AQUAPONICS


Available Species
Currently in Western Australia aquaculture licence holders are restricted to supplying just three species of edible fish suitable for growing in an aquaponics system. These being Barramundi, Silver Perch and Trout which luckily do provide for reasonable options in the mediteranean climate of the South West. If you want to maximise the number of fish your system produces you can grow Trout over the cooler months and Barramundi over the summer. Be aware though that this option may necessitate a total harvest if weather conditions suddenly make your water parameters unsuitable for the species. If you dont want to fill your freezer in one go and would rather just harvest a fish whenever you feel like it then Silver Perch are a good all year option.

The tables below provide a guide to each species tolerances of the water parameters of temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen levels. Most of these figures were derived from experiments in pond based aquaculture and in the case of Barramundi in the ocean therefore may not be exactly the same as what you will experience in your aquaponics tank. Each system will have its own idiosyncracies, but on the whole if you manage to keep your water parameters within the 'Comfort Level' your fish should remain happy and stress free. On the other hand once outside this zone the fish will become stressed and the likelyhood of disease will increase.

SILVER PERCH

 Optimum Growth
(within range)

 Comfort Level
(within range)

Stressful Zone
(outside range)
Temperature (C)

23 - 28

10 - 30

 5 - 32
pH

 7 - 9

 6.5 - 9.5

 5 - 10
DO (mg/L)

 > 4

 > 3

 < 3

RAINBOW TROUT

 Optimum Growth
(within range)

 Comfort Level
(within range)

Stressful Zone
(outside range)
Temperature (C)

14 - 18

10 - 24

 4 - 26
pH

 7 - 8

 6 - 8.5

 4.5 - 9
DO (mg/L)

 > 6

 > 5

 < 5

BARRAMUNDI

 Optimum Growth
(within range)

 Comfort Level
(within range)

Stressful Zone
(outside range)
Temperature (C)

27 - 32

22 - 36

 17 - 39
pH

 7 - 8.5

 5 -9

 4 - 9.5
DO (mg/L)

 > 5

 > 4

 < 3

MARRON

 Optimum Growth
(within range)

 Comfort Level
(within range)

Stressful Zone
(outside range)
Temperature (C)

18 - 24

12.5 - 26

 5 - 29
pH

 7 - 8.5

 6.5 - 9.0

 5.5 - 9.5
DO (mg/L)

 > 5

 > 4

 < 4


Fast Growth - the fry shown at top weighed 0.7gms, at 1 year older the fish below was 760gms.
Trout of this size are easily achievable in the grow out period in an aquaponics system in South West WA.

When to Buy - the best time to buy fingerlings for an aquaponics system is when your water is approaching optimum growth temperatures for the species. This means the fish will be under minimum stress and be feeding well, which will provide for good growth rates of the fish and also supply plenty of nutrients for your plants. For Barramundi this would mean late November/December, Silver Perch are best purchased in October - December and Trout in April/May. By purchasing at these times you are not only going into the optimum growth period for the species but you also purchase the fish after it has been overwintered (Barramundi/Perch) or oversummered (Trout). This means you will reduce the growout period as the fish are at a larger size to start with. Generally at these times you should be looking at getting Barramundi at around 150mm, Silver perch at 75-100mm and Trout at 100mm .

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