Inviting your friends to a BBQ with home grown Barramundi will make an impression! Here are some ideas to ensure that barramundi is on the menu.
The success of your barramundi will be due to the least stressful envirnoment you can create. Provided your system has an established grow bed, you haven’t overstocked, and the weather is warm, the more you feed them the larger and faster they grow (ensuring they are large enough to eat by the end of the season).
The barramundi growing season starts about late November and runs until late March (depending on the type of summer you are having). Barramundi also aren’t a very a fast growing fish, so you don’t have a lot of time to grow them to an edible size.
To buy barramundi fingerlings and raise them to plate size in 6 months or less:
Buy fingerlings as large as you can get. Stay away from anything under 15cm as they will not be big enough to eat before the water gets too cold and they stop feeding.
Barramundi really don’t like the process of being transported and introduced into new surroundings, particularly if the new surroundings are cooler than where they came from. If your barramundi stress, they will not eat – making them susceptible to illness and disease. A good way to help reduce stress is to purchase and introduce them into your system during a hot spell when your water is warm. Adding salt to your system will also buffer transport stress.
Feeding and water quality
It is common for Barramundi to not feed for a week after the initial introduction due to the stress of being moved, if this is the case it is important to be patient and slowly tempt your fish into feeding. If your Barramundi are not feeding, then don’t feed them. Uneaten feed will eventually sink to the bottom of the tank, foul your water, and exacerbate the problem.
To tempt shy and nervous species such as Barramundi to feed, mimic as best as you can their natural feeding behaviours. Add a floating tray of polystyrene, tethered so that it doesn’t float all around the tank (while still being able to rise and fall with the water level). When feeding your fish, throw the feed in front of the tray and watch the barramundi strike at the feed from under the tray, just as they would do from under a tree branch in the mangroves in nature. Sunset is the best time to feed.
Ensure you have mature Silver Perch in the fish tank. Introducing barramundi to a fish tank with silver perch creates competition for feed, and it’s a competition barramundi don’t like to lose. They will be tempted to feed just to keep up with the Jones’s.
Raise small fingerlings in winter
Buy small 10cm barramundi at the beginning of the year and put them in a large heated aquarium in the house over winter. Your barramundi become trained to people and will feed as soon as you introduce them to your aquaponics system at the end of the year. It can be a bit of work to keep your barramundi happy and thriving however the reward is worth it. Pan fried in butter with salt, pepper, and garlic is my favourite!