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Mean and Green

What fish breed?

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So i've found myself researching for about a week now for new fish to raise in my aquaponics system. I really would like to raise blue nile tilapia, but texas law says i have to pay $250 for a stupid permit every two years. It's not to bad if your doing this as a commercial business but this is just a backyard project so no intentions on making profit as of now. Soooo, i looked at the gold tilapia and they are legal in Texas, but they don't do so well in the winter time and running a heater can be costly in a greenhouse. My question now is what other freshwater fish are out there that are edible. The water temps around here can reach into the lower 40's winter and high 100's F come summer. I've looked at the barramundi, but getting my hands on one in the US alone seems next to impossible. I also looked into the Rio Grand Cichlid, i hear they are tasty, but they can be territorial and sometimes kill each other...if anyone has experience with these fish let me know how they are. Also if anyone has any other type of fish species they'd like to throw out there, please speak up ( no catfish species please ).

PS if you have links of fish vendors for a particular species you recommend, please post them.

God Bless

Mean and Green :D

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Hi Mean and Green,

I'm not sure of the water temp tolerances, nor if they are legal in your state,Down here in South Australia they are totally illegal, but have you investigated channel catfish?

Cheers.

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Don't take this a gospel but I believe Bluegill take 12 months before you can harvest. I am sure others will chime in on this one..

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bluegill is similar to tilapia as far as breeding and growth rate. If you don't heat the tank they will stop eating around 50-55 F. So won't grow in winters.

One point to make about to heat or not. If you don't heat then plant growth will slow way down too.

Mossambiques tilapia are legal in texas without the permit, I have been overwintering indoors and putting them back out in the summer. I have had them survive temps drops to 47F after acclimating them for a few years to texas weather. Another fish to consider, but probably not able to breed on home scale is hybrid striped bass.

Another option I have considered is shrimp. There is a hatchery in Ft Worth and they have a growout time of 3-4 months.

Good Luck with your search.

http://www.aquacultureoftexas.com/ here is a link for the shrimp. Every choice with have it's plus or minuses. Tilapia can breed like rabbits. So can bluegill. But fingerlings are not that expensive either.

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Ravnis, that is amazing on your tilapia. Mozzies usually die with those low temps, where did you purchase yours from. Any tips on keeping them, temps, growth rate, feeding?

Thanks Pugo!

Ande, wow those georgia giants look promising, says they are aggresive fish. I wonder if it's to other species or to each other.

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Mean and Green,

winter before last, i had trouble with a vent cover and my water temp in my green house got down to 48F and all my adult Mossy Tilapia survived with no heater, then i added a heater and got the temp back up quick... This winter i my water temp in my green house with a southern engineered 1500W oil filled space heater with a good year black water hose wrapped around it and a slow trickle through it, never got below 60F and all the Tilapia did good and they eat quite well.

This year in late march, i put 12 9 to 11oz Male Tilipia in the outside system because the water temps had gotten over 80F, then we had a bad cold snap during Easter with water temps down to 50F to 55F for several days in a row, and i lost all 12 fish...... So some times they make it, some times they don't......

I got my mossys from Overtons Fisheries between Buffalo and Centerville on I45

Kellen on this forum, has the Gold Mossys that are very nice

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The price of gas lol,

You guys haven't even hit $1.00 per litre and it's too expensive?

Mind you there are some forecasting you may within 5 years.

Sorry of topic, just though that was funny.

Kellen is the tilapia man, you may want to pm him, just a suggestion.

Cheers.

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mean and Green, I bought my tilapia from overton fisheries.

I would really recommend bluegill for a starter fish. they can overwinter as long as they don't freeze. Which ever fish you choose, I highly recommend you start small.

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Haha well when it's about 300miles round trip away and my truck gets 14mpg, ( about $80 of gas when i can ship for around $35-40) and i'm a college man. Hahaha money is hard thing to conjure up, plus just spent roughly $800 for my aquaponics setup and green-house.

Hopefully kellen can help me out, that is if he will run across this post.

Kellen Please Help

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Thanks ande, i'll try to give them a call either today or tomorrow.

