Aquaponic Gardening

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I have an IBC with goldfish and would like to have another fish I can eat. I already have Catfish in a different tank and was thinking about Talapia or Warmouth Bass. My water temp goes down to 45 degrees at times in the winter.

Questions:

1. Is there a Talapia breed that can live in 45 degree water?

2. Has anyone ever used Warmouth Bass?

I have thought about Crappie or red bellies but want some thing with meat on it and do not want to heat the water.

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Replies to This Discussion

No and no.  What I've read is Tilapia die at 50, 45, something like that.

Warmouth feed much like bass,  Getting them to take pellets seems unlikely, to me.  Transitioning them from wild to tank might be a challenge too.  One interesting thing about Warmouth is they tolerate low PH, not that it's a plus for our purposes.

Dan, do you have any spare catfish?

Last winter my tilapia would float on their sides on the bottom of the tank when it got too cold.  As soon as it warmed up, though, they were up and about again.  If you are worried about it, it is pretty inexpensive to run a heater on the coldest nights, since our temps never stay too low for too long.  There are also several solar options (foil to reflect the sun into the tank to warm it, black hose, insulation, etc.) that help, or a larger tank also helps.  Tilapia are hardier than you would think.

I had a warmouth in an aquarium that I caught in the back yard lake. He seemed to transition well. I also had a 2ft silver arowana, 2 3lb bass, and a 2lb channel cat in the tank.  There was a 4-5lb bass that stayed at the end of my dock that ate cut up hot dog and bread balls. I guess he was tired of chasing the brim and started going for what I was feeding them. That had to be the oddest thing I'd ever seen a bass/fish do... but yeah, like George said, the warmouth probably wouldn't go for pellet food. Maybe if you got them young and they had other fish to learn from. They don't seem to grow real fast either. Has anyone tried a solar pool heater in their pond? I was thinking about trying that for the winter months.

The link below is for a fish farm about 1 hour from me.

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

I am going to check them out. They seem to have several types of fish. I may try shellcracker for the IBC/DWC system. I guess if you want fast growth, good eating and cold tolerant, cat fish are the thing.

 I do need to get more catfish for my larger tank since I am starting to harvest them and I found out the hard way that you can not mix fingerling and larger cats since they eat them.

Shongaloo is a great place, and very reasonably priced.  I've gotten koi, catfish, and tilapia from them.

Hi Dan

 I got my 25 blue tilapia which ended up being 27 from tilapia depot out of Saint Augustine Florida,360-340-1000

 Nice guy, Would have loved to see his set up.Anyway I paid 50 bucks and he informed me the bag of fish would keep so I need not bring air pump and a tank.No permit needed for blues cause they are ready native.They were 3/4 inch 3 months ago now they range from 4 inch to 6 inches.Very happy with my Blues.Will post vid soon.

Good luck 

aubrey

If your system water temperature drops below 53 F I would say don't do Tilapia.  I know some who have gotten lucky and have a batch of extra cold tolerant fish but when the water is below 70 F the tilapia won't be eating or growing much and quite frankly, the cold season is the best veggie growing season so what's the point of having fish that won't be eating to provide the nutrients to your plants when you need them.

Bluegill are good eating if small and can handle the cool and warm temperatures if you don't want to simply get more catfish.

I was thinking of harvesting all my cats this thanksgiving and replacing with new catfish fingerling. What effect would that have on my plants?

I have tryed putting fingerling in with the 1lb cats and they were eatten



TCLynx said:

If your system water temperature drops below 53 F I would say don't do Tilapia.  I know some who have gotten lucky and have a batch of extra cold tolerant fish but when the water is below 70 F the tilapia won't be eating or growing much and quite frankly, the cold season is the best veggie growing season so what's the point of having fish that won't be eating to provide the nutrients to your plants when you need them.

Bluegill are good eating if small and can handle the cool and warm temperatures if you don't want to simply get more catfish.

What are your Nitrate levels like?

If your big fish are eating heavily and you harvest them there will be some drop in nutrient levels but if you are running a media bed system and the nitrate levels are high when you harvest the fish, you might not see a huge loss of plant growth during the change over, especially if the water quality is good and temperatures don't drop too much and you feed the new fish with a high protein feed at first.  Little fish eat a higher % of their body weight and they often need higher protein feed so that can make up for a bit when you harvest and re-stock. 

At my old house there were times when I harvested all the fish from the system and my nutrient levels were high enough that I don't think I ever got to the point of nutrient deficiency due to lack of fish for a few days or longer.  Of course I always tried to have my next stock of fish already waiting in quarantine before we harvested the last of the big fish.

Keep in mind that you can keep nutrient levels up and the bacteria active to keep the plants going essentially the same way you can fishlessly cycle a system so if something happens after you harvest all the big fish that keeps you from getting the new fish right away, there are ways to keep your plants going until you can get the new fish.

Another thing that can help is to have multiple fish tanks so you can stock one and let the fish grow out a fair while and then stock the next one so you won't have to strip your system totally of fish and you can stagger your harvest a bit more through the year.  For the bigger commercial scale systems, I really want at least 3 if not 4 grow out tanks on the system so I can re-stock every 3-4 months and always have one tank basically ready for harvest and just harvest at need rather than having to do it all in one big operation.

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