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C-4
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Posted: 7/15/2011 7:14:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/1/2011 5:09:02 PM EST by C-4]
There was a thread in GD that had a link to a video that also had fish inside a greenhouse and using the waste-water to 'feed' plants.

This is the video.

I have a friend that has a large plastic container he doesn't need anymore and I've been toying with the idea of raising fish in it. Has anyone here done anything like this? Before someone asks, I don't know the exact dimensions of the container but I'm going to see it again tomorrow and measure it.

This is a link to industrial scale indoor Tilapia aquaculture: http://www.blueridgeaquaculture.com/tilapia.cfm

UPDATE

Don't worry about posting other related info in this thread. I've found all the posts useful.

I picked up 4 blue channel catfish (about 4-5" long) at the pet store the other day. They were very expensive ($6 each) but I wanted to try them out. They're in the 500 gallon container and I think I'll just do periodic water exchanges for now. Over the winter I'll get the hydroponics portion of the aquaponics together. They seem to like it in there. So far I'm feeding them worms and flaked fish food that float to the bottom. We'll see how it goes.
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Link Posted: 7/15/2011 8:05:36 PM EST
Tilapia are extremely sensitive to cold. Expect to raise them in a climate controlled environment if you plan on rearing them in NH. Trout are a cold water fish and as such will probably be better suited to your climate. They take well to both aquaponics and recirculating aquaculture. They do require clean, well oxygenated water. Whatever the species, you need some form of biological filter, and if you don't use aquaponics to remove the disolved nutrients, you will have to change the water periodically. Visit The Backyard Aquaponics Forum for more reading.

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Link Posted: 7/16/2011 2:33:21 AM EST
Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos:
Tilapia are extremely sensitive to cold. Expect to raise them in a climate controlled environment if you plan on rearing them in NH. Trout are a cold water fish and as such will probably be better suited to your climate. They take well to both aquaponics and recirculating aquaculture. They do require clean, well oxygenated water. Whatever the species, you need some form of biological filter, and if you don't use aquaponics to remove the disolved nutrients, you will have to change the water periodically. Visit The Backyard Aquaponics Forum for more reading.


Thank you! I'll check out that other forum.
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Link Posted: 7/16/2011 2:31:16 PM EST
Down here, we're required to have a $25000 CD that the DWF will have access to in the event that one of our fish gets out to fund a fish kill/clean up. It requires a license, inspections, 2 barriers to keep them from escaping into local waterways, and even meeting all of the requirements you still have to get the okay from a local inspector. I'm sticking to perch and catfish.
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Link Posted: 7/16/2011 4:12:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By Paulup:
Down here, we're required to have a $25000 CD that the DWF will have access to in the event that one of our fish gets out to fund a fish kill/clean up. It requires a license, inspections, 2 barriers to keep them from escaping into local waterways, and even meeting all of the requirements you still have to get the okay from a local inspector. I'm sticking to perch and catfish.


I'm thinking more about catfish as well just from some of the reading I've done. I wouldn't have to worry about the colder weather.

Ironically, I have a trout stream in my back yard. It's small but there are quite a bit of native brook trout in it. I fish them for fun only (catch and release). I use them as a 'canary in the coal mine' to make sure the water quality is good in case I need to use it in SHTF. It would be very difficult to raise trout because they have the opposite problem to the Tilapia ie. they need very cool/cold water.

BTW, what kind of perch? What do you feed them?
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Link Posted: 7/17/2011 5:44:09 AM EST
Hybrid bluegill from dunn's fish farm. I stock fathead minnows, toss in whatever floating commercial food the local feed store has in stock, and we throw breads and what not when it goes stale.

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Link Posted: 7/17/2011 6:19:49 AM EST
Originally Posted By Paulup:
Hybrid bluegill from dunn's fish farm. I stock fathead minnows, toss in whatever floating commercial food the local feed store has in stock, and we throw breads and what not when it goes stale.

