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Fish and plants

  

This page summarises some of the key characteristics of 4 species which are suitable for growing in aquaponic systems. We have also listed the pros and cons of rearing these fish in an aquaponic system in the UK.

Carp

  • Oxygen (lethal levels) - 0.5ppm 
  • Optimal temperature (oC) - 20-24
  • Feeds - Varied
  • Growth rate - Fast
  • Stocking - Poly / monoculture
  • Heating - not necessary but will provide year round growth

Pro’s

  • Easy to grow

Con’s

  • Not accepted by some as a fish for the table

   

Rainbow Trout

  • Oxygen (lethal levels) - >5ppm
  • Optimal temperature (oC) - 14-16
  • Feeds - High protein
  • Growth rate - Fast
  • Stocking - Other salmonids
  • Heating - not required

Pro’s

  • Grows well in colder climates

Con’s

  • Needs high quality water
  • Hot water in summer can be a problem with trout
  • Plant growth is limited by the lower average water temperature needed for this species - High protein diet

 


Perch

  • Oxygen (lethal levels) - 3 – 5ppm
  • Optimal temperature (oC) - 16-20
  • Feeds - High protein
  • Growth rate - Quite fast
  • Stocking - High densities
  • Heating - not required

 Pro’s

  • Easy to grow

Con’s

  • May be difficult to source - Not accepted by some as a fish for the table
  • 

Tilapia

  • Oxygen (lethal levels) - 0.5ppm
  • Optimal temperature (oC) - 24-28
  • Feeds - Varied
  • Growth rate - Fast
  • Stocking - Poly/ mono
  • Heating - Yes


Pro’s

  • Easy to grow

Con’s

  • Must have heated water all year round

 

 

All four species will thrive in an aquaponics system, though carp and tilapia are probably the easiest to grow.  If you are able to heat your system (year round aquaponic set up) then tilapia or carp would be appropriate.  However if you do not intend to heat the system (2 – 3) season set up, then we suggest carp is a good fish to grow. For more information down load the Fish Plant User Guide.

And the plants…..

 

Exceptional plant growth can be achieved in an aquaponic system because of the system’s inherent stability due to the steady supply of nutrient rich water and oxygen. Root systems need not be so extensive allowing more energy to go into fruiting and growth above ground.  With the added advantage of a weed-less landscape, productivity will exceed your equivalent production either in or outdoors. A whole range of plants are possible including salads, melons, peppers, aubergines, carrots, peas, mint, water cress, strawberries to name a few.