Silver Perch in metro waters / aquaponics

Took the dog for a walk over the weekend and walked around a lake near my house, stopped and had a bit of a gander and was blown away at the size of some the carp, following that first carp I saw about a dozen silver perch at about 40 odd centimetres, probably 30 odd centimetres as fish look bigger in the water and was just blown away as I have not seen silver perch that big in a long time.
The last time was in a big private damn North of Toodyay a few years ago, they were monsters and very fat along with a few big yellowbelly.
Im setting up an aquaponics system and was in the process at getting some silver perch, haha, what a coincidence and may just have to sneakily avoid rangers and grab a couple as there would certainly be quite a few - havent made my mind up on that yet though as I have no idea what sort of quality they would be.
Anyone else running aquaponics and silver perch ?

Jackfrost80's picture

Posts: 7582

Date Joined: 07/05/12

A Few Tips

Tue, 2022-09-27 16:48

I ran aquaponics for years and eventually sold it to make the area into a garden bed. Feel free to flick me a message if you have any questions as I learnt the hard way with a lot of things along the journey but also got some cracking produce out of it.

Silver Perch are good for cycling the system as they are extremely hardy but if you are planning on having a system for both fish and veges then I would only buy a couple to cycle the system as they are very slow growing and pretty much don't grow at all over winter. I would avoid the ones from the lake as you may introduce disease into the system.

It takes a while for the system to cycle and if you pop about four of them in now it should be ready to drop some trout in come April/May when it starts cooling down again. Trout are very fast growing but very sensitive to O2 changes in the water so they need to be harvested before water temps climb back over 22c. They are also kamakazes so you need a cover over the pond or they'll leap out.

I did try Barra but the window of really hot weather in Perth is short and I struggled to get them to a good size. I was going to try to keep the water temps up with a seperate pump into black polly during the day or a pool blanket but never got around to it. My mate did pretty well on the Barra feeding them mulies instead of pellets.

Whilst you are cycling your system, go for leafy greens like kale, chard, rocket etc and you'll notice the leaves are yellow at first because of a lack of nutrients in a cycling system. Don't be afraid to piss into the water (google Peeponics) as it'll help cycle the system faster  and you can also chuck in some Charlie Carp and Celated Iron. I also chucked composting worms into my growbed and they help by consuming organic matter and excreating their magic worm juice.

I got bogged down originally worrying about the pH but the main thing is to ensure that any water you top up the system with has the chlorine removed and you can use the stuff for aquariums or just fill up a bucket or just fill up the container and leave it open to the air for 24hrs and the chlorine will evaporate.

In regard to aeration the flow back from the growbed is sufficient but.... if the pump gets blocked then trout will die very quickly (had this happen twice) so a good 4 output airpump will save you. You can even get ones with an internal battery that switch from AC to DC in the event of a power outage.

Lastly, don't top your tank up with a garden hose before going on holidays and then disconnect it from the mains leaving the hose in the tanks... you will syphon your tank and come home to a stinking mess of fish frames and maggot.


If catching wrasse is cool, consider me Miles Davis

little johnny's picture

Posts: 5103

Date Joined: 04/12/11

Funny you say that norun nofun

Tue, 2022-09-27 20:38

1 pond in rocko area has lots of silver perch in it . Up to 3 kilo . Great fighting fish . Need to eat them around 1 to 1.5 kilo . Once they go over that there crap eating . They grow fast . I had some in my big tank inside . Brucey grew huge . $5 fish grew to 2 kg in no time. I fed mine with glass shrimp and mosquito fish . Great hardy fish

Jackfrost80's picture

Posts: 7582

Date Joined: 07/05/12

The growth rate might be

Tue, 2022-09-27 22:05

The growth rate might be different in an indoor tank but in an outdoor AP system Silver Perch shut down feeding/growing when the water temps are below 22c which is pretty much May to October. If you pop them in an outdoor tank in November it will take around 18 months (two summers of growth) to reach eating size in Perth's climate.


If catching wrasse is cool, consider me Miles Davis

NORUN NOFUN's picture

Posts: 955

Date Joined: 15/08/11

Cheers Jack plenty of good

Wed, 2022-09-28 10:25

Cheers Jack plenty of good info mate, might just enjoy seeing the perch on my arvo walks lol

Thanks for your input as well Johhny, sounds like Brucey was a big boy haha

Posts: 1004

Date Joined: 21/05/12

 as long as u have a

Wed, 2022-09-28 12:54

 as long as u have a freshwater licence and not using a net- what can go wrong   ;p

NORUN NOFUN's picture

Posts: 955

Date Joined: 15/08/11

Yep, it was on my mind Shark

Thu, 2022-09-29 08:56

Yep, it was on my mind Shark to donate some cash to fisheries for some vermin :-) Oooh, better get a cast net licence too lol.

Walfootrot's picture

Posts: 1384

Date Joined: 23/07/12

 You can cycle a system

Thu, 2022-09-29 09:01

 You can cycle a system without fish in it, use amonia to dose it daily for about 2 weeks.. or piss in it every 2 days.

Have done many marine and fresh water tanks this way, just have a bucket full of dead coral washed and clean and add it to the system where there is flow.


More drum lines, kill the bloody sharks!