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Bluegill would be an option from the temperature standpoint. I'll take a look.
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Link Posted: 7/17/2011 8:33:26 PM EST
http://www.pondboss.com Click Ask the Boss/Forum link. Read until your eyeballs pop out. :)

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Link Posted: 7/18/2011 8:00:39 PM EST
Here's a video for ya



It's from the http://backyardaquaponics.com site.
.
There is also a small system called barrelponics from a group called F.A.S.T. http://www.fastonline.org/content/view/15/29/
it uses 3 each 55 gal plastic drums and is small enough to fit in most basements. it doesn't grow many fish but is a good starting point
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Link Posted: 7/22/2011 1:33:13 PM EST

Thanks guys for the additional links. I posted a thread in General Discussion looking for a way to seal a 500 gallon brine tank that had 28 holes in the bottom. I just got some rubber stoppers in today and will fill the tank tonight, assuming the stoppers fit the holes OK:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1208224_Need_help_from_engineers_and_hole_plugging_experts______.html
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Link Posted: 7/22/2011 5:34:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By Paulup:
Down here, we're required to have a $25000 CD that the DWF will have access to in the event that one of our fish gets out to fund a fish kill/clean up. It requires a license, inspections, 2 barriers to keep them from escaping into local waterways, and even meeting all of the requirements you still have to get the okay from a local inspector. I'm sticking to perch and catfish.


raising them in plastic containers on the ground should prevent any escapes.
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Link Posted: 7/23/2011 9:24:14 AM EST
Originally Posted By Ziggy2c:
Here's a video for ya

http://youtu.be/WYFM7J_TpTU

It's from the http://backyardaquaponics.com site.
.
There is also a small system called barrelponics from a group called F.A.S.T. http://www.fastonline.org/content/view/15/29/
it uses 3 each 55 gal plastic drums and is small enough to fit in most basements. it doesn't grow many fish but is a good starting point


That's very interesting, I would love to have a couple of those, one with perch and one with cat fish.

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Link Posted: 7/23/2011 1:26:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2011 1:49:40 PM EST by Ziggy2c]

Originally Posted By HaroldManback:
Originally Posted By Ziggy2c:
Here's a video for ya

http://youtu.be/WYFM7J_TpTU

It's from the http://backyardaquaponics.com site.
.
There is also a small system called barrelponics from a group called F.A.S.T. http://www.fastonline.org/content/view/15/29/
it uses 3 each 55 gal plastic drums and is small enough to fit in most basements. it doesn't grow many fish but is a good starting point


That's very interesting, I would love to have a couple of those, one with perch and one with cat fish.



I plan on setting up a system that has the grow beds from the IBC system, a little square foot gardening and the filtration system from this video. I figure with all that I should be more than able to produce at least 75% for the food for my family of three.


EDT: OK maybe more like 50%
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Link Posted: 7/24/2011 9:50:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By Ziggy2c:

Originally Posted By HaroldManback:
Originally Posted By Ziggy2c:
Here's a video for ya

http://youtu.be/WYFM7J_TpTU

It's from the http://backyardaquaponics.com site.
.
There is also a small system called barrelponics from a group called F.A.S.T. http://www.fastonline.org/content/view/15/29/
it uses 3 each 55 gal plastic drums and is small enough to fit in most basements. it doesn't grow many fish but is a good starting point


That's very interesting, I would love to have a couple of those, one with perch and one with cat fish.

http://youtu.be/CfR9nDsvBk8

I plan on setting up a system that has the grow beds from the IBC system, a little square foot gardening and the filtration system from this video. I figure with all that I should be more than able to produce at least 75% for the food for my family of three.


EDT: OK maybe more like 50%


I like the guys set up with the growing media inside removable containers better then the set up in the first video. If you ever had to modify, clean or make some kind of repair you could easily set the plants out.

Starting out might be kind of a learning curve, the fish would be small and probably produce little nitrogen for the plants. I was thinking that you would have to start with just a few plants and keep adding plants as the fish grew and produced more nutrients for the plants. Might be a bit of a balancing act getting the timing of fish and plant growth to match.

