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TMonk87

Hi from Southwest Louisiana!

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Hello from Southwest Louisiana! I've been an inactive member of this site for a few years now, that's about how long I've been looking into aquaponics. I've recently stumbled upon a starter system at a garage sale right down the road from where I live, talk about dumb luck! My family and I are about to move to where I can actually set up the system. To be honest, I'm pretty clueless on where to start next and will take any advice given!

 

Here's my set up I just bought:

2 - Half Barrel Grow Beds (Just one 55 gal Blue Barrel Split)

2 - 30 gal Fiberglass Fountain (He said it was 60 gals total, but I can connect the 2 with pvc in the top side)

1 - Biofilter (Bottom Half Barrel; PVC pipe, sits in barrel/not fixed, that tees at bottom for swirl effect and with Y at top to allow air in water flow; pvc pipe in top side for flow to barrels; pvc pipe in opposite top side for overflow; pvc pipe in bottom side with 1/4 turn ball valve; laundry bag with sponges for filter that sits inside barrel)

1- Extra 55 gal Blue Barrel (In case I decide to make more grow beds, or just use it for rainwater collection, any ideas appreciated!)

He also gave me a old pump for free but I will most likely replace it.

I will post pictures later after I unload my setup at the new house.

 

So basically all I need is a new pump, a bell siphon, some growing medium (I plan to use pea gravel, have an uncle who I can get it from), and some fish (the guy I bought the system from had a set up with cheap goldfish, so I plan on doing that while i'm learning)

 

I live in southwest Louisiana, so it stays pretty hot all summer. I'll have plenty of shade for the fish, and even can set it up on my porch if needed.

 

If I need anything else, or if anyone has some suggestions for me, I appreciate any help! And to be honest, I'm on a tight budget so I'm okay with repurposing too. Thanks everyone!

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Thanks GaryD for the warm welcome!

 

Could you perhaps point me in the right direction to get some help with my setup, either a subforum or a link to an article?

 

Oh, and here are some pictures of what I have for my setup: 

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Hi Tmonk,

 

Just set up your own thread in Members Systems and start asking questions.

 

I hope you didn't pay much for the set up in the pictures.....it's all very basic stuff.

 

My advice to all newcomers to the aquaponics craft is to set up a small recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) first.....then to add their choice of growing systems once the RAS has cycled.

 

 

Gary

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TMonk87,

 

New Orleans here.  This forum is an excellent resource for all things aquaponics, plus other types of urban and micro farming.  Glad to see somebody else in Louisiana.  Where are you in the state if you don't mind me asking?

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Hello from Southwest Louisiana! I've been an inactive member of this site for a few years now, that's about how long I've been looking into aquaponics. I've recently stumbled upon a starter system at a garage sale right down the road from where I live, talk about dumb luck! My family and I are about to move to where I can actually set up the system. To be honest, I'm pretty clueless on where to start next and will take any advice given!

 

Here's my set up I just bought:

2 - Half Barrel Grow Beds (Just one 55 gal Blue Barrel Split)

2 - 30 gal Fiberglass Fountain (He said it was 60 gals total, but I can connect the 2 with pvc in the top side)

1 - Biofilter (Bottom Half Barrel; PVC pipe, sits in barrel/not fixed, that tees at bottom for swirl effect and with Y at top to allow air in water flow; pvc pipe in top side for flow to barrels; pvc pipe in opposite top side for overflow; pvc pipe in bottom side with 1/4 turn ball valve; laundry bag with sponges for filter that sits inside barrel)

1- Extra 55 gal Blue Barrel (In case I decide to make more grow beds, or just use it for rainwater collection, any ideas appreciated!)

He also gave me a old pump for free but I will most likely replace it.

I will post pictures later after I unload my setup at the new house.

 

So basically all I need is a new pump, a bell siphon, some growing medium (I plan to use pea gravel, have an uncle who I can get it from), and some fish (the guy I bought the system from had a set up with cheap goldfish, so I plan on doing that while i'm learning)

 

I live in southwest Louisiana, so it stays pretty hot all summer. I'll have plenty of shade for the fish, and even can set it up on my porch if needed.

 

If I need anything else, or if anyone has some suggestions for me, I appreciate any help! And to be honest, I'm on a tight budget so I'm okay with repurposing too. Thanks everyone!

