I just ran across a reference to this herbivore (omnivore)... and wondered why it has not taken its place as a contender in the consumer/AP market.
I did a search and the comments were all from a few years ago. has anybody tried these fish recently? and if so what are the advantages/pitfalls? Not to mention how they taste.
I'm a huge fan of pacu, and it was my first intention to have them drive my aquaponics adventure. They grow very quickly and are excellent table fare (unlike channel cat, which I consider barely tolerable and never mind talking about friggin' tilapi-yuk). For me the things that discouraged me into using channel cats instead were as follows:
Breeding pacu requires facilities and skill level beyond what a typical hobbyist can manage. You need to have a pretty huge pond to grow them to maturity. I know you have that part covered, but you'd also have to keep it at an elevated temperature year 'round to keep them alive, as they don't tolerate cooler water. They don't shed their gametes without chemical stimulation (injection with hormones), and then getting them from fry to fingerlings is another challenge altogether. I figured that if I could find a source of fingerlings, I might be able to raise them to table size in a year, then start all over again, but there is no fingerling supplier I could find in the US. [If you look at Brazilian sites there are breeders who sell fingerlings of all kinds of cool fishies I'd like to try!] Aquarium people don't really like them because they quickly outgrow a typical freshwater tank and they don't play nice with other fish--they bite fins and ultimately kill. One source of pacu is Craigslist--look for people who want to re-home their pacu that they can't manage any more. I didn't think it would be too cool to tell sellers that I plan to grow out their pets and eventually eat them.
Closely related, the silver dollars are as tasty as pacu, but they are panfish-sized and very bony (like all of the characids). They are also relatively easy to breed in captivity, but when my plans switched from a huge, heated indoor tank to an outdoor IBC running at ambient temperature conditions, the tropical fishes were no longer a viable option.
If you lurk at monster fish network (or something like that), there are a few people who specialize in pacu tanks, but I did not find anyone there who had succeeded in breeding them. They also have a bunch of fun videos of pacu eating carrots and recipes for home-made sinking pacu food.
I hope you manage to turn your pool into a pacu farm. I'll be your first customer for fingerlings and for flash-frozen pacu!
Did not know of these fish for AP so I started reading, gee they sure have big teeth...lol