Have you ever considered raising fish in your backyard?
If not, this article might change your mind. The reason I say that is as homesteaders our goal is to be as self-sufficient as possible. So why wouldn’t you utilize an opportunity for another meat source in your backyard?
Well, today I’m going to give you a few tips to get started.
Hopefully, by the time you read this, you’ll be ready to add ‘fish farmer’ to your already long homesteading resume.
What Types of Fish Farming Are There?
When you go to the grocery store and buy fish most of them are farmed. This doesn’t mean that they all are raised in tiny tanks.
Instead, there are actually two different types of fish farming: intensive and extensive. Extensive fish farming means that the company that raises the fish uses large ponds to raise them in. These fish live a somewhat natural lifestyle because these ponds have their own ecosystem, and the fish eat from that.
However, intensive fish farming is when the company utilizes smaller tanks to raise the fish in. It requires a lot of management (as you might imagine) in order to produce a lot of fish in such a small space.
Yet, it should be mentioned, you have both of these options for your backyard too, depending upon how much space you have.
What to Raise Your Fish In?
There are really four main ways to raise fish in your backyard. You can raise your fish in a farm pond, backyard koi pond, a swimming pool, or you can go the in-depth route of aquaponics.
Though I won’t go into great detail about aquaponics in this article, here is a great resource about aquaponics to help you if you decide that you’d like to go that route.
But I’m not covering the topic much because it is really a way to raise both plants and fish. While I understand a lot of people would like to do both in their backyard, some do not.
So I thought it better to just stick to the topic of raising fish in your backyard. Which is why the first three options I mentioned could possibly be the simplest when raising fish in your backyard.
How to Form Your Fish Ecosystem
Whether you do fish farming in a pond, swimming pool, or a koi pond you have to feed your fish. You can purchase fish pellets to feed them daily if you wish.
But one way to feed your fish for (basically) free is to create your own ecosystem. If you have a farm pond, over time an ecosystem should form on its own.
However, if you don’t, you can create an ecosystem over time with a few simple items.
So here is how you get started:
1. Fill Up Your Area With Water
Whether you are using a pong, koi pond, or swimming pool (above or in ground), you’ll need to fill it with regular water.
Once the water is in the pool or pond you’ll need to leave it untreated. Don’t add chlorine or any other chemical that you might otherwise use to keep the water clean.
2. Add Fish
I will discuss later what types of fish you can raise in your backyard the easiest. But for now, you’ll just need to add whatever fish you choose raise into your water.
To start, you’ll have to feed the fish since they won’t have an ecosystem to depend upon.
However, over time, fish die. When they do, you’ll actually need to leave them there because this helps in building the ecosystem.
3. Add Urine and Feeder Organisms
Finally, you’ll need to add urine and other feeder organisms that will add to the ecosystem and help to keep everything clean for the fish.
There is a variety of filter feeder organisms available so you’ll have to see what is easiest to purchase in your area.