Backyard Aquaculture (fish farming)

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Oilystairs
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Re: Backyard Aquaculture (fish farming)

Post: #253166 Oilystairs
Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:24 pm

Hi Chuck, good luck with the tilapia.

We keep feeding our trout through the extreme cold weathe but i think they are becoming fairly self sufficient. They rise nicely for the pelleted fish food i throw. I'll have to catch a few to gauge how much weight they have put on.

Cheers

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chuck_n_grace
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Re: Backyard Aquaculture (fish farming)

Post: #253186 chuck_n_grace
Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:49 am

@Oilystairs,
Have you figured out how much feed is required to grow them to a certain weight?

*Update*
I measured an average size fingerling this evening. It weighed 24g. So 24g x 25 fish = 600 g of biomass. I'm planning on trying 3% per day. After a bunch of calcs the group should increase in size by 80g per week. That's theory. I'll take another measurement next week to find out if it works. The temperature may be a bit too low still for them to eat normally. I'll experiment.

One thing about Tilapia, they are very difficult to net. I'm marginally optimistic I can catch one next week to weigh. =)

I planted seeds in the growbed this past week. I decided to do that because one of our tomato plants broke two weeks ago. I placed this broken part in fish water and the roots have really taken off. I've not seen that before. So I figure the nitrates must be just right.

I'll post another youtube video when I get a chance soon.

Regards,
Chuck

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Re: Backyard Aquaculture (fish farming)

Post: #253312 Oilystairs
Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:49 pm

Hey Chuck,

I am not being at all scientific so i am chucking a handful a day as per instruction from the fish farmer. He told me to stop when the food runs out which it has just about. They should be eating bugs and weeds from now on.

My concern now is the stork that has appeared this morning. He must be hungry with the bad weather we are having. Any tips to get rid?

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Re: Backyard Aquaculture (fish farming)

Post: #253408 Henwoman
Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:41 pm

I've just bought two life size plastic herons for my garden pond. Maybe there's something similar to suit you.

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chuck_n_grace
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Re: Backyard Aquaculture (fish farming)

Post: #253466 chuck_n_grace
Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:49 pm

Hi
Stork? If you're running an 'organic' and 'natural' operation then the stork eating your fish is to be expected. Over time that should attract stork predators...hawks maybe?. But then again, humans are also predators from a natural perspective, so a rifle might do the trick. =)

Two plastic herons sounds interesting...or a scare crow anchored on a raft in the center of the pond with moving and waving bits.

*Update*
Setup 10 gal aquarium in order to observe the Tilapia. Took me 15 minutes to catch two of those little guys. I think they know I'm going to eat them one day. =) Anyhow they should be viewable on my Tilapia Cam.

The Tilapia doesn't seem interested in eating 3% of their body weight. So I'm supposing they may be eating considerable less since the temp is only around 76 deg F. The fish in the aquarium should help me to figure that out.

Cucumbers and bush beans are now poping up several inches in the growbeds. The tomato plant is doing quite nicely.

We've had a mild winter here in the Carolina. I'm beginning to harvest lettuce (various types). These plants are great because they are from last years seed.

Regards,
Chuck

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Re: Backyard Aquaculture (fish farming)

Post: #253963 Spinpup
Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:43 pm

I'm also interested in aquaculture/aquaponics. Had a difficult job keeping indoor fish alive - apart from catfish, so they're obviously resilient enough to be a possibility for us.

How are yours now Chuck?

Regards
Michelle

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Re: Backyard Aquaculture (fish farming)

Post: #254498 chuck_n_grace
Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:20 pm

Hi,
The Tilapia are still alive. I've stopped feeding because the ammonia level is starting to creep up. I'll check tomorrow. I've rotated the heater from a vertical to a diagonal orientation. I understand that the temperature sensor is in the top, and that the heat rising might cause it to cycle off. I'll check the temperature tomorrow. I had several bush bean plants shoot up to about 12" tall. Lettuce and tomato seedlings are sprouting. Transplanted the larger bean plants to a soiled pot to see how they do. I water these plants with fish water.

