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Everything posted by Cecil

  1. I'm using regular household ammonia to start the nitrification cycle in a strictly fish RAS at this point in time. I was told in a text to use non-detergent ammonia. The bottle says a surfactant has been added. Is this the same thing as detergent and if so what do I need to do? Do I need to find some ammonia without a surfactant and drain the tank and start all over? I've been adding a little periodically to keep NH3 at about 3.0 mg/l.
  2. Planning on it. I've been told that now by three fish farmers including a professor. I waiting for the water to warm up (it comes out of the well at 51.6 F.) and my iron filter isn't working very well anymore. Upon refill and oxidation water is brown and tests out at 1.71 mg/l iron. I know it will settle in a few days but the water soften company has been notified and they will come out and replace the filter. At this rate it will be ready for fish come spring!
  3. I'm disappointed why you're not getting a response. Lots of good knowledge on this site.
  4. You're absolutely right but I think I saw one used in freshwater the other day in an RAS set up for brook trout. I'll have to look again. From what I gather it's imperative to get the water cleaner in an RAS for the trout than most other species. I do know from personal experience their gills get irritated easier than my other species of fish. Makes excellent sense. Why use electricity when you can make gravity work for you. I use that principal in my outdoor ponds. The well (borehole) is at the highest point of the property and I can move the well water anywhere I want for filling or flow through by opening and closing underground gate valves at junctions of 4 inch PVC buried underground. I'm looking forward to reading the book you are sending me. Sounds like lots of good information.
  5. You're asking the wrong guy on that. I just built my first RA system and I'm in the learning phase. Ask me about ponds and I'm pretty confident. Indoor systems I'm in the learning phase. Hopefully someone else like Gary or the others will chime in for you.
  6. James, How about a stock watering tank (not galvanized) or one of their rubbermaid containers they sell at the farm supply stores? You might be surprised at how cheap they can be. Or how about growing out your talapia in 55 gallon drums? You can usually get plastic ones at the farm supply stores too. Just make sure you clean them out well. Here are plans for a classroom tilapia system that consists of two 55 gallon drums. http://www.aces.edu/dept/fisheries/education/documents/ConstructingSmRASForclassroom-SRAC4501.pdf
  7. And they tolerate low oxygen and high ammonia better than most of our fish species. They just can't take cold temperatures. On another note I made the mistake of saying how good they were at reducing algae on a fishing website here. Next thing I know I was berated with, "We don't need no more exotic fish here!" I told they wouldn't be a problem in the northern third of the U.S. as they coudn't survive the winters, and I was referring to private ponds anyway. It didn't matter and soon some pathoglogical liar came on and said they had survived under the ice at the university he had attended and studied fisheries at. Of course that was totally false, and when I asked him what university he attended and who his prof was I got nothing. Needless to say I decided to avoid the thread.
  8. It makes sense since most parts of your continent have the temperatures to sustain them (unless I'm wrong) and they could muscle out the natives as they are quite a tenacious species. In most of our country (USA) temps get cold enough in the winter to kill them. Even the extreme southern parts of the country occasionally get some freakish cold weather.
  9. http://northernaquafarms.com/phpbb/index.php I just registered yestrday, I'm activated, and even logged in, but when I try and access the open forum I get the following message: Sorry, but only users granted special access can read topics in this forum. i know we Americans aren't liked but some Canadians but I dont' think that is it. I've emailed the site administrator with no response yet but perhaps I need to be patient. BTW this site is the best and I have no intentions of leaving. It's just that it would be fun to see what our neighbors in the north are doing with colder water RAS and Aquaponics. I do know they are growing out Arctic Char (Salvelinus alpinus) in their systems up there. Here is a link to some aquaculture and aquaponics they do up there: http://www.northernaquafarms.com/
  10. Some say they are obsolete. However I see this as gaining valuable experience so I can make intelligent decisions in the future to decide what system would be better for me for a possible commercial system. And like you said it's much cheaper to build things yourself. I've been looking at protein skimmers and don't see why one could not make one of those too.
