One of the key decisions when developing an aquaponics system is, of course, which fish or other aquatic creatures to use within it. Here are some of the most common choices used in aquaponics:
Edible Fish For Aquaponics Systems:
- Tilapia: Are quick growing and good to eat, can withstand very poor water conditions and eat plant material and so are cheap to feed. They are one of the most common and best options for many aquaponics systems but require warm water and so will require more energy use in colder climates.
- Trout: Good to eat, very fast growth rate, excellent food conversion ratios, trout can be a good option for aquaponic systems but will require non-plant food and will eat smaller fish.
- Carp: Edible, though perhaps not as good to eat as trout and some other freshwater fish, carp reproduce easily and can adapt well to a range of different environments.
- Catfish: Pretty good to eat, must be skinned. Fast growing and good food conversion ratios.
- Largemouth Bass: Strong tasting compared to other fish, though edible. Better taste in lower water temperatures.
Tilapia are the best choice for warmer climates while trout are usually regarded as the best choice for those living in cooler temperate zones.
Non-Edible Fish To Feed Plants:
These fish (both technically carp) are not edible but are used in some aquaponics systems to feed plants.
Other Aquatic Creatures That Can Be Used in Aquaponic Systems:
- Freshwater Mussels
- Freshwater Prawns
All of these can be useful elements in an aquaponics system and may sometimes be used in conjunction with fish.