Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Best Fish for Aquaponics

Best Fish for Aquaponics

Dr. Nate Storey: So a lot of people have asked
about fish. What’s an appropriate fish for my aquaponic systems? There’s several variables
that you want to consider. A, you want to look at the environmental conditions that
your system is going to be in, and match a fish to the environmental conditions. If you
know your water temperature is going to be high, then trout probably aren’t appropriate.
B, you want to look at your feed sources. You want to figure out what kind of feed sources
are available to you, and you want to match a fish to the feed source.
The last one is you want to find a fish that’s appropriate for the purpose. So if you’re
not interested in eating your fish, say you’re interested more in a mental fish, then something
like koi or goldfish would be a great choice. They’re very tolerant of poor water quality,
they’ll eat just about anything, and they’re very easy to take care of. If you’re interested
in a food fish, then of course you want to consider a food fish.
So keep those three things in mind. What are my environmental variables going to look like?
Does the fish I am considering match the environment? B, what kind of feed do I have available?
Am I going to use commercial feed? Or am I going to use some other on-site feed? Vegetable
matter, black soldier fly, whatever you have. C, what do I want to use the fish for?
So those are the three things to keep in mind when you’re considering fish. Beyond that,
just about anything is possible. So depending on those three variables, you could be growing
anything from catfish to koi to trout to tilapia. You name it. All of these fish can be cultured,
and are in different aquaponic systems in the U.S. and around the world.
All right, well welcome to our video tour of our greenhouse. This behind us is the greenhouse.
You can see the fish house here. We’ve got our greenhouse kind of heading on an east
to west axis there. It’s a double layer poly film inflated …

93 comments on “Best Fish for Aquaponics

  1. Great points Nate. My biggest issue will be the heat, so I'm leaning towards channel cats. I like the idea of a fish fry once in awhile. Fresh catfish, fried taters, hush puppies, cole slaw…. now we're talking !

  2. I'm using mostly goldfish in my system while I play with it a bit more, but odds are I'll be moving up to catfish when my system grows up. Great info for those getting started!

  3. The system I want to build will contain Tilapia, I'm going to have one reservoir of duckweed for the Tilapia to eat and a separate, secondary reservoir for growing tomatoes, etc.

  4. Oh man. Few things on earth beat some good fried catfish. . . They'll do pretty well for you if your temperatures don't swing too much. My friend TCLynx grows lots of cats. If you need any tips on catfish, she's the lady to talk to! She's grown some monsters in her systems.

  5. You Sir, by far, have the most intelligent informational videos. I was hoping to get not only your point of view, but perhaps, if you have experience with solar power, your expertise on that subject. If not, maybe you know another in the field that is a user of such technology.
    Eagerly awaiting!?!

  6. Thanks for the nice comment, Kram! Unfortunately, we aren't familiar with anyone in the solar power aquaponics space. Hope you find what you're looking for though!

  7. Hey AL! love your set up. I want to build a test system of my own. I am slowly puting my system together. I am stacking NFT horizontal pipes 4 high and about 15 feet long. I have regular eb and flow bes unerneath. (in theory). My problem is I live in Florida where pests are a big problem. Do you know of any pesticies that will ward off aphis an leaf miners? I can find tons of products but they are all toxic to fish. I want to have ornamental in one section and eating fish in another. Thanks

  8. My goldfish rarely eat anything but their pellet food or themselves! They never eat the veggies I give em. Any tips?

  9. Hey Jason – We'll be coming out with more videos on less toxic/non toxic organic certified pest controls and bio controls here soon. Nate is also preparing an Ebook on the subject just to go over the fine details so people will make the best possible decisions when they're thinking about using pest controls. Hopefully you can wait 2 weeks or so!

  10. I am concerned about chemicals in the fish food and toxins from the plastic leaching into the system. Any thoughts?

  11. If you pick the right fish food, it's fairly raw agricultural product and chemicals have not really been much of problem in the research we've seen (so long as you're picking a reputable supply). Most concerns about plastic components are fairly overblown, but it always pays to talk about what types of plastics they use. Our company uses the safest plastics on the market as we would never put our families or customers in jeopardy.

