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What are your favorite fish types? What are you growing with now?  What are the pros and cons you've discovered in working with different fish?

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Groan, some one put a lot of thought to work out that carp to carp walleting.
Hopefully that's "el fin" of the bad puns.


Sylvia Bernstein said:
Ahhh. Didn't know that. The things I learn with this group...

So I decided to see if there actually were any catfish puns and here is what I found

What did the catfish say when it swam upstream and hit its head on a concrete wall?
Dam!

But then thre was the carp joke that made me laugh for a full minute (yes, this says a lot about my sense of humor)...

Two fishermen were out on the lake when one of them dropped his wallet. As they watched the wallet flutter down toward the bottom, a carp came along and grabbed the wallet. Soon came another carp who stole it away and then a third joined in. Remarked one of the fisherman, “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen carp-to-carp walleting.”


Can you stand it?!?!
Ha! Good one, JT!

Hey, did you see...Lilley is going to have catfish in early May! How "purrrfect" is that? Maybe you can meet Pamela and I down there when they arrive.

john thompson said:
Hopefully that's "el fin" of the bad puns.


Sylvia Bernstein said:
Ahhh. Didn't know that. The things I learn with this group...

So I decided to see if there actually were any catfish puns and here is what I found

What did the catfish say when it swam upstream and hit its head on a concrete wall?
Dam!

But then thre was the carp joke that made me laugh for a full minute (yes, this says a lot about my sense of humor)...

Two fishermen were out on the lake when one of them dropped his wallet. As they watched the wallet flutter down toward the bottom, a carp came along and grabbed the wallet. Soon came another carp who stole it away and then a third joined in. Remarked one of the fisherman, “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen carp-to-carp walleting.”


Can you stand it?!?!
Count me in on the catfish, I"m ready for tilapia when the water warms too, maybe late May?

My trout mostly made it through the winter. I had a monstrous pH spike when the weather warmed (and of course was travelling that week so didn't catch it in time) and since I hadn't been growing anything off the tank all winter the water was so nitrogen rich that it turned thick with algae. The trout suffered, I lost one and others had a few gross white issues. But 3 50% water changes later they are healing, healthy and attacking their food again. Lettuce and grasses are growing in the beds and soaking up the nitrogen, and soon I'll have bigger plants growing. The trout are all eating size.

I learned that you can over winter (and grow) cold hardy fish without growing green stuff, I'd just do a few more water changes sooner in late winter/early spring. I did have in tank gravel beds as well as external ones running, so it's possible the bacteria were still working. Water temp, with a pond heater, stayed about 40 degrees all winter. Hopefully this year I get a large cold frame built around the pond and beds so I can grow through the winter this year, and that likely solves the nitrogen build up issues. I love learning this stuff! I figure I've got to get the trout 'et by late May or it will be too hot for them. I think I have about a dozen left. I ate my first one in early March. Tasty!
ugh. you're right Aleece, someonce thought about that one really hard. but i did shoot a little coffee out my nose.

Sylvia Bernstein said:
Ahhh. Didn't know that. The things I learn with this group...

So I decided to see if there actually were any catfish puns and here is what I found

What did the catfish say when it swam upstream and hit its head on a concrete wall?
Dam!

But then thre was the carp joke that made me laugh for a full minute (yes, this says a lot about my sense of humor)...

Two fishermen were out on the lake when one of them dropped his wallet. As they watched the wallet flutter down toward the bottom, a carp came along and grabbed the wallet. Soon came another carp who stole it away and then a third joined in. Remarked one of the fisherman, “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen carp-to-carp walleting.”


Can you stand it?!?!
Thanks for the update, Pamela! Either way works for me - I'm only looking at about 10 tops so I figure I'm just along for the ride. This is your show.

Pamela Urbas said:
Liley Catfish Update: I talked to K.C. and they are expecting catfish May 4th. The problem is, they aren't quite sure what SIZE catfish they will be getting. In the past they have been 8-10 inches, with more on the side of 8 than 10. At that size, he figures they will be charging $3 a fish for small (<50) quantities. I asked whether he'd go lower if a bunch of us went in on a pack of them and he didn't think so because he says it's pretty expensive to get them here.

I'm also looking into other options.
Hey JT,

Thanks so much for the wonderfully detailed summary about your experience with trout over a Colorado winter. Awesome learning. Did you ever sink the fish tank into the ground or insulate it in any way? Although I've read that nitrifying bacteria die off when temps hit freezing I think you clearly must have had something going on to not suffer ammonia spikes until now. Let us know when you fire up that smoker again!

john thompson said:
Count me in on the catfish, I"m ready for tilapia when the water warms too, maybe late May?

My trout mostly made it through the winter. I had a monstrous pH spike when the weather warmed (and of course was travelling that week so didn't catch it in time) and since I hadn't been growing anything off the tank all winter the water was so nitrogen rich that it turned thick with algae. The trout suffered, I lost one and others had a few gross white issues. But 3 50% water changes later they are healing, healthy and attacking their food again. Lettuce and grasses are growing in the beds and soaking up the nitrogen, and soon I'll have bigger plants growing. The trout are all eating size.