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Link Posted: 7/24/2011 11:03:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By HaroldManback:
Originally Posted By Ziggy2c:

Originally Posted By HaroldManback:
Originally Posted By Ziggy2c:
Here's a video for ya

http://youtu.be/WYFM7J_TpTU

It's from the http://backyardaquaponics.com site.
.
There is also a small system called barrelponics from a group called F.A.S.T. http://www.fastonline.org/content/view/15/29/
it uses 3 each 55 gal plastic drums and is small enough to fit in most basements. it doesn't grow many fish but is a good starting point


That's very interesting, I would love to have a couple of those, one with perch and one with cat fish.

http://youtu.be/CfR9nDsvBk8

I plan on setting up a system that has the grow beds from the IBC system, a little square foot gardening and the filtration system from this video. I figure with all that I should be more than able to produce at least 75% for the food for my family of three.


EDT: OK maybe more like 50%


I like the guys set up with the growing media inside removable containers better then the set up in the first video. If you ever had to modify, clean or make some kind of repair you could easily set the plants out.

Starting out might be kind of a learning curve, the fish would be small and probably produce little nitrogen for the plants. I was thinking that you would have to start with just a few plants and keep adding plants as the fish grew and produced more nutrients for the plants. Might be a bit of a balancing act getting the timing of fish and plant growth to match.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_19/648651_.html&page=1#bottom

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Link Posted: 7/30/2011 11:23:31 AM EST
Originally Posted By HaroldManback:
Originally Posted By Ziggy2c:

Originally Posted By HaroldManback:
Originally Posted By Ziggy2c:
Here's a video for ya

http://youtu.be/WYFM7J_TpTU

It's from the http://backyardaquaponics.com site.
.
There is also a small system called barrelponics from a group called F.A.S.T. http://www.fastonline.org/content/view/15/29/
it uses 3 each 55 gal plastic drums and is small enough to fit in most basements. it doesn't grow many fish but is a good starting point


That's very interesting, I would love to have a couple of those, one with perch and one with cat fish.

http://youtu.be/CfR9nDsvBk8

I plan on setting up a system that has the grow beds from the IBC system, a little square foot gardening and the filtration system from this video. I figure with all that I should be more than able to produce at least 75% for the food for my family of three.


EDT: OK maybe more like 50%


I like the guys set up with the growing media inside removable containers better then the set up in the first video. If you ever had to modify, clean or make some kind of repair you could easily set the plants out.

Starting out might be kind of a learning curve, the fish would be small and probably produce little nitrogen for the plants. I was thinking that you would have to start with just a few plants and keep adding plants as the fish grew and produced more nutrients for the plants. Might be a bit of a balancing act getting the timing of fish and plant growth to match.


It usually takes about six weeks to cycle a system, longer if the weather is cool. You can also used aged urine to give a little ammonia boost, or even to cycle the system fishless if you are worried about killing your fish.

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Link Posted: 8/1/2011 5:09:26 PM EST
Update:

Don't worry about posting other related info in this thread. I've found all the posts useful.

I picked up 4 blue channel catfish (about 4-5" long) at the pet store the other day. They were very expensive ($6 each) but I wanted to try them out. They're in the 500 gallon container and I think I'll just do periodic water exchanges for now. Over the winter I'll get the hydroponics portion of the aquaponics together. They seem to like it in there. So far I'm feeding them worms and flaked fish food that float to the bottom. We'll see how it goes.
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Link Posted: 8/1/2011 10:50:36 PM EST
Lets not archive this thread...

I am looking for an ibc container to try the above listed conversion.


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Link Posted: 8/4/2011 6:48:15 AM EST
I tried my hand at fish farming several years ago. Read all I could on the subject. Built a (what I thought was) suitable set up with 175 gal tank and appropriate sized auxillary containers for gravel, etc.

Got some cheap comets to check the system. They lived fine for a couple weeks so I invested in the cat fish. Every day, I'd come home and there would be a few more, dead, floating, white, corpses in my tank. The chemical analysis of the water was fine. They wouldn't eat the food.

I'm not sure if the temp change from day to night affected them. Or it could have been that they were used to eating krill at the fish farm. Not sure what was wrong and I never figured it out.

I got down to 5 fish and I do know what killed them. A shovel to the head and a burial in the garden.

