Different Aquaculture Methods and Types of Fish Raised on Fish Farms

Different Aquaculture Methods

Fish farming or float fish farms is a type of aquaculture. Doing fish farming is about raising and breeding fish commercially in plastic or wooden enclosures for human consumption. There are various types of fish farms that use different aquaculture methods on particular fish. Let us check them out.

First Method: Off-shore Cultivation

The first method is the cage system, which uses cages placed in ponds, lakes, and oceans containing fish. This method is also known as off-shore cultivation. Fish are kept in cage-like pens and are artificially fed and harvested. This method has made numerous technological advances over the years, particularly with reducing diseases and environmental concerns.

However, one of the biggest concerns of the cage method is fish escaping among the wild fish population.

Second Method: Irrigation Ditch

Pond systems or irrigation ditches are the second method of raising fish. The basic requirement for this approach is to have a pond or ditch that holds water. This is a unique method because, at a micro-level, fish are artificially fed, and the waste from the fish is used to fertilize the farmers’ fields. On a bigger scale, mostly, the ponds are self-sustaining as they grow algae and plants for fish food.

Third Method: Composite Fish Culture

The third fish farming approach is called composite fish culture. It is a kind of fish farming that permits both imported and local fish species to coexist in the same pond. The number of fish species depends, but it is usually six fish species in a pond. The fish species are always adequately selected to ensure that species can coexist and reduce competition for food.

Fourth Method: Integrated Recycling Systems

The integrated recycling system is regarded as the most prominent fish farming scale method of pure fishing. This fourth method uses large plastic tanks placed inside a greenhouse. Also, there are hydroponic beds placed adjacent to the plastic tanks.

The water inside the plastic tanks is disseminated to the hydroponic beds. Then, the fish feed waste carried on to the plant crops provides nutrients grown in the hydroponic beds. The majority of plants grown are herbs, like basil and parsley.

Fifth Method: Classic Fry Farming

Last but not least is the fifth method which is called traditional or classic fry farming. This approach is also called a flow-through system. This is when sport fish are raised from eggs and are placed in streams and released.

Different Fish Species Raised on Fish Farms

Several different fish species are raised on fish farms. The most common fish species grown are catfish, tilapia, salmon, tuna, and eel.

  • Catfish Farming

Catfish are effortless to farm in warmer climates. Catfish are generally cultivated in freshwater ponds and are mainly fed with corn, soybeans, and rice. Catfish have often been considered one of the more sustainable fish for fish farming purposes. Farming catfish began in the 1900s and became commercialized 50 years after.

Catfish is populous due to its health benefits and market demand. Farm-raised catfish are typically harvested at 18 months of age, whereas wild catfish normally get much bigger. There are several catfish species, but the most prominent are channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish.

  • Tilapia Farming

Tilapia is the third in-demand fish in aquaculture. The first two are carp and salmon. They have increased in popularity because of their large size, high protein content, and growth capabilities. Tilapia is a tropical fish, so it needs warmer water, usually between 28 to 30 degrees Celsius, to live.

Tilapia fish are known to reproduce very quickly. So if not appropriately managed, fish will aggressively compete for food, which may result in stunted growth.

Tilapias are tough and strong towards fighting off parasites and diseases. This fish farming originated in Africa and is still prevalent in the Philippines, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. Tilapia fish call for a cereal-based diet and they do not eat other fish. Still, they are thought-out as one of the most invasive fish species.

  • Salmon Farming

Salmon is among the well-known fish species, with the most frequently farmed being Atlantic salmon. Also, there are two other types of Pacific salmon that are cultivated, the Coho and Chinook. Farmed salmon are vaccinated to inhibit possible disease outbreaks, and they only require extra medications on rare occasions.

  • Tuna Farming

Tuna fish are essential saltwater fish in the commercial fish farming sector. In fact, Japan, the largest consumer of tuna, has invested massive research into studying the fish.

There are various kinds of tuna, such as albacore, bluefin, and yellowfin. Bluefin tuna populations have dropped in some regions significantly due to overfishing. Farming tuna is complex since the fish are huge and active, so simulating their natural surrounding is really a challenge.

Most tuna are caught in the wild and cultivated in a facility to increase weight gain. Also, tuna are usually farmed in net pens offshore and are farmed in recirculation systems. They are carnivorous and eat other fish.

  • Eel Farming

Started in the 1950s, eel fish farming is thought of as one of the most profitable export fishing commercial enterprises. However, the gain value is primarily driven by the Asian markets and is culture-specific.

Eels are carnivorous and catadromous fish. They live in freshwater when they are young, but they migrate to the sea for breeding as they mature. They spend anywhere from 8 to 30 years in freshwater before they migrate. Most eel farming occurs in Asia, with Japan, China, and Taiwan leading as the most prominent producers. 


In a nutshell, fish farming is a very complex venture. There are 5 types of aquaculture methods that you need to study to find out which approach is best for your chosen location. Also, different fish species require unique fish farming methods. We hope that this article has been helpful for your future fish farming business plans.


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