Can you use Bluegill in your Aquaponics system?
Some people think that you can only use Talapia for aquaponics but the truth is you can really use any fish. Including pond fish like Koi and Goldfish. But to me part of aquaponics is being self-sustaining. That means you should be able to eat everything – including the fish. Now in the winter months it is a challenge to keep the Talapia alive without an expensive heater.
Talapia require water temp of at least 65 degrees.
That is why Bluegill are a great choice for Aquaponics.
Bluegill will thrive in cold water and do just fine when it gets warm. And they are delicious as well. The bluegill is noted for the darkened spot that it has on the posterior edge of the gills and base of the dorsal fin. The sides of its head and chin are a dark shade of blue The bluegill typically ranges in size from four to 12 inches, and reaches a maximum size just over 16 inches. The bluegill is most commonly related to the orangespotted sunfish and the redear sunfish.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY:
Bluegills occur throughout many springs and small streams to large rivers, reservoirs, swamps, and private ponds. They have a protracted spawning season lasting from April into September. Nests are prepared on shallow sand and gravel bars in small to medium streams. The male constructs nests in shallow backwater areas of rivers and reservoirs, frequently near largemouth bass nests. Bluegill are routinely stocked in lakes and ponds as food for largemouth bass. They are an excellent game fish, especially for young anglers, and their white, flaky meat is quite tasty. Bluegill live for five to six years in the wild. Most aquaponic users find that they are large enough to eat and can be caught at the end of each season. Replacing them each spring with fingerlings.
Bluegill can also be used to keep algae mowed down in a Koi pond or water garden. They will coexist very well with all of your pond critters like Koi, goldfish and turtles. You will even notice them eating the same food you are feeding other pond fish.