While largemouth bass can be sensitive in aquaponics and they’re certainly not a beginner fish due to cost if done right they can be significantly profitable. The largemouth bass is Not always profitable Beginner Fish.
Part of what makes them such a great choice is the fact that they not only adapt, but thrive in a range of temperatures.
They’re also beautiful and grow to larger sizes than many of the other species typically used in aquaponics.
In fact, adults regularly hit 16 to 32 pounds depending on how many gallons your tank holds, also, their diet will have huge factors.
Beyond that, this carnivorous fish is quite delicious and that fact more than makes up for its relatively slow growth rate.
In this article we’ll be talking about the largemouth bass, what sort of environment they prefer. How you can set up your system to best grow these beautiful, but picky behemoths.
We will also share with you the cost and profits one can expect with raising largemouth bass.
Largemouths Bass Can Live in Low or High Temperatures while in Aquaponics
As one of America’s favorite game species, the largemouth bass makes a wonderful candidate for a more dedicated aquaponics user.
They tend to be a cool water fish, but can live swell in temperatures ranging from 50°F to 90°F with a water PH between five and ten.
Part of the reason that they can be attractive to an aquaponics grower is the fact that they can still pack on the pounds on either end of this range.
Though, just like with any fish, they tend to grow slower in colder water. That said, they experience their most prolific growth between 60 and 75 degrees.
They can be sensitive to ammonia levels and require daily testing to ensure an ideal water chemistry.
Their ideal PH is between 6.5 and 8.5 and the most important part of growing this species is monitoring the quality of your water.
Largemouth bass are the state fish in no less than five American states. This includes places like Georgia, Mississippi, and Indiana as well as Florida and Alabama.
Even Tennessee recognizes the largemouth as the king of the sport fish.
It seems like each state has their own, affectionate nickname for the species from bucketmouths to largies.
In other words, America loves the largemouth bass. And that means that breeding the largemouth bass can be a profitable venture for the kind of grower who has a lot of space and pays close attention to detail.
Since largemouth bass are such a valued sport fish, the fry and fingerlings are highly marketable to other growers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Larger fish are used both for stocking private ponds and as a delicious source of meat at somewhere around $20 a pound live.
They have ample muscle with a gorgeous, sought after taste the world over.
Overall, as a food and sport fish, the largemouth bass is definitely a heavy contender with a high marketability for aquaponics
Large Mouths but Slow Growers
Largemouth bass are, admittedly, on the slower end of the growth scale when it comes to the aquaponics fish world.
Rather than the 6 to 9 months it takes tilapia to reach harvesting size, the mighty bucketmouth can take anywhere from 12 to 24 months to grow to their prime eating size.
Sexual maturity comes at 24 to 36 months depending on what lines you’re working with and they can be quite finicky when it comes to a breeding program.
When you put all this together it makes for a slightly less attractive fish for the average home grower.
But if you’re looking to do something a little extra and you have space.
Then this is an extremely profitable species to grow regardless of whether or not you plan raise the young.
Keep a Lid on It
If you’re looking to start setting up your very own largemouth bass program, then don’t forget to cover your tanks.
These active fish do not do as well in small spaces and may try to jump from their tank if they become stressed.
This fish doesn’t even like to be handled, so leaping out of the water onto what’s likely to be a cement floor would mean certain death to such an unlucky individual.
When you’re talking about a potentially $240 to $540 per largemouth bass, even a single loss can significantly hurt your profits.
So rather than leaving it up to chance or relying on the idea that the quality of your care will always be enough, it’s best to just cover the tank.
Less Light is More
Another reason to cover your tank is that largies don’t like a lot of light.
Despite the fact that this species is typically a surface feeder, bright light tends to stress them out.
In the wild they’d live in deep, dark lakes where hiding from a potential predator isn’t a problem.
Since you’re limited on space and don’t want to completely mimic the murkiness of their environment.
An opaque tank with a solid lid not only keeps them in, but gives them the privacy they need to keep from getting too stressed.
Don’t Overdo the Bananas
Out of all the things the largemouth bass can be sensitive about, one unlikely quirk of this aquaponics marvel is their sensitivity to potassium levels.
To avoid this issue, grow plants that require less potassium to thrive so you can avoid adding excess potassium to your water.
One of the main sources for potassium when it comes to fish lies in their food, so be careful when you’re choosing the right diet for your stock.
A feed specifically formulated for largemouth bass or a well calculated homemade diet are both great options.
But if you haven’t got the time to measure out ingredients and you can’t find a species-specific food you like.
Make sure to read labels thoroughly and compare brands to make sure that you’re buying the safest food for your fish that you possibly can.
If you do feed Largemouth bass bananas you will have no profits left!
Not a Beginner Fish
At 1 to 2 inches long, a group of 100 little largemouth bass will cost you somewhere in the $90 range.
By the time they reach 6 inches that investment has multiplied to over $300.
Once largemouth bass hit a pound, the cost goes up exponentially and there’s a good reason for that.
These are not a fish suitable for most beginner farmers.
They’re sensitive to water quality and can easily be stressed by over handling as well as overstocking.
Setting largemouth bass up usually costs more as well due to an increase in the size of the space required to grow them in bulk.
If you have a big system with heavy needs and plenty of time, then the largemouth just might work out for you.
But before you rush online and order yourself up a bunch of fry, first consider if your set up is actually is big enough.
Where you’d like to go from there?
If you’ll have the time to dedicate to daily water monitoring.
Adjustments for what will likely end up being multiple tanks for up to two years.
To round it off, the largemouth bass is an industrious fish that adapts well to a decently wide range of temperatures.
Largies can be sensitive to water quality and light.
Largemouth bass has ample, great tasting flesh and can be quite profitable for their meat depending on your area and licensing.
They require a fair amount of space compared to some more commonly farmed fish due to their size.
Still growing at a slower pace than most.
But if you’re patient, the amount of meat you’ll get out of your largemouth aquaponics system will be well worth the wait.