Fish is a healthy high-protein food that is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil is highly recommended by doctors and dietitians for lowering high blood pressure and the risk of getting strokes and heart diseases. Buying seafood from the supermarket can be expensive and does not guarantee that the fish are grown in organic methods. Most of the fish you find in the super markets or grocery stores were either imported, bought from a commercial farm or were fished from the ocean, depleting the ocean fish stocks and creating ecological imbalance in the nature. The cheaper and the more sustainable alternative would be to grow your own fish either in your backyard fish pond, fish tanks, or aquariums.
Raising fish in your own home-based fish farm does not require any expensive equipments or much knowledge about fish farming. All you need to know is which fish is right for your home pond or aquarium, and then just let them grow naturally. You can easily start your fish farm with readily available materials and supplies from your nearby supply store. Any swimming pool can be turned into a fish pond. If you don’t have space for in-ground ponds, you could also raise fish in an above-ground fish pond.
Raising your own fish can provide you and your family a steady supply of protein all year round, giving you a sense of self sufficiency, a source of income, or it would at least take a big chunk off of your grocery bills. It’s as easy as gardening or growing fruits and vegetables in your backyard garden or in your indoor garden in containers or in towers. Gardening and fish farming can be similar in many ways and can be done at the same time. A fish pond in your backyard garden can add to the beauty and attraction of your house, giving you other health benefits and a reason to spend quality outdoor family time.
Historically, aquaculture and fish farming was predominantly limited to large scale farms and facilities that require significant amounts of water and energy. However, it has been proven beneficial for small communities or ideal for rural communities because the amount of pollution, energy, and wastage is less than the larger farms. Smaller farms can also ensure that they use organic and sustainable methods for growing and raising their fish, without impacting the globe negatively. (The Health Benefits of Eating Fish. — MOTHER EARTH NEWS)
For raising your own fish, you need to know what types of fish you can grown in your pond for profit, what will grow best in your area, what are the best times for growing and harvesting them, and what are the best methods and practices for sustainable fish farming.
Methods of sustainable aquaculture
1. The cage method: This is a simple system that many aquaculture fish farmers use. In this system, a cage or pen made of plastic pipes or net is moored into any body of water. The fish in the cages can be kept separate from the rest of the pond, lake, or river, and fed until they reach the right size for harvesting.
2. Greenhouse aquaculture: If you are living in an area where the temperatures are extreme and too cold for fish farming, you can apply this method of farming. In this method you can regulate and filter the water quality, add plants to the system, and grow a variety of different types of fish including catfish, trout, tilapia, and bass. However, this method can be complicated and needs high levels of supervision and management components such as water pumps, water heaters and organic nutrient supply and care.
3. Flow-through aquaculture: This method of aquaculture uses a flowing body of water such as streams or rivers and diverts the flowing water into raceways for raising and holding fish. Even a small amount of water can grow and raise a large amount of fish all year round.
4. Home re-circulating aquaculture: This is the ideal method for home fish growers who rely on their home pond and a hose pipe for growing and raising fish. In this method, farmers are able to use an in-ground pond, an above ground vinyl lined swimming pool, or an indoor swimming pool in the basement. The vinyl lined swimming pools are durable and need replacement of the vinyl lining every few years. A pool 12 feet in diameter and 3 feet high will hold about 2,000 gallons of water when filled to within 8 inches of the top and can produce 100 pounds of fish if the water is filtered and with controlled temperature.
Carefully consider and decide the best suitable system for your area that is viable and within your budget. Also gather knowledge and prepare yourself for increasing harvest and maximizing your profits. You can use organic methods for feeding, controlling oxygen levels and ammonia in your aquaculture system, without using harmful toxic ingredients, and benefit from your system.
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Source: WorldWide Aquaculture