How to grow trout in aquaponics


How to grow trouts in aquaponics Hello sustainable growers. Welcome in this video. Today, we’re going to talk about trouts in
aquaponics and specially rainbow trout, how to grow them or why is it such a good fish
for aquaponics? What are the specific techniques to improve
the production? So trout is one of the few fish that has been
domesticated by humans. When I said domesticated that just means that
we will raise the fish for a few generations and every time we select the fish that are
showing the best behavior and the best growth to reproduce them. So there is what we call a selection, selection
of the best fish for aquaponics. So every generation we improve the breed where
the breed becomes more performant — normally resistant to disease which is basically we
can discuss this point and the fish become more used to be handled by humans. So that’s why trout is such a specific fish
and today we’re going to see a few points why we think trouts are very interesting for
aquaculture and for aquaponics. So the first point is that trouts are growing
quite fast. You know, they grow quite quickly. A fish can reach the plate size in nine months. If you compare it to silver perch, silver
perch will take three to four years to reach the same size. When I say plate size you know it’s 250 grams
or 350 gram so it’s still a small fish but you can reach this size in nine months while
we know the fish that it takes way longer. So trouts are very interesting because they
grow quite quickly. The second reason why lot of people are growing
trout is that they basically develop a very interesting aroma, a very good taste. The flesh is a very high quality. So if you look at freshwater fish, trout is
among the best quality eating fish. So when you grow trouts in aquaponics most
of the time the flesh of the fish is very tasty and the color of the fish, the color
of the flesh is white and actually the color of the flesh is dependent on the type of food
that you’re gonna give to your fish. If you look at fish from aquaculture, most
of the time the fish farmers are trying to get red trout. I mean, not red but a bit orange, you know,
the specific pink orange color, that’s what the customer wants. So that’s what — they put some colorant into
the food but in aquaponics if you use some classic fish food, the fish flesh is going
to be more white. So I made a special video about it, fish flesh
color. Have a look on YouTube and you’re going to
find it, if you are really interested to grow some trout with a pink flesh. But otherwise you just grow it with normal
fish food, a fish food that is adapted to the trout and you’re gonna have a white flesh
trout but that is going to have the same aroma, the same textures, the same taste as the trout
that you get from the shop. So the color has nothing to do with the quality. Right? It’s just some colorant that we put into
the fish food but the trout develops a very, very interesting flesh, very interesting texture
and flavor, and that’s why so many people are growing trouts around the planet. So in terms of requirements, trouts need a
certain level of oxygen and if you compare it to all the fish such as tilapia, carps,
catfish, and all those types of other fish that are really famous in aquaponics, trout
need actually a bit more oxygen than the other fish. In aquaculture we try to maintain the oxygen
level above seven milligrams of oxygen per liter of water. In aquaponics, what we do we just put a nice
aerator, you know, a little air pump with an air stone inside the fish tank and it fulfills
the need of the fish. So we don’t need a specific equipment but
just be aware that trouts don’t accept very low quantity of oxygen such as other fish. That’s a specific requirement that trout have. Another requirement that trout have is the
temperature. So trouts are cold water fish So when I say
cold water, I mean they are really adapted to colder countries such as Europe, North
America, you know those countries where basically the water is never reaching a temperature
above 25 degrees. Trout’s above 23 degrees, they start to struggle
and they are not going to stay alive for long. So what we want in aquaponics is to keep them
in conditions where the water is below 23 degrees. At 18 degrees that’s where you got a really
good growth; 18 to 20 degrees is okay and after that they really struggle. So if you want to put them in the best conditions,
try to maintain your water between 16 and 18 degrees and they’re gonna grow like crazy. In terms of water quality, trouts are a bit
sensitive. So they are not as hardy as other fish such
as gold fish, carps, tilapia. Trouts need to have a good quality and a good
filtration. You need to have a certain filtration in your
aquaponics setup. When I’m talking about filtration I’m talking
about biological filtration. So you need to make sure that you don’t have
too much ammonia and too much nitrites in your water. You know, when other fish such as tilapia
can accept very high concentration of ammonia and nitrite they’re still alive. They’re stressed but they’re still alive. Trouts after 0.5 ppm, so parts per million
or milligram per liter of ammonia or nitrite, they would struggle. So always try to keep those parameters very
low and if you see that your water concentration is increasing in terms of ammonia and nitrite,
renew the water and decrease the quantity of fish. Basically, it’s always because you got too
