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Im going to raise one ton of tilapia in 14 to 16 months at home......(lol )

I sound funny even to my self! I have absolutely ZERO experience with aquaponics, but fascinated by the subject. ever since i tried to maintain my first aquairium about 15 yrs ago i knew i am always gonna be living in a costal city so i can be close to the oceans and waters...

I started spending most of my available times in last three months learning the subject , specially about controlled enviroment intensive farming, i may not know a mere 10 % of it yet, i conclude that it is an absolute reality achieve what ever level of intensity or density or what ever goals one have, it is all about how much time you put into it. And foremost i am heavily depending on such a great group of open and cool people available just on this forum to help each other with precious advice the sacred time in this age .. and there are hundreds of such forums.. well enough of blaaaa blaaaa


Well i would like to set up a nice medium scale integrated facility. And the place i choose to do it is  at the bottom of this science and other than 2 big commercial semi private, in fact the bigest and most complex facilities in the world but other than that no one is intrested to do it because they are catching enough at sea. And they don't seem  care about inland fisheries. In-fact there are only a dozen or less local fresh water species. ( because the fresh water does not exist here)...But wonderfully each and every ingredient is available here and from what i understood so far most of the conditions here seem manageable  for example  tilapia fingerlings are awailable

power manageable, space many options argueable.

I Know i sound very ............... and probably u PONICS' have already  recognize my syndrome and diagnosed me already but the fact is that i am definetely going to give a shot to learn and hopefully control this nitrogen cycle i am really expecting a big hand from you guys.

So where i am standing after 3 months

To begin with, i am going to attempt this for commercial purpose so i am not going to have calculations according to my system, rather i am going calculate this through production goals.

For example i want to take about 15 months to get atleast 1000 kg of fish from this system desireable wt would be  300 to 400 grams ( so approximately 2500 fish ) and probably by selling marketable size in the last six months.

I will spend first 6 months to build my sytem in 3 phase. At the end of phase 3 i expect to have atleast 10000 gallons runing through my back yard.

Phase 1a  @ 2  500 lit tanks and 1 l u shaped  divided into 2 grow 15 cubic meter..

Will stalk two 500 liters tanks with with 20 fingerlings per liter density ( remember plants are my second preference and i am going to try to attain max density viable and using plants just as an aid in filteration). i am thinking 1 tank with tilapia and 1 with catfish). this will have grow beds ebbs or siphon four verticals and nft the desired crop could be tomatoes and leafy divides and use some waste to irrigate for landscaping.

Will hook this up with one pump control the temp ( solar pump ), aerate  well  try to achieve first 35 days mechenichal filtration and divide the on wt and health base. if failed   Repeat.

i am going to be ready with every thing and have back ups and keep adjusting parameters along with as needed

I assume that even if i have 25 % survival rate, i probably will attain 1000 helthy and strong fish and success of 50% survival to lets say at by repeating it 3 times lets say..6.

phase 2 will be adding another 4000 gallons

well it got very long, this was my first post ever about ponics so .....

so i am going to start with calculating the optimum for my 2  500 liters tanks to raise my first 1000 fingerlings.

keeping an eye on the nilocticus or Nile tilapia's high metabolic rate and protein requirements what shoud me my configurations. I am thinking about using one 50 lit per min multi function pump.

I am not going to follow the thumb as each system is unique as i am going to compromise plants area insome way and concentrate to get the highest yield possible without liquid oxygen.

Plesae guys help out and comments are most welcomed and very much expected. i need every thing sorted out about the design within a month.. i am seriously gonna attempt it.... let me know guys if i am going in the write direction????????????????

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Keep in mind that the rules of thumb are not so much about growing plants but having enough filtration for your fish load.  If you want to grow max amount of fish, you should research solids removal to reduce the amount of filtration and aeration required for your system.


Some where up there you mention 20 fingerlings per liter density!!!!  DON'T DO THAT!  It might be ok to have Fry in a tank that crowded for a little while but as they grow out, you should probably not have more than say 6-12 fish (growing out to 500 grams) per 100 liters if you don't want to use pure oxygen for aeration.  And that is heavy stocking for a backyard system.


If you grossly overstock in anticipation to losses figuring that you will only loose part of the stock, you may be setting yourself up for a complete fish kill instead of just some losses.  See as soon as fish start dieing from lack of dissolved oxygen, well that only makes the conditions worse until you manage to remove the dead fish and bring the water quality back under control.


