When deciding to take on the adventure of aquaponics some thought must also be given to what type of aquaponics fish will be raised in this environment. Some fish are raised for the purpose of eating while others are more ornamental.
There is a wide variety of fish species that can be grown in an aquaponic environment and with the right plant life and other aspects of this ecosystem, fish will grow healthy and strong.
Aquaponics Fish For Eating
The top favored aquaponics fish to be raised for the purpose of eating are tilapia, trout, and bass. Each of these fish species has specific needs that should be adhered to for the achievement of the best results. Also, you want to make sure that the fish you are putting in the water tank are compatible. You would not want to go out and find that some of your fish have been eaten.
Bass prefer mildly cool water ranging between 59 – 96 degrees with 75 – 86 degrees being the preferred range. The younger fry needs water just a tad cooler. Keep in mind that bass is big fish when grown, so you would not want to take on this species of fish if you only have a small area to work with.
Trout grow to be a decent size when cared for properly. This fish species is a coldwater fish but is an excellent aquaponics fish because it grows fast. They prefer temperatures around 32 degrees to 80 degrees. During the fry stage, the minimum temperature for trout is 41 degrees.
Tilapia are a warm water fish, and it is recommended to not have water temperature below 55 degrees. If it falls below this margin tilapia becomes sick and when water is below 50 degrees, they will start dying off.
Aquaponics Fish For Decoration
The best aquaponics fish species for decoration are koi, goldfish, and perch. Many people raise koi for income purposes.
When possible it is best to purchase koi at an early age when they are not as expensive. There is a tidy little profit that can be made by the raising and sale of this fish species. A few years back a prized koi was sold in Japan for nearly $400,000.00.
The perch is a very adaptable fish and makes a good starter fish for aquaponics enthusiasts. Perch comes in several colors, but the three most used as aquaponics fish are yellow, silver, and jade variety.
Aquaponics is an excellent way to get the best of both worlds in fish and plants without chemical interaction. The symbiotic relationship between fish and plants can work to the advantage of the grower by providing food for the table. It may be the fish that was raised or the plants that benefited from the fish.
For the various species of fish that are used in aquaponics gardening, there are just as many plants that benefit from this closed ecosystem. There are currently over 300 plant species that have been tested and shown success in an aquaponic environment. This is a great hobby for someone to pick up but is also an excellent learning opportunity. More importantly, it is a great way to ensure that there will always be something to eat for one or for the masses.