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Small aquaponics setup-- Stocking question


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Hi All,

I am setting up a small outdoor aquaponics setup (two twenty gallon longs will be the aquariums involved). The water from the aquariums will be pumped through grow beds to fertilize plants, then returned to the aquariums. I am (obviously given the small size of the aquariums) not looking at food fish, just fun fish to look at and produce waste. The tanks can be somewhat overstocked in terms of filtration needs, given their connection to the aquaponics beds. 

The question I have for the community is-- what fish should I stock? Here are my parameters/restrictions: medium hardness, neutral pH water, one medium coop sponge filter and one additional airstone per aquarium (for peak oxygenation on hot days). The biggest issue, imo, is the temperature. The system will be near Charlotte, NC so it can get hot in the summer (90s) so I need fish that can handle that as well as some cool nights. In the fall, the fish will migrate to my pond so they need to be able to handle some cold but it won't freeze as they can get to three feet deep. So far, the only fish I have come up with that could handle these relative extremes are maybe:


Mosquito Fish


I am hopeful that the community will come up with some other options. I am leaning to stocking one of the aquariums with ricefish since they are proven to handle these temps in small pot ponds in Japan, but would love to do something different with the other one. I was intrigued by Cory's video at Carl Trochu's outdoor fish room in Miami. Would some livebearers be an option along those lines?

Thanks in advance for the help!


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On 7/6/2022 at 1:10 PM, AquaHobbyist123 said:

From NC as well.

Goldfish would be a good option if the setup was bigger as they are quite messy fish. Will the aquaponics setup be in any shade?

It will be partial sun. I’m worried that the temps will simply get too high for goldfish…

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