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I have a 250 gallon IBC FT nearing the end of it's fishless cycle and I was wondering what people would recommend for type of fish.

Here is a graph of of monthly average temperature values here:

We are looking more at an edible type of fish than we are ornamental. 

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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It looks like if you could get the temperature up in Dec and Jan just a bit that it would be perfect for Blue Tilapia. Either by insulation or heater(elec/or Solar). I'm on the east coast of Florida and that's what I plan on doing. Also it's one of the fish that we are allowed without special licensing.

We are at 6,500 ft elevation in SW Colorado where the temps can get pretty darn low. We have 36 Blue Tilapias that are locally grown and we maintain the IBC tote at around 74-78 f and everyone is growing nicely

Verna, have you averaged out energy (heating) costs per pound of fish, per grow out season? (I'm particularly interested in winter heating costs for the tilapia). And how does that play out against the price you sell the fish for?

Viad. We have a new small hobby AP system and it has only been cycled since Feb. we heat our FT with a closed loop that is tied into our house boiler & domestic hot water system (hubby is a plumber) so it is basically free because it is heated in conjunction with DHW and the house.
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I wouldn't bother with a green house.  I'm in Ocala and don't need it here, I can't believe you'd need it there.  You're more likely to need shade cloth, and as long as you have some way to hang the shade cloth you can use the same method to hang plastic if you get a freeze.

I started with bluegill, wouldn't recommend them now.  Growth was slow and very uneven until we killed them all last month.  Now I have 31 channel cats and about 15 tilapia, but when it starts to cool off I'll harvest the tilapia and won't replace them.  I just got them because the cats were so small and I've got a lot of tomatoes growing.  The 31 cats I have eat 3 times as much as the 55 bluegills ate and are growing very fast.

My water temp got into the mid 50's here during the winter, but only when we were having freezes (we had 4 or 5 this year.)  We don't heat anything.  Usually within a day of the air temp coming back up the water temp came up too.  It was usually in the mid 60's.

Ok cool. thanks Verna :)

Verna Gross said:

Viad. We have a new small hobby AP system and it has only been cycled since Feb. we heat our FT with a closed loop that is tied into our house boiler & domestic hot water system (hubby is a plumber) so it is basically free because it is heated in conjunction with DHW and the house.

Some problems with an outdoor system can be rain and water over  temping.

jim

Water overtemping has not been a problem.

Rain can be a problem.  We had a storm Monday that dropped 7.69" in two hours.  The system of course over flowed.  That happened frequently last summer but we still had excellent growth even with an immature system.

I've been in a few green houses in Florida.  Blazing hot in there.  You need ventilation.  You need to worry about pollination.  If you get aphids you have to do something about it rather than just ignoring it.  There's good and bad with both ways.

I can't see using a greenhouse either way too hot down here. I was thinking that I could get past the mega rain problem, 10" in a few hours the other day, by building an overhang with with clear triple wall polycarbonate storm panels. The local Lowes sells them. I'm not sure if I should make the panels removable or not.

If you fix them in place you'll soon find a reason to remove them, but if you make them removable you'll never need to.

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