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Does anyone near Gainesville Florida have free or cheap tilapia. I need about 20-25. I want to convert my gold fish driven IBC to a Tilapia system.

I think in March it should be warm enough

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Not cheap or free, but might be near you.  Ocala  http://floridatilapia.com/

@Dan

Have you considered the cost of keeping your winter water temperature above 55 degrees?

I have both, Red Comet Gold fish and Tilapia. The Tilapia reportedly start expiring at 50 Deg F. while the Goldfish survive in the 30's. I keep my water temp > 55 Degrees F here in Phoenix, AZ with a heater load of 600-800 Watts, between 9:00 pm and 9:00 am at a cost of $0.095 /KWH. We have had a warm winter. with a low so far at our location of 41 Deg. F.

My FT is inside an unheated Geodesic dome.

I thinking of harvesting them every year. So they would grow from say April till December, about 9 months. I have a small heater but would harvest the fish before the cold weather.

My water got down to 38 degrees this year. The Cats and goldfish seem fine.



Robert Rowe said:

@Dan

Have you considered the cost of keeping your winter water temperature above 55 degrees?

I have both, Red Comet Gold fish and Tilapia. The Tilapia reportedly start expiring at 50 Deg F. while the Goldfish survive in the 30's. I keep my water temp > 55 Degrees F here in Phoenix, AZ with a heater load of 600-800 Watts, between 9:00 pm and 9:00 am at a cost of $0.095 /KWH. We have had a warm winter. with a low so far at our location of 41 Deg. F.

My FT is inside an unheated Geodesic dome.

Hey Dan, check out Shongaloo fisheries..I think they are up in Hampton, and sell blues pretty reasonable..also channel cats. Cats are less cold finicky, so there is no heating issues....and you can raise em to eating size by prolly oct.

If you sink your IBC , you can stabilize water temps as well....my tank is half in, half above ground....4' deep 2down/2up.....11' long, 3' wide.and the temps rarely fluctuate much in the unheated greenhouse

Take care

Steve

http://www.shongaloofisheriesinc.com/fish/Types_of_Fish.html

Shongaloo Fisheries in Starke

352 468-1251

Don't know if you thought about it but I grow my fry to fingerlings inside my house in a 55 gallon aquarium. I have about 300 in there now and I figure it will take 2-3 months before I put them outside in the IBCs. Good way to get through the winter and have stock for the spring. Kinda comforting to watch them grow too.

I had aquariums all my life, except the last 8 years. I was considering getting a 55 gallon tank, heating it (i have a 300 watt heater) and putting it outside in my open frame house. I put shade cloth over it in the summer and remove it in the winter.

I think sinking the IBC in the ground would help some also. I was only going to put 25 in the IBC, since I would harvest them in 9 months before it got cold. I keep Cats in my big system (900 gals) but I would like some verity in fish to eat.

How many do you keep in your IBC?

Do they get to eating size in 9 months?



Jeff Sullivan said:

Don't know if you thought about it but I grow my fry to fingerlings inside my house in a 55 gallon aquarium. I have about 300 in there now and I figure it will take 2-3 months before I put them outside in the IBCs. Good way to get through the winter and have stock for the spring. Kinda comforting to watch them grow too.

I have 4 females and one male. Got hem at about 4-5 inches. Had them for 8 months and they are plenty big to harvest. I maybe could have fed them more for faster reults but I was just interested in breeding for now. Now that I have a few hundred I'll focus more on growing them. I dis lower the fish tank about 2 ft. in the ground just to make the GB more accessible.
 
Dan Ponton said:

I had aquariums all my life, except the last 8 years. I was considering getting a 55 gallon tank, heating it (i have a 300 watt heater) and putting it outside in my open frame house. I put shade cloth over it in the summer and remove it in the winter.

I think sinking the IBC in the ground would help some also. I was only going to put 25 in the IBC, since I would harvest them in 9 months before it got cold. I keep Cats in my big system (900 gals) but I would like some verity in fish to eat.

How many do you keep in your IBC?

Do they get to eating size in 9 months?



Jeff Sullivan said:

Don't know if you thought about it but I grow my fry to fingerlings inside my house in a 55 gallon aquarium. I have about 300 in there now and I figure it will take 2-3 months before I put them outside in the IBCs. Good way to get through the winter and have stock for the spring. Kinda comforting to watch them grow too.

My first couple years doing aquaponics, I had Blue Tilapia that I had gotten from Morningstar Fishermen.

I'm in Central FL so temperatures are a bit warmer here but I've decided the Catfish and bluegill are far better fish since I don't have to heat the water for them.

There is no guarantee that with mixed gender non hybred tilapia going into a home system and not necessarily getting the top notch water quality and high protein feed that you are going to be able to grow them out to eating size in 8-9 months.

Of course that depends somewhat on what you are willing to consider eating size.  Don't expect to be growing mixed gender tilapia out to 1 lb each in a home system feeding just 36% protein feed in only 8 months.  You may get a few of the males to reach that size but if the fish start breeding behavior in the tank, you may find that most of them are not getting beyond 4-6 ounces.  If you are ok with cleaning and eating tilapia that are mostly between 4-8 oz then go for it (of course you can probably do as well with bluegill reaching that size and you don't need to worry about them dieing when the water gets below 55 F.

Thanks TC, Always appreciate your input and experience. Just looking at my options for the second system. 1 IBC and a 12'x4' DWC is a lot of water to heat. Both systems have been in the 40's this year and It has to be in the 60's for several days before the water begins to heat up.

Bluegill are an option, but they seem to grow very slow. I really do not want to heat the water, so bluegill may be the better option for the IBC system.

I'm noticing that the bluegill in my pond plant system seem to be willing to eat more at cooler temperatures than even my channel catfish.

Bluegill seem to grow slow but I have a feeling if you like a good Bream and are happy cooking/eating pan fish instead of having tilapia fillets, you may find you are far happier growing the bluegill than Tilapia.  Especially as you say, you don't want to mess with heating the water (if your systems have been in the 40's tilapia would likely be dead or dieing without heating.)

I can get bluegill for .30 cents each. How many would you suggest I put in my 200 gallon IBC?

TCLynx said:

I'm noticing that the bluegill in my pond plant system seem to be willing to eat more at cooler temperatures than even my channel catfish.

Bluegill seem to grow slow but I have a feeling if you like a good Bream and are happy cooking/eating pan fish instead of having tilapia fillets, you may find you are far happier growing the bluegill than Tilapia.  Especially as you say, you don't want to mess with heating the water (if your systems have been in the 40's tilapia would likely be dead or dieing without heating.)

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