What are the Best Aquaponics Fish?
While choosing aquaponics fish, it is always better to research first. As part of an integrated system, where plants are also grown, each species has different requirements. While some may thrive in water having low temperature, others need a relatively warmer environment. Additionally, these have different eating behaviors and are required to consume a proper diet. Well, this is how you will be able to get scrumptious food right from your backyard!
Keeping all considerations in mind, we have compiled a list of the best aquaponics fish for your system. On top of that, there are also a few considerations. So, go through them before buying the fish if you want to get your hands on the perfect harvest this season!
Best Fish for Aquaponics
Written below are some examples of the best aquaponics fish. Take a look!
An aquaponics fish that can adapt to almost any environment, tilapia is one of the hardiest species. It survives on a variety of things like algae, insects, and small fish. With a faster growth rate, tilapia is a little flavoured when cooked. The average temperature required by tilapia to survive is somewhere between 82° – 86°F. However, in several cases, they may survive if the temperature increases or decreases a little. Additionally, the optimum pH should be somewhere between 6.5-9.
Rich in omega-3 fats and vitamin B12, catfish, is packed with healthy protein and can be incorporated into your diet with ease. In an aquaponics system, catfish adapt to the environment and grow at a very fast rate. Catfish are not territorial in nature and can be bred with other fish of the same size. The ideal water temperature for catfish to survive is 75-86°F.
Prawns and Shrimps
Prawns and shrimps are Decapod crustaceans. However, their suborders are different. When raised in an aquaponics system, they provide nutrition to the plants and can be consumed by you. As two of the most preferred seafood, their demand is always on the rise. Keeping that in mind, it is safe to say that you can now have a harvest of your own!
Although they don’t survive well when the temperature changes, these creatures can survive within the pH range of 6.5-8. If the conditions are favourable, you can relish prawns and shrimps within 3-6 months.
Belonging to the salmon family, trouts are widely consumed all over the world. It is mainly because they taste exceptionally well.
As they can survive well at different temperature ranges, trouts can be added to both indoor and outdoor aquaponic farming system. Although trouts prefer a cold temperature to survive, it can range somewhere around 56-68°F. Talking about its dietary habits, trouts consume food that is protein-rich. Moreover, they are highly tolerant to salinity and can survive in different marine environments.
7 Things to Consider While Buying Aquaponics Fish
There are three main purposes of fish farming – home, recreational, or commercial. So, even before choosing the best aquaponics fish, make sure you are clear regarding your purpose. Additionally, there is a multitude of things that need your undivided attention right before you jump in to buy these fish. Let’s check them out.
While some fish grow well in cold water, others prefer warm water. Since fish are not capable of adjusting to a low temperature, you need to see if they will survive in your locality’s temperature range. When you provide the fish with the required temperature inside an aquaponics system, you will be able to raise healthy produce.
Take notice of the aquaponics fish that are readily available in your area. If you live somewhere in the U.S., you may want to use Tilapia or Trout in your system, as these are easily available here. On the other hand, you may not find Barramundi so easily.
3. Size and Space:
Since the fish will keep growing in the tank up until they mature, it is essential to know about the total space they will require. Keeping this in mind, you should select the size of the tank.
4. Breeding Habits:
Different species of fish have different breeding habits. Therefore, you need to consider breeding habits while adding a particular species to the aquaponics system. While some species do not reproduce inside a closed tank, a few of them do it rather easily. If the tank is relatively small, it may cause issues with the stocking density.
To thrive in an aquaponics system, aquaponics fish need a proper diet. Their food includes proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins.
Depending on their eating habits, fish are categorized into four groups – carnivores, herbivores, omnivores, and detritivores. So, their diet is another thing that needs to be considered before setting up a system.
6. Maintenance and Care:
Some breeds of fish survive harsh conditions, while others are sensitive and don’t adapt to change well. It is better to choose a fish that is hardy and immune to diseases and parasites. Otherwise, you will have to spend a considerable amount of time and money on their maintenance and care.
7. Filtration Capacity:
The filtration capacity of the system determines how many fish you can keep inside the tank. Ideally, in a gallon of water, you should have one inch of fish length.
A great source of minerals, vitamins, and calcium, fish is a staple diet in several parts of the world. In fact, dietitians recommend people to eat fish at least twice a week. Now, what if we tell you that you can harvest them right in front of your eyes? Would you believe us? Well, you have to since we are talking about the aquaponics system! It is also a wonderful way to grow plants and fish side by side. You can establish it almost anywhere. Just make sure you know what will work best for your system.
If you are confused about which fish will thrive well in your locality, this blog will surely help you choose the best aquaponics fish!