Last Updated on January 14, 2022 by Fabiola L.
Yellow perch is said to be one of the most delicious tasting fish. So why not put it in your aquaponics system? Follow this guide to learn all you need to know about what do yellow perch eat and how to raise them properly in aquaponics.
Yellow perch is one of the most common fish raised in aquaponics. Some of the other common fish raised are tilapia, trout, and sunfish. Choosing yellow perch over something else is a personal preference.
When you choose your fish selection, you have to consider which vegetables you want to grow. Aquaponics is a beautiful system where your fish tank directly works with your vegetable garden. You cannot design your tank system without considering the grow beds and vice versa.
In this case, yellow perch prefers warmer waters. So for those who want to grow plants that need a warm climate, yellow perch is a good selection.
If you want to raise yellow perch you need to understand what do yellow perch eat as well as many other things. Read this article to find answers to all your important questions.
What Do Perch Eat
Diet is an important part of any living creature. Just like humans, fish need certain diets in order to get the correct nutrition that promotes a healthy life.
Keep in mind that another name for Yellow Perch is just simply Perch. Perches are found in freshwater all around North America. You can recognize them by their green olive color and because they have 9 vertical green bars running down the side of their bodies.
Yellow Perches only create spawn once a year. So, if you plan on breeding them, you need to organize your schedule around a specific time. This is about when winter starts to warm up into spring.
The perch typically will spawn in water temperatures of 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Once they are larger, they require warmer water of 68 – 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When you want them to breed, you will need to lower the water temperature.
Keep in mind how changing the water temperatures will affect your grow beds, and then plan accordingly. Perches take between one year and one and half years to reach a good enough size for eating.
As always, account for their growth rate when stocking your tank. You do not want to overcrowd your tank because it creates poor conditions for your fish.
Yellow Perch Diets change throughout their life. They eat different things when they are young compared to when they are older.
Perches are considered to be very adaptable with their food preferences. When they are young, they like to eat other fish eggs and small insects. According to the University of Nebraska, Yellow perch under 130mm typically consume amphipods and chironomids. These are a type of very small crustaceans.
Learn more about What To Feed A Fish When Out Of Fish Food
How Fast Do Perch Grow
Once they start to grow over 200mm in length, their diet begins to change. This is when they begin to eat other fish. They only eat fish smaller than them.
It has also been recorded that yellow perch do eat other smaller perch sometimes. Typically, they like to eat in the early mornings and early evenings.
As mentioned before, perch are slow growers and it can take up to a year to reach their full size. At this point, they weigh around .75 pounds. However, the highest recorded weight of a perch was around 3 pounds.
It is a much smaller fish than certain varieties. So this is a good choice if you do not have too much tank space. A tank of 10 gallons can be suitable for raising yellow perch.
If you do not want to feed your yellow perch other fish and insects you can buy store-made fish food. They respond well to this and you are able to control feeding patterns easier.
Even though the fish is small, it is a very delicious addition to your dinner plate. It also contains high amounts of omega- 3 and protein in each bite.
This is another reason why yellow perch is an economical choice. It is small, so you do not need a lot of space to raise it. But, you get a lot of nutrition from only a few bites.
Yellow perch can live up to 10-11 years! If you do not harvest early, these fish can triple in size after one year. However, the taste of the fish changes the older it gets. This is why many people prefer to harvest their fish after 1 year.
Read more about How Long To Grow Tilapia To Eating Size?
What Eats Perch And Perch Living Conditions
With any fish, you have to be aware of which types of fish can coexist together. Yellow Perch is able to be raised with other fish. But only the ones that they do not eat.
A good pair to live with yellow perch are larger fish like the walleye or bass. However, be aware that if you put in small fish with the yellow perch, they are at risk of being eaten. Make sure to add fish larger than them to keep everyone safe.
At the same time, you need to be aware of the fish species that eat yellow perch. Many larger species like to snack on yellow perch. You should avoid putting these species together.
Some fish that eat perch are the largemouth bass, lake trout, and the northern pike. Also, if you are doing aquaponics outdoors, be aware that certain birds like to eat Yellow Perch. Birds such as the gull, loon, or kingfisher consider Yellow Perch to be prey.
All in all, Yellow Perch is pretty easy to raise and does not require too much space. This gives you a lot of flexibility in producing a consistent supply of food but not needing to invest high amounts of money on complicated equipment.
After reading this article, you should now understand what do yellow perch eat perfectly. They are not picky eaters. This is why we considered them low-stress fish to raise.
As always, feel free to comment and ask questions below. We are here to help!