I shut the system down and drained the tank, pretty much. There was a couple inches of water left. By the time fall rolled around, I decided to clean up the rest of the mess. There was algae growing in the water, etc. As I went to tip the tank over, there...swimming around, healthy as could be, was the lone, surviving golden comet.

I scooped him out and gave him to my daughter for her gold fish bowl. She named him Lazerus because he seemed unkillable.

He died in about a week.

I would like to give fish farming another go. Does anyone have evidence that an outdoor tank would fluctuate in temperature bad enough to harm catfish?

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Link Posted: 8/4/2011 7:11:35 AM EST
Just curious, but why catfish?

It seems like you could do just about any fish you wanted with the right homework.

I don't really know anything about fishfarming, so is there something about catfish that I don't know?


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Link Posted: 8/4/2011 7:59:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By celticmarksman:
Just curious, but why catfish?



Catfish are hardy and available in most areas. Fish like Tilapia and trout are too season specific. It's a lot easier to raise catfish and bluegill year round, even if there growth rates slow down in the colder months to due a lack of appetite.

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Link Posted: 8/4/2011 11:02:17 AM EST

Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos:
Originally Posted By celticmarksman:
Just curious, but why catfish?



Catfish are hardy and available in most areas. Fish like Tilapia and trout are too season specific. It's a lot easier to raise catfish and bluegill year round, even if there growth rates slow down in the colder months to due a lack of appetite.

I see, so primarily the small operations are run outdoors? I thought the whole point was to have a completely controlled environment for the critters. From the looks of it, it doesn't look feasable to try an operation like that up here.



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Link Posted: 8/4/2011 11:41:21 AM EST
You can do this indoors, a basement would be a great place, with the right lighting.

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Link Posted: 8/4/2011 10:02:17 PM EST
Originally Posted By MTNmyMag:
You can do this indoors, a basement would be a great place, with the right lighting.


Way to much power required.



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Link Posted: 8/4/2011 11:30:25 PM EST
A strictly aquaculture setup could be efficiently done indoors. Some people do aquaponics indoors, but the grow lights needed to produce anything meaningful on the plant side would cost way too much in electricity for me.

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Link Posted: 8/6/2011 5:22:24 PM EST
ARFCOM.....Time well wasted.

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Link Posted: 8/18/2011 5:42:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By Ridgerunner9876:
They wouldn't eat the food.


OK, well I've been having the same problem.

My 4 channel catfish didn't want to eat the food so I brought them indoors in a smaller container and 3 out of the 4 died. Not sure exactly why. The one I have left is doing OK.

These Channel Catfish are interesting. My only experience with catfish is with black and brown bullhead catfish where I grew up in Canada. They can get to between 1 to 2 pounds easily. There are a couple of nearby ponds that have a ton of black bullhead catfish so I will try to catch some on Saturday.

I've been doing a lot of reading at
Backyard Aquaponics
and learning a lot. I have a good background in science so I'm getting the concept of aquaponics.

I'm going to start looking for a water pump as well as grow beds for the plants. My plan would be to catch some black bullhead and get them to eat pelleted food. I can do water exchanges until the winter and then see if I can keep the water from freezing in my 500 gallon tank by putting an air bubbler in it. I just had an outlet installed outside so I can use it for powering the pump and bubbler.

I also caught a few yellow perch as these are also used in aquaponics and I can catch more locally. Another option would be common carp. If you feed them a good diet they actually taste very good if eaten when they are less than a few pounds.

Because of the short growing season for the fish here, I would likely overwinter fish and basically see if I could get them to eating size over two summers. I don't have time this year to get the hydroponics portion set up but I can get everything together for the spring.

I'm just thinking out loud here.
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Link Posted: 8/18/2011 5:53:09 PM EST
Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos:
Originally Posted By celticmarksman:
Just curious, but why catfish?



Catfish are hardy and available in most areas. Fish like Tilapia and trout are too season specific. It's a lot easier to raise catfish and bluegill year round, even if there growth rates slow down in the colder months to due a lack of appetite.



+1

Tilapia need water between 75 and 85F. That may work in AZ but not in the northern states.

