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Portable Farms just announced a "Salmon Aquaponics System" - (portablefarm dot com slash farm2011 slash salmon-aquaponics).  I'm pretty surprised by this as I thought salmon were salt-water fish.  The entire web page just talks about dealing with temperature differentials.  Anyone have any idea what is going on here?  Why wouldn't you just call that a Trout System?

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Why so skeptical?  This is a great system.  I hear it also feeds the fish itself, nets them out, fillets them and makes you a salad at the same time.  

This is fun, if slightly odd.

Carey, I think your comment for Ms Hull should have been addressed to me, although I am not sure why the "You little person you" is strictly necessary or appropriate amongst members.  My post was clearly intended as a humorous parody of Portable Farms (given that this is specifically noted in the original post), but it was also intended to demonstrate that the process is far more involved than just throwing a heat exchanger onto an aquaponics system.  I am thoroughly heartened to hear though that my "off-the-cuff" idea has merit and has already been used by yourself.

As for the "joke being on you" - well this is part of a wider discussion of whether we even should be farming salmon in an aquaponics system.  Perhaps I am being elitist, but having been brought up enjoying fresh salmon from a river, caught by a chap with a fishing rod, the taste of farmed salmon leaves me completely cold.  I find it a vastly inferior product that is quite frankly bland and insipid in taste by comparison.

The joke, Carey, is in fact on the consumer, who pays through the roof for an inferior product without ever knowing what decent salmon ever really tastes like.  Now some may argue that if it sells, who cares? but that doesn't work for me.  To justify the expense of investigating, studying and then setting up a salmon-based aquaponics system that may or may not work  -  only to get such a poor product at the end of it, is very difficult for me to understand.

I suspect one of the big issues with the quality of farmed salmon as well as many other types of farmed fish, is what they are fed.  The wild caught fish are all going to have far better omega 3 ratios which is one of the main reasons people want to eat fish for their health.  But if we are feeding the fish mostly corn and soy because it is cheaper, then the ratios in the fish flesh is going to be far closer to the omega 3 ratios in corn and soy than in the wild fish.  Same issue with grain fed beef as opposed to grass fed beef.

So Once we sort out more on sustainable and Non GMO (and less/no grain) fish feeds, we may have something we can feed salmon that will make farming salmon more worthwhile.  I expect these things will make feeding any type of fish better for us and the planet.  But it is all kinda beside the point to me since I'm not about to try to make a snow ski resort in Florida nor am I about to try to grow trout or salmon in Florida seeing as there are plenty of other climate appropriate fish for me to grow.

With wild populations crashing, toxins accumulating and ocean-based fish farms full of disease, I'd say there's a big need for fresh healthy fish raised in an environmentally-safe and sustainable way.  It won't be long before more people will ask for a safe and healthy alternative to what's currently available at the store.

Granted, it might just turn out that we have to stop consuming some fish species altogether, until some daring innovator can figure out a way to make it profitable....and tasty!

... to produce 1kg of salmon you need to feed it about 4kg of whitebait, herring etc etc.  In this case, using 4kg of fish... to get 1kg of other fish does not seem to me to be a particularly sustainable practice, especially given that excess salmon production now means that on-shore salmon prices can now be up to 90% less than they were 10yrs ago.

I agree Averan, consumers should get educated on what is available... I know so little about the incredibly diverse fish that are out there (and I hope that I know a little more than most) but I my knowledge is insufficient, and so we are like a stuck record that gets into a groove..."salmon is good, salmon is good" and find it hard to break that cycle.  Aquaponics could take the lead for offering diversity.. "try this, now try this, now try this!"... and perhaps that is where we can make a difference (although we all use mostly the same fish as well!).  I think that this could be an exciting area to develop aquaponics into.

That's an incredibly bad FCR...

Rainbow Trout have an FCR closer to 1:1 ... if you're going to cool the water... why on earth would you do it for Salmon.. in preference to Rainbow Trout??

