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Does no one use Koi in there process?..Honestly that was my first choice.

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I have been reading on the fish and what not people are using in there systems, and was specifically wanting to read about Koi, but I am noticing no posts on Koi..... is there any reason why?...

 

I am helping a lady build a large rock stream and pond and she has a small pond in her backyard already with Koi in it, the pond is tiny about 7 feet in diameter and maybe 2.5 feet deep, but the fish do quite well in there in spite of the bitter cold temps we get here, some winters down to -50F.  The set up I would be using would be a 10ft x 16 ft by 4 to 5 foot deep, in ground pool inside my 20 x50 ft greehouse, so temps would not be as big a problem for me but I would still like to raise a fish that would survive well in my out door ponds as well.  I have cat fish already in all five of my ponds, as well as many turtles, but I would like to have some other fish species. 

 

Is there any specific reasons that a person would avoid Koi in a hydroponic system?

 

Another question I have and it is a bit "outside the box" so to speak, can one raise insects for the fish to feed on?...  I have raised maggots for some time now for feeding to my chickens, rather easy really, the chicken bucket ( five gallon bucket in the house for food scraps ) grows maggots by the thousands if it let set for a while outside or in the barn, then I feed it to the chickens.  I could easily set up something like this on a screen over the fish and allow the maggots to drop through the screen into the water to feed the fish.  The ones that don't drop will become flies and what not and eventually wind up floating on the water to be eaten as well.  The maggots may not fall through the screen well, but I could simply put  a chicken in there to move the material around on the screen which would then drop the maggots down to the fish.

 

I always have great supply of material for maggots, I slaughter all my own meat from hogs, goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, deer, elk etc, so I have a lot of material available to use.  It woks great as a chicken feed and I figured it should also work great for fish and even thought it would make a good feed for hogs.

 

Any thoughts or knowledge on the fish or on the idea of maggot fish food?....

Edited by Mountain (see edit history)

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See Gary's thread on black soldier fly and you'll see a long running(many years) thread devoted to maggots as food.  Koi have been used as well as gold fish.  Probably don't read so many threads about them due to food fish, being the operative reason for the aquaculture part of aquaponics.  If you read enough threads on here and elsewhere you'll read about duckponics, vermiponics(or worm ponics) and other variations showing waste from a number of different animals can be used.

 

 

Heres the link:

 

http://aquaponicsnation.com/forums/topic/217-black-soldier-fly-larvae/

Edited by Ravnis (see edit history)

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None of my systems have tanks big enough for koi to grow in and they are a bit pricey for my wallet. I do run a system on goldfish and they do really well.  I have no doubt that koi would do well and there may be some income potential from breeding them.

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Hi,

 

Why people don't more frequently fun koi in aquaponics systems is a question that I've often asked myself.

 

So many people keep koi and yet relatively few bother to transition to aquaponics......and, for some reason, aquaponicists have been slow to consider koi as the fish of voice for their systems.

 

Having said that, I know precious little about koi......or what the koi market looks like.  While we hear astronomical prices being obtained for the world's best koi, the broader market may be problematic in a way that I don't know about.

 

Anybody got any koi-raising and selling experience to share?

Edited by GaryD (see edit history)

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Hi,

 

Koi have long been one of my favorite 'hobby' fish. I was heavily involved in the Aust Koi Society in the early - mid 80's.

 

When I closed my shop a few years ago I had 8 show quality koi that I gave to a friend to look after as I did not have a pond or AP system at the time. During summer last year my mate told me he was going to travel around Oz for 12-18 months and gave me the option to take them back or to leave them in the hands of their house sitter, I brought them home and put into my AP system.

As it turns out, the koi appeared to spur on the appetite of the perch in the cooling water temps of winter. Bonus I thought as the koi are huge feeders & waste producers even during our mildish sub-tropical winter. The AP system powered all threw winter with no extra additives required, nutrient wise.

 

Quality Koi are like quality race horses, the individuals blood lines are as much a factor as their individual pattern & colour quality.