Trout would maybe be a possibility here. I thought of putting my 500 gallon tank near the trout stream out back and pumping water continuously from the stream into the tank and letting it overflow out a tube back into the stream. The electric cord would have to be pretty long but I think it would be doable. But then it would simply be a aquaculture tank and not aquaponics ie. no plants involved.

As Corporal_Chaos points out, catfish, especially blue channel catfish, can tolerate near freezing temperatures all the way to 85+F. Although I'm having a hell of a time with mine.
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Link Posted: 8/18/2011 7:15:13 PM EST
Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By Ridgerunner9876:
They wouldn't eat the food.


OK, well I've been having the same problem.

My 4 channel catfish didn't want to eat the food so I brought them indoors in a smaller container and 3 out of the 4 died. Not sure exactly why. The one I have left is doing OK.

These Channel Catfish are interesting. My only experience with catfish is with black and brown bullhead catfish where I grew up in Canada. They can get to between 1 to 2 pounds easily. There are a couple of nearby ponds that have a ton of black bullhead catfish so I will try to catch some on Saturday.

I've been doing a lot of reading at
Backyard Aquaponics
and learning a lot. I have a good background in science so I'm getting the concept of aquaponics.

I'm going to start looking for a water pump as well as grow beds for the plants. My plan would be to catch some black bullhead and get them to eat pelleted food. I can do water exchanges until the winter and then see if I can keep the water from freezing in my 500 gallon tank by putting an air bubbler in it. I just had an outlet installed outside so I can use it for powering the pump and bubbler.

I also caught a few yellow perch as these are also used in aquaponics and I can catch more locally. Another option would be common carp. If you feed them a good diet they actually taste very good if eaten when they are less than a few pounds.

Because of the short growing season for the fish here, I would likely overwinter fish and basically see if I could get them to eating size over two summers. I don't have time this year to get the hydroponics portion set up but I can get everything together for the spring.

I'm just thinking out loud here.


Fish will go off their food for a lot of reasons. Contamination, pH, water temperature, ammonia and nitrite levels, dissolved oxygen, general handling stress, and many other things I'm sure, will put fish off their feed. Some also need to be taught that pellets are food, especially if you have caught wild fish that aren't used to pelleted feed. If you're fish aren't eating, they are telling you that they are stressed. Don't try to force food into them if they don't want it, and remove uneaten food from the water, as it will deteriorate water quality. It will take a long time for fish to starve to death, so if they are refusing feed, check your ater quality, correct deficiencies, and try again the next day. If you have to adjust water parameters, do it gradually, as sudden changes could stress the fish even more.

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Link Posted: 8/19/2011 3:22:14 AM EST
Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos:
Fish will go off their food for a lot of reasons. Contamination, pH, water temperature, ammonia and nitrite levels, dissolved oxygen, general handling stress, and many other things I'm sure, will put fish off their feed. Some also need to be taught that pellets are food, especially if you have caught wild fish that aren't used to pelleted feed. If you're fish aren't eating, they are telling you that they are stressed. Don't try to force food into them if they don't want it, and remove uneaten food from the water, as it will deteriorate water quality. It will take a long time for fish to starve to death, so if they are refusing feed, check your ater quality, correct deficiencies, and try again the next day. If you have to adjust water parameters, do it gradually, as sudden changes could stress the fish even more.


Good stuff. I'm going to use this summer/fall/winter to learn as much as I can about this in preparation for the spring. I have a 500 gallon brine tank and a 55 gallon drum. I will likely use the drum this winter indoors to learn more.

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Link Posted: 8/19/2011 4:37:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos:
Originally Posted By celticmarksman:
Just curious, but why catfish?



Catfish are hardy and available in most areas. Fish like Tilapia and trout are too season specific. It's a lot easier to raise catfish and bluegill year round, even if there growth rates slow down in the colder months to due a lack of appetite.



+1

Tilapia need water between 75 and 85F. That may work in AZ but not in the northern states.