  12. Gold fish are omnivorous but definitely prefer protein. Getting them to eat vegetables is practically impossible! They're like picky children. Look into tilapia if you want a more herbivorous fish. Best of luck!

  13. I'm planning on putting goldfish in my 35 gallon tank. I'm making a aquaponics system for my apartment. I have two grow beds I think I might use 6 inch round growing tubes. instead of tubs. do I need a heater for my fish tank? what size submersable pump would you recommend? also was wondering about the filtering system. if I need a aquarium filter or some other type of filter. are the worms enough for filtering.

  14. Hi Julie,
    You may need a heater if your water temperatures cool off and you're trying to grow tropical fish. It just depends on where you live. For that size of a tank, I'd look into a smaller pump- one that will move 35-50 gallons per hour at the correct head height (how high your growbeds are above your fish tank).

  15. There are a variety of carps that work well in the tropics. Besides tilapia and carp, we don't have much experience. Good luck!

  16. Hey David, I'm sure turtles will work in AP systems, but we tend to stay away from them just because of the health issues that come with turtles. We want to make sure we avoid the risk of introducing salmonella to our system.

  17. i go with mummichogs. these little fish are everywhere in salt marshes. they are extremely tolerant of water and can live in potentially poisonous water that other fish can't live in. and they're really abundant. just throw a minnow trap with a slice of bread and you'll get 20 fish in an hour

  18. Don't forget, a good excuse to have those you want to share a good time with take part in on a day of socializing. SS

  19. Im thinking about starting my own aquaponics system. I live in California and tilipia are illegal in my county. Is there any other fish that produces as fast and as easy to care for? Still doing my research but if you could think of any off the top of your head it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  20. Chasco Fish Co. Port Richey Fl.has the highest quality hormone free tilapia in the known aquaponics world ! 727 415 6334

  21. I'm thinking of trying aquaponics using trout, starting this fall in Columbia, SC. (Need a greenhouse for that.) Summers here are way too hot for trout, but my wife and I don't like the taste of tilapia. We both like trout, and my wife loves salmon. Maybe catfish starting in the spring. Any suggestions?

  22. Catfish is a great choice in fish- it's tolerant of a wide range of water quality conditions, and temperatures. Good luck!

  23. How about Bluegill??? Their native, pretty hearty fish and they don't taste all that bad. Has anyone used them before that you know of?

  24. Starting a aquaponics setup here in the midwest. Stocked our 3000 gallon tank with 150 catfish combination of channel and a hybrid that is supposed to grow faster. We also added a couple hundred coppernose bluegill. We wanted to start growing the fish, then will separate them into smaller tanks/smaller qty's a grow beds are built. Any tips?? We run a 57watt UV unit on the tank right now to keep water clearer than normal since it is in full sun.

  25. Besides water quality do fish like trout need more water agitation of faster moving water to be healthy in. I think of trout as being in a stream and not a pond.

  26. Excellent information and so true. I lost 60-70 pounds of talapia, then changed to goldfish and catfish (for bottom feeding). You are so right, choose a fish species that are indigenous to your local environment. Funny thing about growing the talapia. I never even ate any of them even though a few were nearly two pounds each.

  27. Here's something very odd… I live in hot and sunny Houston, Texas where the temperature outside reached over 100 degrees a few times last summer. My water in the fish tank would rarely reach 80 degrees tops. I'm not sure what the scientific reason is for this low temp with outdoor temperature being so hot, but don't have a clue. I should mention that I use a big patio umbrella over my fish tank during the summer to keep direct sunlight out of my tank.

  28. I'm wanting to start with 3 totes,probably 250 gls, each. Can I put catfish in the lower, goldfish in the middle,and Talapia in the highest tank? each draining into the next?

  29. Nate, this is all amazing info. I used to run a 29 gallon salt water tank (about 8 years ago), I was able to follow some of the same rules that i have found in your videos to ensure that my salt water tank never needed to be cleaned, it cleaned its self! these videos are amazing for me because im growing food now and your videos are really helping me bridge the gap very quickly. Thank you!

  30. Well, the other variable to mention is that in certain areas, like Florida, where I live, you can't keep all species. I wanted to keep Tilapia because they are easy, & good eating, but where I live in Florida, I am not allowed any kind of Tilapia, which sucks!

