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Black Crappie

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Here is what I know:

Prefer water temp 70-75 degree. But will stand in up to 80.

pH prefer 7-7.5

Growth: fast 5lb max usually .5-1 lb per year 7 year life span

Food....here is my ? I talked to one guy who raises them to sell who says they won't eat commercial fish food only live fish. Anyone out there know anyone who has crappie who can confirm or deny?

Also how hard is it to raise minnows to feed 100 crappie.....raise, breed and feed minnows to save cost

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Just found a great article on Black Crappie from Kentucky State University:

http://www.ksuaquaculture.org/Species/Crappie.htm

Black and white crappie belong to the family of sunfishes. Crappie are popular game fish in many parts of the United States including Kentucky. These fish are being evaluated as candidates for commercial aquaculture due to the following criteria:

a) strong consumer recognition and acceptance (black and white crappie are highly prized panfish in many states)

b) good growth rate in optimal conditions

c) trainability to prepared diets, and

d) ease of spawning in captivity

The principal obstacle to commercial culture of crappie involved their high rate of reproduction which often leads to overcrowding and stunting. Both black and white crappie reach sexual maturity at the age of one year and can spawn repeatedly in production ponds. The presence of large numbers of small fish in ponds decreases the effectiveness of prepared diet utilization, and causes stunting.

To allow successful use of crappie in commercial production, methods for preventing uncontrolled reproduction are being developed. This may be achieved by rearing mono-sex progenies obtained by means of genetic methods (induced gynogenesis and sex reversal). The investigations of this have been initiated recently at the Aquaculture Research Center of KSU.

Crappie are like bluegill but they get much bigger...I am guessing I wouldn't have to worry in my 250 gallon tank about them spawning but sounds like if i need to spawn them it wouldn't be that hard.

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Crappie can be pellet trained, but the really do prefer live fish. Their spawning habits are unpredictable. One year, for whatever reason, they might hardly spawn. The next year, you could have millions of fry just from a small handful of females. This feast or famine situation with regard to spawning can make them somewhat difficult, and at times, frustrating to manage.

I would probably opt for yellow perch over crappie if going for a cool water species.

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I wonder if putting another fish with the crappie would prevent stunting from overpopulation. After reading about the great lenghts people have gone to to keep tilapia from reproducing in a growout tank, I discovered that all was required was a few gold fish per tank. They eat the eggs and any fry that happen. While it does not keep the females from slower growth due to spawning activity, it does keep the tank from being overpopulated.

May not be optimal for commercial operation, but would be a cost effective alternative for the home grower.

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I wonder if putting another fish with the crappie would prevent stunting from overpopulation. After reading about the great lenghts people have gone to to keep tilapia from reproducing in a growout tank, I discovered that all was required was a few gold fish per tank. They eat the eggs and any fry that happen. While it does not keep the females from slower growth due to spawning activity, it does keep the tank from being overpopulated.

May not be optimal for commercial operation, but would be a cost effective alternative for the home grower.

Over population with crappie is unlikely in an aquaponics situation due to the close confinement and high stocking density of adult fish. The adults will likely eat all of the young of year if there is not adequate structure for the yoy to hide in. Consequently, no additional predator fish is needed. However, a great deal of potential growth is diverted to reproduction, so it would be wise to grow single sex crappie or hybrid (magnolia) crappie to minimize this problem. In ponds, crappie tend to over populate quite quickly and stunt in as little as 2-3 years post stocking. At that point, a total fish kill is often a serious risk.

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GaryD,

I have managed ponds and small lakes for many years. I also operate a small fish hatchery and growout operation, and do some consulting work from time to time. I am planning to expand my own operations from about 7,000 gallons to roughly 20,000 gallons in 2010. There aren't too many North American native game fish I haven't had a great deal of experience with in some way or another. I also work a lot with Tilapia (Niles, Blues and Moz's mainly). My line of Niles is being used by a local university in their aquaculture lab and research facility. In addition to my aquaculture/aquaponics operations, I run a sustainable farming operation on about 20 land acres and manage my own pond of about 14 acres. I am also an avid freshwater fisherman. I fish primarily cool waters, but I also fish warm waters and cold waters when I get the chance.

My day job is that of an owner and director of a healthcare/medical related company. My passion is aquaculture and sustainable agriculture however, and luckily for me, my job affords me a great deal of time to spend on what I love.

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Hi,

Thanks for that.

For some time, I've been concerned that, for as much as we know about Autralian native fish, in the past we've known precious little about US species.

Fortunately, that is is changing through the help and experience of some of our our American members.......most recently yourself. We look forward to your ongoing contribution.

Gary

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First off, thanks Gary for providing this fantastic site. I really enjoy it, and the forums are full of some incredibly valuable information. It's a special little community you've created here.

I'll be happy to help in any way I can with regard to North American fishes.

Thanks!

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Perfect, I have been trying to find a fish that I can raise for my aquaponics system and the black crappie looks to be the winner.

I'm fairly experienced with marine and fresh water aquariums and I am wondering what anyones thoughts are on stocking levels for black crappie.

I've never done aquaponics before so here is my plan:

The largest rubbermaid i can fit is a 40 gallon, I know it's rather small compared to other setups I've seen... would it still work, how many fish?

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The largest rubbermaid i can fit is a 40 gallon, I know it's rather small compared to other setups I've seen... would it still work, how many fish?

Hi Evan,

That's really only big enough for about 5 adult crappie, and even then, they'll be pretty cramped. I would go with bluegill or tilapia instead of crappie with that small of a fish tank.

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Thanks for the advice kellenw, I did some research and found a hatchery nearby that sells bluegill fingerlings, hopefully they will sell me a small quantity.

How many bluegill would you suggest in a setup my size?

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Hi,

In a 40 gallon indoor system, I'd be looking at carrying just enough fish to power the plants. I'd be looking at about 10 tilapia to start with and see how things go from there.

As they grow, you may need to cull some more so that your water quality can be maintained at the high levels you'll need for an indoor system of that size.

Gary

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I have ~50(the boogers wont stay still long enough to get a good count) 4" -6" tilapia in a 100 gallon setup. Water quality is a big issue as I only have about 60 gallons of growbed and media. Have had to add a trickle filter and solids separator to keep the system at all reasonably clear. I also have to do frequent water changes that can be attributable to the fact I am way overstocked. I also have 2 hang-on-the back filters with biofiber screens as well and these get clogged at this density. I would use a ratio of 1 fish to 5 gallons for a starting system. 1 to 10 gallons might not hurt for your first setup either. At least till you get through the learning curve. Trust me, there is a lot of information on these boards, but there is some that is not.

You will have to go through the cycle, as well as learning not to overfeed. The fish are like puppys and wag their tails when you walk by after you have fed them, even if you just fed them 20 minutes ago.

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Ravnis, Thank you for your greeting. I noted your suggestion of adding gold fish to tilapia tanks to keep populations in check. That drive directly to my system of system goals. I don't have a strong desire to grow fish for the table. I could only do that (at least at this stage of my life) if I sent the doomed critters out to have someone else do the dirty deed. I feel maintaining a stable population of fish of mixed breeds for the nitrogen engine in microponics system of systems is where I want to head. Aside from temperature compatibility are there other issues, either postive or negative that I should consider in selecting fish? As the aqua system is mixed breeds what about including crayfish?

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I have not ran crayfish yet, but considered them. The big issue is keeping them from becoming a meal for the fish. Our australian friends refer to them as yabbies. They would probably help make solids smaller in the take. I would suggest you start a thread of something like raising fish with crawfish. There are several members that are way more knowledgeable in that subject than I.

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