Trout would maybe be a possibility here. I thought of putting my 500 gallon tank near the trout stream out back and pumping water continuously from the stream into the tank and letting it overflow out a tube back into the stream. The electric cord would have to be pretty long but I think it would be doable. But then it would simply be a aquaculture tank and not aquaponics ie. no plants involved.

As Corporal_Chaos points out, catfish, especially blue channel catfish, can tolerate near freezing temperatures all the way to 85+F. Although I'm having a hell of a time with mine.

This thread has had me so interested from the begining that I have been working on a small scale operation (55 gal drum) to try a test run. I think I will be trying the trout.

This may just be a pipe dream with all the other irons I currently have in the fire but I like to think I will be able to get to it.

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Link Posted: 8/21/2011 2:36:39 PM EST
Originally Posted By celticmarksman:

Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos:
Originally Posted By celticmarksman:
Just curious, but why catfish?



Catfish are hardy and available in most areas. Fish like Tilapia and trout are too season specific. It's a lot easier to raise catfish and bluegill year round, even if there growth rates slow down in the colder months to due a lack of appetite.



+1

Tilapia need water between 75 and 85F. That may work in AZ but not in the northern states.

Trout would maybe be a possibility here. I thought of putting my 500 gallon tank near the trout stream out back and pumping water continuously from the stream into the tank and letting it overflow out a tube back into the stream. The electric cord would have to be pretty long but I think it would be doable. But then it would simply be a aquaculture tank and not aquaponics ie. no plants involved.

As Corporal_Chaos points out, catfish, especially blue channel catfish, can tolerate near freezing temperatures all the way to 85+F. Although I'm having a hell of a time with mine.

This thread has had me so interested from the begining that I have been working on a small scale operation (55 gal drum) to try a test run. I think I will be trying the trout.

This may just be a pipe dream with all the other irons I currently have in the fire but I like to think I will be able to get to it.


I have a lot of irons in the fire too, so I know what you mean.

I've always liked to keep fish in buckets and aquariums, although I just kind of winged it. The Backyardaquaponics website is full of great information right there on the home page even without reading the forums, although they have a ton of information too.

As long as you can keep the temperature lowish, I think trout will work well.
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Link Posted: 8/21/2011 5:59:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/21/2011 6:02:17 PM EST by PAPI]
I'm very seriously looking at setting-up a system ( IBC; 275 / 300 gal ) hopefully next year ( looking to buy a new home ) .

I've had some experience with small ( 70 gallon aquriums ) fish tanks over the years.

My two cents : Maybe your introducing the " Catfish " too soon ??

I would use small ( cheap ) feeder fish ( 12 Gold Fish ) for a few months, to get the tank started. And then later introducing a few catfish ( 2 ) before adding any more !

PAPI


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Link Posted: 8/27/2011 4:17:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2011 4:17:46 PM EST by C-4]
Originally Posted By PAPI:
I'm very seriously looking at setting-up a system ( IBC; 275 / 300 gal ) hopefully next year ( looking to buy a new home ) .

I've had some experience with small ( 70 gallon aquriums ) fish tanks over the years.

My two cents : Maybe your introducing the " Catfish " too soon ??

I would use small ( cheap ) feeder fish ( 12 Gold Fish ) for a few months, to get the tank started. And then later introducing a few catfish ( 2 ) before adding any more !


PAPI



That's exactly what I'm going to do. It's excellent advice, especially after all the reading I've done. I've also kept a lot of goldfish over the years. About the only thing that kills them is sometimes a bowel obstruction/getting "stopped up". They're also cheap like you point out.

ETA: I agree the catfish were introduced too soon.
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Link Posted: 8/28/2011 10:17:56 AM EST
I thought you could not add tap water to a fish tank because of the chlorine and other chemicals used to make the drinking water clean?

Wouldn't this still apply to a hydroponics system?

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Link Posted: 8/28/2011 7:19:19 PM EST
chlorine is very bad for fish but the good news is over time, chlorine gasses off. You can speed the process by adding aeration to the water. All fish are different but at a minimum, you should age water 24 hours before adding it to any tank. Another option is adding commercial chlorine removers to the water. I like a product called amquel but there are several brands out that that all work fairly well.

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