800px-Oreochromis-niloticus-NairobiIf you have a pond in your backyard, it can serve as a center of attraction as well as a way to raise a valuable source of protein, right in your own backyard. With the price of sea food rising every day, raising your own fish could significantly lower your grocery bills. It could also feed your family, while you make some extra cash, if you can take your home farm a step further and sell your fish in your neighborhood, at your local farmer’s market or at grocery stores. Growing fish in your backyard can be fun, and a simple way to gather your family in the garden to take care of your home pond. If you cannot have an in-ground pond, you could easily install a raised, above the ground swimming pool, and use it to raise fish.

“By raising your own fish, you can achieve a higher level of self-sufficiency and provide a healthier diet for your family,”- Steven Van Gorder, author of Small-Scale Aquaculture

Backyard fish farming is just as simple and fun as backyard gardening, and you can produce a wide variety of food in your own backyard garden if you do both. There are also other benefits of having a backyard pond. You could use waste from your pond for irrigation, and the waste from your kitchen could be used as fertilizer in your garden. This technique of growing plants and fish together has been used in China for a long time. With increasing populations comes shortages of resources and scarcity of food. Using aquaponic systems can really address these problems and allow you to grow more food in limited spaces using limited amounts of resources.

You can also keep edible fish indoors in your fish tank. If you do not own enough land, you can buy a large enough fish tank or aquarium to keep several fish, indoors. If you do not have any prior experience, it can be a daunting task, but once you start raising fish in your house, or in your backyard, you will find that it’s quite simple.

Choosing the right kind of fishbrocade-carp-70607_1920

Deciding on what species of fish to raise is very important. There are a wide variety of fish you could grow at home using aquaponic systems. Choose a suitable species that grows in your local climate. It will also depend on how much space and budget you have. If you live in a cold area, where your pond can freeze in the winter, consider a pond size deeper than three feet, and also install a water heater. Koi is ideal for cold weather, while tilapia don’t grow very well in cold climates. Several species of trout are suitable for winter fish farming. Barramundi is an ideal fish for the warmer months during the summer.

A list of fish you could grow with aquaponics system

To decide what fish to grow, consider several factors first. Ask yourself what do you want to achieve from your system? If you want to grow fish for eating, then you should get more edible fish that can grow year round in your area. If you are growing fish for their beauty and want to keep them inside in your indoor fish tank or aquarium, buying goldfish or Koi could serve the purpose. Finding fish that are available in your area is another important factor. You should be able to stock your aquaponic system with fish that are locally available. Even tilapia, which is a rapidly breading species of fish, need fish stock from the hatchery to start farming.

Below is a list of aquaponic species of fish:

1. Barramundi:

640px-BarramundiThese are ideal species for growing in warmer climates or during the summer through your aquaponic system. You will need to buy a fairly mature stock of fish to grow in your backyard pond. Barramundi grown in an aquarium or fish tank have an extra clean, crisp taste.

2. Catfish

Catfish catfishis another ideal species of fish that you can grow in your backyard or aquarium. There are many different species of catfish available, so make sure you get the one suitable for your pond size and climate. They are a rapidly growing species of fish that have a good feed to conversion ratio.

3. Carp

brocade-carp-70609_1920Carp is farmed widely in the United States, both for food or as ornamental fish. There are many different species of carp, varying in sizes and behavior. These oily freshwater fish are native to Europe and Asia. Some species of carp are suitable for aquaculture, but they may be hard to find.

4. Gold fish

800px-Common_goldfishThese are ornamental fish and make a pretty addition to your aquaponic system or aquarium. These are a species of carp, and need plants for breeding.

5. Koi

fish-190617_1280These are another species of carp. The Japanese Koi is very colorful species, and ideal for large commercial ponds. They are great for large aquaponic systems.

6. Cod

Cod is a significant species of fish known to grow enormous in size. They are fast growing fish that can be great for recirculating aquaculture systems and can also be great for aquaponic systems.

7. Tilapia200px-Fresh_tilapia

Tilapia is an extremely popular fish in aquaculture. They are also a very popular species in aquaponics for various reasons. These species of fish breed and grow fast. They are highly resilient and do well in almost any type of climate and in poor water conditions. They eat an omnivorous diet, and are well palatable.

8. Trout

Trout can be raised in aquaponic systems where the water is cooler. Trout prefer temperatures between 10 to 20 degrees, so they are good for growing in the winter. They 220px-Salmo_truttagrow very fast and have excellent flavor.

We hope you will have great success with aquaculture fish farming. Try growing some of these species mentioned above in your own aquaponic system. It would surely reduce your grocery bills while feeding your family. You may be able to put some extra cash in your pocket as well.

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Source: WorldWide Aquaculture