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Importance of Fish

Fish are the power house of an aquaponics system, they provide the nutrients for the plants and if your growing edible fish, then they also provide protein for yourself. Keeping fish may be a little daunting to some, especially those without any prior experience, however you shouldn’t be discouraged. Keeping fish in an aquaponic system is more simple than keeping aquarium fish, so long as you follow simple guidelines then growing fish from fingerling size, to ready to eat fish can be extremely simple.

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Choosing a fish species

There are many different species of fish that can be used in an aquaponic system, depending on your local climates and available supplies. Our local climate in Perth, Western Australia, allows us to keep Rainbow Trout through winter, then a warmer species like Barramundi during summer.

 

There are also a few choices for year round fish that we could grow, but they often take a longer time to mature. If you live in a cooler climate you might be looking at growing Trout all year round, or perhaps another locally produced fish species. In warmer areas of Australia people generally grow Barramundi, or Jade Perch year round, in most warm areas throughout the world Tilapia is the fish of choice.

In deciding what is the best species for you to grow, you should take a few factors into account, most importantly is what you want from your system. If you don’t want to eat your fish then you probably won’t want to grow edible fish, or you may want to grow an edible fish that can live year-round in your area, so that you’re not having to harvest fish out seasonally. The second most important factor is ‘What’s available?’ You need to be able to buy fish to stock your system, even with species such as Tilapia that breed readily, you need to get your broodstock in the first place.

Here’s are a number of different fish species grown in aquaponic systems around the world. If you need to know what fish species you might get in your area, please check the Backyard Aquaponics Website for more in depth species information and their availability in different parts of the world.

Feeding Your Fish

One very common question from people new to aquaponics and there’s no straight answer really. There’s a simple rule of thumb or guide that you can follow, but as with all things aquaponics there’s also a heavy dash of “most of the time” thrown in with it. Why is this? Being a closed loop system, everything that goes into the system stays in the system to a great extent, till it becomes part of the fish and plants being harvested from the system

More to come soon….