many fish for the capacity of your system. So you can add more filtration, more biological
filtration, or you can simply decrease the quantity of fish. In terms of nitrate, it’s the same thing. When some fish are accepting some very high
concentration of nitrate, trouts start to struggle after 50 ppm, 50 parts per million
or 50 milligrams per litre So always try to keep your nitrate concentration in the aquaponics
setup below 50 ppm. Again, if you got too much nitrate that’s
okay because nitrate is the food for the plants. It just means you don’t have enough vegetables
on your system, but you can definitely use this water to water your classic garden, and
in this case you just have to add new water in your system and it dilutes the concentration
of nitrate. So you don’t waste the water directly because
you use this water to water your normal garden and you’re going to add some fertilizer. I mean not fertilizer but nutrients and in
the same time you basically decrease the concentration of nitrate in your water. So with trout, it’s very important to maintain
those three parameters at low concentration to make sure that they are growing in good
conditions. So if you want to grow your trout and if you
want to really grow a good production, if you want to maximize the production of trout
you want to grow the trout, you want to keep them small. So what happens is that basically you got
two sexes, obviously male and female. Males are maturating after one year, right,
which means that when I talk about maturation, I’m talking about sexual maturation. So trouts when they reach the adult size,
they’re going to start to create some gametes, you know the reproductive gametes such as
the sperms or the ovules. When they do that the males are going to put
a lot of energy to create the sperm and therefore this energy is lost. You don’t get it for the flesh. So the trout stops growing and it continues
growing but it’s slowed down. So the conversion of the food is not as good
and what you see is that after a while your trout don’t grow so quickly. So what is important to do is to grow females. Females grow only – they maturate only after
two years which means that you got two years to reach a decent size and after only, they
start to maturate and they start to basically produce some eggs. So when the trouts are producing eggs again
they start to slow down their growth and they put their energy into the eggs. So as a fish farmer as an aquaponics farmer
what you want is to grow the fish before it reaches maturation which means that during
this time it’s going to put all the energy into the growth of the muscles, into the growth
of the body. So you’re gonna see the weight of the fish
is going to increase very quickly when they are young and when they reach the two years,
they start to decrease. So fish farmers are very aware at this point
that’s why they grow 100% females and in aquaponics when you go to the fish farm and you buy trouts
in 95% of the case you’re gonna have 100% female trouts. You are not gonna have any males. So if you want to know how they do that look
at my video how to maximize fish production. You’re going to find the video in Melbourne
Aquaponics videos and it’s going to blow your mind how they make those 100% female populations. But here we are not going to spend any time
talking about this specific topic. We’re gonna leave it because I already talked
about it in the other video. But what I really want to say is that if you
want to maximize the growth of your fish just grow the fish up to one kilo or one kilo and
a half and then you just harvest them and you put new small fish. That’s where you’re going to have the most
growth. It’s very easy to understand. If you put one kilo of small fish they’re
gonna double their weight in few weeks. So you’re gonna have two kilos of fish in
a few weeks only. But if you put only one fish of one kilo it’s
not going to double its weight. It’s not going to go from one kilo to two
kilos in few weeks. It’s gonna take months to do that. So you understand that it’s easier to grow
more weight of fish with small fish than with big fish. You just need to have a lot of small fish
and not just a few big fish. That’s where you maximize your production. So the trout develops eggs right after 2 years,
if you keep them. If you want to keep them after 2 years they’re
going to develop some eggs so it’s not real eggs actually. The egg is when you got the fecundation of
the ovule with the sperm but before that, they create what we call the ovocytes. They are not even ovules yet. They are just before the ovule actually and
they develop them inside their body but the rainbow trouts they generally come with spawns
by themselves. So you have to strip them. If you want to grow really big trout you have
to strip which means to remove the eggs from the body of the female. We don’t have to open the female. Just when the female is ready, when the eggs
are ready, they are mature. If you catch the female and you just give
it a massage of the belly, you’re going to be able to basically remove the eggs from
the body and you can keep them on a little bucket and then you can put a bit of salt
on it and you can eat them. They are really good. It’s called trout caviar. You can find it in some supermarkets and it’s
very, very good to eat. So keep in mind that you have to do that. If you don’t remove the eggs from the body
