Choosing the right fish for your aquaponics system is an important task. It’s best to choose a variety of fish that is easy to maintain as you learn the different aspects of this method of gardening. Here are some other things to consider when choosing the right fish for your aquaponics system.
Do you want to eat the fish from your aquaponics system?
The first step to choosing the right fish for your aquaponics system is deciding if you want to eat the fish. If you’re not looking to harvest them, then you may consider using ornamental fish.
Gold Fish work well for smaller aquaponic systems. Koi are great for larger systems and their color patterns make for great eye appeal.
Tilapia is a fish that is well-known to many aquaponics gardeners that look to eat the fish that feeds their garden. While there are many benefits to raising tilapia I prefer to use catfish for our aquaponics systems. They share many of the same of the same requirements as tilapia but have some added benefits that suit our family better.
We find catfish easy to get, feed, harvest, and we love to have people over for a fish fry.
How many fish per gallon should you get?
It’s important to consider how big your fish are going to get when choosing what kind and how many to get. Fish that get too crowded become stressed making them more susceptible to disease. A good rule of them is 1 pound of fish for every 10 gallons.
Some fish are more adaptable than others. For example, Tilapia is known to be more tolerant of less space.
What’s the easiest water temperature to maintain?
When choosing a fish for your hydroponics system it’s important to consider the temperature you’re going to need to keep the water at. While heating and cooling small aquaponic systems can be manageable, doing so with larger systems can sometimes be difficult.
If you live in a warmer area where it’s easy to maintain a water temperature range of 75-85 degrees, may look to use tilapia or catfish.
While more difficult to care for, trout and salmon make good fish for aquaponic systems where it’s easier to maintain lower temperatures, in the 60-degree range.
Goldfish do well in 70-degree water making them great ornamental fish for smaller indoor aquaponic systems.
Where can you buy the fish for the aquaponics system?
It’s important to consider what’s available when choosing a variety of fish for your aquaponics system. You can find many different types of fish on the internet, but it may be more cost-effective and easier to look locally. Choosing the right fish from a reputable company can save your headaches in the long run.
If you live near one, fish farms and hatcheries are a great place to get quality fish for your aquaponic systems. They offer many different varieties often in different size ranges allowing you many options.
For those that don’t live near a fish farm, many farm stores like Orschlens or Tractor Supply have fish days where you can order fish to be dropped off at the store for pick up on a specific day. This has been a low-cost and easy logistical option to stock our aquaponic systems.