  31. Also consider your local regulations.  Some species may be illegal to culture where you live.  I can only keep trout, bluegill, and maybe yellow perch.  I can only keep tilapia if I meet certain code regulations for my rearing site and pay $300 yearly for a licence to keep them.

  32. Hello Nate,
    Can you steer me toward a business that sells fish and will ship them to me?  I have searched my area, state and region but have not found a fish farm that will sell small quantity.

  33. @Bright Agrotech I love what you're doing, please keep it up. You are obviously very well educated. Yet you explain things perfectly so that anyone can easily learn. I especially like your explanations of the most essential nutrients.

  34. Hi I have watched a few of your other videos and have used your advice. The video seems a bit ambiguous. A lot of people source all of their info from places like the internet. If you have the time and energy I know my self and many others would like to see a video overview of the different fish that can be used in aquaponics and maybe highlight their specifications like tolerable temps and fish hardiness.I know everyone here respects your opinions and it would be very cool to see that information on a youtube video. 

  35. I found this on the internet: a good guide for choosing the fish.

  36. I know my self and many others would like to see a video overview of the different fish that can be used in aquaponics and maybe highlight their specifications like tolerable temps and fish hardiness you can check searching google by apanlarko expert aquaponics planner

  37. interesting points ,if anyone else wants to uncover aquaponics diagram try Debuncar Amazing Aquaponics Aid (just google it ) ? Ive heard some great things about it and my co-worker got great results with it.

  38. I have a D for you in choosing fish: D – Which species are permitted where you are based. For example are tilapia allowed or are they banned as an invasive species.

  39. One of the best way to build your own aquaponics is to take advantage of aquaponics gurus, with out try and fail like they used to!

  40. I have spent months researching into home aquaponics and found an awesome resource at Keiths Ponics Site (google it if you're interested)

  41. if you guys are at the zenith of aquaponics for the moment, look up electroculture. combining it with aquaponics could be interesting 🙂

  42. Two questions and I don't know if you have experimented or not, but would a colder water fish be better in the north part of USA like Minnesota? Also I would like to get your take on fresh water prawns as a fert producer?

  43. So, im planning to start a backyard aquaponics system. The only problem is.. Where can I find these various species of fish without fishing for them? Do they sell tilapia on a smaller scale?!?

  44. what are the nutritional values for
    100 grams of duckweed
    100 grams of crushed crickets
    100 grams of bsf
    i am designing my own fish food for experimentation to completely sustain my system i also found out that eggshells and vinegar are a great way to add calcium and water to my system
    thanks for your videos

  45. Thanks for the Video! Apologies for butting in, I would love your opinion. Have you thought about – Patlarny Gardening Expert Principle (Sure I saw it on Google)? It is a great exclusive guide for learning how to expand your produce with the clever art of aquaponics without the normal expense. Ive heard some unbelievable things about it and my old buddy Taylor finally got astronomical success with it.

  46. Cheers for the video content! Excuse me for butting in, I would appreciate your thoughts. Have you considered – Patlarny Gardening Expert Principle (probably on Google)? It is a smashing one off guide for learning how to expand your produce with the clever art of aquaponics without the hard work. Ive heard some pretty good things about it and my mate at last got cool success with it.

  47. Kudos for the Video clip! Sorry for the intrusion, I am interested in your initial thoughts. Have you considered – Patlarny Gardening Expert Principle (Have a quick look on google cant remember the place now)? It is a great one of a kind product for learning how to expand your produce with the clever art of aquaponics without the headache. Ive heard some super things about it and my friend at very last got great results with it.

  48. I'm in the process of building permaculture earthworks on the high desert plains of Colorado. Channel Catfish are native to my area. My plan is to introduce a few native fish and plant species on my property. I have a diversion swale on my property originally constructed by the conservation corp in 1930 during the American dust bowl. My plan is to modify this diversion swale with a small dam and divert that surface water into a series of retention swales that will further improve the hydrology of the land and allow for several native tree and fruit trees to flourish here 🙂

  49. Why do Americans think koi is ornamental? Japanese eat Koi, especially in Kyushu and Nagano. As long as it is in fresh water it doesn’t get a dank taste. Even eat raw here is how to prepare it.

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