Why pay for expensive, imported farm-raised fish when you can create and catch your own right at home? Thrifty homeowners can easily “grow” fish in their own backyards, making a dent in their food budget, as well as greenhouse gasses. If you can tend an aquarium, then you can probably raise your own fish.
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Things you need
- Paddling pool
- Aerator or sump pump
- Water testing kit
- Charcoal filter for chlorinated water
- Dip Nnet or drag net
- Commercial fish food or grass clippings and algae
Place fish tank or 12-by-12-by-12-foot above-ground pool in a level area near a power outlet. Fill tank with warm, filtered water. Temperatures vary depending on the species of fish you are trying to grow, but 23.9 degrees C is an average comfortable temperature for many fish.
Run the water through a charcoal filter if you have chlorinated water. Water should have a pH level around 6.5 to 7. If water is too acidic, add lime; if too alkaline, add gypsum. Water should also be tested for heavy metals, as these can kill fish. If heavy metals are found, install a filter to reduce the levels. Install an aerator and be sure that it is working properly.
Have the pool, water and filters running for at least 2 weeks before adding fish. This will neutralise the bacteria and condition the water.
When the fish are delivered in their plastic bags, place the bags with the fish into the pool water to accustom them to the temperature change. After a few hours, release the fish into the water.
For best results, build or use a floating feed rack to feed the fish with little waste. (You may also feed by putting the food on top of the water.) Commercial fish feeds, tailored to the individual needs of specific fish breeds, are available, or some fish, such as Tilapia and Carp, may thrive on algae and grass clippings along with small doses of animal manure.
To harvest your fish, use a dip net for single fish or a drag net for multiple fish at a time. Feed the fish around the same time every day, and increase their feed as they grow. (They should eat around 3 per cent of their weight daily.)
Tips and warnings
- Be sure to keep the water aerated with a fountain or other device.
- Do not overfeed the fish! This can cause sanitary issues with the water quality, and it may make the fish sick.
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