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PostPosted: Feb 23rd, '20, 17:33 
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New member, glad to be here. :wave1:
Looking for thoughts on suitable fish species in my area.

I live on the New England Tablelands of NSW, air temps here can easily range from -13°C to +40°C.
Winter temps during the day typically brush double digits.

I have had aquaponic systems before but in QLD and only on a smaller scale (IBCs).
I intend to use a quality glasshouse to house the entire system but I can't imagine even an excellent glasshouse getting too warm during the cold months.

I'm planning on a reasonably sized system, around 5500L in ponds and around 2400L on media beds, probably incorporate some kind of barrel filters.


I'm thinking that either Silver Perch or Murray cod may be suitable species to use.

I know that the winter temps in the glasshouse are an unknown until I build it and find out but what are everyone's thoughts on fish species?


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PostPosted: Feb 25th, '20, 10:54 
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You will need to know what water temps you are playing with. If you have the system ready before the coming winter I would definitely run Trout for the first one, see what water temps you get in the depths of winter, then maybe add some Silvers when the water warms up, but only if the water will be warm enough to get them through the next winter.

You may need to explore the option of Trout and Barra and maybe get the Barra started indoors in a large heated aquarium or an insulated and heated tank in your glasshouse, so you can get them to plate size over summer.

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PostPosted: Feb 25th, '20, 11:04 
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I'm probably not too far from you, being in the hills SE of Tamworth, and I'm picking up my next batch of 200 Rainbow Trout in a few days for my large system. I've had the water in my small system down to <3C in winter, and the Murray Cod in that system has survived ok.
I run a chiller over summer for the trout in my large system, and they've been ok with the water up to 21C.
I think you would struggle to keep Barra alive, without spending a LOT of money on heating.

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PostPosted: Feb 25th, '20, 14:38 
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Thanks for your input Mr Damage and Gunagulla. :thumbright:
Looks like I'll need to involve the council and get approval for the glasshouse so the project will probably take longer than I'd prefer.
And I'm not keen on pouring a slab in the depths of winter, hopefully I can get the ball rolling fairly quickly.

I'd forgotten about Golden Perch as another possibility.

I'd love to grow trout, but perhaps next year, with my current timeline.

Glad to hear that Murray Cod survive at temps that I hope to keep my ponds above, nice to know someone not too far away is into AP, Gungulla.

Silver Perch are probably the sensible choice for the first grow, test water conditions and take it from there.

The potential for trout over winter and Barra over summer is quite appealing, it'd be along shot but worth pondering.

I'm mainly just thrilled to be planning AP again and talking here is better than boring family and friends. :lol:
I'd thought that it was too cold here to bother with AP, frozen pipes and all that, glasshouse changes things and makes me a happy boy.

When I'm closer to the build, I'll start a system thread.
But have to share my ridiculous luck in sourcing some dirt cheap double glazed panels to build the glasshouse out of.
I've no idea how warm the glasshouse will be but have high hopes for decent minimum temps.

The glass was installed into a flash new house and ended up with some tiny scratches.
The owners wigged out and insisted that it be replaced, I've bought it from the glazier hired to replace it all.

Incredible luck and cheaper than double walled polycarbonate.
Admittedly, I have to build a structure to hold all that glass up but it should be pretty special and much more than I'd ever plan to build without this windfall.
I think it's ridiculous to use this material for glasshouse but I'm paying around 8% of the value of these panels and can't resist.

Stay tuned on that development. :headbang:


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PostPosted: Feb 25th, '20, 15:05 
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Where are you located? You might struggle with Barra if you're up around 1000m altitude on the tablelands. Highest water temp I ever saw on my small system was 27C after a run of hot weather, and Barra's ideal temp is 28C. Lower temps mean slower growth, meaning you might not get them to a decent size in summer, and trying to keep them alive in winter in the New England would be very expensive for heating.

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PostPosted: Feb 25th, '20, 16:11 
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Fair call, we're just over 1000M altitude here.

I did think that Barra were a long shot and I'm not aiming to keep them but find the idea interesting.
Despite knowing that it's not likely.

I'd be happy with whatever species suits here, it'd be a bonus if they grew fairly fast.

Still planning on silver/golden perch or cod most likely.
With the possibility of trout, if they seem likely to succeed.

I expect to have my ponds split into 4 so I'll have some room to trial different species.
Cod would likely need all 4 for grading into sizes, if I follow that option.


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PostPosted: Feb 25th, '20, 16:12 
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I am hoping for decent temperatures in the glasshouse but only time will tell there.

I'd never expect to get a fish like Barra through a winter, none the less and frankly our summers aren't very long.
Glorious winters though. 8)


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PostPosted: Feb 25th, '20, 16:33 
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I have one MC that's quite a few years old, I wouldn't get them again. They don't taste as good as trout, and the big ones tend to eat the little ones, plus the ones I had refused to eat any pellets. I assume the one I still have just eats bugs and worms, as pellets go uneaten on the rare occasions that I put some in the FT. I do throw in a few large grasshoppers every now and then too.

