Fish for Aquaponics

fish tank

Which fish are best for Aquaponics?

Your choice of fish for aquaponics depends on the size of your aquaponics system, your climate and whether or not you are going to eat your fish.

An ideal Aquaponic fish should be reasonably tolerant of Ammonia. The fish should be able to tolerate temperatures at least 40 Degrees Fahrenheit (22 Degrees Celsius) either side of your maximum and minimum ambient air temperature.

They should be happy in a tank eating pellet food and preferably they do not each other or their fingerlings (baby fish). You should also consider a hospital tank to care for sick or injured fish.


Tilapia fish

This is the most common fish used in aquaponics systems around the world. Tilapia is the common name for approximately one hundred species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine cichlid tribe.

Because they can become invasive in warm-water habitat, Tilapia fish are illegal in Australia. This is a small, low-fat fish, usually a greyish/ white color sometimes with a slightly pinkish tone. The fish breeds easily, tastes good, and grows quickly. They can withstand poor water conditions but do require warm water.

Silver Perch

Silver Perch fish

Other names for Silver Perch are Silvers, Silver Bream, Bidyan, Black Bream, Grunter and Murray perch. Silver perch is a medium-sized freshwater fish prevalent in the Murray-Darling river system in south-eastern Australia. It is not actually a perch, but actually a grunter from the Terapontidae family. Aquaculture practitioners use Silver Perch extensively but these domesticated strains are of little use in ensuring the species survival in the wild. Silver perch have white flesh and a pleasant taste.



The Goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus) was one of the earliest fish to be domesticated and is one of the most commonly kept aquarium fish. It was first domesticated in China more than a thousand years ago, and since then several distinct breeds have developed. Goldfish breeds now vary greatly in size, body shape, fin configuration and also come in different colors varying from white, yellow, orange, red, brown even to black. Goldfish live very happily in Aquaponic systems but usually to look at rather than to eat.


Barramundi fish
Barramundi with Jade Perch in background

The name, Barramundi, derives from an Australian Aboriginal meaning “large-scaled river fish” can be used in Aquaponic systems in Australia instead of the Tilapia. This fish is used in aquaculture in Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Thailand, the United States, and Poland. Fish in the Barramundi species grow quickly and can become quite tame. Because of their strong feeding reflex, they cannot be kept with any fingerlings. Barramundi have white, flaky flesh though some species carry a lot of body fat.

Jade Perch

Other names for this species of perch are the Barcoo grunter or Scortum barcoo. It is a member of the Terapontidae family. You can find this fish in most of the major rivers in Australia. Jade perch have a  high Omega-3 fatty acid content, higher than any other fish, Jade Perch are brownish-black in color with darker fins. This fish is easy to fillet with white, flaky fish flesh.

Other Fish Choices

When you are learning how to Aquaponics you will have to decide which fish you are going to use – this will depend on the country you live in and the climate that the fish are going to live in. Other popular fish choices are:

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