I also think you need a bigger pump.  A 50 lpm pump is only going to move 3000 liters/hour max at 0 head, if you are doing really high stocking density, you really need to move a lot of water to keep the fish from suffering from their own excretions.  Think of it like this, when you pack a room full of lots of people, it is generally best to increase the ventilation, otherwise the place gets really hot and stinks of humanity.  Now imagine the fish having to live in that 24/7 instead of just enduring the crowding for a short period the way we might to go to the threatre or worship or travel.  And the fish poop and pee in the water they have to breath and drink.  Be kind to them and keep the water quality as good as you can.


Two 500 liter tanks are not enough to raise 1000 tilapia.  Even with oxygen injection you probably need over 4000 liters to raise 1000 tilapia and that kind of density still boggles my mind.  One little issue and you have a tank full of dead fish stew.

Those kind of aquaculture densities are not normal to the backyard aquaponic gardening circles


Now I'm not saying not to follow your dreams, I'm just letting you know that this is an aquaponics site and most people here are going to have more advice about running a balanced system between the plants and fish and this normally means a lower stocking density.  Therefor you may see some resistance and not a whole lot of help to tell you how to reach the extreme stocking densities you seem to be looking for.  Most of us just don't know how anyway since it isn't our goal.

Thanks mate...

well that was my first post and got long so could not actually write my whole plan

well what i origionally tend to do is to use these two 500 lit tanks exclusively to raise the fish to a certain size ( will aim at what u have mentioned now). Then to move them to a L shaped 8 m3 tank ( grow tank 1 ) which is actually divided into two tanks and the third circular (  grow tank2 5000 gallon  strategically planned to keep water bit warmer in winter and will have same sump and cycle with the L shaped tank ) which is my phase two, hope fully i make it there to have another tank of 5000 gallons. i am intending to use the intial 5oo lit tanks to nurse successfull 500 fingerlings to circulate monthly in my cycle so coming back i want to design the two 500 lit units perfectly so i can control it much better like intensive care unit, if you suggest two sepaerate units with individual cycle?????? and also my whole tanks are is going to be around 50 m3 that makes it around roughly 10 000 t0  15000 gallons, but to reach there it has to go according to the plan which merely happens, but i am setting my self high goals because i am planing to give it a whole year.....

Any ways i know this blog is full of open people and will get a lotta knowledge around here....

ok coming back to design, i only have 28 days to plan this coz im otta station and as soon i reach home im laying first brick.

why i need these two 500 lit tank is to produce 500 healthy tilapia who can take the load of a bigger wilder environment... why i am stalking 1000 is because i am expecting 50 % success and i am aiming for 2500 healthy fish at the end in a total tank area of 50m3.

 I am going to make two 500 lit tanks plus the L shaped one in the first step but only stalking the smaller tanks first. this L shaped tank is going to run solo until i will need to add the circular roughly after 5 months but it will have to share the filteration with the common sump. The these two will a combined water volume of 6000 gallons. And i am planing 1500 fish to grow out in it.

so  wat will the pumping i need for this six thousand gallon system?? the circular tank is palnned for my roof so it will be 20 m high. i tend to grow only 20 m 2 area with this system using only one pump also providing majority of air if i can?

do i still need a bigger pump for my 500m lit nursing tanks or can i decrease it even i am planing to use two grow beds each withem so what will b the optimal size?

PLease reply and thnks a lot for ur reply

I'm getting a little confused by the flipping back and forth between gallons and liters and m2 so I'm not sure what's what.

Anyway, how much pumping you need.  Make sure you have at least the volume of the fish tanks being pumped per hour minimum.  So find a pump that will move the volume of the fish tank at whatever head you will be pumping to.  You will also need enough filtration to support the amount of fish and I would recommend additional aeration by air pump otherwise you need additional pumping to make sure you have enough aeration.

I'm a little befuddled by the following question

do i still need a bigger pump for my 500m lit nursing tanks or can i decrease it even i am planing to use two grow beds each withem so what will b the optimal size?

You need to move the volume of the fish tanks each hour at a minimum.  I don't know what kind of grow beds you are planning or what additional filtration so I don't know how to tell you how to size them.  Here is the blog post I generally refer people to about basic media bed system design.  However seeing as you have already said you don't intend to follow the rules of thumb and are planning very high stocking, I fear you need to get advice from people who know more about high stocking density recirculating aquaculture systems rather than people who run backyard aquaponics systems.  When I grow channel catfish, I like to have ten gallons of fish tank per fish for grow out (I grow them big) and 20 gallons of gravel bed per fish.  For my bluegill system (bluegill grow out to between 6-8 oz in a year here), I've gone as much as 1 fish per 3 gallons of fish tank and 6 gallons of gravel bed.

kk i get it i need a lots of work done

thx you ve been great help.... gr8 blog see you in a few days with my design on paper.

Unless you know the filtration and oxygenation requirements for that number of fish stocking... don't do it.... in fact.. just don't even try it...

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