Aquaponic Gardening

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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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Channel catfish can over winter without substantial heat. (Well, big ones will just fine, little tiny babies tend to starve to death if the water is too cold for them to eat.) Catfish won't grow much when the water is below 55 degrees but they will survive. Mine are starting to eat well again now that the water is above 55 F.
How low can the temperature go for them and still reasonably survive? I know goldfish, koi, and trout can all go to ice over the top of the tank as long as a whole is left in the ice for oxygen. I think perch are the same (I'd love some confirmation here). Tialipia can go down to 60 (mine have, anyway, when there was a problem with the heater. Didn't lose any).

TCLynx said:
Channel catfish can over winter without substantial heat. (Well, big ones will just fine, little tiny babies tend to starve to death if the water is too cold for them to eat.) Catfish won't grow much when the water is below 55 degrees but they will survive. Mine are starting to eat well again now that the water is above 55 F.
Channel catfish survive wild in most of the USA. So if your fingerling stock is from a local hatchery, the catfish should be able to survive in local waterways over winter (provided they are larger than small fingerlings when the cold weather arrives.) Half of my way too small fingerings survived water at 32 F for a few weeks even but many were starving to death at that temp since they were too small to have the fat reserves to survive that long without eating. So, Provided your water keeps flowing and the catfish are not whispy little things, if they are local they should survive. When I talk about local, I mean if you live in a cold Northern state, you probably don't want to get catfish from a hatchery in Florida as they will be Southern stock and better adapted to warm water and not as good for your winters and the reverse is true, I would not want game fish from a Northern hatchery as they would not likely be prepared for 90+ F water that I could get here in the hot months.

Anyway, I know catfish can survive in places where water ways freeze over in winter so I'm pretty sure they will survive in a flowing AP system over the winter.
OK, you've finally convinced me to grow catfish! Now I just have to find someone around here who sells fingerlings...

TCLynx said:
Channel catfish survive wild in most of the USA. So if your fingerling stock is from a local hatchery, the catfish should be able to survive in local waterways over winter (provided they are larger than small fingerlings when the cold weather arrives.) Half of my way too small fingerings survived water at 32 F for a few weeks even but many were starving to death at that temp since they were too small to have the fat reserves to survive that long without eating. So, Provided your water keeps flowing and the catfish are not whispy little things, if they are local they should survive. When I talk about local, I mean if you live in a cold Northern state, you probably don't want to get catfish from a hatchery in Florida as they will be Southern stock and better adapted to warm water and not as good for your winters and the reverse is true, I would not want game fish from a Northern hatchery as they would not likely be prepared for 90+ F water that I could get here in the hot months.

Anyway, I know catfish can survive in places where water ways freeze over in winter so I'm pretty sure they will survive in a flowing AP system over the winter.
Look up the type of fish farms that might supply farm ponds in your region and they will likely have catfish as well as blue gill and bass (at least that is my expectation having grown up in the midwest.)

My mom is totally in support of Catfish over tilapia any day. The catfish can be easy to process, they are far easier to fillet. The hardest part seems to be grabbing them out of the net without getting stuck but "knock on wood" none of us have gotten jabbed. The cook usually just uses a rag to help him grab the fish out of the net and hold it while knocking it on the skull. The tilapia tend to get really slippery during this process and flop around much, tending to get themselves off the work top before ya can kill em.
I've not grown catfish yet, but plan to start some this summer. You have to love a fish that can go year 'round. My local hatchery only supplies big ones at a foot or more. Anyone know a source for fingerlings in Colorado? I grew up in the midwest where fried 10 inch catfish are a delicacy. I don't want monsters!
Have you checked with these guys?


On a quick search it seems that Colorado has lots of trout farms but not so many farms stocking lots of the other fish. You might also search neighboring states as I expect Kansas would have some resources as well.
I only know of the one here in Arizona that ships over night. http://www.azgardens.com
Thanks for the link. I will try them. I'm pretty sure trout wouldn't make an overnight ship (some don't even make the drive home) but catfish should be a lot less oxygen sensitive. Have you had good survival rates on catfish shipping?
I haven't had fish from them shipped to me personally, but I have half a dozen friends who have ordered from them (and repeatedly) with no issues. AZ Gardens takes good care of their fish and only ships overnight to reduce stress. I haven't heard of any of the fish dying before they got to their new homes, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen.

john thompson said:
Thanks for the link. I will try them. I'm pretty sure trout wouldn't make an overnight ship (some don't even make the drive home) but catfish should be a lot less oxygen sensitive. Have you had good survival rates on catfish shipping?
Well sorry I don't know why the link in this message didn't post. Let me try again
http://lileyfisheries.com/index.html


TCLynx said:
Have you checked with these guys?


On a quick search it seems that Colorado has lots of trout farms but not so many farms stocking lots of the other fish. You might also search neighboring states as I expect Kansas would have some resources as well.
I have tried them, that's where I got my trout, which have been healthy and tasty. They have a great selection of trout from rainbows to goldens and cut throat, but they tend to stock larger catfish (they get them in the spring) and I'd like to grow the fish out rather than get them full sized. They carry bass, bluegill etc in the spring as well, a great local resource.

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