponics


Aquaponics Setup- Fish for AquaponicsFish are basically the powerhouse of an aquaponics system. This is due to the fact that they are the ones that primarily provide the needed nutrients for your hydroponic plants to thrive. And if you are looking to grow the edible ones, they also offer protein for yourself and your family. While growing fish may be rather daunting to some farmers, don’t be discouraged as keeping them in your aquaponics garden is a lot simpler than maintaining an aquarium fish.

List of Edible Fish for Aquaponics

There are a wide variety of fish species that you may use in your aquaponic farm.  This of course, depends on the available supplies in your place and on your local climate.

In deciding on which variety is best for you to grow, take into account some important factors such as :

  • what you want (edible or not),and
  • what is broodstock is available.

Below is a list of useful fish species that are great for your aquaponic sytem.

Tilapia

Tilapia Fish for Aquaponics

By Takeaway – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9955162

This variety is the perfect all-rounder fish for aquaponics.

They are:

  • easy to breed,
  • fast-growing,
  • can withstand even poor water conditions, and
  • definitely good for eating.
  • and while they require warm water, they generally thrive in a wide range of tank conditions (i.e. pH, nutrient, and oxygen levels and temperature).

They are farmed extensively as an aquaponic food fish because of their large size, rapid growth, as well as palatability. Tilapias are generally great for tropical and subtropical areas.

Trout

Also great, because of their rapid growth, this carnivorous species feeds on other fish and soft-bodied aquatic organisms like mollusks and insects.  They are perfect for cool temperatures (10°C to 20°C) and are known for their excellent taste and outstanding food conversion ratio.

Trouts are also generally exciting to watch progress too because of their dramatically different patterns and coloration which serve as a camouflage when they move to one habitat to another.

Barramudi

Very similar to trout but instead of requiring strictly cold water, barramudis require consistent warm water.  Due to these strict conditions, some people tend to choose to keep trout throughout the winter season and barramudi during summer. Barramudis are also among the fast-growing varieties and are known to be great for eating as well.

Silver Perch

Silver Perch Australia - Fish for Aquaponics

Bidyanus bidyanus as depicted by Fishing and Aquaculture, Department of Primary Industries, Australia

These are great fish for aquaponics, Not only are this species good for eating, they are easy to grow and manage, too! They exhibit a wide tolerance range to environmental conditions and despite potentially slowing their growth, silver perches can thrive in cooler water.

However, avoid using them where it can get extremely cold for long periods of time as they will not grow and will not likely produce desirable amounts of nutrients for your plants in your aquaponics.

Catfish 

This particular variety of fish is an assorted group of ray-finned species that greatly vary in size.

They are found in freshwater and live inland or in the coastal waters of all continents except Antarctica. Catfishes are known to be fast-growing and have good food conversion ratio.

While certain catfish varieties may have specific diets they are generally able to be fed on plant-based foods, other fishes, and even insects.

In Summary

Ultimately it will be up to you what you buy, and it will depend on what is available locally and what your food preference is if you want to use your stock fish for a fish meal once in a while.  We wish you all the best in your search for the perfect system and be sure to check out our other articles on Aquaponics.

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