What fish do you use for aquaponics?
Aquaponics systems are becoming ever more popular. This is not only with commercial food producers, but also with the home DIY aquaponics user. Aquaponics systems are becoming increasingly important in the struggle to create more efficient and green methods of producing food. The coolest part of an aquaponics system is that they create two harvests; one for plants and the other for fish or crustaceans. But what kind of fish can you use for aquaponics?
What kind of fish can you use for aquaponics in 10 seconds…
Fish species suitable for an aquaponics system include a hardy fish called Tilapia. Tilapia are arguably the most common aquaponics species and are the ideal fish for beginners just starting with aquaponics. Other suitable aquatic animals for aquaponics include trout, carp, catfish, Koi carp, perch, bass and crustaceans.
What kind of fish can you use for aquaponics?
There are a number of considerations when it comes to choosing the right type of fish for your aquaponics system. See below for the type of considerations you need to think about. But one of the best fish to grow if you’re new to aquaponics and starting out is Tilapia.
The main reasons why these fish are one of the most suitable fish to aquaponics and for beginners is they are extremely hardy, they don’t require much oxygen and they have a reputation for being almost impossible to kill. Until that is you need to kill your fish before you eat them.
But in addition to how easy they are to keep is they are very tasty to eat too. For example, in the picture above, this is a Ghanaian Joll of rice and Tilapia dish. Mmmm…delicious!!
Let’s take a look at a list of other kinds of fish you can use for aquaponics systems.
Fish you can use for aquaponics systems:
- Koi carp.
- Perch – this includes silver, gold, yellow and Jade.
- Bass – this includes largemouth, smallmouth, hybrid stripped, Australian and white bass.
- Murray cod.
- Tetra fish.
- Red ear sunfish.
- Bluegill fish.
- Arctic Char.
- Walleye fish.
Other aquatic creatures suitable for an aquaponics system
In addition to fish, there are other aquatic creatures you can keep in an aquaponics system. For example, crustaceans are also ideal to keep using aquaponics. But they are also great to eat too.
Other aquatic animals suited to aquaponics:
- Yabbies – which are a type of crayfish found in Australia.
- Prawns and shrimps.
Considerations when choosing aquatic animals for aquaponics
Now you have a list of the kind of fish or other aquatic creatures you can use for aquaponics, what are the considerations to take into account when choosing the type of fish or other aquatic animal for your aquaponics system?
Considerations for choosing aquatic animals for aquaponics systems:
- Your personal preference of fish or other aquatic animal and how tasty they are to eat.
- Is it easy to buy the type of fish you choose near where you live?
- Permits and licences are a consideration with certain fish species.
- The size of fish.
- The space requirements for the type of fish.
- How fast they grow.
- The fishes or other animal’s dietary requirements.
- The type of plants you intend to grow and how these match with the type of fish you choose.
- Which is more important to you – the fish or the type of plants you grow?
- Your skill level – beginner, intermediate or expert.
- pH levels.
- Sensitivity levels to water temperature change.
- Hardiness of the aquatic animal.
- Conversion rates of food – i.e. how much food they require versus the return of food to eat.
- How easily they breed.
- Susceptibility to disease.
- Oxygen level requirements.
- How they mix with other aquatic animals you keep and how aggressive they are.
- Will the fish or aquatic animal you choose eat the other fish or animals you keep?
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Happy DIY aquaponics.