One of the most frequently asked questions by those who are new to aquaponics is,” What species of fish should I use for my system?” There are actually a lot of different species of fish to choose from depending on your geographic location, climate and available supplies. If you have no prior experience to the field of aquaponics, then it is best to get acquainted first with the most commonly used fish species in this system.
When starting your own aquaponics system, you have to first determine what you want it to achieve. If you want to harvest fish that you can consume or eat then consider growing an edible fish that is readily available all-year-round. On the other hand, if you are not looking to eat your fish then grow species that are not popularly consumed as food. You also have to consider the kinds of species that are available in your area since you need to start with a progeny.
Below is a list of species that are commonly used in most aquaponic systems
Barramundi or also known as the Asian sea bass is one of the common edible fish species in many Australian aquaculture systems. It is available during the warmer months and are usually bought when they are fairly mature so they can harvest them when they become less available as fingerlings at the end of the warm season. They are good choices for an aquaponic system because they have a high commercial value, are clean and have a crisp taste when eaten as food.
This species is a good candidate for production in an aquaponic system because of its low cost and high demand as food. It is very popular and receives a high rank because it has the highest Omega-3 oil content when compared to any other fish species in the world. Jade perch species require warm water for breeding and they consume an omnivorous diet. Another great advantage is that they grow fast and the fingerlings are freely available in warm climate.
This is the top fish-of-choice for most aquaponic growers since they are easy to raise and fast growing. Plus, they do not require much for breeding except for warm water which is a must for them to survive and propagate. This is the second most cultured fish in the world and is a favorite among aquaponic systems. If you live in a cool climate then this fish is not for you since it will require you to warm the water for your system.
Gold fish is a member of the carp family and is usually grown in aquaponic systems to be sold as ornamental fish in many pet shops or to suppliers. The downside of growing goldfish is that they usually require a tank and plant cover to breed. The advantage of raising gold fish is that it is cheap and requires a very flexible range of temperature to grow. Goldfish can also withstand changes in water pH. Thus, goldfish are relatively simple to breed and a good choice for beginners in the aquaponic system.
There are other species to choose from depending on your area, climate and availability of fingerlings. This list of commonly used fish species in aquaponics is a helpful guide when you are new to the technology and are looking for the right kind of fish species to start with.