Episode-2022- Aquaculture for Sustainable Protein Production

This is something I am delving more and more into as time goes on because the return on energy input is so effective.  I am working a great deal now with native fish species and I think this is truly the way forward for such things.

Sure you can break your neck trying to breed tilapia, once you get it right you have 6-7 months to grow them out and either they die in the cold or you have to provide heat to keep them alive.

When we look at using local species we can collect them for almost no cost, adapt them quickly to systems or small ponds and simply grow them out to harvest size.  I am also not separating aquaponics from aquaculture today because in reality aquaponics is a form of aquaculture the two disciplines have some differences but in the end both can produce fish or shellfish for our consumption.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • Why grow fish in the first place
  • Why grow local fish over faster growing exotics like tilapia
  • Why tilapia still have their place
  • Why I feel wicking beds are the ultimate tool to combine with all forms of aquatics
  • Ebb and flow beds are useful in any system for filtration
  • Plants can be grown directly in ponds as well
  • Options when it comes to feed
    • Floating, sinking, dual
    • Why feeding “organic” can be almost impossible
    • Natural feeding – minnows – worms – snails – other options
  • Harvesting fish for your system (pros and cons)
    • Rod and reel
    • Netting (cast, seine, dip, etc)
    • Trapping
  • Species I highly recommend
    • Bullhead and Channel Catfish
    • Sunfish/Perch (bluegill, pumpkin seed, green sunfish, long ear sunfish)
  • Housing Options
    • In ground ponds
    • Stock tank systems
    • True aquaponics systems
    • Timber frame lined tanks
  • Some thoughts on automating system functions
  • Why this is a truly sustainable an even regenerative solution

Resources for today’s show…

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6 Responses to Episode-2022- Aquaculture for Sustainable Protein Production

  1. Of all the projects I’ve undertaken in gardening, poultry, tree and fruit production and sustainable agriculture, nothing has captured the interest or imagination with my teenagers as much as the aquatics component of aquaponics. I’ve made them responsible for the fish while I’m responsible for the veggies. We get to share managing the total ecosystem together. They have no idea how much they are actually learning in the process. It’s just fun for them. They now are reponsible for measuring PH, total solids/ppm, how dissolved O2 changes with temp, Etc.

    Thanks Jack for sharing all the info you’ve learned through major trial and error that’s allowed me to easily and cheaply build a small backyard aquaponic system that is really a living classroom for my kids.

    I think you are on to something big here with aquaculture & aquaponics. It is a lot easier than most folks envision, once you understand the practical applications. And there are no restrictions against keeping fish in my POA!

  2. Hey Jack thanks for all the great info. Im toking to start aquaculture project soon. Is there any where that I can find more info on building the system. I see a lot of Aquaphonic info but Im not looking to grow vegetables at this time.

  3. On feeding, have you ever tried a gut bucket? Take a pail and drill some holes in the bottom and a little up the sides. Hang it over your open top fish tanks and toss it some gutted fish, leftover chicken, guts etc. Flies will swarm, and the maggots will drop through the holes into the water. Sometimes it takes a little shake or two, but you’ll usually get a decent return.

  4. What about shiners? For those that don’t eat a lot of fish, raising these as bait for sale may be a better option especially if you are also selling produce from your system.

  5. Professor Sweat

    Thank’s for the great show and information. Aquaculture can be scaled to almost any size. A few weeks ago, I built a single 30″x10″ wicking bed to place over an established 40 gallon barrel pond I have on my apartment’s porch. It’s planted with vining crops that will trellis up a lattice I fixed up behind the pond. It’s working great so far with mosquito fish and I’ll be adding half a dozen tilapia soon increase the nutrients and perhaps get a small, tasty meat yield. The small size of the pond makes it economical to heat with an aquarium heater for colder weather conditions. I also use the fish water for watering my container garden and algae for fertigation. It’s fun stuff, I can’t wait until I have more space to size-up.