The Goldfish tank spiked to a level that was noticeably stressing them. Here's a couple of tips:

* If fish are sucking continuously at the surface of the tank then they are not getting enough oxygen. If this is happening to several than there is a problem with the tank. If it is only one then that fish should be isolated in another tank because it may be sick.
* If all fish are sucking below the surface and acting a bit lethargic, then ammonia levels are high enough to stress them out.
* Is there are several floaters.... =)

Did a 20% changeout. Pumped out 160L of water and replaced with water from the rain tank. Reinserted the air stones. I had removed them last week. Also found that the filter inlet was jammed up with fiberfill. I cleared that portion of the tube and flow rate jumped up.

I added three homemade spawning mops. Grace gave me some extra dark yarn. I'm trying this because the goldfish are showing some signs of either horseplay or mating...not too sure. The dark mops are to provide a place for goldfish to lay eggs.

My new filter system, with larger inner diameter tubing, failed on testing. Apparently the clear aquarium sealer clogged up one of the 90 degree elbows. I've repaired. I'll try again tomorrow evening to see if this will work.

Added a PVC pipe around the aquarium (10 gallon) filter inlet. The pipe has tiny holes drilled at bottom.This forces water to be sucked in from the bottom of the tank. I can add a nylon stocking over the bottom of the pipe in the event that I get some Goldfish fry.

That's about it for now.

Regards,
Chuck

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Re: Backyard Aquaculture (fish farming)

Post: #255242 chuck_n_grace
Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:51 pm

Hi,
Cucumber and bush beans are doing quite nicely in the grow beds. We decided we'll use this as the nursery to get the plants started before moving them outside. Hard to believe that are average last frost is in 4 weeks.

I moved three goldfish to the tilapia tank. They're still alive. I was hoping that the goldfish, which always came to the surface when they saw me, might bring the tilapia up so they could eat right away. Nope! The goldfish are now behaving like tilapia. There is one funny behavior. You can peek and watch the fish swimming and then raise the cover. They all stop and remain absolutely still for about 10 seconds. The goldfish try to do this...but they must have attention deficit disorder (ADD). They can only remain motionless for about 3 seconds...and they just gotta move. =)

I'm hoping that this 'polyculture' of fish might be a positive thing. The goldfish continue to eat non-stop so I'm hoping they'll go after an 'over feeding'. Still too soon to tell.

I got the new filter working. Wow! The flow rate is terrific and the water quality is simply the best I've ever seen.

I can't decide on my next design for a tank. Still working on that. This next tank will be a grow out tank for some Tilapia. I'm trying to build a self contained system (including lights) that doesn't require anything on the floor next to the tank or mounted to the ceiling and wall.

Regards,
Chuck

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Re: Backyard Aquaculture (fish farming)

Post: #255741 chuck_n_grace
Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:27 am

Spent afternoon with family who are very self-sufficient...minus electricity. I obtained my Tilapia fingerlings from this place. We got another tour, this time in the daylight. I was able to ask a few dozen questions about fish. This guy Travis has been doing this for nearly 10 years.

Came back very encouraged. I'm read to move on to a larger backyard project. I'll post more later.

Regards,
Chuck

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Re: Backyard Aquaculture (fish farming)

Post: #259586 chuck_n_grace
Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:35 pm

Hi,
I've got lots of stuff to show and report.

We came home from church last Sunday to discover tiny Tilapia fry swimming about in the sump tank. Even pulled some out of the filter alive. Here are Tilapia eggs, hatchlings, and young fry taken 4.30.2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjx2hItkojE&feature=youtu.be

Here's a live feed of the 'Baby Tilapia Cam'. These have almost doubled in size since last week. Feeding crushed pellets. http://myfish.camstreams.com

Here's the latest Tilapia system. Relocated all goldfish outdoors to make more room inside. Tank on the right is the breeding tank. Tanks on the left are grow out tanks.
http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee405/ourphotos1988/Aquaculture_aquaponics_gardening%20April%202012/tilapiasystem1.jpg

Backside shot of breeding tank overflowing into blue barrel. A pump and heater is located inside barrel. Water is pumped back up into a pump. http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee405/ourphotos1988/Aquaculture_aquaponics_gardening%20April%202012/tilapiasystem2.jpg

Breeding tank biofilter. This has separate pump bringing up water from the main tank. Found several Tilapia fry inside. Using 1 quart Mason jar for the filter.
http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee405/ourphotos1988/Aquaculture_aquaponics_gardening%20April%202012/tilapiasystem3.jpg

Tilapia eat Goldfish if they should become weak or die suddenly. This was a bit ghastly.
http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee405/ourphotos1988/Aquaculture_aquaponics_gardening%20April%202012/tilapiaeatgoldfish.jpg

Patio goldfish aquaponics. Operational since March 2012.
http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee405/ourphotos1988/Aquaculture_aquaponics_gardening%20April%202012/patiofish1.jpg

New outdoor system for goldfish with growbed. In ground pond/tank is about 300 gallons.
http://i1226.photobucket.com/albums/ee405/ourphotos1988/Aquaculture_aquaponics_gardening%20April%202012/pond5.jpg

That's about it.

