In determining the best breed of fish to raise for profit, the source you are getting the fish from is very important. To get a very good breed, you should not go to just anywhere and buy your fish fingerlings or juveniles.
Get those who have been in the business before involved or carry an expert along before going to purchase your fish. This is one of the way by which you can be sure of getting good breed of fish.
Deciding on what species of fish to raise is very important. There are a wide variety of fish you could grow at home using aquaponic systems. Choose a suitable species that grows in your local climate. It will also depend on how much space and budget you have.
If you live in a cold area, where your pond can freeze in the winter, consider a pond size deeper than three feet, and also install a water heater. Koi is ideal for cold weather, while tilapia don’t grow very well in cold climates. Several species of trout are suitable for winter fish farming. Barramundi is an ideal fish for the warmer months during the summer.
When purchasing stock for your do-it-yourself fish farming ponds, species is important. There are a few to select from, although one is easier than the others. Which you decide on will depend on the climate and your ambition.
Once the water in your fish pond is stocked with vegetation and food, it is time to consider the fish. What fish your do-it-yourself fish farm will raise totally depends on a variety of items; the dimensions of your pond, intentions for the breed and your experience will all determine what you will raise.
Salmon, though an excellent market fish, is a larger undertaking for an amateur. The initial breeding of this kind of fish is nearly equal trout. However, these fish require some time living in the ocean. This means they may require additional facilities to get them there, depending on the location of the fish farm.
In addition to the species of fish you want to primarily raise on your fish farm, consider some secondary species. One species to consider is perch. The fry make an excellent food source for other fish, especially trout and offer a bit of variety to your pond. Keep in mind that perch are very zealous breeders and should be kept under supervision.
Typical fish grown by fish farms include salmon, catfish, tilapia, cod, carp and trout. At any rate several other kinds can be raised as livestock, the trout is the finest fish for a novice to start up with. It’s among the strongest of the fish raised on a fish farm and they have got an excellent market value.
A list of fish you could grow with aquaponics system
To decide what fish to grow, consider several factors first. Ask yourself what do you want to achieve from your system? If you want to grow fish for eating, then you should get more edible fish that can grow year round in your area.
If you are growing fish for their beauty and want to keep them inside in your indoor fish tank or aquarium, buying goldfish or Koi could serve the purpose. Finding fish that are available in your area is another important factor.
You should be able to stock your aquaponic system with fish that are locally available. Even tilapia, which is a rapidly breading species of fish, need fish stock from the hatchery to start farming.
Below is a list of aquaponic species of fish:
1) Barramundi Fish
These are ideal species for growing in warmer climates or during the summer through your aquaponic system. You will need to buy a fairly mature stock of fish to grow in your backyard pond. Barramundi grown in an aquarium or fish tank have an extra clean, crisp taste.
Catfish is another ideal species of fish that you can grow in your backyard or aquarium. There are many different species of catfish available, so make sure you get the one suitable for your pond size and climate. They are a rapidly growing species of fish that have a good feed to conversion ratio.
3) Carp Fish
Carp is farmed widely in the United States, both for food or as ornamental fish. There are many different species of carp, varying in sizes and behavior. These oily freshwater fish are native to Europe and Asia. Some species of carp are suitable for aquaculture, but they may be hard to find.
4) Gold fish
These are ornamental fish and make a pretty addition to your aquaponic system or aquarium. These are a species of carp, and need plants for breeding.
5) Koi Fish
These are another species of carp. The Japanese Koi is very colorful species, and ideal for large commercial ponds. They are great for large aquaponic systems.
6) Cod Fish
Cod is a significant species of fish known to grow enormous in size. They are fast growing fish that can be great for recirculating aquaculture systems and can also be great for aquaponic systems.
7) Tilapia Fish
Tilapia is an extremely popular fish in aquaculture. They are also a very popular species in aquaponics for various reasons. These species of fish breed and grow fast. They are highly resilient and do well in almost any type of climate and in poor water conditions. They eat an omnivorous diet, and are well palatable.
8) Trout Fish
Trout can be raised in aquaponic systems where the water is cooler. Trout prefer temperatures between 10 to 20 degrees, so they are good for growing in the winter. They grow very fast and have excellent flavor.
We hope you will have great success with aquaculture fish farming. Try growing some of these species mentioned above in your own aquaponic system. It would surely reduce your grocery bills while feeding your family. You may be able to put some extra cash in your pocket as well.
Fish Feed Consumption Chart
The feed consumption chart is a feeding guide that shows you in advance the number of bags or kilograms of feed you may need to feed your fish every month. The feed consumption chart as shown here is designed for different feeding rates.
