Backyard fish farming can provide a low-cost, healthy food source. Fish farming systems vary in size from single-tank grow systems to three-tank setups. Three-tank systems require breeding and hatching aquariums to be set up in a sheltered indoor area or shed, and provide a constant supply of fingerlings to be reared in outdoor grow tanks. Single-tank systems are an inexpensive option when funds or indoor space is limited, using minimal equipment to raise purchased fingerlings to adult size.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 400- to 500-gallon plastic swimming pool
- Combination pond filter/water fountain
- Power supply
- Breeze blocks (if needed)
- Fingerling fish
- Pool thermometer
- Aquarium heater capable of heating 400 to 500 gallons of water
- Plastic sheeting
- Metal bulldog clips
Place the swimming pool in a somewhat sunny area of the yard. Fill the pond with tap water.
Install the filter/fountain and aquarium heater in the pond and connect the power supply. Place breeze blocks under the filter for support if needed.
Allow the water to age for 24 hours before adding fish.
Add fingerling-sized fish to the pond. Consult with your local supplier to determine the best density to start with.
Maintain water temperature between 27.8 and 30 degrees Celsius. Cover the tank with plastic sheeting when temperatures are expected to fall below the 60s, and secure the plastic with bulldog clips.
Tips and warnings
- Allow fish to spend their final week before harvest in a sheltered, algae-free aquarium to flush the "fishy" taste from their flesh.
- Check with your local fish and wildlife agency before you begin farming fish--some species may require special permits.
- Be sure that your fish cannot escape into natural lakes, ponds or ditches during storms.
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