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I am trying to start a breeding colony of blue tilapia.  I have my larger fish in a 200 gallon ibc tote and they are fine in there.  I got a 29 gallon tank to pull a couple out to try to breed and the males get so aggresive when placed in this small tank they literally beat the females to death.  They are only 5" long so i wasn't thinking over-crowding would be an issue.  Doesn't matter if i put 2 males and 3 females down to 1 male and 1 female.  Always the same result.  Even put different males in and removed what i thought were the over aggresive males.  Tank too small?? only think i can figure.  Although i have red niles that are breeding nicely in 25 gallons of water in a poly tank.  Any ideas?

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i think your breeder tank is too small.. i'd go at least 55 gallon.. 1 male to 3 to 5 females, put in a couple flower pots facing away from each other so that the male can stake out a territory where he can't see the other fish

My guess is if they get along in the IBC and not in the aquarium it's a size issue. I only have 1 male and 4 females in my half filled IBC (I know, overkill) and I never see any aggressive action. But these are all adult fish about a year old. When one of the females stop eating I move her to a 30 gallon tank. When she spits out the fry I move her back after a couple of days. If you don't have a large aquarium you can pick up a large plastic tote from Home Depot and try it out. That's what I used for the birthing tank. Then if you want you can leave the fry there to grow for a bit. Make sure you have a fine screen on the filter pick-up.

I'm a lil shocked they haven't bred in the ibc tote. That was the plan! But my water temp is 65° right now and can't really afford to heat 200 gal to 80°! I don't have any hiding spots in the tote though. Like flower pots or PVC pipe. Are your fish indoor or outdoor? What are your temps?

My fish are in a small greenhouse that I don't keep very warm. They like 80+ degrees to breed and I do keep the water warm. I put a flower pot and PVC "hotel" in but haven't noticed any use. They eat their young and you'll never know they are there however I have 25-30 2" fingerlings in there that survived on their own. I didn't see them until they were about 1 1/2". They stayed hidden. Guess that's how they survived. How many fish do you have? If there are few enough that you can determine when one is not eating pull her out. If you put her in a tank and she won't eat just wait for up to a week and you might get some fry. I got 2-300 my first batch. I'll give you some tips on how to separate mom from them.

I have about 15 6" fish in there now. I have been watching to see if any become inactive at feeding time. Apparently the water has just been too cold to breed. I'll take any tips, suggestions ya got! I dont wat to buy any more fish and I need more!

One thing you can do is take out half your water. This will allow you to observe your fish better and you can heat your IBC for about half the cost. Cover the top of the IBC (with Styrofoam insulation if possible) to help contain the heat. Cover the sides too if you can. I used 1" styrofoam on mine. All this could lower the heating cost by 75%. Are you using a grow bed?

BTW I keep a 35 gallon trash can full of ready to use water around for those times when I need water quick to do a water change or set up a birthing tank.

Yes, there is a grow bed on top. It's indoors and I have built a greenhouse to enclose my systems. I have four units. The air temp is around 75, but the tanks sit on the floor and pull heat from my basement which is freezing at this point. Really just trying to limp through winter without heating the tank. I'm sure I'll have heat issues in a few months. That's why I got the breeding tank to limit the water I had to heat. I do have a 75 gallon tank so I'll prolly just set up that tank and keep the 29 for the babies and a birthing tank.

You've probably already thought of this but if you can raise your FT and slide some styrofoam under it you will notice a big change in temps. I too am trying to get through my first winter. Now trying to get my veggies to produce.

Yeah, I def wasn't prepared for this hard of a winter. Tanks were really meant for grow outs only. Need to raise them off floor, but just havent got the chance. What veggies you trying?? I'm have great luck with them!! Lol. I have tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, lettuce, kale, squash, zucchini, and some peas. Have had pretty good luck with all those!

When I started 8 months ago I planted tomatoes, bell peppers, & squash squash. One pepper plant and one tomatoe plant grew. I got 3 small peppers and that's it. Since then I threw some more seeds in and a few more plants started to grow but none are producing. In the beginning the plants looked healthy but not any more. That was back in the summer and I had plenty of natural light. Just today I put in a 400 watt grow light. I'm figuring that's a lot of the problem. I'm also planning on using the heat from the light to provide some GH heat. Also just got some test kits to check nutrients. Haven't worried too much about the plants but now that I'm getting more fish I need them to filter the water.

Chris Griggs said:

Yeah, I def wasn't prepared for this hard of a winter. Tanks were really meant for grow outs only. Need to raise them off floor, but just havent got the chance. What veggies you trying?? I'm have great luck with them!! Lol. I have tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, lettuce, kale, squash, zucchini, and some peas. Have had pretty good luck with all those!
Natural sunlight wasn't an option unfortunately for me. I have a 400 watt hps and 2 400 watt mh's. And also 300 watts of flouresents. Def sound like a light issue, but also looks to be on top of it. Did u go hps or mh?

I got both bulbs but started with MH. Sounds like you could turn off one of those 400w lights and put that power in your fish tank and grow babies LOL.



Chris Griggs said:

Natural sunlight wasn't an option unfortunately for me. I have a 400 watt hps and 2 400 watt mh's. And also 300 watts of flouresents. Def sound like a light issue, but also looks to be on top of it. Did u go hps or mh?

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