Unfortunately here in Oz when the import quarantine laws were introduced in the early 80's, Koi were listed on the noxious species list as simply being carp. It wasnt until the early 2000's that special permits were issued to registered koi farms (only 4 in Oz at the time) to allow very low numbers to be imported. This was a farce as koi are listed as noxious in almost every state in Oz. 2 of the farms thought they might be able to capture the market and spent BIG $$$ to import Japanese Show winners. Now the quality has improved tremendously, but the market is small.

 

My 4 pairs were selected from F1 generation Japanese imports and are worth about $2000 -$3000 per pair. Quality marked & coloured 6-8" koi with these bloodlines range in price from $200 upwards. The most expensive koi sold in Oz was a mere $22,000... compared to the $2.2million for the sale of a Japanese National Grand Champion. *Edited most expensive as I thought it was $6,500,000.00 but could not find a reference.

 

Koi are classed according to skin & pigment colours -

 

The Classes.
NON-METALLIC
CLASS 1: KOHAKU
White skinned fish, with red pattern.

CLASS 2: TAISHO SANKE
White skinned fish with red and black pattern

CLASS 3:SHOWA SANSHOKU
Black skinned fish with red and white. (rarely yellow and white)

CLASS 4:BEKKO
White skinned fish with black blobs, over white, yellow, orange or red ground.

CLASS 5:UTSURIMONO
Black skinned with triangular patterns in white, yellow, orange or red.

CLASS 6:ASAGI
&Black skinned with blue back and flame orange belly and points.

CLASS 6:SHUSUI
Doitsu version of above.

CLASS 7:KOROMO
White skinned fish with Kohaku-type red pattern covered with a black or blue net.

CLASS 8:KAWARIMONO
All the non-metallic fish which do not fit into any of the above and also all the crow line black fish. (The too-hard basket!)

 

METALLIC
CLASS 9:OGON
White skinned, one colored metallic and their Matsubas (pinecone pattern).

CLASS 10:HIKARI MOYOMONO
White skinned, with two or more colours.

CLASS 11:HIKARI UTSURIMONO
Black skinned, with two or more colours.

CLASS 12:KINGINRIN
All the fish with Ginrin scales.

CLASS 13:TANCHO
All the fish with one head spot and none of that colour elsewhere

 

Prior to the return of my koi I had no intention of breeding, growing or selling fish again, much less koi, simply content to grow only food fish.

After 6 months in my system they are super ripe and ready to breed this spring, so it looks like 80% of my holding capacity will be dedicated to raising the koi fry to a sell able size.

The fact that they breed easily, combined with the noxious listing in most states, combined with all the back yarders letting 'nature take its course' see's an absolute plethera of low quality koi flood the market yearly with prices continuing to fall as supply vastly out strips demand.

 

I will do as I have done in the past, variety selective & induced spawning in segregated & filtered tanks to ensure the colour & variety linage remain as pure as possible. Each spawn could be 50,000+ eggs. The males produce so much milt, uncontrolled spawning can result in mass filter over load,  overnight.

I was called in a panic one day by a customer... "The pond is as white as milk, I cant see the bottom, the fish a floating and it all smells totally disgusting" .... I saved most of the fish and used a shovel to remove nearly 20kgs of eggs.

*Edited with a bit more info added.

 

Another little know fact, the oldest koi lived nearly 230 years... thats a lot of lettuce !

 

Here are a couple pics of my ponds from my old shop in 2006 -

Picture%2B606.jpg

Picture%2B617.jpg

Picture%2B619.jpg

 

Cheers

Joe

Edited by Toga (see edit history)

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HI Toga,

 

Thanks for your reply......and the photos.

 

Given that Koi are Karp, what role/market could you see for koi as food fish?   Is that breeding process that you described within the grasp of a mere mortal?  Is that a means by which we could breed feeder fish for higher species?

 

Gary

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Hi GaryD,

 

Given a choice, you would probably prefer the feed rather than the fish... they are very bony, muddy flesh fish. In saying that, many cultures eat carp.

 

They are easy to breed, Im sure even you could breed them, put a boy with a girl. You could get more sophisticated and follow the lines & colours - red goes with red, white & black with white & black.

Induced spawning Isnt that complicated but the hormones can be expensive. It is how 99.9% of our Aussie native / aquaponics food fish are bred. Induced spawning gives back much control to the breeder.

