There are more fish you can use when considering an aquaponics system, with some of them being more common or appreciated than others. Yellow perch aquaponics systems have gained notoriety in the past years and for some good reasons. While the yellow perch cannot compete against tilapia among newbies, the yellow perch does come with a bunch of benefits too. It normally depends on your goals.
Yellow perch aquaponics system
When running an aquaponics system, your options are quite diversified, but koi, catfish, tilapia, sunfish and yellow perch are among the top options. Now, you need to set your priorities straight. Do you want the focus on the plants? If so, you will need to choose fish that can thrive in the plant requirements in terms of pH and temperature.
The yellow perch is quite common in terms of temperature, so it is suitable for pretty much every warm weather plant out there. It is also suitable for a bunch of cool weather plants – you will need to make some compromises on both sides though. The fish is native to North America and prefers freshwater. It has a unique appearance – nine green vertical bars on every side.
Yellow perch aquaponics – The growth rate
If you are mostly focused on fish, you obviously want to know more about the species you are about to have. The growth rate will give you some details about what to expect, as well as how fast you can have the fish. Before moving on, it is worth noting that the yellow perch will not breed as often as other fish – only once per year.
The breeding season does not occur naturally. Instead, you will have to stimulate it. Basically, the temperature in the tank must be lowered. You need to aim for about 45 degrees Fahrenheit for a month or more. With time, you can put it back up gradually – on the same note, you can also increase the light exposure.
What you are trying to do is tell your fish that the winter is over and spring is on its way. Your fish will then lay eggs, which will take just under four weeks to hatch. The fry will be able to survive on the egg sac. As time goes by, the fry will start eating anything that is below their size. Generally speaking, yellow perch aquaponics systems will not give you an incredibly fast growth rate.
Normally, the growth rate is relatively slow and may take fish up to 18 months to grow to a harvest size. Sure, assuming you can provide the optimal conditions, the fish may grow faster, but it is less likely to happen within the first year. Once the fish reaches the optimal size, you can expect about five inches in length and half a pound in weight.
The yellow perch will not stop growing then though. That is only the optimal harvest size. Let the fish grow and it will keep gaining in size. After a decade of life, your fish may have up to three pounds in weight. As for the size, some fish exceed 12 inches in length, but this is quite rare. Therefore, the more you wait, the better your results will be.
Temperature requirements in yellow perch aquaponics
The yellow perch is quite forgiving, but just like any other fish, it has some optimal growing requirements. In terms of temperature, you need to maintain it between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, stick the temperature at about 73 degrees Fahrenheit. If you can maintain the temperature consistent, your fish will be healthy and happy.
While there is some forgiveness in this requirement, maintaining the temperature at the right level will ensure the fish breeds while plants keep growing. Again, the breeding season implies reducing the temperature for at least a month. This way, the fish will associate the growing temperature with the spring season.
Food requirements for the yellow perch
Unlike other fish, the yellow perch is not too picky or fuzzy. During the early stages in life, the fish will most likely do with fish eggs, as well as invertebrates. As they keep growing, such fish will also end up eating other fish. They aim for smaller fish and can even do with alewife or gobies. It depends on what you can find in commerce.
The variety in the yellow perch diet is a major plus for those who want to start a yellow perch aquaponics system. Basically, the fish can adapt to different types of food based on the availability. If something in particular is not available, your fish will be just as happy with pellet food. In other words, looking after your fish is relatively simple.
Suggested article: Aquaponics Fish Food Explained – What Options Do You Have?
Yellow perch taste
Yellow perch is common for newbies because it is easy to look after. However, its taste is not to be overlooked either. You will discover a mild, but distinctive flavor. Although it is not very intense, it does not taste like anything else. Some may say that it is similar to the crappie. When cooked by the book, there will be no unpleasant odors.
The flesh is flaky, but relatively firm. You will notice a mild sweetness after chewing and swallowing. As for the nutrient content, yellow perch is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, as well as protein. It provides lots of protein, despite its small size. In terms of cooking it, you can bake, poach, pan fry, grill or deep fry it – basically, there is an option regardless of your preferences.
As a short final conclusion, yellow perch aquaponics are quite common these days and for some good reason. Looking after them is not difficult and they are not picky about their food. If there is one minus to consider, that is the fact that they only breed once a year and they require specific conditions for the process to begin. Moreover, it will take a relatively long time for your fish to reach the optimal harvest size, so arm yourself with plenty of patience.
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