Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

So first off, great site. Can't say i've been on a forum with quite this layout and I like it :) I've been doing a TON of research (like most) about designing and building an aquaponics system here in (soon to be) auburn WA state. I've decided for my first batch i'm going to run Channel catfish due to their ability to tolerate a wide range of water temps so I can see where my temps are going to run during the year as my system will be in my green house (currently 12'x35' but soon to be expanded to 20'x50') Where is a good place to purchase the fingerlings? I've been hunting all over the net trying to find a source as i'm not opposed to shipping them having a tremendous amount of experience getting shipped livestock in the aquarium trade. I've been for the most part unsuccessful in finding some. Any of the hatcheries around here just do salmon and rainbow trout which dont like the temps that my greenhouse gets even during the spring (been known to go over 110deg F).

Thanks,

Tom

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The SHOP tab on this site is a source for channel catfish.

LOL, figures its right in front of me. thanks George. I'll certainly keep that in mind once i'm ready for fish.

You might want to google around a bit for an in-state source.  I didn't find one during a quick look.  Regardless of how you acquire them, you may need a $24 permit.

http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/fish_transport/

Good call on the permit George. I'll have to check with DFW.

Try a local fish shop. I pay the same rate with my LFS guy as the nearest fishery and I know Im getting quality fish from him. The going rate in Texas is 70 cents per fingerling or so for small quantities. Since he orders fish via air freight he always pays the cost for my extra fish as a courtesy for being a repeat customer. Stay away from big box stores. Those fish are usually culls.

David, 

       I wish that were the case here but the cheapest i've seen them is ~7.50ea from a local pond/pet store. are you getting Channel cats or blue cats?


Mine are channel cats but the blues are the same price.  However I did get a couple blues in the last batch I bought. 


Tom Wilson said:

David, 

       I wish that were the case here but the cheapest i've seen them is ~7.50ea from a local pond/pet store. are you getting Channel cats or blue cats?

It would be interesting to try a blue - they get bigger than Channels - or that's what I remember from catching wild fish.

David said:

Mine are channel cats but the blues are the same price.  However I did get a couple blues in the last batch I bought. 

George, According to the info in the store on this site they get significantly bigger than channels......up to 100lbs! all though I imagine with the time it would take to get them that big it would be a bit of a diminishing return after a while.

It's hard to bring myself to eat the fish since I'm 90% raw vegan. So Im not really concerned with the maximum size. I mostly trade fish for items we dont have.  But yes there is one blue in the tank from a previous batch and he's 8" long already. The channels are only 6" or so.  He is also a very beautiful color too. I believe he and the koi are in a vanity contest.

You might want to quarantine them or give them a salt treatment before adding them to your system.  I've read tales in the forums of contaminating systems with store bought fish, also with fish from the wild.  I suppose anytime you add new fish to an existing system, it might be wise to take precautions.

David said:

Try a local fish shop.

It would be an interesting comparison - add Channels and Blues at the same time and see how long it takes them to reach a certain weight, or compare one season of weight gain.  Blues are not as readily available as channels, not in this area.

Tom Wilson said:

George, According to the info in the store on this site they get significantly bigger than channels......up to 100lbs! all though I imagine with the time it would take to get them that big it would be a bit of a diminishing return after a while.

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