How to grow trout in aquaponics
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The variety of species able to be kept in aquaponics is very wide. In this article we will see how to raise trouts and why they are such an interesting species to raise.
Trouts have been domesticated and raised in captivity for 150 years for the following reasons:
Very fast growing fish
A trout raised in good conditions can reach the commercial “portion size” of 250g in 9 month and reach 500g in a year. It is considered as a fast growing fish comparing to other species. If kept long enough they will reach 5kg in 4 years but if you are growing them to eat them, it’s probably better to harvest them between 1 to 2 year old. The old fish grow slower and become more fragile and more likely to fall sick.
The oxygen consumption of trout is higher than the average fish. The comfortable limit is 7mg/l but in practice they can survive in lower concentration depending on the temperature and the stress level. I have personally seen trouts stocked at very low density surviving in 3mg/l but it’s not recommended.
Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate…
The trout fingerlings bought from the classic trout hatcheries are 100% females, see this video for more explanation: maximise your fish growth (https://youtu.be/XJSBTq4_yts) . If you aim to grow large trout (over 2 years) you will be able to “strip” the fish in order to empty the eggs from the trout belly. You can then consume the “trout caviar” which is a real delicatessen. Another option if you want to grow large trouts is to grow triploids trouts, see with your fingerlings supplier.
Rainbow trouts are a domesticated fish species. Their diet has been scientifically studied and the fish food supplier developed dry pellets very well adapted to their needs. Adapt the size of the pallet to the size of the fish. Be aware that the colour of the trout flesh size will be dependent on the fish food used, see those videos: How to feed your fish (https://youtu.be/eLI4zCEhdOs), fish flesh colour (https://youtu.be/tmj4wsDMNto). The distribution must be even and all fish must have access to the same quantity of food. If some fish are left behind, the size difference will increase and the small fish growth will be very slow.
There is lot of research around trout disease, like most other fish species, they are sensitive to virus, bacteria and parasites. Trouts can get several virus disease mostly when the water is cold. The bacteria infection such as Furonculosa and Yersinia happen when the water is slightly warmer. In aquaculture the trouts are sometimes vaccinated against those to bacterial disease and when the fish get sick, antibiotics are used. In aquaponics we use a different approach and focus on keeping the fish in low density and therefore minimize the chances to stress the fish and catch any disease. Parasites such as costia and fungus are also very present on intensive farming. They are often managed thanks to chemicals such as Formaldehyde and potassium permanganate. In aquaponics we will use salt and if we need to use other products we will use the bath technique, see this video (https://youtu.be/0eA4UiuOs70)
Where to find little trouts (trout fingerlings)…
Ps: If your water temperature is raising too high during summer only, you may still be able to grow trouts for only 9 month of the year. The fish will be big enough to be harvested before summer.
Density: up to 100kg/m3 in aquaculture but only 20kg/m3 in Aquaponics
Conclusion: Trouts are a very interesting species of fish to grow in aquaponics and I recommend it to everyone.
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Link of the vidéo
How to grow trout in aquaponics: https://youtu.be/3ULtyZrOXU4