Silver perch have been farmed commercialy for decades. They are an ideal fish for growing in ponds and raceways. They will also grow in tanks, however some tank systens do not produce perfect results. For reasons not fully understood, some tank systems seem to result in a growth barrier at about 300-350 grams. For hobby backyard aquaponic systems this probably won't be a problem as 350 grams is still a good plate size whole fish. Back in 1916 silver perch were seen as a canderdate for aquaculture. In the early 1980's commercial production was trialed by the pioneers of a now well established industry. The species is now grown commercially in many countries arround the world. The species is most popular in Asian countries. They have the potential to grow to about 6-8 kilo. (Depending on which scientist you spaek to.)
This is an Australian native species from the Murray Darling River Basin. This is the largest river basin in Australia, covering a very large inland area of Australia with a broad climate range. Parts of the basin are quite arid. Temperature ranges are broad and water chemistry vaires considerably. This all adds up to a sturdy fish that is not too demanding on the grower. Best results are achieved at optum temperatures and water quality. A temperature range between 23C and 28C is best, but they will tolerate as low as *2C and as high as 37C. (*Fisheries Action Program Australian Department of Environment 2002.)
Professional growers achieve 600 to 800 grams in less than 18 months. They grow on a range of commercial diets, with a wide range of fat and protein contents. Silver perch are known to have very high levels of benificial omega-3. Research has shown they have one of the highest levels of omega-3 in seafood tested by the CSIRO. Click for details. It is noteworthy that the omega-3 content of the flesh will vairy according the died used to grow the fish. This means they not only are an excellent table fish, but they are also very healthy to eat !
FOR THE FARM DAM
Silver Perch are omnivorous and will thrive in most farm dams.
They will eat worms and most other aquatic life including weeds. Should you add fingerlings in the future the older fish are very unlikely to eat the new fingerlings. They readily take artificial food, such as aquaculture pellets, chook pellets or bread. Bread or chook foods are not the best of diets for fish but will do in small quantities. Aquaculture pellets are a properly balanced diet and fish will thrive on these commercially available foods.
As the Silver Perch soon come to know when they will be fed, they will be ready and waiting near the surface at feeding time. We recommend Silver Perch be fed during the late evening. If they are fed early in the morning there is a risk that birds may eat your fish before you are up and about, especially in summer when it is light very early. (Remember the fish will be congregating in one spot waiting to be fed.) Feeding Silver Perch just before sunset will provide a spectacular display for your friends and visitors. A great talking point for a barbie.
Silver Perch can be stocked at about 300-400 per hectare if they are not fed, and up to 1000 per hectare if their food is to be supplemented artificially.
Silver Perch that have been fed are very easy to catch, just add a hook to their food!? Otherwise use worms fished on the bottom with a very light float.
Silver Perch are excellent eating but can sometimes have a weedy or muddy flavour. It is best to hold live fish in very clean water for a week if the flavour is not pleasant. Alternatively, only take fish for eating from your dam during dry spells when there is no run-off into the dam, and water is clear.
Silver Perch are now produced on large fish-farms for the restaurant trade. They are well known for their delicate melt-in-the-mouth texture. They also have one of the highest omega-3 levels of over 200 sea-foods tested by the CSIRO. More information about Silver Perch’s omega-3.
Ausyfish can supply silver perch for commercial growers and back yard hobbyists. Click for prices and more details.
Ausyfish can have you fish delivered and are very experienced shippers of live fingerlings and fry. Click for delivery information.