When you’re planning an aquaponics system, you will need to put some thought regarding the fish you’ll use for your setup. If you’re looking for foods to grow in an aquaponic system to enjoy for dinner, here are some of your best options:
- Largemouth Bass. In the wild, they’re a popular gamefish. The smaller ones tend to taste better than bigger ones, and that’s because of their diet. The younger fish generally eat small insects, shrimp, and scud. The older and bigger ones usually go for other small animals, including water birds, snakes, and snails.
Of course, since you can control the diet and the water cleanliness for your largemouth bass, the bigger ones should taste a lot better. Still, just be ready for its stronger taste compared to the tastes of other fish.
- Catfish. These come in various sizes, and they’re very hardy as they can be found in just about every continent except Antarctica. In fact, catfish is quite a popular option for farming and fishing, especially in the warmer climates. The most common species for eating are the blue catfish and the channel catfish.
You can stock your aquaponics setup with catfish, as their diet is very easy to provide for. Though some species do have specific diets, for the most part they can thrive on insects, plant-based food, and even other smaller fish.
- Carp. If you’re tired of the taste of salmon and trout, then you should try carp for a change. This oily freshwater specifies is quite popular among recreational anglers, and many species are also raised as food fish.
If you’re going for carp, the most common options include grass carp and bighead carp. You should also try the crucian carp and mud carp. These are all highly adaptable to various environments, and they can reproduce often and quick as well.
For the most part, their diet consists of aquatic invertebrates with soft bodies. So you can just feed them insects and mollusks, though plants and algae will do as well.
- Trout. If you have a water setup that’s rather cool ranging from 10 to 20 degrees C, then trout is a great option. They grow big very quickly, and their food conversion rates are terrific. They’re very similar to salmon so they’re also carnivorous and they can feed on other fish. But they can also include soft-bodied aquatic invertebrates like mollusks and insects in their diets, along with bloodworms.
Trout are very popular for fish farms, and they’re actually a common for source for people. They can also function as ornamental fish for your aquaponics tank, as they can display dramatic patterns and colors. Often, their coloring even helps as camouflage.
As for plants, the best foods to grow in an aquaponic system are the leafy crops like herbs and lettuce. However, if you have a large stock of fish in your setup (and if you’re very lucky), you may succeed with fruiting plants like peppers and tomatoes.