Backyard fish?
May 9, 2008 10:31 PM   Subscribe

Can I raise fish for eating in my back yard?

A friend mentioned recently that he'd visited communities in the Philippines where, apparently, folks kept small, personal fish ponds for personal consumption. Surely there are resources on how to do something like this in my urban setting. Any suggestions?
posted by serazin to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
It can indeed be done. I considered it when I had an above ground pool and decided that I would never swim in it, apparently you can indeed raise a variety of fish in your own back yard.

Think of trout farms, basically large ponds with pumps to move the water, food goes in, fish come out. There's obviously more to it than that, but I can't see why you couldn't succesfully scale it down.
posted by tomble at 11:11 PM on May 9, 2008

The Backyard Fish Farm.
posted by amyms at 11:12 PM on May 9, 2008

tomble beat me to it. As a side note, my son raised a couple of bluegill in our backyard pond a few years ago. We never ate them, but we certainly could have.
posted by amyms at 11:14 PM on May 9, 2008

It will be very expensive to set up, you will almost certainly need one if not several permits, and it will need constant care (as in daily monitoring). You will need to raise a LOT of fish to make it worth doing as anything but a hobby.

Ask yourself, do I like cleaning fish?

I bet there is a pond not far from where you live where you could catch a bunch of fish to eat for free. Bluegills and small bass are very, very tasty. And unlike the raising fish, catching fish is a blast.
posted by Patapsco Mike at 6:19 AM on May 10, 2008

A long time ago, a friend of mine raised tilapia in his back yard in Wisconsin. These folks combine tilapia-raising with hyrdroponics for fish plus veggies. See also this long article from Mother Earth News.
posted by PatoPata at 7:40 AM on May 10, 2008 [2 favorites]

You can also raise freshwater prawns.
posted by Ostara at 9:08 AM on May 10, 2008

A how-to book. And another. And a magazine. [free issue, opens as a PDF]

A forum.

Catfish (The Managing Recreational Fish Ponds link at the bottom is especially helpful.)

More catfish and tilapia (mostly interesting for the photos of a small set-up in what appears to be an above-ground swimming pool)


Try googling "Small scale aquaculture" and "backyard aquaculture" for more. You can also google aquaponics, which often involves farming fish and produce in a mutually supportive system.
posted by jamaro at 10:27 AM on May 10, 2008

Thanks folks for the links. It seems to be a lot of work - more than I'm prepared for at the moment. I think I'll start with chickens and maybe revisit this idea in a few years.

(Favorite pull quote from the answers above: Ask yourself, do I like cleaning fish?)
posted by serazin at 3:45 PM on May 10, 2008

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