Bass for Aquaponics

largemouth bass

Bass are a great choice for your aquaponics system. Bass are a very hardy fish, tolerant of low water temperatures and are also nice to eat! They are omnivores and will eat worms, insects, larvae as well as high protein pellets.

Bass prefer food that stays on the surface or sinks slowly as they do not like to feed off the bottom of the tank. There are many species of Bass for you to choose for your Aquaponics depending on where you live and the temperature of the water.

Hybrid Striped bass

Hybrid Striped Bass started being used in aquaculture in the late 1980s in the USA.  This bass is a cross between the striped bass (Morone saxatilis) and the white bass (Morone chrysops) and is also known as a wiper or whiterock bass.

It is silver like the striped bass and can be distinguished by its broken rather than solid horizontal stripes running up the body. Hybrid Striped Bass are well suited to aquaponics because of their hardiness being resilient to extremes of temperature and to low dissolved oxygen.

Small mouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu)

The smallmouth bass is a freshwater fish also known colloquially as the smallmouth, bronzeback, brown bass, brownie, smallie, bronze bass, and bareback bass. It is found in the in the temperate zones of North America the upper and middle Mississippi River basin, the Saint Lawrence River–Great Lakes system, and the Hudson Bay basin.

The smallmouth bass is usually brown in color with with red eyes, and a dark brown vertical bands. It has a dorsal fin with between 13–15 soft rays on it.  They weigh between two and three pounds, females tend to weight heavier than males.

Smallmouth bass are carnivorous and eat crayfish, insects, and smaller fish. Fingerlings can be fed on zooplankton. Although smallmouths would tolerate cool water they are reluctant to eat pelleted food – so a few casualties would result during the training process.

Large mouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides)

The largemouth bass is one of the black bass species and is known commonly as a widemouth bass, bigmouth, black bass, bucketmouth, Potter’s fish, Florida bass, Florida largemouth, green bass, green trout, linesides, Oswego bass, southern largemouth and northern largemouth. There are two main types of largemouth black bass. The northern strain and the Florida Strain. The Florida strain is generally larger, lives longer but is less tolerant of very cold water temps. The Tyger bass is a first generation cross between the northern and Florida strains.

The largemouth is usually olive green in color with dark marks forming a sort of horizontal stripe along each flank. The largemouth is the largest of the black basses, and has been known to reach a length of 29.5 in (75 cm) and a weight of 25 pounds 1 ounce (11.4 kg)

Northern largemouth bass are easier to train to accept pellets and it is also necessary to use a cover on your aquaponic tank otherwise they may jump out.

Australian bass (Macquaria novemaculeata)

Australian bass are a small to medium sized fish which are found in streams and coastal rivers along the eastern coast of Australia. They come in various colors from gold to bronze or a bronzy green and may even seem red.

Australian bass have a long body with a forked caudal or tail fin, angular anal fin and spiny, sharp dorsal fins. Their gill covers or opercula have very sharp flat spines that can cut your fingers if you are not careful.

Australian bass average around 8 – 1.1lbs 8 – 12 inches (0.4–0.5 kg and 20–30 cm). A fish of 2.2lb or 1 kg is regarded as a fine specimen. Australian bass will live happily in an Aquaponics system, feeding on insects, particularly cicadas, microinvertebrates such as trichoptera larvae or crustaceans such as shrimps or prawns. Alternatively you could feed your bass on protein rich pellets.

White bass (Morone chrysops)

The white bass also known as sand bass or sandies is a freshwater fish found widely in the United States especially in the midwest, particularly in Pennsylvania. The color of a white bass can vary from a silvery white to pale green. Its back is usually darker with lighter sides and belly and two thin dark stripes running lengthwise along its sides.

The white bass has two dorsal fins, the more anterior dorsal fin is much firmer and has what looks like spines – they are actually a type of fin known as a spinous rap. The more posterior of the two dorsal fins is much softer, and is usually referred to as a  soft-ray. An average adult fish varies in size from 15 to 20 inches and weighs from 2 to 4 pounds.

White bass are carnivores and can be fed on pellets in your aquaponics tank. They are tolerant or a wide temperature range and can be kept with similar sized fish. The meat of this fish is very tasty and can also be smoked as a cooking option.

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