Small scale fish farming
Overfishing all over the world have already put in danger many gastronomic species of fish. As a result, this keeps demand for seafood and sustainable fish farming high. That’s why both big commercial farms and home fish husbandries are welcome on the market. Selling to grocery stores and restaurants nearby delicious eco-friendly fish becomes a great family business option.
Small scale fish farming. What fish to farm?
Typical fish for home farming are special kinds of Catfish, Trout, Salmon, Bass, Perch and Carp. All of them have their strong sides – from being resistant to non-stable conditions and diseases to exquisite taste and great influence to human health (and sometimes almost all-in one). Choosing of the fish relies on a number of factors – climate and natural resources of your place; market situation and culinary preferences of local people; your own tastes, after all.
METHODS AND EQUIPMENT
When it comes to organizing a fish farm, the question “how” can be answered in a simple or complicated way. There are several methods based on conditions, money and experience you have.
The most popular way organize a fish farm is home recirculating – the system based on conditioning the same water in a fish pool during long period.
Method of recirculation makes it possible to settle a fish farm anywhere you want – in a backyard, barn, garage. Professionals recommend pools 12 feet in diameter and 3 feet high, which is perfect for raising 100 pounds of fish per season. Though, the size must correlate with your space opportunities and expectations.
Using this method, you don’t belong to natural source of water (methods described below). But since the fish live all their life in almost the same water, you highly belong to the equipment.
Quality of water is essential for fish: it must be clean, contain enough oxygen and be of proper temperature. Adults of some fish may themselves tolerate inappropriate conditioning, but they stop breeding. Some die in too cold or badly aerated water unexpectedly soon. Here is the list of required devices.
- A pump AERATOR to add oxygen. Aeration is vital for raising healthy fish.
- A BIOFILTER to remove toxic elements, mainly ammonia, from the water.
- A DRUM CLARIFIER, which collects organic material, to keep the pool physically clean.
- A SOLAR DOME – plastic cover that helps to accumulate heat from the sun and create demanded temperature conditions.
- Finally, you need an EMERGENCY GENERATOR to make all the equipment work during blackouts. A few hours without conditioning won’t harm the fish, but longer period may turn fatal.
When it comes to breeding of betta fish, saltwater fish or farming trouts, you can always use next farming systems. Remember that this article is infromative only for people who want to start fish farming on small scale.
OTHER FISH FARMING SYSTEMS
If you have access to a natural pond, equipment for a fish farm won’t cost you much. All that you need is a cage of proper size made of plastic pipe, fish and food. Initial expenses that include all of it are usually about $100. Anyway, the choice must be adequate to your region: climate and other natural conditions. Some species are more demanding, while other tolerate wider range of temperature, foods, etc.
Constant access to a fresh water stream, such as a river or a spring can make your farm even more productive than a cage in still water. Such open system is great for trout farming round the year even if the volume of streaming water is far from high. A few gallons may be already enough. Though, if you don’t have constant access to a cold water source, you’d better search for more rational method.
This method is the most scientifically complicated. It uses a number of various plants as filters that regulate water quality. Double benefit here is that you create an ecosystem within which you may grow vegetables of high quality. High-skilled farmers often combine aquaponics with recirculation setup, which altogether costs about $1000. But this investment soon demonstrates how profitable and useful it is.