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Acquaculture fish for temperate areas

 
gardener
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Hi Shawn,
I have read about aquaponics and ponds for growing fish. Most seem to use tilapia or other warm weather fish. The class I took showed that some fish are problematic in that they are only active consistently when it is day and night above 75 degrees. These temps are a small part of the year where I live. Is there a kind of fish that does well in a range like 45 degrees to 85 degrees or so with plant growth? I've heard it's optimal to have plant growth and fish growth roughly at about the same time.
Thanks,
John S
PDX OR
 
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Following....great question. I'm hoping someone has the answers.
 
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Location: Sherwood, United States
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John Saltveit wrote:Hi Shawn,
I have read about aquaponics and ponds for growing fish. Most seem to use tilapia or other warm weather fish. The class I took showed that some fish are problematic in that they are only active consistently when it is day and night above 75 degrees. These temps are a small part of the year where I live. Is there a kind of fish that does well in a range like 45 degrees to 85 degrees or so with plant growth? I've heard it's optimal to have plant growth and fish growth roughly at about the same time.
Thanks,
John S
PDX OR



John,
Great question? Does anyone grow fish as a home food source? If so please share any information with us?
 
pollinator
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I think Bluegill are a great sturdy fish who can live under a variety of conditions. They're also available through fish hatcheries for stocking ponds.

 
pollinator
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Carp are traditional here in europe
 
pollinator
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I think Bluegill are a great sturdy fish who can live under a variety of conditions. They're also available through fish hatcheries for stocking ponds.



Yes. Blue gills, Crappies, Sunfish, all do well here in the Midwest where we get very cold temperatures. Larger fish are bass, northern pike, muskies. Trout are great, but need running water.
 
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Todd Parr wrote:Yes. Blue gills, Crappies, Sunfish, all do well here in the Midwest where we get very cold temperatures. Larger fish are bass, northern pike, muskies. Trout are great, but need running water.



These are all good options for cooler weather locations, but they grow more slowly than tilapia. You just have to deal with that or find some way to keep your water warm.

I'd like to do tilapia as they have the best growth-to-feed ratio, but the winters here make that difficult. One thing I've thought of is growing tilapia for 8-9 months in an aquaponics system, but then what do I do for the other 3-4 months to keep the system running properly? Any thoughts?
 
Author
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Traditional polyculture of fish in my area of the southeast US is bass, bream (bluegill) and catfish. It takes a few years to get the fish to size. The bass control the bream population so everything doesn't get overcrowded and the catfish occupy a different niche. I've found tilapia difficult to get to size in a single growing season outdoors in our climate. You have to stock them at a 4 inch size to get big fish before it gets cold. To prevent overcrowding you then have to stock bass that will eat any babies the tilapia make. The bass are usually expensive (1.50 each). The alternative is to sex out the males or use hormones. I can't tell the difference in sex and it would waste a ton of female fish to throw them all away. For single season culture I think freshwater prawns are a good option. 30-40 days in a greenhouse pond or tank is needed to get them from post larvae to juvenile before stocking in ponds then 120-140 days of grow out at temps over 66.
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