We have added to our tribe
On Friday I checked out the website of our wonderful fish supplier and discovered that they had no Jade Perch in stock. Arggghhh. Since the ‘Terrible loss of September 2014’ we now have a spare tank and the sensible thing is to stock it, so I called Andrew and asked what he would recommend out of his available species, having narrowed it down to Spangled or Silver Perch. The answer was an unequivocal ‘Silver’.
According to their site (http://www.ausnativefish.com.au) Silver Perch (a native of the Murray–Darling river system) are omnivores, respond well to artificial feeding, range between 1–3kg at rate of approx 600-800g/yr but can grow up to 8kg. They will be slower growing than the Jades, but seemingly are a good hardy fish…not like the Barramundi. (Small moment of silence for the Barras 😦 )
So, I made the hour long round trip and fetched us up a mess of Silvers who are now happily ensconced in TANK 2. 🙂 They are just fingerlings, but already we have noticed a very different behaviour pattern in feeding between these and their close cousins the Jades. They seem to ‘school’ less and seem happy to occupy the middle of the tank. When we sprinkle in the food they are not shy at all, and happily dive in and out of the pellets, striking at it as it floats or sinks. AND (and!) we have lost none from this brood! I think this is a first (touch wood!)
My other happy aquaponics-related story is that I got very brave last week and visited the little take-away restaurant about a block from us. They have recently renovated the corner shop space in a small clutch of shops just down the road, and although we had not been there, their place just exuded ‘happy’…I guess the coloured lights at night along the shop’s facade helps… Anyways, long story short is that we have a surfeit of lettuce pretty much all the time, plus a bit of a glut of parsley and when they are up and running, anything else that takes hold in the aquaponics system, including pak choi, cucumbers and various herbs. So I trundled down to the cafe—introduced myself and off loaded three lettuces. My new friends—proprietors Karen and Graham were most grateful and suggested we could come to an ‘arrangement’ of free coffees or something. Me—I’m just happy to have an outlet for the excess and to know that it is highly valued and the embodiment of of locally grown food being used locally!
Image above courtesy of the NSW Dept of Primary Industries website 🙂