After initially populating their tanks with Tilapia, aquaponics farmers will often move on to Catfish. There are many advantages to using Catfish, and here is a basic rundown of why they should be used, and how to care for them.
Benefits of Catfish
Catfish adapt well to an aquaponics tank because in the wild they have to make their homes in a variety of environmental conditions. They also breed with relative ease, and are not territorial. This last factor is particularly important in a polyculture environment, where you have a diversity of species co-existing. If you still have Tilapia in your tank, you don't want to catch your catfish fighting them to the death.
Catfish are also a popular food source for humans, so you may have a more rewarding harvest with catfish than other less appetizing varieties.
How to Introduce Catfish to Your System
Purchase catfish fingerlings from your local pet store or farm supplier. These small fish will typically come in a bag of about 50. Place your fingerling bag unopened inside your aquaponic tank to allow the fish to adjust to the change in water temperature. The next morning, you can open the bag and allow the fish into the main tank.
Caring For Your Catfish
Feed the catfish with a high-protein fish food. Make sure that your filtration system is keeping up with the needs of your habitat, and your catfish will be full grown in about six months.