Aquaponic Gardening

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I am planning on buying 10 tilapia from a local aquaponics grower... each fish about 7 to 9 inches long.

I have a battery operated air pump for the 45 minute car trip but I'm wondering what size container I would need to get them home with no deaths.

Thanks in advance,


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A 20 gallon storage tote with a sealable lid would be fine. Punch a small hole through the lid to feed the airline tubing. If your supplier can avoid feeding the fish for a day or two that always helps, but it's not a big deal for a 45 minute trip. Also find out what their basic water quality is in their source water (temp, pH etc) and be sure to acclimate them to your environment gradually if their is a significant difference. If you have other fish you in your system already, you may want to quarantine the new fish for a few days before introducing them into your system. 

Ok thanks for the info.  The tote would be no problem. 

I'll let you know how it goes.

An (insulated) ice chest can be helpful if temp is an issue or a long trip. I've used a large size and taped the pump inside the lid.

JD makes a couple of great points -pH shock is a killer. I think much more so than temp, but certainly manage both.

A salted quarantine is cheap insurance. Tilapia can actually live in seawater - salt won't phase them, but might knock out some parasites.

Good luck.

Also, I remember from your other post...this is about a 240 gal tank the fish are going into. Big Tilapia are mega-poopers so be careful with ammonia levels/spikes, especially if it's a new tank with 10 mature fish. It's big enough, but you might feed conservatively and test, test, test.  

I went ahead and picked them up today (10 total). The car ride went pretty smooth and no casualties. I used the 20 gallon tote lined with a garbage bag then I put the lid on and pulled the garbage bag around the lid so no leaks. Finally buckled the tote in the back seat. I bought a battery operated air pump that seemed to work pretty well.  I made a hole in the middle of the lid and made sure to make an air line long enough to reach the bottom.

In order to get them acclimated to the fish tank, I used a quart cup to trade water back and forth, from the tote to the tank.  I put them in the tank after about 5 or 10 minutes of that and so far they seem ok. I also built a little Fish Hotel out of 4" drain line pieces cut to 12" lengths and zip tied together to form a pyramid shape. The guy I bought them from had one and the fish seemed to really like it.

The owner told me not to feed them for two days but the inside of the IBC is lined with algae and I hear they like algae so.....

Hey Jim great post and sounds like you're off and running.

I just set up mine and looking to pick up some Tilapia.  Where did you get you're from as I'm in Torrance and looking for a local supplier.  I'm hoping that they have the Hawaiian Gold's.  Can you advise? Thanks

Who the local supplier is? Ph or web info, etc?

Where are they located?

What varieties?

Price and sizing?

I just happened to run into another Maryland aquaponic enthusiast who was looking to sell some blue nile tilapia.  There is a place in Virginia selling fry but I'm not sure the variety of those.  I'm still new to this also so I don't have a lot of data on fisheries. 

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