  11. Just a note Kellenw, cutting the pipes wasn't so bad with a chop saw. It was cutting the 50 fiberglass circles that was a nightmare! I would strongly advise getting a bandsaw! I may end up building two or three more and joining them together as in this system in the book Small Scale Aquaculture. If so I WILL have a bandsaw! Don't know of a source for white bass. I know where you can catch a boatload of wild fish but most likely you couldn't bring them into Missouri due to it being in a Great Lakes state and the VHS threat. Did you contact any suppliers of hybrid striped bass and ask if they would sell you any white bass? Have you tried talking to a biologist named Bobby Glennon of Malone and Sons in Arkansas? The guy answered a lot of my questions for me when he had no ulterior motive. He's the one that has experimented with Magnolia crappie, triploid crappie etc. Malone and Sons were the first to come out with triploid grass carp.
  12. I haven't done anything with talipia YET, but I will vouch for both kellenw and Rainman as I know them from another website and have personally talked to Rainman over the phone. Isn't it impressive to see to potential competitors say nice words about each other. You don't always see that!
  13. Here is where I messed up and it caused me some grief. I drilled some of the alignment holes in line with the marks that were originally made by the protractor to set the positions of the paddle wheels. I should have redrawn lines perfectly perpendicular of each other instead to form a cross. As I rotated each piece of fiberglass 90 degrees they didn't align perfectly and I had to make the holes larger in the fiberglass for them to fit. I love the pattern the PVC pieces that produced the paddles made though. Here's a close up of the RBC itself although it is temporarily backwards on the frame. (Hey I was learning ) At that point I was just happy to get the thing completed! The paddles are in the middle. Here is the frame minus the filter itself. The frame actually floats somewhat and the RBC ideally submerges about half way or slightly less initially before the bacteria film weights it down. I had to suspend the frame over my tank as the tank is less than half of the diameter of what it should have been. This RBC was designed for a 12 diameter swimming pool. It's supposed to be able to handle over 100 pounds of fish and has 600 square feet of surface area. This RBC is essentially the same one that was used in the Biosphere II project in Arizona years ago.
  14. Get with me before you cut some of the PVC pieces. There are some minor errors in the book due to changing from one model to the next but the changes were not made in the book. I.e. you need to cut the paddles out of 4 inch PVC vs. 3 inch., and some of the frame measurements given are incorrect. But still the book is worth its weight in gold. Also don't even think of cutting the fiberglass roofing without a bandsaw. I used a hand held jig saw and I went through not only several blades but it was really really hard work that way! Also it's imperative that your 4 allignment holes are perfectly square from each other. Otherwise you will have problems when you rotate each piece of fiberglass 90 degrees. I made the mistake of using a line that was part of the angles and was slightly off. It made for problems although it all turned out fine in the end. I'm sending a copy to Gary to do an overview. I've never sent anything down under. This is exciting! One more thing: There have been some outrageous prices listed for the book on the net. You shouldn't have to pay over 25 or 30 U.S. dollars for it. Amazon.com has some copies and I've seen some copies for sale just under 20 U.S. dollars.
  15. I'm back again after a brief visit at least a year ago. I finally build an RAS with plans to learn as much as I can about them to move on to bigger and better systems. I also have an interest in Aquaponics as I might as well do something with those excess nitrates eh? If you want to see my start up learning RAS I just build it's here in the Aquaculture systems category. Oh I'm in a town and state of Ligonier, Indiana in the USA.
  16. The mink is no more. He was eliminated as soon as he was spotted. Here is a link to where I'm selling them -- much less than if they were bigger: http://www.taxidermytalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1015
  17. I know a prof that gets them to a pound in 10 months in an RAS indoors. I have 3 year olds over a pound and they were outside during the winter hence no growth in the winter.
  18. I don't know I don't eat the trout. They are worth too much to eat. They are sold whole frozen to taxidermists and replica makers. If I can get a brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) to 5 lbs. or over I can easily sell it for a minimum of $100.00. Unfortunately some pond issues and subsequent stress induced disease with the brook trout this year precluded that. I have no problems with brown trout but brook trout are very sensitive and require colder water. Here's is why they are so coveted by taxidermists. Aren't they a beautiful fish? I enhanced the colors on this one with astaxanthin premixed in the feed to bring out the reds. The iron does stress them a little although the larger the fish the less it effects them. It irritates their gills as it collects on their gills. My goal in the future will be to grow out my trout in an RA system in a building where I can mitigate pathogens, better control water quality and temperature, and keep predators away. I had a mink visit this spring and I had a number of trout come up missing. Whether it was him or disease I don't know, but I can't account for about 40 fish. Also if I need less flow I should be able to remove the iron before it gets to the fish.
