SILVER PERCH - High in Omega-3
Did you know how healthy silver perch fingerlings will be when they grow to table size?
They are a super food. Click here to find out more about just how healthy silver perch and jade perch are. They are full of healthy Omega-3. CSIRO tests* showed that Australian jade perch contained an incredible 2,483mg/100gm of omega-3 oils, and Australian silver perch had 792mg/100gms of omega-3.
*This testing was conducted at the CSIRO Marine Research Laboratories, Hobart as part of an FRDC project 99/331.
Silver perch fingerlings are an ideal fish for ponds and dams. Be sure to check that it is legal to put them in your dam first. Find more here. They are also good for aquaponics in cooler climates where jade perch won't handle the winter water temperatures. When grown in tanks, silver perch fingerlings will grow to about 300 to 350 grams in about a year, given reasonable growing conditions. Unless it is a flow through system, then they will keep growing to reach about 500 to 800 grams in one and a half to two years. In Singapore they have grown to 1 kg in 12 months. That's because Singapore has a year round tropical climate.
Silver perch have been farmed commercially for decades. They are an ideal fish for growing in ponds and raceways. They will also grow in tanks, however some tank systems do not produce perfect results. For reasons not fully understood, some tank systems seem to result in a growth barrier at about 300-350 grams. For hobby backyard aquaponic systems this probably won't be a problem as 350 grams is still a good plate size whole fish. Back in 1916 silver perch were seen as a canderdate for aquaculture. In the early 1980's commercial production was trialed by the pioneers of a now well established industry. The species is now grown commercially in many countries arround the world. The species is most popular in Asian countries. They have the potential to grow to about 6-8 kilos. (Depending on which scientist you speak to.)
This is an Australian native species from the Murray Darling River Basin. This is the largest river basin in Australia, covering a very large inland area of Australia with a broad climate range. Parts of the basin are quite arid. Temperature ranges are broad and water chemistry varies considerably. This all adds up to a sturdy fish that is not too demanding on the grower. Best results are achieved at optum temperatures and water quality. A temperature range between 23C and 28C is best, but they will tolerate as low as *2C and as high as 37C. (*Fisheries Action Program Australian Department of Environment 2002.)
Professional growers achieve 600 to 800 grams in less than 18 months. This is in Australia, where winter pond temperatures result in much slower growth. They grow on a range of commercial diets, with a wide range of fat and protein contents. Silver perch are known to have very high levels of beneficial omega-3. Research has shown they have one of the highest levels of omega-3 in seafood tested by the CSIRO. It is noteworthy that the omega-3 content of the flesh will vary according to the diet used to grow the fish. This means they not only are an excellent table fish, but they are also very healthy to eat !
FOR THE FARM DAM
Silver Perch are omnivorous and will thrive in most farm dams. Click here to see if you can stock them legally in Queensland You need to do your own research for other jurisdictions.
They will eat worms and most other aquatic life including weeds. Should you add fingerlings in the future the older fish are very unlikely to eat the new fingerlings. They readily take artificial food, such as aquaculture pellets, chook pellets or bread. Bread or chook foods are not the best of diets for fish but will do in small quantities. Aquaculture pellets are a properly balanced diet and fish will thrive on these commercially available foods.
As the Silver Perch soon come to know when they will be fed, they will be ready and waiting near the surface at feeding time. I recommend silver perch be fed during the late afternoon. When the shadows are across the water. If they are fed early in the morning there is a risk that birds may eat your fish before you are up and about, especially in summer when it is light very early. Remember the fish will be congregating in one spot waiting to be fed. Feeding silver perch just before sunset will provide a spectacular display for your friends and visitors. A great talking point for a barbie.
Silver Perch can be stocked at about 300-400 per hectare if they are not fed, and up to 1000 per hectare if you can feed them regularly.
Silver Perch that have been fed are very easy to catch, just add a hook to their food!? Otherwise use worms fished on the bottom with a very light float.
Silver Perch are excellent eating but can sometimes have a weedy or muddy flavour. It is best to hold live fish in very clean water for a week if the flavour is not pleasant. Alternatively, only take fish for eating from your dam during dry spells when there is no run-off into the dam, and water is clear, not muddy or green.