Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello, please tell me how you humanely dispatch your tilapia for the table.  When I googled it, some said using ice chokes them, others say shock them (?) others say drive a pin through their skull, or hit them in the head with a hammer.  Wow, I can't picture myself chasing flopping fish with a hammer!  I just want to do the job without causing the fish too much pain.  I also think when something is being killed, it can put out body chemicals (kind of like we have coritsol) because of fear.

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Yeah, ice bath is the easiest on your conscience. Although, some people do say it's less humane that a quick knife plunge to the head. Do you have a concern about body chemicals?

Thank you for guiding me and the other new newbie to this part of the site.  I'm a girl and not sure IF I could do the knife plunge thing, or if I'm strong enough, or know where in the head to place it.

I started in to aquaponics, because I had made pets of my chickens, didn't like the inhumane way they raise and kill chickens commercially, so I thought, I probably would have an easier time killing and eating fish, along with the beautiful garden they help.  And, yes, I am a little interested in whether fish put out a body chemical like we do when they are captured and going through pain.  I think quick but gentle is best, if possible.



Alex Veidel said:

Yeah, ice bath is the easiest on your conscience. Although, some people do say it's less humane that a quick knife plunge to the head. Do you have a concern about body chemicals?

I've also put in 60+ regular gardens in my life, also some hydroponically, so this is the next logical step--aquaponics looks very promising.



Sunny Oettel said:

Thank you for guiding me and the other new newbie to this part of the site.  I'm a girl and not sure IF I could do the knife plunge thing, or if I'm strong enough, or know where in the head to place it.

I started in to aquaponics, because I had made pets of my chickens, didn't like the inhumane way they raise and kill chickens commercially, so I thought, I probably would have an easier time killing and eating fish, along with the beautiful garden they help.  And, yes, I am a little interested in whether fish put out a body chemical like we do when they are captured and going through pain.  I think quick but gentle is best, if possible.



Alex Veidel said:

Yeah, ice bath is the easiest on your conscience. Although, some people do say it's less humane that a quick knife plunge to the head. Do you have a concern about body chemicals?

If you aren't selling the fish, you might want to consider sedating them with clove oil before handling, to reduce the stress on the fish and yourself?

Sedatives

Does that really work?



David - WI said:

If you aren't selling the fish, you might want to consider sedating them with clove oil before handling, to reduce the stress on the fish and yourself?

Sedatives

You didn't follow the link???  

Sedating fish with AQUI-S® 20E prior to and during a handling event will minimise physical activity by the animal, reduce the metabolic rate and mitigate the stress response by minimising the release of stress hormones. 

Aqui-S  (clove oil based sedative)

No offense David, but that doesn't exactly look like a link from the way my computer is translating it...it looks like this:

Sedatives

No blue text, no url, nothin'. I didn't know it existed until you said something :) I would just copy and past a URL instead, that's a pretty universal term for "click me".

David - WI said:

You didn't follow the link???  

Sedating fish with AQUI-S® 20E prior to and during a handling event will minimise physical activity by the animal, reduce the metabolic rate and mitigate the stress response by minimising the release of stress hormones. 

Aqui-S  (clove oil based sedative)

All I did was click "Link" in the upper left-hand corner and fill in the text and the url.  In the editor, it shows as an underlined, blue hyperlink... but when it posts it shows just plain text.  I can show you - look above!

I suppose you missed the Aqui-S link in the next post, too?   Click Me!

(I agree that it doesn't look like a link, but the time for me to be able to edit my post had long passed by the time I actually saw my own post 2 hours later.)



Alex Veidel said:

No offense David, but that doesn't exactly look like a link from the way my computer is translating it...it looks like this:

Sedatives

No blue text, no url, nothin'. I didn't know it existed until you said something :) I would just copy and past a URL instead, that's a pretty universal term for "click me".

David - WI said:

You didn't follow the link???  

Sedating fish with AQUI-S® 20E prior to and during a handling event will minimise physical activity by the animal, reduce the metabolic rate and mitigate the stress response by minimising the release of stress hormones. 

Aqui-S  (clove oil based sedative)

I would highly recommend ice water - really any large container filled with about 85% ice and 15% water plus a fair amount of salt - 

When their body temp drops below 60F degrees or so, tilapia are pretty much immobilized – they shut down very fast (although I am sure nobody can look into their experience to assure us of the speed or “painlessness” of it all) - and under about 50F they are gone - the salt helps drop the temperature of the water below freezing as it lowers the melting point of ice and draws energy out of the liquid water – it also helps dispatch bacteria on the outer surface and gills (the fish will gulp water for about 15 seconds or so). Killing is killing, but this is fast and there is very little violence, thrashing, blood etc – if that’s a measure of “humanely”, then I suppose it’s the best way I’ve found. In our country now-a-days I suppose there would be a market for tilapia drones – kill them from far away without the icky part. Very  American.

Anyway, I recommend ice water. I would suppose it’s easier on us than it is on the fish – any way you approach it. We harvest 100 to 150 fish at a time, and I always have a few moments of introspection when the work is done. Oddly enough for me, cleaning them is easier than killing them. Another observation – the first 10 are always harder to dispatch than the last 50 – something else which I suppose is very human … creepy, but human. Explains a bunch of things we do to each other –IMHO.

Killing your animal food is not necessarily a pleasant activity, but it is eminently REAL, and ultimately very healthy in a psychological human way - an honest act. And something we evolved/were designed (pick your poison) to do. I was a vegetarian for 20 years based on the idea that if I wasn’t willing to kill something, I hadn’t earned the right to consume it. Or alternatively, I realized I unconsciously viewed myself as so above such a thing that I wouldn’t do it personally, but yet I could expect to pay someone else to do my dirty work. A pretty ugly way to walk through life, sad to say, and possibly a source of many of our current problems. Also, I saw a slaughterhouse operation first hand at an impressionable age. I would recommend “A Mothers Tale” by James Agee for an alternative view of our modern food supply chain. Anyway, all that was a long long time ago, and I’m no longer a vegetarian – or I guess better put, I’m an occasional but unrepentant omnivore. But I have gone as far as assisting at least once in dispatching and processing anything I’m now willing to eat myself – I have farmers in the family, so I’ve been afforded opportunities the average city dweller might not have.

So, in a word (or two) - Ice water.

Lol, no, I didn't catch that one either :) I figured it was something like that.


David - WI said:

All I did was click "Link" in the upper left-hand corner and fill in the text and the url.  In the editor, it shows as an underlined, blue hyperlink... but when it posts it shows just plain text.  I can show you - look above!

I suppose you missed the Aqui-S link in the next post, too?   Click Me!

(I agree that it doesn't look like a link, but the time for me to be able to edit my post had long passed by the time I actually saw my own post 2 hours later.)



Carbon Dioxide, regulator, air line, and a diffuser would be the most humane in my opinion. Puts them permanently to sleep.

Thank you, David, for the idea about Clove Oil.  I am really going to look into that, along with the other ideas all you wonderful people have shared with me.  I appreciate you understand this is difficult but necessary for me to do, (We have 1200 ppm coming from the fish tank, and not enough plants and trays to bring it down.  Plus the fish are probably 2 years old and pretty big.  You all have been very kind and knowledgeable to me, a newcomer.

 I would like to know more about how to use Clove Essential Oil, I'm a distributor for doTerra Essential Oils, and just happen to have lots of Clove.  I'm not sure how to use it on the fish yet tho--will be heading for the link soon, to see if it shines any light on the subject.

David - WI said:

If you aren't selling the fish, you might want to consider sedating them with clove oil before handling, to reduce the stress on the fish and yourself?

Sedatives

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