Secrets to Choosing the Best Fish for Your Aquaponics System

English: Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoide...

English: Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) in a glass aquarium at the Quarry Hill Nature Center in Rochester, Minnesota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The aquaponics system has 2 major components namely, the fish and the plants. You will need to choose the correct type of each to ensure success with your system. Choosing the wrong fish will lead to problems later on.

Your fish will die and the system will collapse. Not only would you have wasted time and money, but the fish would have lost their lives.

So, choose wisely in the beginning and you will have happy, healthy fish that give you fresh, luscious vegetables. Everybody is happy. In this article, you will be told how to choose your fish and what to take note of.

There is much more to this than can be covered in this article. You would do well to get an aquaponics guidebook or watch the aquaponics video series on You will be equipped with all the knowledge you need to succeed.

Before even buying any fish, you need to ask yourself a few questions. How big is my aquaponics system? What is the temperature of the water in my system? What do you plan to do with the fish? Breed them? Planning to make money with your system? Will you be selling your fish along with your vegetables?

Based on your answers to these questions, decide on the fish you wish to get. For example, if you wish to breed and sell the fish as food, then you would not want to get goldfish. Or if you’re just setting up a small home system, you wouldn’t want to get tilapia which are much bigger fish and not that pleasant to look at. (You wouldn’t want to scare the kids)

The fish you get must meet a set of requirements. As with all things, you will be the one to decide if it’s necessary for your fish to meet the requirements listed here. These are just general guidelines.

1.       Fish must get along well with other species

2.       Fish must be able to breed and reproduce in captivity

3.       Fish must grow quickly and become relatively big

4.       Fish should be strong and resist diseases

5.       Should survive in crowded conditions well

6.       Should be able to survive off commercial fish food

7.       Must not be territorial or cannibalistic

8.       You should be able to purchase eggs, fingerlings or adult fish easily (of the chosen species)

9.       Should produce feces frequently and in relatively large amounts

10.     Fish should have a positive market demand if you’re selling them as food

Once you have chosen which requirements above matter to your system, you can look at the variety of suitable fishes available. If you’re doing this at home, you will want to choose the smaller, ornamental types of fish. They will be pretty to look at. If you’re doing this in your backyard or commercially, you would be better off choosing the bigger fish which are often hardier and more suitable.

Tilapia, angelfish, silver perch, golden perch, yellow perch, catfish, largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie, koi, goldfish, pacu, guppies, blue gill/brim, carp, barramundi, tetras, swordfish, mollies, etc. are all examples of suitable fish.

Decide wisely which fish will best suit your needs and get them for your system. It would be a good idea to start small with a few fish first and see how it goes. If it’s all good, then you may add more. In this way, you will not waste money on fish that just can’t survive in your system and you will be able to choose a more suitable species faster. This will lead to a successful aquaponics system in a much smaller time frame.

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