The term aquaponics fish may be new but is not new species of fish. These fishes are also normal fish species. The fish species which are normally used in aqueponics cultivation system are technically termed as aquaponics system. In the aquaponics system, not only the fish species are cultured but also the plant species especially vegetables are cultivated. The system is totally devoid of chemical fertilizer and pesticide. The total system runs as a symbiotic interaction of two major components. This system is also bio-friendly and acts as water conservation method.
The selection of aquaponics fish is somewhat difficult as there is no definite fish species for this purpose. The suitability of a species is mostly depends on the climatic and environmental condition of a locality. Sometimes, the selection process is influenced by the religion and local law. For example, the Talapia is not allowed to culture in USA and UK.
However, some selection criteria of aquaponics fish are given below:
- Fish species having high reproduce capacity in any situation.
- Capability of producing numerous and hard shelled eggs.
- Ability to produce highly adoptable youngs.
- Fish species having the relation with the people of a locality traditionally are best for that region.
- Adaptable to wide type of cultural system.
- Species having the adjustment capacity with a polyculture system.
- Should be suitable for multi-species culture system in a minimum area.
- Should have high growth rate and ability to attain highest size in a minimum time.
- Have the ability to take artificial food.
- Can grow in congested or crowded area with more or less normal growth rate.
- The species should have low mortality.
- Should be easy to manage and harvest.
- Should not be susceptible to various fish diseases.
- The selected fish species must not be predator i.e. they should not take other fish of the same culture.
- The multiplication unite must be available.
- The selected species must have high market price.
- They should have high dry matter production rate.
- Should have high shelf life.
- They must be easy to process.
- Should have good appearance and also have good taste.
However, the most cultivated aquaponics fish species are Tilapia and Goldfish. Between these two, the tilapia is widely cultivated fish species.
Some basic information about the tilapia are given below:
- Species: There are various casts of tilapia are available in different territory with high economic significance. More or less all the casts are suitable as an aquaponics fish.
- Reproduction: Tilapia fish have high reproduction ability. For maximum egg giving, this species needs about 700F temperature. The female lays egg and keep them in her mouth for giving maximum protection from the outer hazard. The eggs are hatched in the female mouth and remains there up to 3 weeks with periodic outer trip. This type of care is highly responsible for their rapid increase in number.
- Feed and growth habit: This fish species mostly take detritus present in the lower portion and algae as well as small plant materials. The growth rate of this fish is rapid in its early life and gain a unique weight of about 6 pounds after 2-3 years.
- Market value: Because of high edibility, the fish have high market price.
At last but not least it can be said that as the aquaponics fish selection has large impact on its success, everybody should be more conscious in this selection process.