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Farm Dams

Stocking Farm Dams

When stocking farm dams, it is important to stock species that are endemic to the drainage, or have been listed as permissable to stock in the drainage of the dam. It is against the law for Ace Aquaculture to supply to customers, and for land owners to stock non- permissable species into farm dams. 

Please refer to - for species suitability ci Queensland. In other states, please check with your states fisheries department. 

Dam Environment-
Firstly, we need to make sure that your dam is suitable for fingerlings. We recommend stocking dams that have been full for at least one summer to allow them to ‘mature’. This time period will allow the water parameters in the dam to settle, and the biological processes to ‘cycle’  This time also allows you to  establish some aquatic and marginal plants (providing habitat for the fish and their food source) and some ‘fodder fish’ if you want to stock carnivorous species. 

Aquatic and Marginal Plants can be obtained from your local nursery and they can advise on the best species and where to plant them. Stocking smaller ‘fodder’ fish into your dam is controlled by State fisheries regulations and you should check with your states regulations regarding suitable species. In South East Queensland suitable species include Crimson Spotted Rainbows, Pacific Blue Eyes and Firetail Gudgeons. Macrobrachium Shrimp also make excellent fodder. The fish and shrimp will breed in your dam if the correct environment is provided and should establish a self sustaining population. The fish and the shrimp can be obtained from good aquarium stores or contact us to check our availability.

Species Selection-

Most of these fish species will not reproduce in a dam environment.
When stocking farm dams it is important to stock species that are native and endemic to your drainage. Suitable species for your drainage can be found at your State Government Fisheries Department.

Common species for South East Queensland include- Australian Bass, Silver Perch, Golden Perch and Eel Tailed Catfish


Stocking Rate/ Density-

When stocking farm dams there are a lot of factors to consider- aeration, food source, species stocked, etc. We recommend stocking farm dams at the rate of 1 fish per 5M2 surface area. Dams should also have a minimum 6’ or 1.8m depth. At this stocking density, it is a ‘set and forget’ stocking. This means that the fish will not require any supplemental aeration or feeding. It is difficult to stock dams according to the volume, as it doesn’t factor oxygen transfer across the surface of the dam. Also, deep dams can stratify, which means they can’t support any more fish than a shallow dam of the same surface area.

We don’t recommend stocking farm dams under 100 Mwith the species mentioned above. Dams this size are too small to support a population of fish and their food source.

Dams under 500m2 do best with omnivorous species such as Silver Perch and Catfish. Dams under this size are a little small to support Carnivorous species like the Bass and Golden Perch, and they do best in dams over 500msurface area.



Provided that the recommended stocking density is not exceeded the fish will not require supplemental feeding. If you do wish to feed the fish, please do not feed them bread, chook pellets or dog biscuits! The fish cannot metabolize the grains and heavy proteins in these foods and feeding them can be counter productive and hinder their growth by upsetting their metabolism. Feeding bread can cause internal bacterial infections and kill the fish.

If you wish to feed your fish, please feed them commercially available fish pellets. They are available from us, mini-Fish_Food_002other fish farms, produce stores and aquarium shops. The pellets are designed to be a complete diet and we use them at the farm to grow our Silver and Jade Perch.  The pellets do not have any preservatives and should be stored in a cool dry place and used within 3 months of purchase. Keep your food in an air tight, rodent proof container. Please don’t feed your fish wet, mouldy or rodent spoiled food- it can be toxic to the fish.


Small, freshly released fingerlings in a dam are ideal food for many predators, but the main one that can decimate a population of fish in a dam is cormorants and other diving birds such as darters.  An adult greater cormorant can eat 4kg of fish a day, or 2,000 fingerlings! The best way to ensure that losses to cormorants is minimal is to provide the fingerlings with plenty of cover and structure in the dam- weedbeds and snags offer protection for the fingerlings.

In general, other birds such as ducks, herons and kingfishers don’t pose a major threat to the fingerlings. Eels and turtles also aren’t a big threat- they are poor hunters in nature and will generally only take sick or dying fish.