How to maintain your Aquaponics Fish
So now you have your aquaponics setup and are ready to go. All you have to do now is to know how to care for the fish you have chosen in your system. That is almost the easy part, feed them and let the mother do nature’s thing. You have to keep an eye on them every day as they grow.
what do you feed fish in aquaponics:
Fish usually get their protein by eating other fish, but if you use the right fish food such as fish meal, you can keep them healthy and grow like a weed. They still need a carefully formulated nutrient to grow quickly. There are different ways to take care of your aquaponics fish.
Fish meal is the best food to offer your fish. It is designed with all the nutrients that a fish needs to grow quickly. If you want your fish to grow fast, there is a little bit of understanding that you need about how your fish and plants deal with each other.
Fish poop is where you get the nutrients for your plants to grow. Do not forget that you have to give the fish a good, quality fish food, so that they can produce the nutrients for the plants. If you feed your fish with poor quality food, they produce poor quality poop.
Set a scheduled time for feeding. Do not miss this feeding time. Fish in the wild eat all the time. You want them to grow quickly, so set the schedule 2 to 6 times a day. You can use an automatic feeder for this. Commercial growers feed their fish once every hour. So you can take it from there. It depends on how fast you want your fish to grow.
Keeping the pH is fairly simple, but remember that you also have to think about the plants that you grow. Keep the pH between 6.5 – 7.0. Higher and it will be too acidic for the plants and too low it will not have enough nutrients for the plants. The best way to keep your aquarium at the correct pH is to set it up once and not mess it up. The more you try to correct the pH, the less it will correct. Give it a few days to see if the pH goes back to where it should be. Fish are not so picky about their water unless it gets too high on the pH scale. Keep it under 7.0.
Aquaponics Fish Species: Which Fish is Best For You
The aquaponics fish species that you choose for your system depend on various factors. One of the two most important are the legal considerations and whether choose fingerlings or fry.
When I say ‘legal considerations’, it is not just a doom and a gloom, but some governments have imposed restrictions on what kind of fish you can grow in a tank. It is best to consult with your local pet store, university or the Ministry of Agriculture. They will be able to give you a clear answer about exactly which aquaponics fish species you can grow and which you cannot.
Fingerlings are just that as long as your finger and fry are fish that has just hatched. You should not keep fingerlings and fry together. The larger fish will eat the fry!! It is better to go with fingerlings as fry takes a lot of time to grow. You can also use mature fish in the aquaponics system if you don’t want to eat them and just grow vegetables
Aquaponics Fish – Edible or Decoration for your system
When you decide to set up an aquaponics system, you have three important elements to consider, namely plants, bacteria and fish. The types of aquaponics fish that you place in the system are determined by your choice of plants and the reasons behind the breeding of the fish.
The biggest question you have to ask yourself is: fish for eating or decorate?
Many people go for aquaponics purely for sustainable food production, so that they can grow fresh fruit and vegetables without conventional soil methods. In this example, the fish are a by-product of the process, so it does not matter if the fish is being bred for food.
When the fish are purely part of the symbiotic cycle, certain fish species fit better with the system. You want to choose larger fish that mature slower and live longer, this way your fish produces larger amounts of solid waste over a longer period. This converts more food for your plants through the bacterial process.
Even though you are not planning to eat the fish in this system, you could still choose fish species based on appearance. Your tanks can then be sunk to look like ponds and the fish will be nice to look at if you choose the more decorative types.
The other side of the equation is that you grow the fish as part of the total protein stock plan. In this case, you must choose edible fish to fully appreciate the system and create a valuable food source.
The types of edible fish you can choose from will again be to your personal taste. While you eat fish, you prefer faster-growing varieties, so that they mature faster on less food and come faster on the plate. If you want to sell the fish for food, you need to know what market trends are and what fish sell well for taste.
A possible overlooked factor for fish farming is the location of the tank. Some species need certain conditions to grow and will struggle or die in shaded areas, while other fish species may prefer to be out of the sun for large parts of the day. It is clear that your home location and country can make the two above factors difficult to predict.