 

 

Welcome! I've never done the blue barrel thing except for mechanical and biofilters but I know others here have. Feel free to ask away!

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Hi, I am in Lake Charles, and will start my system soon. Tilapia are illegal in Louisiana so I am going with perch!

 

 

You mean brim or bluegill right when you say "perch?"

 

Welcome!

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Hey Cecil, Don't you have some decent experience raising bluegill in aquaculture environment?  I don't want to hijack this thread, but I would like to get some pointers from you because I'd like to try to increase the growth rate of mine.  For starters, I don't have the ideal tank dimensions, but I'm going to fix that soon.

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How to grow big fast growing bluegills:

1. Start with good stock. I started with gills from Nebraska that were selectively bred for fast growth by a dentist that does it as a hobby (Dr. Bruce Condello). I hatch my own bluegills in a small 1/10th acre pond and have crossed them with two other stocks over the years. You would be hard pressed to find a producer that selectively breeds bluegills. Most just seine and grade. A 4 inch fish could be a YOY or much older. This is why some complain bluegills don't grow enough in one growing season. i know of a researcher at Lincoln University in Missouri that has grown bluegills over a pound in 10 months.

Being in Louisiana you should consider coppernose bluegills.

2.) Get them small and get them on feed early. You want them almost circular in shape from the get go all the way through adult. These will be your fastest growing fish. I seine mine out of the pond at about an inch. My tank center drain is an air vent with tall narrow vertical slots.

3.) Keep them at a good density especially when they are small. This makes them feed better due to perceived competition. I use a smaller tank when they are smaller.

4.) Feed them high quality feed in small quantities several times a day and at least twice a day for larger fish.

5.) Keep the water warm for optimum feeding. 75 to 80 F. I use an aquarium heater.

6.) Keep your water clean with good mechanical filtration and your ammonia and nitrites should read zip due to good biofiltration.

7.) Do everything possible to keep stress down as in lighting low, no on and off lights, no noise, unnecessary handling, sudden movement, shadows etc.

Edited by Cecil (see edit history)

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Thanks again everyone for the welcome! 

 

GaryD, Thanks for the info, whenever I get fully moved into our new place, I'm going to start my setup with the RAS system you mentioned, until I can get the pea gravel from my uncle. And I probably paid more than I should have, but it wasn't outrageous. I didn't mind being that most everything was set up, so it was more of a convenience price, which is helpful while I'm learning.

 

tksavoy, I'm assuming you mean that tilapia are illegal outside of the commercial setting. I did some research lately and found that tilapia can be raised commercially, however the regulations and loops you have to jump through seems like a huge hassle and investment. You basically have to make sure there is no way possible for tilapia to make their way into the native environment, can't be eaten by any predators, or even be stolen. It's pretty clear you cannot allow them to make their way into the native fish population, whatever reason that may be.

 

craig1267, I live in southwest Louisiana, pretty close to the Lake Charles area.

 

Cecil, Thanks for the info, and while it was not aimed towards me, thanks for the info about bluegills. I'll be starting with goldfish, being they're cheap, while I'm learning but I plan to move to some other fish in the future. I was considering tilapia but with the state regulations and laws it sounds like a headache unless I'm starting a huge business or such. I've thought about catfish, but bluegill may be an option as well.

 

If you are interested in Louisiana tilapia regulations, here's what I found on it.

http://www.lsuagcenter.com/NR/rdonlyres/1ED04A53-0958-4497-8CB5-EE9142713E71/2443/pub2705tilapia4.pdf

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/permit/6688-Tilapia%20Holder/tilapia_rules_and_regulations_ldwf.pdf

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Cecil, Yes I was going to catch some here local and see if I could raise them and breed them! I know most people order there fingerlings, but we have a plentiful amount here right? I also know that I will have to somehow clean them before putting them into my tank. Any thoughts?

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Cecil, Yes I was going to catch some here local and see if I could raise them and breed them! I know most people order there fingerlings, but we have a plentiful amount here right? I also know that I will have to somehow clean them before putting them into my tank. Any thoughts?

 

A lot of folks give fish a concentrated salt bath before incorporating them into their system. Do a search on this forum for this and you should be able to find what you need.

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