Aquaponic Gardening

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I have 7 tilapia, around 6", in a 6' 100 gallon tank with a group of BN plecos. They are not hooked up to any growbeds but I do intend to eat them. I don't have any tanks bigger than 15 gallons empty right now, so I'm hoping I can just treat the whole tank. One tilapia is significantly affected - several fuzzy white spots on fins and a red spot by the mouth - two others have a small fuzzy patch each.

I put a half cup of salt in this morning to begin raising the salinity, but I don't have a method for measuring salinity yet.  Any advice? I've read about some of you catfish keepers dealing with columnaris, but I wasn't sure about considerations particular to tilapia...

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Well I know they make medicated feed for catfish but I wouldn't use that in an aquaponics system since it would probably kill the bio-filter since it is an antibiotic.  They use it for catfish meant for human consumption but you have to wait a certain period of time after treatment before the fish can be harvested.

I've usually just done my best to remove any fish that look really sick and then a bit of salt and make the water quality as good as possible and minimize stress and most of my other fish have recovered.  but I'm growing Catfish not tilapia.

Thanks for the thoughts; I'm glad to hear salt has been effective for you, TC.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will work for me, too.  How much do you salt?

As far as antibiotics go, I don't want to dose the whole tank but I was honestly thinking of dipping the sick fish in a medicated bath since the infection is external. I thought better of it because I was concerned I might be encouraging drug-resistant mutations by introducing antibiotics to the tank at a less-than-effective dose. Plus, netting is stressful.

I've got about 6 lbs of salt in the 100g system; I also blended up some aloe pulp with tank water and added it in.  The tank temp I've kept up around 83-4F.  I should knock on wood before posting this, but all the fish are healing nicely.  

They've also decided it's time to start breeding!  We've got pit digging and chasing up the wazoo.  The warmer temps seemed to have pushed my teenaged fish over the edge into a mating frenzy.  The kids just grow up so fast... they're not even 6 months! ;)

HI there!! I dont know if you have solved your sick fish problems,, but salt will cure many illness you may have in your tilapia tank.. I use it as a first line defense as it doesnt contaminate your fish from being able to eat them later. Here is a link for you to check out.. i think you will find all your answers in this article Good Luck!  http://greatlakestilapia.com/salt-treatment-for-tilapia.html

you may want to try 13 ppm salinity as seawater is around 22 ppm. Mozambique Tilapia enjoy even higher salinity. Articles in the past have indicated that tilapia will not spawn in the moderate salt levels, however there are some university sudies that have reputed that old claim. Be careful if you are using salt in your aquaponics as many of your plants will not like the salt additive.

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