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5 Best Fish Species for Your Aquaponics System

Before assembling your aqua garden or aquaponics system, you should choose a fish species that is most suitable for the environment.

Aarushi Chadha
Carp is an inedible species of fish that is perfect for raising in a tank

Fishes play a major role in the aqua garden or aquaponics systems. Therefore, there are many factors to consider before choosing a fish species that is perfect for the types of plants that you are going to grow.

How to choose the most suitable fish species for aquaponics?

Consider the following before choosing a fish suitable for aquaponics-

  • Space- You must consider the space available for fish to thrive in your aquaponics system.

  • The purpose for rearing fish- Before choosing a fish species, you must take into account your purpose for rearing fish. Whether the fish is meant to be eaten, sold, or to live for long periods of time to provide nutrients for the plant.

  • Lifespan- The lifespan of fish varies from species to species. Therefore, you should consider the lifespan of the fish before adding them to your aquaponics system.

  • Breeding ability- Each individual species of fish has its unique breeding habits and requirements. The temperature and climate which is suitable for the plants to grow should be complementary to the breed of fish.

Fish species suitable for aquaponics

Tilapia- Tilapia is a species of fish native to Africa. It is considered an ideal candidate for rearing in aquaponics systems because of its ability to survive and tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions. It is also able to survive in water with low oxygen concentration along with being resistant to pathogens. This fish species also thrive on an omnivorous diet that consists of plant-based foods and animals. They have the propensity to breed and are economically viable as they are incredibly delicious when prepared properly. Tilapia is suitable for aquaponics systems that grow leafy lettuce, basil, chives, kale, hemp, or Swiss chard.

Murray Cod- Like Tilapia, Murray Cod is a species of fish that can grow fast even in a closed environment. However, these fishes have a voracious appetite and need to be fed adequately because otherwise they’ll turn to cannibalism and attack each other. This fish thrives in cooler environments and are ready to be harvested within 12 to 18 months. They are prone to bacterial and fungal infections in a high stocking density.

Trout- Trout is a variety of edible fish that thrives in cooler environments. This fish is loaded with protein and omega fatty acids. Their diet consists of a variety of fish, insects, and other soft-bodied invertebrates. They are, however, slow-growing fish and can take up to 4 years to reach one pound. On the plus side, they can be raised in indoor and outdoor setups.

Catfish- Catfish are great for aquaponics systems as this species of fish can easily adapt to tanks and can survive in harsh environments, such as polluted ponds. This fish thrives in a warmer climate and can grow very quickly. They are also not territorial, can share a tank with other species, and even bred with other equal-sized fish. This edible fish tastes delicious but requires a high-protein diet.

Carp- Carp is an inedible species of fish that is perfect for raising in a tank. Koi fish, which are part of the carp species, are used to live in artificial ponds are sold as ornamental fish. Koi can be raised along with edible species as long as there is no competition between the two for nutrients and space. They can thrive in a wide range of temperatures and will even eat the algae, thereby, cleaning the aquaponics system for free. This fish can grow as long as 2 feet and live up to 30 years. On the downside, it produces a lot of waste which affects the balance of the system.

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