Depending on how deep your pocket is, you may decide to adopt the feeding rate of 45 bags (675kg), 50 bags (750kg), or 67 bags (1000kg) of feed per 1000 fishes stocked. As earlier mentioned, the chart is only a guide. You should use it to manage the feeding process.
For instance, they may not be able to consume all the feeds allocated for the first and second month of stocking, but as from the third month and particularly from the fourth month, they may consume and even exceed the quantity earmarked for those months.
Thus by the time of harvest they should have consumed all the bags of feed indicated for the quantity of fish stocked and for the recommended feeding rate you have adopted.
To start with, when feeding, you should ensure that the fishes are fed to satiation (to a point when they no longer rush the feed) but do not overfeed them.
Do not just dump all the feed you want to give them into the water at once, feed them either as they eat or give them a little and move on to the next pond or tank and come back to the starting point to give them more feed if they have exhausted the feed earlier given to them. Do this continuously until they are all tired of eating.
As soon as you notice that there is still feed in a pond or tank after going round, do not feed that tank or pond again. It is an indication that they are tired of eating. Of course, as the day passes by, they should be eating slightly more feed but if they eat less, then something is wrong. You should then try and find out.
TABLE SHOWING MONTHLY FEED CONSUMPTION CHART PER 1000 FISH STOCKED, AT THE DIFFERENT RECOMMENDED FEEDING RATE OF 45 BAGS, 50 BAGS, AND 67 BAGS
|MONTHS||NO. OF BAGS|
This table explains the feed allocation for every 1000 catfish stocked based on a recommended feeding rate of 45 bags ((675kg), 50 bags (750kg), and (67 bags) of feed per 1000 fishes.
For example, if you use floating feed and follow the recommended stocking rate and other management parameters, you should be able to harvest a total fish weight of about 675 kg from the 1000 fish stocked and fed with 750 kg of feed. Please note that the average feed conversion ratio for most floating feed is not less than 1kg feed to 900g (0.9kg) fish weight.
You can use this as a basis for determining the performance of the fish. It is wrong to judge the performance of your fish based on the numbers of fishes stocked. It should be based on the quantity of feed they are fed with. This is one of the main reasons why you should have a record of the quantity of feed bought and fed to your fish from stocking to harvest.
Application of the Fish Feed Consumption Chart
The fish feeding chart will help you to know from the beginning the quantity of feed that is required for the proposed quantity of fishes that you want to stock.
Furthermore, it will also help you to know the quantity of feed they will require every month so that you can prepare adequately to replenish your feedstock beforehand. You can plot your feeding chart to reflect the monthly feed requirement for the fishes at a glance.
Another very good aspect of the feed consumption chart is that it can also help you to know in advance the total weight of fish you should expect to harvest, relative to the quantity of feed fed to the fish.
Like earlier mentioned, if your stocking rate is right and you follow all other recommended water and fish management parameters, the minimum average floating feed conversion ratio is 1kg feed to 0.9kg (900grams) fish.
By floating, feed one is mindful to say that this assertion does not cover all floating feeds. Coppens, Multifeed, Ziglar feed, and Vital feed are some of the floating feeds being referred to.
This is however without prejudice to other floating feeds, local and foreign, which the author has not used and as such cannot speak for or against. You can try them out on your own; they might even give you better results.
The table below shows the minimum expected total weight of fish to expect at harvest, relative to the total quantity (in kilograms) of feed fed to the fish and not the quantity of fish stocked.
The tables below show the quantity of feed in bags and in kilograms that are required to feed the equivalent numbers of fishes(at different recommended feed consumption rates) from stocking to harvest as well as the expected total weight of fish at harvest.
TABLE SHOWING TOTAL FEED REQUIREMENT FOR DIFFERENT QUANTITY OF FISHES STOCKED AT A CONSUMPTION RATE OF 45 BAGS PER 1000 FISH STOCKED AND EXPECTED TOTAL WEIGHT OF FISH AT HARVEST.
|QUANTITY OF FISH STOCKED||MINIMUM REQUIRED BAGS OF (15KG) FEEDS||MINIMUM REQUIRED KILOGRAMS OF FEED||MINIMUM EXPECTED TOTAL WEIGHT OF FISH AT HARVEST (KG)|
Once again, contrary to popular opinion of most catfish farmers, it is the quantity (weight in kilograms) of feed fed to your fish that matter the most at harvest and not the number of fishes stocked.
The total weight of fish that you harvest at the end of the day is a reflection of the total quantity (weight) of feed that you gave them, less than 10% of the feed weight. this is why you need to keep a record of the feed you bought and gave to them. this will help you to compare notes.
Also here are more amazing fish farming books to guide and assist you further: