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Can You Eat Fish From Aquaponics? (What You Should Know)

Best Aquaponics Fish To Eat

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When building an aquaponics system, identifying the type of fish to raise depends entirely on the practitioner’s goals. If the objective is to raise fish for the nutrients they produce for the plants and also for aesthetic reasons, then ornamental fish such as Koi and Red Ear Sunfish are among the best options. However, if the goal is to raise and harvest fish to be consumed, you have a wide variety of options available to you. So, can you eat fish from aquaponics? Absolutely, but not every type.

Certain fish are not made to be eaten, such as Goldfish. However, there are many other types that you can raise in your aquaponics system that you can eat and enjoy. Most practitioners claim that the best aquaponics fish to raise, harvest, and eat are hardy, have diverse diets, nutritious and are relatively easy to manage. Below is a list of some of the best edible fish for an aquaponics system:

  1. Tilapia
  2. Trout
  3. Perch
  4. Catfish
  5. Barramundi
  6. Largemouth Bass

In this article, we will discuss the different edible fish species to be raised in aquaponics and the specific characteristics that make them suitable for the system.

Tilapia

Tilapia is one of the most commonly farmed fish in aquaponics because of its adaptability to different environmental conditions. It is also one of the best choices for edible aquaponics fish since it is delicious, and it can be prepared in several ways. It is high in protein, and it grows quickly despite poor water quality.

Some of the other advantages of tilapia are its ability to reproduce quickly and its omnivorous diet. They love eating worms, insects, and other plant-based food. They are also top feeders so the grower can promptly assess their food consumption and tailor the feeding practices accordingly.

Tilapia’s mild flavor meat can best be achieved through the following conditions:

Ideal water temperature pH requirement Diet Harvest time
72° to 86°F 6.5 to 9 omnivorous 6 to 9 months

Click here to see our in-depth article on how to care for tilapia in aquaponics.

Trout

Trout in aquaponics

Trout is another easy to culture fish which is related to char and salmon. Even though it is bonier than other fish species, its meat is delicious because of its carnivorous diet. Trout feeds on fish and other aquatic invertebrates, making its flesh high in protein and fatty acids.

Since trout is a cold-water fish, this can be raised as an alternative to tilapia during colder seasons. But unlike tilapia, trout do not thrive on poor water conditions, and they usually require larger tanks for maximum growth. 

Below is the best growing condition for trout:

Ideal water temperature pH requirement Diet Harvest time
56° to 62°F 6.5 to 8 carnivorous 12 to 18 months

Click here to see our in-depth article on how to care for trout in aquaponics.

Perch

Perch in aquaponics

Perch is an excellent choice for practitioners that are looking for tasty fish to raise. When given pellets with omega three oils, they can retain it, making them more nutritious. Aside from fish feed, perch also consume small fish and shrimp, which contributes to the taste of its flesh.

The most popular perch varieties grown in aquaponics are the Silver and Jade perch. Both types are very adaptable, so they are also suggested for beginners in the system.

In growing perch in your aquaponics tank, here are the ideal conditions to grow them:

Ideal water temperature pH requirement Diet Harvest time
75° t0 80°F 6 to 9 carnivorous 9 to16 months

Click here to see our in-depth article on how to care for perch in aquaponics.

Catfish

Catfish in aquaponics

There are many advantages in growing catfish in aquaponics tanks, one of which is its good tasting meat. Since they feed on a variety of pellets, bugs, fish, and even plants, the taste of its flesh is considered one of the best in aquaponics and often used in significant delicacies worldwide.

Another reason for growing catfish in aquaponics is its ability to withstand different water conditions. It also not territorial and known to be bottom feeders. Some of the best catfish variety is the Channel, African, and Brown Bullhead catfish. 

Below is the best growing condition for catfish:

Ideal water temperature pH requirement Diet Harvest time
65° to 75°F 5 to 7 omnivorous 5 to 10 months

Click here to see our in-depth article on how to care for catfish in aquaponics.

Barramundi

Barramundi in aquaponics

Barramundi is a warm water fish that is often used in commercial aquaculture. Their meat is often highly prized because of its distinct taste and its nutritional benefits. Like trout, barramundi is also high in omega fatty acids, which is another reason it is one of the best aquaponics fish to eat.

The only disadvantage of barramundi is that it is not suggested to be raised by beginners since they are hard to grow compared to other fish species. They thrive in good water quality and a high amount of dissolved oxygen.

To successfully raise barramundi in your tank, here is its ideal growing condition:

Ideal water temperature pH requirement Diet Harvest time
74° to 86°F 6.5 yo 7.2 carnivorous 12 months

Click here to see our in-depth article on how to care for barramundi in aquaponics.

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass in aquaponics

The largemouth bass is one of the best edible fish used in aquaponics because of its growth potential. An adult bass can reach 12 pounds in 12 t0 18 months, and its flesh is quite tasty. This fish species is primarily carnivorous, and they require strict feeding practices.

Bass is not for beginners since they are relatively difficult to manage. They require excellent water quality, so the grower has to check oxygen and pH levels consistently. 

To successfully raise largemouth bass in your tank, here is its ideal growing condition:

Ideal water temperature pH requirement Diet Harvest time
82° to 84°F 7 to 8 carnivorous 12 to 18 months

Click here to see our in-depth article on how to care for bass in aquaponics.

Conclusion

Some of the best aquaponics fish to eat is tilapia, trout, perch, catfish, barramundi, and largemouth bass. Although these fish species vary when it comes to their suggested growing conditions, all are tasty and can be used to create sumptuous dishes.

 They can easily be acquired through local aquaponics stores. You can also check out Amazon since they offer a wide variety of fish species and even pellets and water care solutions. 

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Campbells

The Campbells love finding sustainable and fun ways to increase their independence from traditional brick and motor supermarkets. Aquaponics provides a full lifecycle food source for families and a great hobby. #aquaponicslifestyle

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