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Ravnis

co producing tilapia and catfish

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I had an Idea (quick everyone run and hide)... My understanding is that tilapia are prolific breeders and that catfish are omnivores. So I was wondering about throwing the excess fry as food to the catfish. I would basically have a 500 gallon tank with catfish and a 300 gallon tank with tilapia. Since tilapia are vegetataion eaters they could be fed pretty cheaply. I could have breeding tank setup to just produce fry and put the best ones in a grow out tank and then feed the rest to the catfish.

Is this just insane or does anyone think this might work?

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It makes about as much sense as farming rabbits and then feeding them to dogs which you then eat. Tilapia taste much better than catfish, they are cleaner and grow faster. Sorry....dumb idea.

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Breeding your own fish food is a good idea. But BSF or worms may be easier than fish. Guppies breed like rabbits over here but it would take a lot of these breeding all the time to get enough feed for your other fish. But if you have spare then you can always throw them in to vary there diet.

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Many places farm tilapia with a predator species, such as hybrid Striped Bass. The tilapia can eat the fish poo and the predator species eats the extra fry.

This isn't very efficent for a small producer. You are better off growing out the tilapia in a cage to prevent them from breeding. That way the females get nearly as big as the males.

If you had a huge source of najas or duckweed, the tilapia could eat that and excess babies could be eaten by another fish. Tilapia need 80-85F water to grow well. I don't know for sure, but that may be too hot for most catfish.

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70-85 degrees is the prime growing temperature for catfish, they will survive 96f temps. They are also the best selling fish in this area as Tilapia just haven't caught on in the south though I prefer it over catfish personally.

The advantage of catfish is overwintering due to being able to survive to near freezing unlike tilapia which cuts production cost by not having to heat during the winter. This may be a moot point when I can get my greenhouse erected but I could grow catfish now with water temps in the 50'sf until spring when they start rising again and just get a breeder pair of tilapia and raise them from about mid march to october which is when temps drop low enough to kill the tilapia without additional heating. The biggest problem I have read about tilapia is the stunting of growth due to overproduction. With worms and black soldier fly and excess fry i probably wont need much feed and with several pond owners in the area that will allow me to clean their ponds of duckweed, my cost to feed the tilapia will be my time to harvest duckweed and gas money.

If everything goes well will convert 10 acres into fish farm, probably still a small grower, but I can expand once I iron out the details.

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Hi,

It makes about as much sense as farming rabbits and then feeding them to dogs which you then eat. Tilapia taste much better than catfish, they are cleaner and grow faster. Sorry....dumb idea.

I'm under the impression that one of the issues with Tilapia is that they breed from an early age. If you can't rear the fry, it seems logical to feed them to something......and how is it different to feeding them pellets which have fish as one of their principal ingredients.

As for rabbits and dogs, if your purpose is to grow dogs for eating then you'll feed them whatever will grow dog meat of the desired standard. In Australia, that could well be bush rabbit meat from a cost effectiveness point of view.

Gary

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Hi,

I'm under the impression that one of the issues with Tilapia is that they breed from an early age. If you can't rear the fry, it seems logical to feed them to something......and how is it different to feeding them pellets which have fish as one of their principal ingredients.

Gary

My point was ( and it was tongue in cheek - or fry in mouth ) and is that why waste those Tilapia since ( biased ) they are an easier fish to rear and eat than catfish which is really a dog (bitch) of a fish.

I'm also enjoying seeing my Tilapia multiply exponentially as it gives me a good excuse to buy more tanks and expand my AP empire.

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It makes about as much sense as farming rabbits and then feeding them to dogs which you then eat. Tilapia taste much better than catfish, they are cleaner and grow faster. Sorry....dumb idea.

If I lived in a climate like brunei that was favorable to year round grow of of tilapia, then you are absolutely right, this would be a dumb idea. But the reason our authorities will let us keep them here is the fact that it does get cold enough to kill them in our winters. I fully do see your point if you want a food fish just focus on them. I thank you for your opinion.