Hey has anyone looked into raising pacu as a summer fish. They grow like no-ones business. And they taste better than bass, tilapia and even catfish. And they have really nice lean but meaty fillets. I've been doing some search on them and a guy grew some from fingerlings and in 4months they were 1.5lbs and 10-12inches long, and in 6months they were 2.5lbs and about 15-16 inches. Even though they are a tropical fish, Israeli scientist did tests to see how low the temps can be for survivability and for yearlings they found it to be 7.5 C which is about 45F a little lower than the Blue Tilapia's survivability temp. And they can be found in most pet stores. It's sad that people buy them and then soon realize that the fish they have is literally going to outgrow the tank in a couple of months. So buyers beware. Anywho males reach sexual maturity at age 3 and females at 4. They are related to the pirhanna but they are most herbivores ( just dont stick your finger anywhere close they still have teeth). But all in all from what i've seen is a fast growing fish, that grows clean meat and lots of it, survives in cooler climates, eats very little, survives in low oxygenated water and they can be found at your local pet store. Just make sure that if you are going to get a pacu to get the black pacu, the red bellied pacu is still a great choice, but for breeding in order for the female to release it's eggs the owner must induce a hormone into the water for her to release them...could be costly.

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Hello Mean and Green,

Yes, we have Hawaiian Gold Tilapia which are an O. mossambicus based strain and unregulated in Texas. You can find more info about them on our website.

If you are interested in going with a native fish, I would recommend looking into bluegill. Yellow perch tend to prefer cooler water than you'll likely have in the summer months. Same with hybrid striped bass.

The exotic/non-native Pacu are fast growing, but are difficult to breed, and really beyond the capabilities of most backyard and small scale growers as far as breeding them goes.

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Yeah im not worried about the breeding part, to much of a hastle. I just want to experiment with them and try them out. Then of course eat them. 12 inch fish is large enough for eating :P yeah i looked at the mozzies...kinda late in the season to stock on those....but i know who to come to coming this next january :P expect a phone call. Never eatin bluegill before, they just dont seem like thet dont have that much meat on them.

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Aww bluegills are some good eating. Dipped in cracker meal fry them bad boys up... yummy !! crappie and bluegill are about the same sizes and the way I deal with these is the same as this video.

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crappie (at least black crappie) will grow bigger than bluegill, but bluegill can easily reach a pound if you have good stock..

there are a few different sunfish for the southern climates of the US but i don't really have any experience with them.. sunfish family (large mouth bass is in the sunfish family)

pumpkin seed, green sunfish, shell crackers, red ear... all good eats!

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If you go with Bluegill, get Coppernose Bluegill (CNBG). They are a southern subspecies, and will grow a little faster in your climate. They are a really nice fish. I'd avoid crappie. They're a pain to pellet train typically, as are Redear Sunfish (RES), aka shell crackers, typically (they prefer snails, scuds, larvae and crayfish). Pumpkinseed Sunfish are sometimes a pain to pellet train and sometimes not (overall very similar food preferences to RES), depending on strain, but they tend to grow slower and don't reach the size you're looking for typically. They are better suited to more northern climates also. Bluegill will usually hit a nice harvest size in about 12-15 months.

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The price of gas lol,

You guys haven't even hit $1.00 per litre and it's too expensive?

Mind you there are some forecasting you may within 5 years.

Sorry of topic, just though that was funny.

Kellen is the tilapia man, you may want to pm him, just a suggestion.

Cheers.

Oh we're over that now mate. If a liter is roughly a quart we have been over $4.00 per gallon for some time now. The speculators on the stock market are killing us. Thank God I work at home!

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Ravnis, that is amazing on your tilapia. Mozzies usually die with those low temps, where did you purchase yours from. Any tips on keeping them, temps, growth rate, feeding?

Thanks Pugo!

Ande, wow those georgia giants look promising, says they are aggresive fish. I wonder if it's to other species or to each other.

They're really just bluegill/green sunfish hybrids. The producer is a great salesman and could sell ice to the eskimo. All hype! Studies are showing the GG's grow faster initially than regular strain bluegills but the male bluegills will surpass them if fed adequately.

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.. This winter i my water temp in my green house with a southern engineered 1500W oil filled space heater with a good year black water hose wrapped around it and a slow trickle through it, never got below 60F and all the Tilapia did good and they eat quite well.

i saw that in the corner when i was visiting and wondered what had justified such an invention :D

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