 

Edited :- .. I suppose we should talk apples and apples... the trout FCR... is based on a pellet feed... do you happen to know the Salmon FCR based on a pellet feed??


 
Japan Aquaponics - アクアポニックス 日本 said:

... to produce 1kg of salmon you need to feed it about 4kg of whitebait, herring etc etc.  In this case, using 4kg of fish... to get 1kg of other fish does not seem to me to be a particularly sustainable practice, especially given that excess salmon production now means that on-shore salmon prices can now be up to 90% less than they were 10yrs ago.

exactly. the only reasons that I can think of are... salmon is better know than trout and is considered more of a luxury... and therefore looks better if using it to advertise your product.

On a personal note, I really want to try rainbow trout as I used to catch these when I was a child and so it has a nice nostalgia feel for me.. and just such lovely looking and tasting fish.

In Japan we have 4 distinct seasons with quite large temperature variations.  We are considering trout next year once the weather cools down.  Has anyone had any particular successes, or failures with trout?  I am curious as to to what temp levels they will actually tolerate, as opposed to what is commonly recommended?

Yeah, dry feed weight, non GMO salmon are terrible at weight gain.  That's why there's been so much research on GMO salmon.  They also have major problems with pollution from salmon farms as a result- all that protein not turned into fish flesh becomes pollution. . . Salmon farming is a terrible waste of fish meal.  - oh and they require really really high protein feeds.

RupertofOZ said:

That's an incredibly bad FCR...

Rainbow Trout have an FCR closer to 1:1 ... if you're going to cool the water... why on earth would you do it for Salmon.. in preference to Rainbow Trout??

 

Edited :- .. I suppose we should talk apples and apples... the trout FCR... is based on a pellet feed... do you happen to know the Salmon FCR based on a pellet feed??


 
Japan Aquaponics - アクアポニックス 日本 said:

... to produce 1kg of salmon you need to feed it about 4kg of whitebait, herring etc etc.  In this case, using 4kg of fish... to get 1kg of other fish does not seem to me to be a particularly sustainable practice, especially given that excess salmon production now means that on-shore salmon prices can now be up to 90% less than they were 10yrs ago.

sounds to me like they are the perfect plant fertilizer producing machines!  so if you shift your focus to growing maximum plants and can do so with water temps cool enough for salmon, then you might just have a highly productive AP farm.

Maybe some temperate climate location greenhouse using an underground heat exchanger could make this profitable?

..sounds good... but don't forget that we are talking about maturing salmon here.  Smolts live in the freshwater for up to a few years but are not really suitable for eating.  So in an aquaponics system you end up with something that is there simply to poop... in normal quantities and without the benefit of adding anything more (like money when you sell it).  I have never eaten smolt and have no idea if people even do eat it!  Might as well stick with Tilapia or something which has a much quicker lifecycle.

...the larger salmon which are prolific poopers and which eat so much... need the saltwater system to do this.  I think it has something to do with hormones which cause this need for saltwater, and which allows the salmon to osmoregulate(?).  The question is then how to use saltwater with the plants?

I don't know exactly why salmon need the seawater (and there are a very tiny percentage of salmon which do not undertake such a migration (landlocked salmon) but given that it would be much easier if they could be completely raised in freshwater - then if the salmon farms havent found a way to do it... then I am not sure that there would be an easy way?

Click click Averan. I like the way you think.
@ Ms Hull...oops, sorry.
@ Japan: Hey, I guess I got touched off at all the bashing and ended jumping on ya kinda heavy. I apologize. I'm an addicted pole/fly fisherman from Seattle,so I understand what you are talking about both in taste and the fact that most consumers today are eating crap. The project I was involved in eventually turned bust..as with most of my projects so far. However, I believe the effort was valiant and only lacked the right combination of knowledge (which we still don't have, but I'm working on it).

Should we eat Salmon? Probably not. Are we going to stop? Hell No! So it is up to us, to provide solutions, no matter how crazy it seems to the general populace. As long as it is not a deliberate scam, I believe any and every method should be tried and examined; for we learn best from our failures.

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