After we've build our system, we should choose certain types of fishes that are better for our aquaponics fish
enviroment. When choosing the proper fish species for your system you should consider the following aspects:
- available quantity of fingerling and fry;
- local climatic enviroment;
- local jurisdiction - some of the fishes can be forbidden to grow;
- you grow fish for consuming or selling;
- fish weight.
You have made your choice and you need to get to the next step? Not so fast...From every fish species you want to grow, you should eliminate the ones that are not tasteful. It would be a shame to spend months of growing a certain type of fish that is simply not that good.
Check with your local Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry about the fish you are allowed to grow, or you can do a simple google search also.
Quantity is another important factor when we choose the proper aquaponics fish. Do you want to sell the fish or just to provide a fish dinner for your family a couple of times a week? Bigger farms will buy fish from fish hatcheries in larger quantities, from 100 to 200 fingerlings per sale, sometimes much higher.
Bear in mind that for consumption, a fish will lose around half of its weight in inedible bits (head, guts etc.) A family consisted of two adults and one children will consume in one dinner around two 500 grams fish. So, in a year your family will eat around 200 half-a-kilo fishes, more or less, if consumed twice a week.
When deciding the quantity of the fish to grow, you need to calculate using a standard that involves kilograms of fish per 1000 litres of water.
Fish weight will depend on the following factors:
- tank size;
- size of the fish;
- fish species;
- dissolved oxygen levels;
- bio-filtration system capacity;
- system nitrate-removal ratio
If the factors are properly managed, in a 1000 litre fish tank you will produce an excess of 50kg of fish every year.
To summarize, choosing the best fish type for your system will maximize your time spent, so it is very important not to skip this crucial step in developing your future aquaponics systems. You will thank me later, I promise you!
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