The choice of the fish species for your aquaponics system will come after you take under consideration some factors. The most important are the legal considerations and the selection between fry or fingerlings.
By the term legal considerations, we actually mean the restrictions that some governments have put and concern the kind of the fish you can grow in a tank. You should consult the Department of agriculture or University or the local pet shop. The people in these places will give you an explicit answer for what aquaponics fish you are allowed to grow and which you are not.
The other big matter you have to decide about is whether you desire to grow fry or fingerlings. Fingerlings as is apparent from the word are fish have the length of your finger, and fry are fish have just hatched. Do not forget this: Never mix fry and fingerlings in your tank! Your fingerlings will eat the fry and your system will be in great problem. My personal choice though is fingerlings because they are more mature than fry and will not need so long time to become ready for consumption. In case that someone is not interesting in eating the fish then can choose fully grown fish for their system from day one.
Let’s give now a fast look at the top 3 of the aquaponics fish you can grow:
- Tilapia – The most often choice for aquaponics fish. Their growth rate is fast and they are easy to breed. The most important factor is that they do nice even in poor quality water conditions, and this makes Tilapia a secure choice for beginners in aquaponics. The only thing you have to remember about Tilapia is that they like warm waters, so if you live in a place with a colder climate you should buy a heater that will provide heat to your tank when needed.
- Trout – My favorite fish. Trout grow much easier comparing with other species. Trout like rather cool temperatures from 10C to 20C, and your will not be in need to use a heater.
- Silver Perch – A very versatile native Australian fish. They grow nicely under many different conditions and are omnivores. Their downside is that comparing to Trout and Tilapia they need more time to mature.
We only talked about edible fish here, but if you are not a fish eater you can put any fish you want. I personally know people that have their tank full with ornamental fish that just help their vegetables to grow.
There is no limit when it comes to the selection of the fish, just choose one fish can tolerate difficult conditions if you are a beginner and choose a more demanding species when you will become more experienced.