Which Fish Should You Grow in Aquaponics Farming System
There are many lists of the easiest to breed aquaculture fish, they have been tried and tested by aquaponic farmers. They even come with step-by-step instructions on how to be careful and maintain the fish species, so that virtually nothing can go wrong with your harvest. The most common fish species to grow in an aquaponic system are the hardy ones. They are not susceptible to water changes, overpopulation and not susceptible to diseases. Otherwise you will constantly encounter problems. However, this does not prevent experienced aquaponic farmers from experimenting with the more sensitive and fragile fish species.
These are the good fish for aquaponics: The most common fish to grow in an aquaponics system:
Tilapia – Tilapia is probably the most common fish that is bred in aquaponic systems, except in Australia, where they are illegal. They are most common in aquaponics because they are easy to grow. They are not sensitive to water levels, although they need warm water. They can also survive despite bad water conditions. They grow quickly in comparison with other fish and are easy to grow. Tilapia is often of white color with a hint of pink and as food it is known that it tastes good.
Barramundi – Barramundi is also known as the Asian sea bass, giant perch and Australian sea bass. It preferred for its clean, fresh taste and white meat. It is great as food. Like the tilapia, it prefers warmer water. Barramundi is slightly more difficult to grow compared to the tilapia, because it is slightly more sensitive to water changes and the environment, but it is known that the barramundi tastes better.
Catfish – There are many different types of catfish, but the most common species in aquaponics is the Channel Catfish.They prefer warm water, just like the first two examples, and they can even withstand cooler temperatures compared to the tilapia, but what makes the catfish less firm than the tilapia is the sensitivity to the water. It needs more filtration and aeration systems than the tilapia.
Carp – there are also many types of carp, but some are forbidden in certain places where they are known as pests. So check if carps can be grown in your backyard. These fish can adjust very well with a newly introduced environment, making them easy to grow in aquaponics. The only drawback of these fish is the limited reproduction. Carps are also quite notorious, even as food, but people slowly realize that they are reasonably tasty.
Goldfish – Goldfish grown in aquaponics and even in conventional tanks are not food. Ornamental fish in aquaponics are not as common as edible fish because of the harvest that the edible fish yields. Goldfish are ornamental fish and often occur as pets or are shown in aquariums. They are probably the most common ornamental fish in aquaponics because they are hardy and reproduce easily.
Organic Aquaponics Fish Food : Best For Your Aquaponics System
If you grow your Tilapia in a pond with algae and other aquatic plants, you will need to provide little or no food for them. They will feed on all kinds of aquatic plants, insects, larvae and everything they can get in their mouths. But for those who are looking for Tilapia in a recirculating or aquaponic system, you should pay close attention to your food sources to maximize your money. There are many fish feed on the market. Some are OK, while others are very good, but they are expensive. If you try to raise your fish for your own use, the food costs may not be as important. But if you are looking to raise your fish for sale on the market, then we must look at other ways to feed your fish.
Duckweed. If you have ever started fishing in a small pond in the late summer months, will you have noticed that this little green plant makes fishing almost impossible? Well, that’s duckweed. This small water plant is a powerhouse of proteins, and your Tilapia will do well. But you have to be careful. You do not want to go to the local farm pond to take a bucket out of it and feed it to your fish. You will probably add some really harmful bacteria to your system. I would recommend buying a small bag on eBay from a reputable dealer and cultivating your own weed. It costs you about 5 dollars. Duckweed grows like a running fire and doubles its mass in a 24-hour period. This small floating water plant is more protein rich than soybeans. People in some parts of the world eat Duckweed, which is mentioned as an important food source.
Duckweed likes sunlight and very slow moving water. You can grow your own in your backyard. Simply use a container with water and add the duckweed. Nature takes care of the rest.
Note: Mosquitos love stagnant water, so you have to buy some Mosquito Fish. These are small tropical fish that you encounter both locally and on the internet. These little fellows thrive on eating mosquito larvae and will keep your garden free from mosquitos.