Ever wondered how we produce our fantastic fish here at Rodbaston Aquaculture? Check out our step-by-step guide below to find out!
Production begins with the careful selection of parent fish which are kept onsite in a natural stillwater pond. These are the ideal conditions for parent fish to develop excellent quality eggs due to the abundance of natural food available to them all year round.
When needed, they are brought into our hatchery where temperature and photoperiod are manipulated before artificially induced spawning takes place. These methods ensure very high fertilisation rates are achieved. Other species such as Goldfish, Shubunkins, Koi and Tench are spawned from March through to June.
After fertilisation, the resulting eggs are incubated in hatching troughs under optimum conditions which then hatch after 3-4 days at 23 degrees. After hatching, the larvae use their yolk sac for energy and over the next 24-36 hours will develop their digestive tract and fill their swim bladder. Now at the fry stage they start to feed on freshly hatched brine shrimp (Artemia) before being weaned onto powdered feeds.
At 14 days old the fry are graded, counted and moved into either fry ponds or our early-rearing recirculation systems depending on species and time of year. Unlike many fish farms who sell off slower growing fish in smaller sizes we remove and cull these early on to ensure fast, even growth of the remaining fry. During the early life stages, our fry receive meticulous care and attention, and the best quality food possible. Even at this early stage their growth rates are phenomenal and the importance of good parent fish and egg quality starts to become apparent.
At 5 weeks old and now measuring 30mm they start to show their potential as scale patterns begin to develop. By this stage they are fed on a range of Coppens high quality cyprinid fry feeds as various trials proved these to produce the highest quality results.
At 7 weeks old and fully developed, the fish are transferred to our growing facilities where to optimise growth and food conversion rates; water quality, oxygen, health, and temperature are controlled and monitored closely.
At 12 weeks old and 2-3 inches, the majority are sold to other fish farms and fisheries for growing-on. Some are retained to grow on to larger sizes ready for sale later in the year.