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

Aquaponic practitioners started using Hybrid Striped Bass 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). Some people refer to it as a wiper or whiterock bass.

It is silver like the striped bass and you can identify it by its broken rather than solid horizontal stripes running up the body. Hybrid Striped Bass are good for aquaponics because of their hardiness. They are resilient to extremes of temperature and to low dissolved oxygen.

Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu)

smallmouth bass

The smallmouth bass is a freshwater fish. People know it colloquially as the smallmouth, bronzeback, brown bass, brownie, smallie, bronze bass, and bareback bass. You can find it 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.

Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides)

largemouth bass

The largemouth bass is one of the black bass species. People commonly refer to it 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. These fish can 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

The Australian bass is a small to medium sized fish. They live 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.

The Australian bass has 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 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)

white bass

The white bass or sand bass or sandies is a freshwater fish. This fish lives across the United States especially in the midwest, particularly in Pennsylvania. The color of 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. These are actually a type of fin that experts call 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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