Raising speckled trout at home is an involved process, but can be rewarding both as a hobby and as a financial earner. Setting up your speckled trout farm requires establishing the perfect environment for your fish, acquiring speckled trout eggs from your local Department of Fish and Wildlife, and providing sustenance and nourishment so your young trout mature into large, commercially viable adults.
Items you will need
- 10-gallon aquarium tank
- Under-gravel filter
- Under-gravel filter pump
- Aquarium pea gravel
- Aquarium chiller
- Aquarium thermometer
- Aquarium net
- 10 gallons non-chloride spring water
- Speckled trout eggs
- Clean bucket filled with hatchery water
- Iodine-based fish egg disinfectant
Set up a 10-gallon aquarium tank and install the under-gravel filter and its pump --- often you can find an aquarium with these elements already in place. Fill the bottom inch of the tank with pea gravel. Install your aquarium chiller, which will require assembly if you are building it fresh from the box, such as placing the feed pump into the back of your aquarium; keep your tank's water at between 45 and 55 degrees F. Affix an aquarium thermometer where you can easily see it when you visit the tank. Install an aquarium net inside your tank, as this will prove useful when removing speckled trout to clean the tank. Complete your tank setup by adding 10 gallons of non-chlorinated spring water.
Buy speckled trout eggs from your local Department of Fish and Wildlife office (see Resources). Often eggs will be sold to you immersed in ice and in a secure container, which helps keep the eggs moist during transportation. If you receive speckled trout eggs loose, place them in a bucket of hatchery water and use ice to maintain a stable 45 to 55 F temperature. When adding ice, gently stir the contents to aid water circulation to all of the eggs.
Unpack your speckled trout eggs. Keep the eggs well clear of your aquarium, as this lowers the risk of contaminating your aquarium water with diseased organisms. Disinfect each of your eggs with an iodine-based cleanser, such as Argentyne or Betadine --- never disinfect an egg that is already hatching. Place your speckled trout eggs in the bottom of your tank, in water that should be 45 to 55 F.
Watch the circle of life in action as your speckled trout hatch from their eggs. According to the Emperor Aquatics website, if your tank water is kept between 45 and 55 F, your eggs will hatch in approximately three weeks after their initial fertilization or in four to five days if they are at the "eyed" eggs phase. Once your trout have hatched into "alevins," they will feed on their own yolk sac until it is completely consumed.
Feed your trout fry regularly with plankton, mayflies, damselflies and/or caddisflies. After the yolk sac has been consumed your speckled trout are known as "fry." Ensure your trout have a regular supply of food, which may mean feeding them every day. Furthermore, you must make sure you remove any excess food. Trout in the Classroom website recommends that you wait until 10 minutes after you have introduced food to the tank before using an aquarium net to collect leftover food from the water.
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