Aquaponic Gardening

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My husband and I really want to get started with aquaponics, but we are wondering what kind of "food" fish people are having success with in Louisiana.  The regulations for raising Tilapia here are just unreal so they are really not an option.  I have seen people mention channel catfish and if that is the case, how much water per fish is required?  I appreciate any help!

 

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Hi Natalie,

    Yes Channel catfish are a great option for food fish in aquaponics.  Now I tend to grow out channel catfish quite big so I personally like to start off with a fish tank of at least 300 gallons for temperature stability.  Now before we talk about how much water you need per fish, I want to make sure you understand that you need enough filtration per fish.  I don't care if you have 10,000 gallons of fish tank, you need to have filtration enough to support your fish before you can put any amount of fish in that water and expect to do aquaponics.

So what type of aquaponics are you doing?  That will dictate the amount of what type of filtration you need per fish and so on.

I do lots of flood and drain media bed aquaponics.  For that type of aquaponics, I like to do 20 gallons of media filled flood and drain grow bed and 10 gallons of fish tank per channel catfish.  Granted, that type of system either needs a sump tank or sequencing valve to handle the water level fluctuations.  Here in Central FL, I can get fingerlings easily enough and they usually grow out to at least 3 lb in a year and I've gotten to 10 lb when I've kept one for two years.

If big fish tanks are not an option for you, then I would say bluegill might be a good choice for growing.

I live in ohio so Tilapia won't live in our native waters. I would suggest for you to look at the fish that are native to your region. and go from there.  The rule of thumb is One pound of fish per One gallon of water in the fish tank, that is heavy stocking, More realistic stocking would be, One pound of fish per two gallons of water.

Just remember that fish do grow up, so buy enough fry to come just less of your tanks full capacity. It is better to have too much water that too much fish. Hope this helps

 

Tony, one fish per 2 gallons of water is still super heavy stocking for a backyard system.  How much fish you stock needs to be based on the filtration capacity of the system and not necessarily on the amount of water in the system.

1 fish per cubic foot of media filled grow bed with 3 or more gallons of fish tank is a reasonable starting point for most people if they need to ask how many fish can they have.  And I say one fish and I mean one fish that might grow out to 1 pound, and I don't care if they will be tiny when you put them in.

We are still researching as to what type of system we want to set up and we are open to all advice!


 
TCLynx said:

Hi Natalie,

    Yes Channel catfish are a great option for food fish in aquaponics.  Now I tend to grow out channel catfish quite big so I personally like to start off with a fish tank of at least 300 gallons for temperature stability.  Now before we talk about how much water you need per fish, I want to make sure you understand that you need enough filtration per fish.  I don't care if you have 10,000 gallons of fish tank, you need to have filtration enough to support your fish before you can put any amount of fish in that water and expect to do aquaponics.

So what type of aquaponics are you doing?  That will dictate the amount of what type of filtration you need per fish and so on.

I do lots of flood and drain media bed aquaponics.  For that type of aquaponics, I like to do 20 gallons of media filled flood and drain grow bed and 10 gallons of fish tank per channel catfish.  Granted, that type of system either needs a sump tank or sequencing valve to handle the water level fluctuations.  Here in Central FL, I can get fingerlings easily enough and they usually grow out to at least 3 lb in a year and I've gotten to 10 lb when I've kept one for two years.

Hey Neighbor

Ran into the same thing with the talapia.

I have a OLD farm pond on my place and a few more cycles and I will fish net some 4 to 6 inch cats for the pond.

I am training them to come to fish pellets now and that was not hard but with a pirou in the water that is different so wish me luck.

When you turning the water over and getting the bacteria balanced in the beds what ever fish you have will probably not take the cycling. So why not get a couple of goldfish from the pet store put them in the pond and then give them last rights.



Natalie French said:

We are still researching as to what type of system we want to set up and we are open to all advice!


 
TCLynx said:

Hi Natalie,

    Yes Channel catfish are a great option for food fish in aquaponics.  Now I tend to grow out channel catfish quite big so I personally like to start off with a fish tank of at least 300 gallons for temperature stability.  Now before we talk about how much water you need per fish, I want to make sure you understand that you need enough filtration per fish.  I don't care if you have 10,000 gallons of fish tank, you need to have filtration enough to support your fish before you can put any amount of fish in that water and expect to do aquaponics.

So what type of aquaponics are you doing?  That will dictate the amount of what type of filtration you need per fish and so on.

I do lots of flood and drain media bed aquaponics.  For that type of aquaponics, I like to do 20 gallons of media filled flood and drain grow bed and 10 gallons of fish tank per channel catfish.  Granted, that type of system either needs a sump tank or sequencing valve to handle the water level fluctuations.  Here in Central FL, I can get fingerlings easily enough and they usually grow out to at least 3 lb in a year and I've gotten to 10 lb when I've kept one for two years.

Or you can cycle up fishlessly to avoid killing the fish due to cycling.

http://www.aquaponiclynx.com/fishless-cycling

Absolutely agree read the same thing in the AquaBook. Have not really had a lot of luck finding the ammonia and taking my vitimans at night and cureing my urines is distasteful . I use to make anhydrous ammonia for 8 years and it and the CO2 was shipped to the Urea Plant for processing and pearlizing. So that chemical process is not real appealing to me, as well.

I was fortunate that I had a 4 year old "Lowes" 6 foot pond. With a 3 level waterfall. See AquaBook on Pond bacteria swapping.

I work over seas and have 28 days of no attention for the pond. So cycle to its hearts continent. Without human over reacting like I do in 4 days and 16 hour flight. Wife tells me the fish are swimming and the wild water hyacin (LA water weed) are happy so far.  AKA goldfish are tough.

TCLynx said:

Or you can cycle up fishlessly to avoid killing the fish due to cycling.

http://www.aquaponiclynx.com/fishless-cycling

I too am in Louisiana, was wondering if anyone had any more ideas? Tilapia are ideal here but because the Department of Fish and Wildlife is trying to protect our native species they restrict tilapia beyond belief.  Apparently I have to get a $25,000.00 bond. a permit requiring a lot of paperwork, and an inspection to make sure my fish won't enter local waterways. The bond would cost about $5,000.00 a year, making the entire project unhelpful. I have a 400 gallon tank all set up with circulation and plants growing and 5 koi in there to make sure the water is fit for fish (they've been there long enough) so I am trying to decide what kind of fish can tolerate warmer temperatures --and taste good!  Trout sounds good but it's probably too hot here. Easy to heat a tank, kinda hard to keep it cool.  Catfish might be okay but like it's been mentioned we'd need another fish that wasn't stuck on the bottom. Would really appreciate input!!

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