I learned that you can over winter (and grow) cold hardy fish without growing green stuff, I'd just do a few more water changes sooner in late winter/early spring. I did have in tank gravel beds as well as external ones running, so it's possible the bacteria were still working. Water temp, with a pond heater, stayed about 40 degrees all winter. Hopefully this year I get a large cold frame built around the pond and beds so I can grow through the winter this year, and that likely solves the nitrogen build up issues. I love learning this stuff! I figure I've got to get the trout 'et by late May or it will be too hot for them. I think I have about a dozen left. I ate my first one in early March. Tasty!
I did three things that I think helped alleviate problems. 1) pond heater. This kept ice off the surface even through our deepest chills (and allowed for gas exchange). It was cheap and kept temps around 40 degrees on top. 2) sunk the whole stock tank. This kept heat in better than something exposed above ground. 3) set the pump in a bucket of lava rock so that the bacteria could live there even if the exposed (above ground) gravel beds got too cold for them to live or function. I'd say it did a fair job. To do it over I'd do 50% water changes on warmer days in Jan/Feb and March. I had lettuce growing through mid-December in the system. I was amazed how healthy they were for how long with very little filtration.

Sylvia Bernstein said:
Hey JT,

Thanks so much for the wonderfully detailed summary about your experience with trout over a Colorado winter. Awesome learning. Did you ever sink the fish tank into the ground or insulate it in any way? Although I've read that nitrifying bacteria die off when temps hit freezing I think you clearly must have had something going on to not suffer ammonia spikes until now. Let us know when you fire up that smoker again!

john thompson said:
Count me in on the catfish, I"m ready for tilapia when the water warms too, maybe late May?

My trout mostly made it through the winter. I had a monstrous pH spike when the weather warmed (and of course was travelling that week so didn't catch it in time) and since I hadn't been growing anything off the tank all winter the water was so nitrogen rich that it turned thick with algae. The trout suffered, I lost one and others had a few gross white issues. But 3 50% water changes later they are healing, healthy and attacking their food again. Lettuce and grasses are growing in the beds and soaking up the nitrogen, and soon I'll have bigger plants growing. The trout are all eating size.

I learned that you can over winter (and grow) cold hardy fish without growing green stuff, I'd just do a few more water changes sooner in late winter/early spring. I did have in tank gravel beds as well as external ones running, so it's possible the bacteria were still working. Water temp, with a pond heater, stayed about 40 degrees all winter. Hopefully this year I get a large cold frame built around the pond and beds so I can grow through the winter this year, and that likely solves the nitrogen build up issues. I love learning this stuff! I figure I've got to get the trout 'et by late May or it will be too hot for them. I think I have about a dozen left. I ate my first one in early March. Tasty!
Has anyone tried mixing catfish and tilapia in a single large tank? I can't think of why it wouldn't work and may even be beneficial as one is free swimming and the cat is bottom dwelling. The biggest issue would be getting food to the cats without the tilapia scarfing it.

I'm using a 600 gallon pool for a low density system that is heavily oxygenated; 7.0ph. I also add maxicrop to the system, gives the plants some added nutrients and the dark water it creates helps the fish hide from some local egrets. I have about 40 fish in the system and need to add around 30-40 more. I was planning on more Tilapia but I do love the taste of catfish.
I think you could have catfish and tilapia in the same tank. My only concern might be that tilapia can get a bit aggressive so adding tiny other type of tiny fish might leave them open to attach from the tilapia. Catfish of similar size I expect would be ok with tilapia and you might also benefit from the catfish maybe predating on the tilapia fry but I found that well fed catfish are a bit lazy and won't put much effort into catching the fast moving tilapia.

Keep in mind that my advise is kinda a guess here since I generally kept my tilapia caged and the catfish had the run of the tank outside the cage. I was caging the tilapia to keep them from breeding. However, I one dropped a large pvc fitting into the cage and didn't take it out right away until I noticed that there had been some breeding going on. I won't up with fry loose in the system and the catfish didn't manage to eat them all, I don't know if the catfish ever even ate any of them. On occasion I even had a single tilapia jump out of a net and fall into the larger tank with the catfish. That tilapia survived just fine.

I do not know for certain how small catfish fingerlings would fair dumped into a tank with hungry juvenile tilapia or in a small tank with an aggressive breeding population of tilapia. The male tilapia when involved in breeding behavior can be rather aggressive and a female getting ready to release her fry can be even more aggressive. I've had both situations result in other dead tilapia.

What size are the current 40 tilapia in the system? And what kind of feed are you giving them?
Oh, with catfish you need to keep the salt levels quite low. Tilapia can survive sea water but catfish really are fresh water fish and could have issues with salt over 4 ppt.
The tilapia are fingerlings, so size isn't an issue. I have no salt in the system, so that isn't a problem. I'm feedingDense Culture pellets from Aquatic Eco-Systems.

I may need to load Cosmo into the car and head over to Center Hill. What do they generally charge for channel cat fingerlings?
Phone up Florida Fish Farms and ask if they have any fingerlings available before you make the drive. Definitely arrange a day/time with them when you are going to be there cause you might otherwise fine yourself standing around wondering where everyone might be.

Last I knew they were charging something like 30 cents for the little fingerlings and 60 cents for the bigger ones and I think they usually have a $30 minimum order. They do not always have fingerlings available and they are not going to go into a pond for a small order. You might have to bug them for a while till they do get a large order and then you will be able to get a small number of fish from them at that time. (Figuring that small orders are ones that can be packed in bags. Large orders involve hauling trucks.)

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