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We Have Fish

After all the drought years of the last decade, We have just recently spent a small fortune lining our dams so we have water security.  As a side benefit, it also means we can now try out growing  fish.

During our time in Cuba, we realised just how productive aquaculture can be.  Cubans grow mostly tilapia and nowadays clarias catfish, neither of which are spectacular eating quality and both of which are potential environmental problems.  They do, however grow in tiny little garden ponds, live on weeds and insects, grow spectacularly fast, and are a good source of protein.

We’ve decided to try Australian native silver perch, which supposedly are excellent eating quality and will grow successfully in our relatively small dam.  They are native to the Murray-Darling system, but since they need flowing water and migration to breed, they are now listed as vulnerable.  They won’t breed successfully in the still water of our dam, but hopefully they will grow and in a year or two we will be able to begin eating them.

They should survive and grow on just the natural food available in the dam ecosystem.  The biggest threat is likely to be wild ducks and other birds that might decide they are part of the food chain too.

We bought 100 fingerlings from a fish hatchery called Aquablue Seafoods near Newcastle.  They work out at just over $1 each,  arrived overnight in a polystyrene box, and we’ve now released them into the dam.  It will be interesting to see how they go.


{ 8 comments… add one }
  • tricia October 8, 2010, 8:29 pm

    Sounds like fun! I’d love to have an aquculture set up one day. Good luck. looking forward to your silver perch recipes. 🙂

  • Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial October 8, 2010, 8:57 pm

    Linda, fantastic! Pete and I looked at aquaponics earlier this year, but it’s a very expensive set up, so we haven’t gone any further with the idea. If we did do it, I was hoping to raise rainbow trout – are they an acceptable option? The problem is of course that we would have to actually feed them – there wouldn’t be enough natural food for them. I’ll be fascinated to see how this project develops – I hope you’ll keep us posted! Thanks.. 🙂

  • Frogdancer October 9, 2010, 7:13 am

    Good luck!

  • Leanne in Wingatui, New Zealand October 9, 2010, 11:53 am

    Good luck with the fishies 🙂

  • Kirsty@BowerbirdBlue October 20, 2011, 8:16 pm

    wondering if they have survived?

  • Linda October 21, 2011, 10:52 am

    Hi Kirsty, they have, they seem to be about 20 cm now. We are thinking about harvesting the first of them soon.

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