Grow the Perfect Rainbow Trout at Home

rainbow trout

Growing Rainbow Trout at home is fantastic, especially if you can feed them hard and give them some exercise.  While in Queensland Trout are a no go, it is great to see results (bragging) and of course photo evidence speaks a thousand words.  With the weather warming up most backyard fish farmers or aquaponic growers that are not high in the mountains will have already harvested or looking to harvest their Rainbow Trout.

One of our great customers thought it a good idea to stir me up and send me some photos of his recent harvest of Rainbow Trout, knowing we are not permitted to grow them in QLD.  That is ok because I get to send him photos of my Jade Perch which he is not allowed to grow.  Perhaps some Bass, Murray Cod and Sleepy Cod too…

What is really good to see is people building DIY backyard fish farms and aquaponic systems, by themselves and successfully growing fresh food for their families.  Those that have been successful follow a basic set of rules that keep their fish alive, they grow fat and healthy very fast.  Don’t follow these rules and you end up with lots of crab bait.

rainbow-trout-earthangroup

Growing Rainbow Trout at Home

Steve tells me the first batch of 30 Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) went in on the 4th of May and the second 30 on the 25th of May.  He harvested 59 of them (one jumped out as they do) on the weekend of the 27th October, where these photos come from.

The largest Rainbow Trout was 38cm (15 inches) and weighed in at a whopping 1.2kg (2.64 lbs)!  Which as you can see from the photos are a little fat but no doubt tasty.  Five to five and a half months to that size is a really good effort.  Well done Steve!

One of the things about some species (most) is they will tend to overfeed.  Steve admitted to me some time back that he was following my instructions with the feeding but they still looked hungry so he gave them a little more.  This is not an issue when set up with some DIY filtration, but combine that with low water exchange or square tanks and you will end up with very fat fish.  Like Stevens’ :P  .

A good feeding technique will get you large fish very quickly and one of the tricks with any animal (humans included) is to keep them just that little bit hungry so they smash any feed you give them.  It is very easy to be temped to give them more feed, which is fine if you give them some exercise to go with it.  For example increase the flow rate (velocity) in the fish tank which round tanks are ideal for.

Rainbow Trout especially like high tank velocities.  This means you may want to consider a pump big enough to exchange the water in the tank at least twice per hour.

When you look at the difference in  fish “condition factor” (how you work out if you are over or under feeding), fish grown in Lentic conditions (still water lazy fish) are a little larger by weight when comparing length then those grown in Lotic (running water fit fish).

So if your fish are sitting in a tank that can not get any flow for them to swim in, they will be “couch potatoes” in comparison to those in tanks with good water flow.  The fish that are “working out”  will lay down muscle, which is what we want to grow and eat, instead of fat.

rainbow-trout-length-weight-earthangroup

If we wanted to check our fish out as we are growing them to see if we are feeding too little or too much, I put this table above together from accepted a commercial growing condition factor for Rainbow Trout.

As you can see a 38cm (380mm) Rainbow Trout in good condition (very little if any fat) might weigh in at about 610 to 700 grams, not quite 1200 grams lol.

It matters very little in the backyard so if you can grow them in a short season before it heats up and get them on the plate, great.  If you want to try and grow a fit fish, the table above will help guide you.

Again, well done Steve.  For your first ever batch of fish in a system you built yourself, without any losses or issues, you have done exceedingly well and I look forward to more updates.

Regards
Paul

Growing Rainbow Trout at home is fantastic, especially if you can feed them hard and give them some exercise.  While in Queensland Trout are a no go, it is great to see results (bragging) and of course photo evidence speaks a thousand words.  With the weather warming up most backyard fish farmers or aquaponic growers that are not high in the mountains will have already harvested or looking to harvest their Rainbow Trout.

One of our great customers thought it a good idea to stir me up and send me some photos of his recent harvest of Rainbow Trout, knowing we are not permitted to grow them in QLD.  That is ok because I get to send him photos of my Jade Perch which he is not allowed to grow.  Perhaps some Bass, Murray Cod and Sleepy Cod too…

What is really good to see is people building DIY backyard fish farms and aquaponic systems, by themselves and successfully growing fresh food for their families.  Those that have been successful follow a basic set of rules that keep their fish alive, they grow fat and healthy very fast.  Don’t follow these rules and you end up with lots of crab bait.

rainbow-trout-earthangroup

Growing Rainbow Trout at Home

Steve tells me the first batch of 30 Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) went in on the 4th of May and the second 30 on the 25th of May.  He harvested 59 of them (one jumped out as they do) on the weekend of the 27th October, where these photos come from.

The largest Rainbow Trout was 38cm (15 inches) and weighed in at a whopping 1.2kg (2.64 lbs)!  Which as you can see from the photos are a little fat but no doubt tasty.  Five to five and a half months to that size is a really good effort.  Well done Steve!

One of the things about some species (most) is they will tend to overfeed.  Steve admitted to me some time back that he was following my instructions with the feeding but they still looked hungry so he gave them a little more.  This is not an issue when set up with some DIY filtration, but combine that with low water exchange or square tanks and you will end up with very fat fish.  Like Stevens’ :P  .

A good feeding technique will get you large fish very quickly and one of the tricks with any animal (humans included) is to keep them just that little bit hungry so they smash any feed you give them.  It is very easy to be temped to give them more feed, which is fine if you give them some exercise to go with it.  For example increase the flow rate (velocity) in the fish tank which round tanks are ideal for.

Rainbow Trout especially like high tank velocities.  This means you may want to consider a pump big enough to exchange the water in the tank at least twice per hour.

When you look at the difference in  fish “condition factor” (how you work out if you are over or under feeding), fish grown in Lentic conditions (still water lazy fish) are a little larger by weight when comparing length then those grown in Lotic (running water fit fish).

So if your fish are sitting in a tank that can not get any flow for them to swim in, they will be “couch potatoes” in comparison to those in tanks with good water flow.  The fish that are “working out”  will lay down muscle, which is what we want to grow and eat, instead of fat.

rainbow-trout-length-weight-earthangroup

If we wanted to check our fish out as we are growing them to see if we are feeding too little or too much, I put this table above together from accepted a commercial growing condition factor for Rainbow Trout.

As you can see a 38cm (380mm) Rainbow Trout in good condition (very little if any fat) might weigh in at about 610 to 700 grams, not quite 1200 grams lol.

It matters very little in the backyard so if you can grow them in a short season before it heats up and get them on the plate, great.  If you want to try and grow a fit fish, the table above will help guide you.

Again, well done Steve.  For your first ever batch of fish in a system you built yourself, without any losses or issues, you have done exceedingly well and I look forward to more updates.

Regards
Paul

About the author

Paul Van der Werf

Paul is the Operations Manager for a 4400m2 integrated aquaculture pilot project in the United Arab Emirates desert he designed and built. This is a commercial aquaponics pilot to evaluate integrated farming in arid climates.

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3 Comments on “Grow the Perfect Rainbow Trout at Home

  1. Adrian Rosario

    I am 15 years old and for my high school project I am thinking of growing trout in my back yard. Your article says this is not legal in Queensland where I live. Why is this? Thank you, Adrian

    Reply
    1. Hi Adrian,

      You will need to check with DPI Queensland on the regulations. You may be able to get a scientific permit for them for your project.

      Regards
      Paul

      Reply
  2. jose jacob

    Hi Paul

    I live in Sydney. Do you know anyone near campbelltown Post code 2560 does the backyard trout / barramaundi fish farm . Thanks.

    Reply

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