  19. Thanks Gary. I'm going to drain and start all over with a different product. Much obliged!
  20. With selective breeding you can get them quite large.
  21. Interesting. It would have been easier to build too! Cutting those fiberglass pieces for the RBC with a hand held jig saw was hard work! I also went through several blades. I wouldn't do it again without a bandsaw. But I do like to watch it rotate and it does have 600 square feet of surface area. Here's a packed column I used to aerate ground water and blow off nitrogen gas before it went to my trout pond. Pretty much looks like a trickling filter doesn't it? It has plastic media in it. Notice the iron build up. I'm using an iron filter with the RAS. Edit: The commercial iron filter was a disappointment. It didn't perform very long. I have since come up with my own by simply running borehole water that had bee sprayed into the tank via a garden hose nozzle (adds oxygen to the water) back and forth between two 55 gallon drums through filter material to trap the iron particles.
  22. Thanks for the kind words Kellenw but I could only wish to live up to half that reputation. But I'm constantly learning and I enjoy sharing what I've learned.
  23. The biggest pond, which is on the front of the property is for grow out of female only yellow perch (Perca flavescens), male only bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu). Ideally the bluegill and yellow perch reproduction takes place in the back two smaller parallel ponds in the spring. In the fall the offspring are seined out of the ponds and put into floating cages into the biggest pond. Edit: I no longer move them to cages but to RAS tanks into the basement for the winter. Once they can be sexed a couple of springs later for the male bluegills and the following spring for the female yellow perch, these mono sexes are released from the cages and planted into the same pond. No reproduction in this pond ensures there are not a multitude of mouths to feed, and these particular sexes of the two grow the largest and the fastest. These fish have been feed trained in the production pond (I use lights to feed train the yellow perch), and are kept on pellets for the most part, although there are hundreds of thousands of free roaming forage fish in the pond (fathead minnows Phimepales promelas). That will probably change once the smallmouth fingerlings I planted become larger. Most likely the fathead minnows which are slow moving will be cropped down. Edit: That panned out as no fatheads to be found and even some incidental bluegills due to a some escapes from a cage and subsequent reproduction are not evident. The back center pond (the one in front of the two paired ponds) was my trophy trout pond, (This is my neighbor with a 12 pound brown trout my biggest trout from the pond) but I may use it for the production of pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus). I'm going to pick up broodfish in New York state in the spring. I've been having some disease and predator issues with my brook trout and may eventually go with an RAS for trout production. Edit: Did not pick up pumpkinseeds and decided not to. I produce trophy size fish for two niche markets: Fish taxidermists (frozen) and a chain sporting goods store that has large display tanks in each retail store. I'm considering raising fish for native fish enthusiasts that keep native species in aquariums. The fish growing is a sideline at this time with being a fish taxidermist my main occupation. I'm new to this but from what I understand a trickling bio-filter can clog up over time? The RBC doesn't clog up and as it rotates it exposes the aerobic bacteria clinging to it's surface area to oxygen but not enough to dry them out. They do get heavier over time as the bacteria builds up but mine shouldn't be a problem as there is plenty of flotation.
  24. I've only produced (from eggs) and grown out yellow perch (Perca flavescens) in ponds and floating cages, but I can tell you what I've learned about them. I have not had any experience with walleye but from what I've read, Kellenw is dead on with his information. I did see an ad once for a producer in Iowa that was selling feed trained walleyes. Anyway, although the yellow perch is supposed to be a coolwater fish, I've not had any problems with them in cages with temps in the lower 80's (~27 C.) with the smaller fish, as in under 10 inches. In fact, they fed veraciously and grew rapidly in those temps as long as water quality was good. But, I've seen the larger fish --12 inches and up -- stressed by temps such as those, however, as soon as females can be sexed (and they are the largest and fastest growing of the two sexes) I release them into the pond from the cages. By doing so I reduce the stress that cages may cause to larger fish, and they can escape into deep cooler water during the maximum summer temps. I keep the males for broodstock and health testing. Max growth for yellow perch is supposed to be about 77 F. ( 25 C.) I would think growth would still be O.K. at 70 F. ( 21 C.). There's more oxygen potential and less ammonia potential at 70 F. too.