An aquaponics system is a reliable survival food source for your family in times of chaos. Stored food will never give you all the proteins and vitamins you need to thrive in a doomsday scenario… that’s why aquaponics is a good addition to your survival plan.
One of the key steps in running your aquaponics system correctly is to choose the right fish. When you choose the fish for your aquaponics system keep in mind these three aspects:
- The water temperature of your system.
- What kind of food your fish will need.
- And your overall goal for growing the fish
1. By water temperature
First of all, you must understand the effect that climate has on aquaponics. So here are some tips on what kind of fish work best for different water temperatures:
Cold water fish
- Arctic char is a cold-water fish native to the Arctic, sub-Arctic and alpine lakes and coastal waters.
- Silver Perch are native to the Brisbane area (Australia) and handle the cold very well.
- Yellow Perch are also cold water fish. They tolerate lower dissolved oxygen and adjust well to pH changes. This type of fish eats common pellet fish foods and veggies.
- Trout grow in colder climates and can handle winter well.
- Cod and Salmon need very fresh and cold water, so are not well suited to the recirculation systems.
Observation: Keep in mind that the cold water makes the selection of plants more limited. Be careful because these cold water fish live in a temperature range between 50 and 68 F.
Warm water fish
- Tilapias are a tropical fish species. They tolerate pH shifts, temperature changes, high ammonia, and low dissolved oxygen. They are omnivorous fish so they eat pellet fish food, duckweed and veggies from the system.
- Catfish thrive in warm water and prefer a temperature of 80 degrees F.
- Bluegills prefer warm water with abundant vegetation. They can tolerate temperatures up to 95 F.
- Sunfish is a native tropical fish as well.
- Other warm water fish species: Pumpkinseed, Black Crappie, White Crappie, Ozark Bass, Sacramento Perch, Warmouth. .
Fish that is great in any climate
- Koi fish are brightly colored, miniaturized Carp. Koi are tolerant to a variety of water conditions.
- Goldfish are also miniaturized Carp and like their relatives – Koi fishes, they thrive in any water conditions.
- Hybrid Striped Bass are resilient to extreme temperatures and to low dissolved oxygen.
2. By feed sources
The second aspect that you must consider is the type of food you’re able to provide for your fish. Here’s a list of what type of food your fish can eat.
- Koi/ Goldfish: You can feed them greens like peas, cucumbers or lettuce. Make sure to chop it small enough so that they can fit in their mouths. You can also give them bread crumbs.
- Tilapia: They love plants, especially protein-rich duckweed.
- Carps: Eat algae, other water plants, insects, earthworms, aquatic worms, snails, mussels, crayfish, and rotifers. They also eat old dead plant parts from the bottom
- Catfish: They love to eat sinking carnivore pellets, prawns, algae wafers and smelt.
Observation: Fish food is not universal. Different fish require different food.
3. By purpose
And finally, the third aspect you must keep in mind is that your aquaponics fish have a purpose. You can choose to keep your fish for circulating the system and have ornamental fish, but you can also add fish to use later as a food source.
- Koi fish and goldfish are the best choice as ornamental fish
Fish for food:
- Yellow Perch
- Silver Perch
- Cod and Salmon
This article has been written by Alec Deacon for Survivopedia.