Regards,
Chuck n Grace

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Re: Backyard Aquaculture (fish farming)

Post: #259684 Oilystairs
Wed May 02, 2012 5:04 pm

Hi All,

Sorry i forgot to look on this for a while - very busy lately. Good to see the aqua culture is going well over in Carolina and congratulations on the successful birthing! Would the spawning mops work for trout? I was told they need a fine gravel bed and also my fish farm trout may be sterile or just not know what to do but i doubt that.

The heron problem is solved as the cold killed quite a few in this area - good suggestion on the rifle but they are protected over here. I installed a wire around 18 inches from the floor and 15-45 inches back from the edge of the lake and that put the heron off.

My trout are growing well - probably about 50% longer than when they arrived and the insect popultation is enormous here so they should really boom this spring. I haven't caught any yet - not got round to it.

I tried loads of methods to siphon water from the canal above the pond but the drop wasn't enough to overcome the pipe resistance so i went to plan B and added a 12V pump, car battery and 10W solar panel to circulate water and drop it around 24 inches into the water. Do you think i need some kind of fountain spray to increase oxygenation? The trout seem to be happy with the extra oxygenation (it has been pumping non stop for 5 days now) and i will now add some water lilies and any other oxygen giving plants i can scrounge. Anything to keep the algae away.

We hope to swim in the pond this summer if the algae stays away - anyone know if this will affect the fish in a negative way?

Good luck to all and happy fishing, Al

DSC05757.JPG
This is the pump set up
DSC05757.JPG (106.45 KiB) Viewed 3117 times
Attachments
DSC05761.JPG
Here is one of the fish
DSC05761.JPG (52.71 KiB) Viewed 3117 times

twosmokeforever
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Re: Backyard Aquaculture (fish farming)

Post: #259724 twosmokeforever
Thu May 03, 2012 6:48 am

i'm sure you can add a bale of hay or straw (you would need to check) which I guess releases infuserions (maybe spelt wrong) which are a tiny criter that eat algae. I used to breed these in a window sill to feed tropical fish fry

but I have definatley seen bales in lakes I have fished

unsure about your pump, wouldn't the draw be greater than the input from the panel (certainley if it runs at night)

watercress (becareful of liver fluke) & lilly can be both be used as human food and will offer an ecosystem, fish can live in still water but only in limited numbers, small numbers will also be less dependant on food from you, as larvae etc will be in greater numbers, shallow weeded edges that are difficult for the fish to get into will attract frogs, and fish love tadpoles

I know of great natural lake at the bottom of wealthy man's garden filled with trout and crayfish (think carefully before introducing these)

is the pood filled by a natural source?

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Re: Backyard Aquaculture (fish farming)

Post: #259762 Oilystairs
Thu May 03, 2012 2:00 pm

Hi, if the battery runs down, i'll charge it on the mains overnight. 6 days now and counting

Interesting you mention liver fluke because we have sheep and they are prone to that and our ground is all in a flood plain so close to the water table - would i need to get the water sampled to check it is safe to swim?

The lake is filled by natural drainage from our land - managed organically and no animals on the area that drain into the lake. I would say around 1000l per hour is refreshed as a rough estimate depending on recent rainfall.

We introduced 50 trout last autumn and the lake is around 30m x 15 and i think 2 metres deep (never drained it) so i think we haven't overstocked. I found one dead trout around 2 weeks ago but the rest seem to be moving around and eating well.

The frogs have been laying eggs like crazy and the tadpoles are clinging to the edge so i think the trout are getting pretty fat right now. Long may this continue. If we can keep the temperature low enough and the oxygen up enough, the trout will have a prosperous summer and by next spring they may be big enough to eat/smoke.

re water lilies - when is a good time to transplant? My neighbour has offered some but they haven't grown much since the end of winter yet.

Thanks, Al


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