You should be able to get trout to a reasonable size if you put them in in May and harvest in December.

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PostPosted: Feb 25th, '20, 20:18 
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The others that live near you would have a much better idea of your max temps and usual length of your summer etc (I just saw the 40+), so as they say, Barra may not be a good option without lengthy periods of heating. The Murray cod will handle cold temps as they've pointed out, even Silvers will handle down to around 6-7 degrees, but usually stop feeding around 13 degrees, at least mine do. Just be mindful of your max summer temps and the usual duration of summer hot spells in your area. I know of people over here in Perth that have had issues with losing Murray cod in extended periods of hot weather. In saying that, with the larger water volumes you are planning, and sensible placement of your FT, summer shade wise etc, you probably won't have an issue.

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PostPosted: Feb 26th, '20, 07:19 
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It's a shame that cod sound a little difficult, I'd quite like them but perhaps they're not an easy option.

Trout are appealing, I'm just not at all familiar with them.
Possibly the best choice.
A few fish free months would give the growbeds some time to clear out, perhaps with a tandanus catfish in each tank to keep things ticking over in the meantime.

The maximum temps around here don't typically hit 40°C, I must admit that summers usually only got the mid 30's.
I guess I'm planning for worst case scenarios.

Thanks again for your thoughts guys, appreciate it.
Also enjoy talking AP.


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PostPosted: Feb 26th, '20, 11:58 
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Ive had great results with Cod in the last 12 mths ive lost 2 small ones out of 50

Just harvested 6 at 3 to 3.5 kilo

I bought 25 new ones about 150mm long so had to make room

Im in the riverland we get runs of really hot weather ive had water temps of 34c without loss

I have more trouble with cold in the winter ive had water temps in the past of 5c which is just too cold

In the past ive pumped system water through black poly on a timer to lift temps which helped a bit

I have greenhouse plastic which ive made to fit over my shadehouse that solved the problem coldest the water got to last winter was 12c

When you build your glass house consider some large roof vents that you can open I have a friend with one and it gets stinking hot in the summer

Too hot and fruit like tomatoes will not set (pollen gets damaged)

I would just do the roof and have the sides with curtains so you can open it up

Glass / Greenhouses are BUG heaven they are handy but create challenges

Also shadecloth on a roller that you can cover the top easily is a good design addition , universal joint and a long handle with a crank on the end like the grain trucks use to cover their loads.

If you get trout have a radial / swirl separator so you can manage the mess they create , you will need your system to be able to handle heavy feeding rates so you can keep pushing them along before the water gets too hot.

Ive found Golden Perch a bit difficult with pellet feed

Ive had two lots of Silvers , fed well but I lost them (long story) we all have our holy smoke moments

Had some Tandanas they were good fun a couple of them I could hand feed worms

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PostPosted: Feb 26th, '20, 15:54 
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Thanks for chiming in Terra. :thumbright:

I had thought that heat in summer would be my enemy.

I was planning to use those phase change wax pellet window openers to automatically open some large roof vents when the glasshouse hits a certain temperature. (Can't recall which temperature that is offhand).
It'll have a quite large door and I'll leave the vents and the door open in warmer months.

And the shade cloth cover is a good idea that I'll likely need as well.

I was only considering additional filtration bit if I do decide on trout, which seem to be the right choice, I think I'll follow your advice and add them to the design from the outset.
I'm a little concerned that the glasshouse will stay a bit too warm too early and I'll provide have to push for maximum growth.
I've got a fairly extensive dirt garden and the mulm from the filter can happily feed those plants and the fruit trees.

Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Feb 26th, '20, 15:57 
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The only drawback to trout, is that I'll largely harvest the whole school at once and have to freeze them.
I'd really like a fish that I can harvest as required.

But I guess that's what vacuum sealed freezer bags are for.


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PostPosted: Feb 26th, '20, 16:05 
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If you use a chiller, you can keep trout all year round without too much hassle if you are up around 1000m ASL. I manage here at 700m ASL, shading of GBs and FT will help.

I've still got about 20 from last year in my FT, they'll be 2kg+ later this year.

Having plenty of GB space and not overstocking avoids the need for extra filtration with trout.

Vacuum sealing is good, I had over 200 trout in my freezer a couple of months ago.

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Larger 2nd system: http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=24153
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PostPosted: Feb 26th, '20, 16:37 
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I don't think that I'll go so far as using a chiller.
Do you use one yourself?

I don't mind additional filtration since the "waste" can be used elsewhere in the garden but I'll try not to overstock.

How long do you find your trout keep frozen and vacuum sealed?


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