Aquaponic Gardening

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I've discovered that instead of the 300 gallon fish tank I was planning for my aquaponics system (stocked with catfish), my wife is more comfortable with a 150-170 gallon tank due to the large footprint required for the larger tank. So I've been researching fish for my smaller tank. I want to maximize fish for the space.  I've received many suggestions for bluegill, so I did a little research via Google. Surprise, surprise....bluegill are being researched as a lower cost alternative to tilapia for commercial sales.  I would prefer a native fish to tilapia anyway, so besides catfish, blueguill are sounding more and more attractive. They seem to be pretty hardy and tolerant.

Here's an article from my native state that I ran across tonight:

Now if I can just grow them out to 1 lb in my aquaponics system, I'll be a very happy man.

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Comment by txdurk on January 31, 2012 at 9:28am
@Kellen: I understand from some literature I read that hybrid striped bass are incapable of reproducing unless back-bred with rockfish or white bass. That would make it unsustainable and unworkable for me. It looks like coppernose are back under consideration but I may also look at crappie.
Comment by txdurk on January 30, 2012 at 5:59pm
kellen: Thanks for the recommendation. Overton does indeedstock hybrid striped bass and they say they are delicious. However, their website also says they don't propagate well in small lakes & ponds. I Like the idea though since I think they will be more marketable at a local Farmers' market than BG so I'll try some and experiment the first year. We'll see. I'll oxygenate well and feed live food (minnows, worms, and hopefully tadpoles) and supplement with feed. Hopefully, they will feel content with the food supply and breed.
Comment by Kellen Weissenbach on January 30, 2012 at 1:48pm

I know the Overtons from another group I am involved with.  They are top notch people and will take good care of you.

I wouldn't bother with redear sunfish (RES) in an AP system.  They are fantastic for a pond though, as they will keep snails down, which are an intermediate host to some parasites.  Snails, small mollusks and crayfish are their primary forage items.  In an AP system, they will grow slower than the CNBG and are pickier eaters when it comes to a pellet diet.  If they have any hybrid striped bass (HSB), you might consider getting a small number of them to try too.  They will grow FAST and are quite tasty.  I love them.

Comment by txdurk on January 28, 2012 at 6:39pm
I am prolly going to stock a 300 gallon proof-of-concept rig this summer with coppernose bluegills (CN BG). I'm in Houston and I found a fish farm half way between Dallas and H-town, which is perfect for me. If anyone cares, it is the Overton fish farm on i-45. I spoke with Walter Overton and he also said there is no minimum order if i pick them up. He sells native minnows too so I'll stock and breed them as CN BG food as well as bait along with red wigglers. Hopefully that will fatten the Coppernose up. My only dilemma is: Walter sells readear BG too. I'll have to talk with him to see which he recommends for an AP system, CN or redear.
Comment by Tod Densmore on March 27, 2011 at 4:20pm
I got my bluegill by asking a friend if I could drag a net through his pond.  I have about 200 2-3inch bluegill.  I read a little about the Missouri article you referred to.  Sounds fascinating.
Comment by TCLynx on March 20, 2011 at 6:35pm
don't wait for FL fish farms to return e-mails, I've been e-mailing them that their web site is messed up for ages.

Phone them, and keep trying cause fish farm staff don't spend that much time sitting around in the office.
Comment by B. Pearcy on March 19, 2011 at 7:55pm
I've actually sent two e-mails to Florida Fish Farms in the past couple of weeks with no response. It was much easier to get responses from Mississippi and Alabama than it was Florida.
Comment by TCLynx on March 19, 2011 at 7:40pm


Floria Fish farms web site has been messed up for ages but let me see if I can find the phone number.

Florida Fish Farms Inc

9684 CR 705

Center Hill, FL 33514

(352) 793-4224
Comment by TCLynx on March 19, 2011 at 7:36pm
Brian, you can get blue gill and hybred blue gill and sun fish from Florida Fish farms which is in Center Hill, not that far from you I think.  Definitely in driving distance.
Comment by B. Pearcy on March 19, 2011 at 7:32pm

Well. I got a quote some overnight mail order coppernose bluegill.  It's a good reason to find a local fish supplier so you can pick up the fish directly from the farm.


Quote:  132.15 + 6.50 for the small shipping box +7.50 for 30 coppernose bream.

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