of the female, most of the time the eggs start to rot inside the body and the female start
to have some infection and most of the time they fall sick and they die. So if you want to keep a big fish you have
to remove the eggs In aquaculture what they do when they want
to produce really big trouts they use triploid trout which is trout that are basically 3
chromosomes, not 2 and therefore they don’t develop any eggs. They’re sterilized so because they are sterilized
they basically don’t create any eggs and therefore they only put their growth into the flesh. So they grow up very fast and the fish farmers
are able to get some really nice big fish without having to strip or to do any specific
thing and without losing some energy in the eggs. So in terms of fish food, trouts as I said
before they are quite domesticated. So the fish farmers have developed some really,
really good fish food that is really adapted to the needs of trout. So if you are keeping trout in aquaponics
you may be interested to give them some live food which is great but if you are using fish
food pellets or dry food so make sure that you buy a fish food that is adapted to the
trout. Trout are actually predators and they need
a specific quantity of fish meal into their food. If they don’t get that they’re going to
struggle to grow. You know, they need a lot of omega-3 and polyunsaturated
fats that come from the fish meal. So make sure that you use a fish food that
is adapted to the needs of trouts. In terms of behaviour trouts are predators
which means that they got this genetically, this ability to be dominant and to try to
catch other the fish. So when you keep your trout, you need to keep
them all of the same size. If you mix the sizes you can’t. You know, you can’t mix a fish of one year
with a fish of two years. Otherwise, the big one is going to eat the
small one. But what is also very important to understand
is that they got the territorial behaviour which means that by nature they claim their
territory And if you put few fish together in your tank, one of them is going to become
dominant and it’s going to chase the others around and the others are going to be stressed
and they are not going to grow and one of them, the dominant is going to grow. It’s going to eat all the food. It’s going to grow super-fast while the
others are basically stressed and not eating, not feeding well. So sometimes they fall sick and sometimes
they simply die. So you want to avoid that and this happens
when you put a few fish in a big tank. But if you put a lot of fish then you got
this kind of society effect where the fish are growing together but they don’t really
recognize each other and therefore, you don’t have any that is going to become dominant. So with predatorious fish you have to maintain
them in a minimum density. So what I recommend is to have 10 kilos of
fish per cubic meter of water. So you know that in aquaculture, we can push
them up to above 100 kilos of fish per cubic meter of water which is 10% of fish per water. That’s a lot, but in aquaponics, I recommend
10 kilos, 10 to 20, you know. It’s really good because at this level, the
fish can’t really recognize each other. So you still have this cool effect you know,
the society effect. So the fish are not going to attack each other
but at the same time, there are not too many of them. So they are not too much stressed, which means
that they are going to grow in good conditions and you are not going to have too many diseases
on your fish. So talking about disease, there are few diseases
that can attack the trout. First there are some viruses. So the virus attacks the fish especially in
cold water so what you want to do if you have virus on your fish is try to increase the
water temperature. It’s not very easy but in aquaponics, most
of the time we don’t have this virus. It’s more in the big farms In the big farms
when the water is cold yes we can have some virus and it can just kill the whole population
and there is not much they can do. The only thing you can do when you get a virus
is to give better conditions for the fish hoping that the body of the fish is going
to be able to fight against the virus. But there is no real solution to basically
save your fish. So the best thing is really to prevent it
and to put your fish in good conditions at the very beginning so it’s going to avoid
them to develop the disease. Another type of disease that you can have
is bacteria. So on trout there are few bacteria that are
really well known and when they are onto your fish they can just jump from one trout to
the other and you can have the disease everywhere. So some of them are called Yersinia and furunculosis. So those two ones, in fish farms they sometimes
use some vaccines so they inject the fish with a vaccine and the fish develop the immune
system against those specific diseases. In aquaponics, we are not going to inject
the fish. Because we are in very low density, we have
very few chances to get those diseases. So we just take the risk. But most of the time the fish don’t fall
sick, don’t get those specific diseases. So in aquaculture as well when they see the
disease happening and when the fish are starting to fall sick they use a lot of antibiotics
to kill the disease because they are bacteria. Right? In aquaponics, we can’t use any antibiotics
because it will affect also the bacteria of the system. Right? So we don’t want to use any antibiotics and
