There are so many species of fish that you can use in your Aquaponic system but these species of fish will depend on your climate and the availability of supplies.
Importance of Fish
The powerhouse of a cell is the mitochondrion; this is where your cells get their energy. In an Aquaponics system, the powerhouse is the fish. The fish are the givers of nutrients to the plants. And if it so happens that you are growing fish that is edible, then aside from the nutrients it can supply to your plants, these fish are also excellent sources of your dietary protein. A lot of people get discouraged at the thought of caring for fish especially for those who have never had any experience before. But here’s one piece of advice I can give you, don’t be dismayed and don’t be discouraged because caring for fish and keeping them in a secure Aquaponic system is much simpler than keeping fish in an aquarium as long as you are determined to follow the guidelines. Growing fish in Aquaponic system whether it’s fish from a fingerling size to the massive fishes that are ready to eat, keeping them is really simple you wouldn’t believe it yourself.
When Choosing a Fish Species to Grow
There are so many species of fish that you can use in your Aquaponic system but these species of fish will depend on your climate and the availability of supplies. In our local climate in Australia, particularly Perth that’s in Western Australia we are allowed to grow Rainbow Trout all throughout winter and during the summer we are allowed to keep and grow Barramundi. Aside from these, there are also other choices of fish that we can grow the whole year round but it takes a much longer time for them to reach maturity. If you happen to live in an area with a cooler climate then you can grow Trout all throughout the year or you can also grow other local fish species. In other areas of Australia that have a warmer climate they usually grow Jade Perch or Barramundi the whole year round. But mostly in warm places all throughout the world, their fish of choice would always remain to be Tilapia.
When you are torn between deciding which species of fish you would like to grow you should take into account several factors. But the most important thing you have to consider is what you want from your Aquaponics system. If you have no plans of eating your fish then you should not grow edible fish or you might want to consider growing edible fish that can be able to live all year round within your area so you don’t have to go through the tedious work of harvesting fish seasonally.
Another important factor to consider is availability. You need to buy fish to stock your system with like Tilapia since this fish species breeds easily. You also need to get your brood stock ready as well.
The following is a list of ideas for Aquaponics species and each species has corresponding descriptions.
Aside from the fish species that I’ve mentioned above, there are other fish species that are equally suitable for Aquaponic systems that may be available in your area. In a lot of European countries, a lot of species of carp are grown. In America, fish species like Bluegill are readily available. In Australia you’ll find quite a number of native species like a Sleepy cod, a Sleepy cod would be very suitable in an Aquaponic system.
Aside from those special species mentioned above like the carp, the trout, the Murray cod and Koi other marine animals that can be added to your existing Aquaponic system are fresh water prawns, fresh water crayfish, and fresh water mussels. A lot of people incorporate mussels into their Aquaponic system because mussels are naturally considered filter feeder and they do an excellent job at keeping your water clean. Mussels also grow in flooded growbeds or they can be added into fish tanks. Another excellent suggestion to add to your Aquaponic system is fresh water crustaceans. There are many other different species you can incorporate into your system that may be readily available in your location but you just have to bee keen on location and the temperature of your water to ensure that your fish or whatever addition you can think of will grow well.
For individuals who are living in tropical areas, you can always try the Redclaw. This is a fast growing species native to Australia. For those individuals who live n cooler areas, you can try Marron or the Yabbies.
Yabbies breed easily and readily as long as they are provided with the right environment and the exact water temperature they need and as long they have long daylight hours. Yabbies also grow very quickly however, Yabbies are also inclined to fight with each other and they are prone to cannibalism when they are stocked heavily so make sure that you keep this in mind if you intend to grow Yabbies.
Numbers of Fish
When it comes to numbers of fish, this topic can be considered very controversial and a lot of people who are fond of practicing Aquaponics almost always fall on a heated debate with each other when they start talking about numbers of fish. Stocking levels of fish in an Aquaponics system can go as high as many intensive recirculating aquaculture systems. But always keep in mind that the higher you go in terms of stocking density the higher the chance that things will likely go wrong. If you plan on heavy stocking densities you need to keep a watchful eye on all your water parameters just to ensure that your conditions remain functional.
Most people who find this as a problem tend to lower their stocking levels of fish, so if you lower them naturally and consequently it lowers the level of stress and risk. The growth rates of plants that are lightly stocked are also quite impressive. This 8-bed system was stocked with seventy fish which is basically less than nine fish for every growbed. The tank was five thousand liters full and there is a one thousand liter sump placed on the system. The fish in the system at the time the image was taken were trout and the fish weight around three hundred to four hundred grams. In terms of plant growth, 8 beds were already good and we were able to grow an assorted mixture of plants in grow beds. (Click here to learn about How to Grow Plants in an Aquaponics System)