The aquaponics fish in your system not only provide you with a tasty food (rich in protein and omega 3s) but also provide nutrients for the aquaponics vegetables that you're growing. Growing fish yourself will save you lots of money and you will have peace of mind knowing that the fish you're eating are free from toxic metals and petroleum residues, which is becoming a growing problem with sea-caught fish nowadays. You can also make a great income selling aquaponics fish, because the expenses involved in growing them are very small.
So, which fish species do you choose for your aquaponics farming system? There are a few things you have to keep in mind before making your decision. Each species will have it s own different requirements and optimal temperature and pH ranges. In addition, some species will be able to grow in a large population density (more fish in less space) while others may need more space. Different fish also grow at different rates; presumably you want ones which grow fast.
Two very popular fish for aquaponics systems are tilapia and trout. If you live in warmer areas, you should opt for tilapia. They grow best at temperatures of 82° to 86°F and start dying if the temperature drops below 50°F. This is because at temperatures below 54°F, tilapia lose their resistance to disease and are prone to infections. Of course, if you live in cold areas but keep your house heated, you can set up the aquaponics system in a room and still grow tilapia. Tilapias are particularly suited to aquaponics farming because they are very hardy and will survive fluctuations of pH and waste build-up better than most other fish. In addition, they can grow well in crowded tanks, and grow quickly.
Another excellent aquaponics fish for warm climates is the catfish, which grows best at a temperature of around 80°F. They are very resistant to disease and parasites, but are sensitive to oxygen levels. If you grow catfish, make sure you have a good aerating system in place and carry regular tests.
If you live in colder areas, you should opt for trout. Although different trout species have slightly different requirements, most have an optimal range of 40° to 65°F. Like tilapia, they grow fairly quickly and make tasty food.
Some aquaponics farmers also grow goldfish. Now, although these are not used for food, they can be easily sold to pet-shops to be resold as pets. Goldfish are very hardy, grow in a variety of conditions and can fetch a significant profit. You can also sell goldfish directly by placing ads in local newspapers.
To discover how to get the best yields and fish growth rates, check out How To DIY Aquaponics