even it’s completely against what we want. We want to produce a food that is sustainable
and healthy. That’s the aim of aquaponics. That’s why we spend a bit of time and we give
so much love to our garden so we are not going to put any pesticide or any antibiotics in
the system. We want to grow the fish as natural as possible. That’s why we work at giving the best conditions
for the fish. In this case we avoid the disease. But what can happen on the fish is the third
type of disease. It’s the parasites. So there are different types of parasites. There are some little crustaceans. Costia is one of them. So they can develop on the skin of the fish
and on the scales on the fins and in the gills. Unfortunately, those little parasites are
quite common. It’s not very rare to see them and in the
fish farms they are everywhere every day. They have to treat with chemicals to basically
try to minimize this quantity of parasites. In Aquaponics, we are in low density so again,
we hope to not have too many of them but sometimes they come. Same as fungus you know fungus they can grow
on the skin of the fish and they can happen as well in aquaponics especially if the fish
are a bit stressed or if the water is not in the specific range of temperature that
the fish like. So if you got those diseases have a look at
the specific video. I made how to treat your fish against disease
or something like this. I made a specific video about disease on fish
and basically what I recommend is to fish your fish and to put them in a salt bath because
the salt is going to attack the parasites. You know, if you give the fish a salt bath
around 10 grams per litre of water it’s going to basically kill the parasites. The parasites are going to fall down and then
you can put your fish back into your fish tank as they’re going to be cleaned from parasites. So that’s one of the techniques we use to
get rid of the disease in aquaponics. Another type of trout that is very interesting,
we’re still in the rainbow trout, but now it’s a golden trout. Golden trout are the same species as a rainbow
trout but the only difference is that they develop a specific colour. So if you look at the colour of a golden trout,
they’re going to be all yellow which is fantastic for us because we would like to see the fish
and in a pond you know, the pond that’s often black. So when you put a rainbow trout in a black
pond, you don’t see it because the trouts are grey, black as well and basically they
adapt their colour to the colour of the pond. So you basically can’t see your trout in a
black pond. But when you put a golden trout then it’s
all yellow. So you’d really see it and it looks amazing. I mean, it’s almost an ornamental fish such
as gold fish, you know. So a good thing is that the golden trout they
look good. They also taste good because they taste exactly
the same as a rainbow trout. So they look exceptional, they taste exceptional
and they have exactly the same requirements as the rainbow trouts. So if you can have some yeah I really recommend
to grow some in aquaponics They are really good fish to have. If you want to put fish in a dam or outside
in an exposed area, don’t put yellow trout or golden trout because unfortunately the
birds can spot them very easily and as soon as you got the predators they’re gonna attack
them and they’re gonna find them. They’re going to catch them super easily. So if you put trouts on the dam I would still
recommend to use normal rainbow trouts and not the golden trout. So you may wonder where to find trouts because
yes today I sell you the species. It’s a really good species to have. I kept a lot of trouts and I grew a lot of
them in aquaponics and I really like the species but where to find them? Well, there is no real super way to find them. There is no one shop to find little trouts. We call them fingerlings. But what you can do is to go out to the closest
fish pond. So the trout farms most of the time they’re
going to be happy to sell you a few fish if you buy a hundred of them or even 50 or 20
of them whatever. You go then. It may cost you $1 per fish or whatever and
then you got your fish home when you go there in the same time you can buy the fish food
that they use at the farm so then you got the specific adapted fish food and you can
grow them in aquaponics. So I hope you enjoyed this video and you now
want to grow some trouts because it’s really a cool fish to grow. Just make sure you are not in a tropical country
because again, if your water temperature is not adapted you are not going to be able to
grow trout in good conditions. If you are new to aquaponics don’t forget
to get the free guide from the description just below. This guide is going to give you all the limits
and their different ratio to respect in aquaponics. It’s going to give you the best step to respect
in order to build an aquaponics setup in the best conditions. If you enjoyed the video please give it a
like and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to receive all the new videos and
all the new tips that I’m giving you every week. See you in the next video. Bye-bye. Don’t forget to get your free gift from this
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video. Subscribe to the channel and see my last video. I really hope to see you soon and I wish you
a fantastic success with aquaponics. Have a good crop!

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