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I may live to eat my words as I discovered another litter (is that the correct name for a hundred or more new born fish?) in the tank today. I may soon be overun (overswum?) with Tilapia. May have to keep a catfish or dogfish to eat some of them up!:D

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That is the exact problem with tilapia and why growing all males, or growing mixed sex in open mesh cages is what most people do. Tilapia will quickly over populated any enclosure if they can breed and the culture will crash. Even if it didn't, the fry compete with the adults for food and all suffer. If females are allowed to brood they don't gain weight. The stop eating 3 weeks out of 5 while they brood, and end up just making babies, not good food.

If you make a cage that has no flat surface to lay eggs, they can't breed. Anything under the cage will enjoy the ggs.

I may live to eat my words as I discovered another litter (is that the correct name for a hundred or more new born fish?) in the tank today. I may soon be overun (overswum?) with Tilapia. May have to keep a catfish or dogfish to eat some of them up!:D

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When I contacted Americulture about buying fingerlings they stated that they use reverse hormones and that 90% or higher would be male, it may be possible to cull the females in small batches.

I would like to mix some catfish for solids removal (with the Tilapia), not sure how much they would remove.

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Hi guys

wondering if you can help me out from your experience with tilapia - i have approx. 20 tilapia's in a 1500 litre tank (there will be more..). water temp is high, around the 30 celsius. water quality is good. i have noticed some of the larger fish are getting a whitish film on head and eyes, to which the interent says i got myself a streptococcus thrown in the bargain.

any advice what to do? antibiotics is of course not an option. lowering water temp i will start on immediately. but aside from removing the fish and drying up the system, is there any majik solution?

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Hi Tomer

If I understand correctly, you have catfish with Tilapia. I tried some catfish in my pond one time and they really dirtied up the water and within a day it stank .... hence, bacteria. These days I have Barramundi in my 1000 litre tank with the Tilapia. Barramundi like cleaner water and so I have a second pump in the corner of the tank that swirls the water around and lifts the poop off the bottom. I have also super aerated the water with a bigger multi stone air pump. This has kept my water much cleaner, although I still find I cahnge the tank every week or so. I lost over 20 Barra. one day when the water got dirty. I fed them too many pellets.

I haven't lost too many Tilapia. Mainly when I have introduced new Tilapia to the tank. I haven't seen the disease you mention but I think I would add sea salt to try and make sure I don't lose more fish. I would also change the water and keep it as clean and as aerated as possible... oh.. and chuck out those slimy stinky catfish!

Good luck.

PS My Tilapia and barra are looking very healthy and are very actyive and hungry. They now nibble my fingers at feed time too.

Amazing the difference good clean water and aeration can make. I still haven't found pellets that don't dirty up the water.

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Sorry Tomer,

I forgot to mention that I do have Borneo Sucker Fish in with my Tilapia and in fact every tank. Not sure if this is the kind of catfish you meant. My suckers do an OK job at removing some of the algae but also compete for pellets. In the glass tank (Ranchu and Oranda) they do a fine job.

The catfish I was referring to in the previous post were about 1 - 2kg. and ended up jumping out and walking to the neighbours place. They brought one back... it had flip flopped through the drains and ended up in their yard.

These are actually snakeheads. Supposed to be medicinal, I didn't like the taste of them and very slimy and smelly but the locals like them.

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Hi Dave

i'll never forget the taste of the first rotten fish i got in Thailand.. don't remember the name of the dish but it reeked in my mouth for weeks. Slimy & stinky goes down well in good old South East Asia..

i don't have any catfish in the tank, just the Tilapia, but i am considering a few grey mullets (they are eurohaline) which nibble on anything, to do the bottom cleaning. suckers is a good idea also.

talking to some experts the Streptococcus i got probably came with the fish as it originates in bird droppings, which the they were raised pond is susceptible to. there isn't much to do except antibiotics or nasty chemicals.. oddly the fish live fine, and you can even eat the fillets just not the head. but i'm not sure i will.

that leaves drying yp the system and restarting. not pleasant, but before the next batch of fish will have to be done.

do you feed your Tilapias extra or they just filter feed?

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Aquaponics do not need any chemicals. It requires only ten percent of water needed for plant production and as well a fraction used to grow fish easily. It should be aware that there are different species of tilapia. You can choose the right one for your set up based on the way they look or the way they behave. Some tilapia fish like a Gold Tilapia, White Tilapia, Blue Tilapia, etc are good choice for right aquaponics system and you may know more about how to aquaponic setup can be built for perfect growth.

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