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Murray

Sleepy Cod

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I lost a Sleepy over the weekend. I found him on top of part of the plywood cover for the tank.

I had taken the other half of the cover off to show some folk the Sleepies and I had not been careful to put it back.

On coming back a few hours later I discovered the dead jumper on the other half of the lid.

I have had several jumpers before. Bruce from Ausyfish said they were jumpers. It is really a bit unusual one would think, especially by a fish species that spends most of their life laying motionless on the bottom of the tank.

But jumpers they are.......:o

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Hi Murray,

so the sleepies are bottom feeders, would you suggest using them in a tank with murray cod to help keep the tank cleaner? I'm worried about the temp here during winter may be too cold for them.

I'm breeding goldfish in large numbers in my ornamental pond and intent to use some as a food suppliment for my cod. Are there any issues with disease here? The white necked herron that hangs around my place doesn't seem to think so:).

I'm also a keen fisherman who catches the odd carp. I have thought of targeting the carp to use as additional feed. The carp fillets could be frozen/fresh sliced and fed to the cod. Do you know of any issues in doing this?

God bless froggo.

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Hi Froggo,

Multiculturalism has not arrived in the fish world as yet. I doubt if the two cods would get along.

Actually the Sleepies come up to the top to get the floating fish pellets with some speed. They are surprising, lay around all day, but when the pellets hit the surface they move with lightning speed.

Murrays are known to feed well on frozen fish flesh strips although I have not tried it myself.

I drop a couple of hundred little mosquito fish from my dam into the Murray's tank, and they are all gone in about 15 minutes. The goldies would suffer a similar fate I imagine.

Temp is an issue with the Sleepies and I am working on that at the moment.

I am not attempting to heat the Murray's tank/s. I reckon I will just leave them do their thing for the winter.

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I moved my Sleepies yesterday into a 1000 ltr Balcony kit to give them more room. I feel it is long overdue.

I have lost 3 over the last few weeks due to them "jumping"

There are some that are really growing and others that are very slow to grow.

In their new home I have placed 2 aquarium heaters. 1 x 400 watts and 1 x 300 watts. It will be a bit expensive on my power bill to run the heaters, but I feel it will be worth it.

The sleepies have not had good heating before, so I am hoping to be able to give them a steady 22 degrees for the winter. In their old home the temp got down to 16deg more than once and they survived. They are much hardier than I expected when I first got them last August.

In the past, I have had some jump down to the 2300 ltr tank below where the Silvers live and they appear to have grown much faster than the ones that were in the fingerling tank.

I am not able to be exactly sure if I have caught all of them that made their way down to the 2300 ltr tank. If one is left there I am sure he will show up sooner or later.

Now they are all together in their own 1000 ltr Balcony kit.

I weighed the largest one and it went 75 gr.

Long way to go to get to 800 gr

Maybe they will grow more now they are in a larger tank with more warmth.

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We are considering getting some sleepy cod (the vegies need more nutrition than 100 silver perch supply). Any one have any experience of mixing these with Silver Perch? Thinking of putting them first into fingerling (small) tank.

Any trouble weaning the fingerlings to pellet food? How many fingerlings would you suggest we order for the small tank?

So far have only lost one SP, we placed a net around the pump (in case the fish were sucked in) & when we removed the net we had one fatality.

We have had frosty mornings, but fish seem to be ok in water temps as low as 9 degrees (feeding drops off at these times).

The Flowers

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HI the Flowers,

I have had Sleepies now for 1 year. They are one year old this week.

I kept them in the fingerling tank above the main tank for about 7 months than transfered them into a 925 ltr tank where they still are.

They are jumpers and about 10 of them jumped ship down to the main tank which has about 200 Silvers in it. They did fine.

I think they may have dined out on some of the smaller Silvers.

I have 125 of them having lost a few who jumped ship the wrong side and expired before I found them and one that got stuck under the pump.

I would raise them initially in the fingerling tank, but expect to keep them

separate in the long run.

They need heat in the winter. Don't like it below about 20 deg.

They are an amazing fish really, but very slow growing. Looking at mine now I reckon it will be next August before they are ready for the table.

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Hi Flowers,

What Murray forgot to mention (but the photos show) is that you can put your hand into the tank and slide it under the sleepy cod and they'll allow you to lift them out of the water.

Gary

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Thanks Murray

I have learned a lot from your site and it is exciting to see this flourishing home zero food mile industry unfold.

I have a 60 thousand liter pool that I have converted into a lilly and gold fish pond with a few kg of redclaw doing very well in it.

I have a series of wheelie bins as sediment filters and two filled with biomats that seem to be doing a very good job with (now) zero nitrates and nitrites and stable PH and as I had filled it with rain water I had to put a couple of Kgs of bicarb and some limestone to get the ph and hardness right but very stable now.

