Golden perch is a long-lived species considered as extremely hardy, a lot tougher than silver perch as they can tolerate wide range of salinities. They do not need purging, you can just directly catch them from the pond and straight to your kitchen. However, some aquaponics gardeners consider its taste as something like “out of the box” but this concern could be addressed through value added processing or even cooking it with seasonings and other flavors. Still, golden perch is preferred over silver perch. Also, the growth rate of this fish is slower than other fish suitable for aquaponics tanks but this depends on the food given. It could take 16 months to grow them from fingerling to marketable size fish.
To support optimal growth and survival in rearing golden perch, they need a maintained temperature of 16-30°C and pH level at 7-8. They are found most frequently in warm, turbid, sluggish water and billabongs.
Golden perch are opportunistic carnivores, they feed mainly on crustaceans, insect larvae, molluscs and small fishes including goldfish and carp. Moreover, they can also feed on formulated sinking pellets with 40% protein. As they are highly carnivorous, their protein requirement is high. The fish also prefer added covers or habitats such as logs, floating wetlands and pipes. Given enough food are present or offered in the culture environment, the fish can grow up to 20kg. If pellets are offered, it would be best to check the feed intake to avoid loss in profit and environmental issues brought about by uneaten feeds.
As they don’t need purging, they can be harvested by draining the pond then fish can be collected in the harvest pit outside of the pond area. Make sure to preserve the freshness and quality by choosing to harvest very early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Also, proper handling must be observed especially if needed to transport the fish to the market alive.