Commercial growout in ponds or recirculating systems starts once the fingerlings reach 30-100mm. Fingerlings are stocked at up to 15kg per cubic metre of water.
The fingerlings are fed a semi-floating pellet 5-6 times a day when they are small. This decreases to 1-2 times a day as they grow. Pellet size increases as the fish size increases. Farmers feed their fish pellets until all feeding ceases.
The amount of feed required by a fish decreases rapidly with a decrease in water temperature. Maximum intakes occur at 27-29oC and decreases to almost zero at 20oC. Feed conversion ratios (total weight of fish produced per total dry weight of feed consumed) of 1.2:1 to 1.8:1 can be expected in well-managed operations at optimum temperatures.
Annual production from ponds can reach 30t per hectare but is more often 10-15t per hectare.
- You will need to discuss technical and licensing aspects of any proposed aquaculture venture with staff from Fisheries Queensland and the Department of Environment and Science before proceeding with site selection, design and, where applicable, land purchase.
- The Australian Barramundi Farmers Association has more information on barramundi production.
- Download the latest report to farmers for aquaculture industry statistics and production data.