I am not happy with the bins so have purchased 6 x 1000 litre IBCs. 3 to replace them and 3 for fish growing and have will keep the wheelies for storage.

I am not sure if I can use the pond water to run through the grow tanks and then through the hydro grow tables (yet to be bought or installed - advise as to what type would be appreciated) or should the fish grow tanks be kept separate to the grow table away from the s/pool.

All of the pumps and filters are below a deck of the side of the pool and although only about 1.6m high plenty of width and height and secur so a good spot.

Hope to ad some photos when going.

I would like to drop in a see your operation if it is a retail site or if visitors are welcome.

I am in Currumbin but am coming to your area tomorrow if that works and maybe you can provide grow tables and advice.

Many thanks and keep up the good work

PS am collecting flys from my Biopod and intend to process and render to make my organic feed.

Have a couple great recipes that will share soon if they work (advise) accepted.

Thanks Again

Wayne

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I have moved half of my Sleepies to a new tank. The tank is 1250 ltrs and is part of a Patio Duo kit.

There are 70 in the tank leaving 60 in the original tank.

They are doing very well. A really good fish to raise (so far anyway) This batch is now 18 months old. If they are to be a 2 year grow out as most of the documentation claims, they need to get a hurry on.

I weighed several of them while transferring and the average weight is 220g each. A long way to go to get to 1000g

I really don’t know what are the best conditions for Sleepies. I have read everything I can find on them and the info is all a bit scratchy. One gets the feeling that the different articles have gained their info from the one source.

All articles say that they should be crowded to prevent territorial behaviour etc, but what density is the best. It is never stated, that I have found anyway.

I am going to feed the two colonies on different diet each to see if there is any difference in grow out from here in. Both colonies have approx the same fish size spread.

sleepie1-400x292.jpg

Sleepie Cod just hanging around near the top of the tank.

They are the most interesting fish. A good number of them just hang around near the top of the tank. On lifting the lid of the tank they make no attempt to move…often just repositioning themselves to watch me better. It is a bit strange being stared down by a fish !!

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Hi Murray,

All articles say that they should be crowded to prevent territorial behaviour etc, but what density is the best. It is never stated, that I have found anyway.

My understanding is that territorial fish should be crowded as small fingerlings. I don't think it's quite so necessary once they get some size on them.

Gary

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Thanks Murray

I am still working on the grow beds and bell syphons.

I tried 25mm black polly as the drain but is to slow so will have to try perhaps 40 mm PVC. I have may be 1m head of preasure so would like to emty the 300l GB very quickly.

\Did you say you heated your sleepie tanks.

SEQ Fish dont recomend sleepies over winter so we get back to silvers and Jade

Photos soon

Wayne

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Thanks Gary, perhaps I have waited too long to split them up. Maybe I should have done that in early summer.

I am weighing out their food now to try and determine just how much food they will take every day. So far, 1g per fish morning and 1g per fish evening.

It would appear from info gathered by Jonty that Sleepies will breed in tanks provided the water temp is right and you have a mature pair. So I will be keeping 10 0r 12 to grow out for brood stock. Another 18 months and they will be old enough. I have to find out how you tell the boys from the girls.

It will be a fun project.

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Thanks for that Jonty,

I had found that one before, but I have just now purchased the article. 30.00 US for the article. Good info.

It would appear that Sleepies will breed fairly readily for about 5 months provided the conditions are right.

Good news for me. I think this whole sustainability thing hinges on not being reliant on hatcheries etc for ones fish supplies.

Maybe next summer I will have some Sleepie fingerlings.:)

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Guest Castaway

Murray - There's a small section in the book Australian Fish Farmer that covers Sleepy Cod and the size they grow out to in a re-circulated system;

Page 418:

Once grown a bit, the older fish appear to be well suited to re-circulation systems.

They are at the boutique end of the market and command the high price needed to

meet the high break-even costs of such systems.

Sleepy cod do not appear to reach filleting size (at least what is regarded as filleting

size in Australia). They almost never reach 1 kg in weight. The final product has to be

whole fish. Indications are that a 500 g fish could be grown in about 18 months.They

travel well in a plastic bag with water, and can even survive for some time out of water.

There is a limited demand for sleepy cod in the marketplace. There is real interest in

the major Asian markets where a closely related fish, the marbled goby, is much sought

after: they are reputed to be worth more than $40 per kg. In Australia, sleepy cod are

likely to be able to command a significant proportion of that amount.

Maybe your current fish growth is on par with their age/weight etc in an AP system?

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Thanks Castaway,

I hope they get to be 1 kg after a suitable amount of time.

It will be a bit disappointing if they are all little.

I feel there is a bit to learn about feed for them. Perhaps they will do better on a different diet other than just pellets.

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