 

For the same reason as my reply to your 1st question, koi fry are not an overly suitable feeder fish being so bony. They also only breed once per year so are not a long term viable feeder source.On the other hand, I do have a video of a 3 foot Tiger Catfish eating a 10" koi... probably best not to post it though... rofls

 

I do have a couple vids of induced spawning of Murray Cad, Barra, Jade & Silver Perch... pretty boring viewing. Drug them out, remove a sample & check egg viability, check males are 'running', inject them. A lot of hatcheries then put x number males per female into separate culture tanks, some will physically strip the eggs & milt for manual fertilization... ie: trout & salmon farms.

 

Cheers

Joe

Edited by Toga (see edit history)

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 I do have a video of a 3 foot Tiger Catfish eating a 10" koi... probably best not to post it though... rofls

PM me with it, sounds cool!

 

Also, thanks for the info on the Koi and breeding.  Here is Texas I think there is a large market for them, with the temprent weather there are many backyard ponds and could be a viable fish to raise for such sales.

 

Some very nice pictures as well.

 

Clint

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the flesh (at least on regular carp) isn't muddy tasting if they are in good water..

as far as boniness, meh..

carp are one of the most widely eaten fish in the world (i think herring is #1)

http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/01/12/3407056.htm

http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/the-wild-chef/video-how-to-clean-carp?src=SOC&dom=fb

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Hi keith_r,

 

Thanks for those links.

I have on 1 occasion eaten carp and muddy flesh was my experience.

I did make note that other cultures eat them, I did not realize as to what extent.

 

If / when the world falls apart, hormone induced spawning will obviously be a very rare thing, thus the need to easily breed your own will be paramount. Any easily bred fish will then come into its own merits for a food fish.

 

Cheers

Joe

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Hi,

 

I'm given to understand that koi are common carp in terms of their genetic makeup....right?   The fish depicted in those attachments looked like common carp....right?

 

Do koi grow quickly like common carp?

 

If koi are common carp with some fancy markings.....they offer multiple live fish opportunities......fancy fish, decorated food fish (got to be a killer with the sushi set) large trophy fish and ordinary old food fish.

 

During the past several decades, I've been offered various explanations for the muddy taste that is sometimes evident (for some people) in freshwater fish.   Applying a simple comparison check has validates three of the explanations.....and in even most circumstances would be good enough to act on.

 

But that's not going to satisfy the "one one correct answer to a question" crowd......and the "are we really comparing applies with Granny Smith's" set won't be long getting here......so I better own up to three such answers.

 

When it comes to off-flavours in the flesh of freshwater fish it's......

  • the fat......so trim away the fat
  • the skin.....so remove the skin
  • the post-cull management of the fish.......if you bleed the fish carefully......and put the fish on ice immediately.....and filleted the fish.....you avoided any off-flavour.

For the record.....the aquaculture industry appears to follow this approach.......that off-flavours are caused by a....

 

"Fish cultured within water recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) can acquire “earthy†or “musty†off-flavors due to bioaccumulation of the compounds geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB), respectively, which are produced by certain bacterial species present in RAS biosolids and microbial biofilms."

 

.......and that all fish to be offered for sale should be purged prior to harvest.

 

With so many right answers.....it occurred to me that this was one of those interesting communication things that we were discussing recently.....where we might, based on limited perception, jump to the wrong conclusion......or create an inexorable truth......or form a "mythconception"

 

I watched the video where the bloke prepares the carp for frying.....interesting!  All of this talk about boniness, caused me to reflect on the boniness of Jade perch.  I like Jades and I eat them.....but they may not be to the taste of everyone because they are bony......but I don't know if Jade-bony means the same thing as carp-bony.  If it turned out that they were no worse than Jade, I'd be interested in trying carp for eating.

 

 

Gary

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heck, i think tilapia are pretty boney when they're bigger (3+ lbs)

but it's really just the "small" bones that you don't notice when the fish are smaller..

i think bluegill is very boney, but some preparations basically "dissolve" or soften the bones (canned bluegill! yum!) so much you don't notice them

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HI Toga,

 

Thanks for your reply......and the photos.

 

Given that Koi are Karp, what role/market could you see for koi as food fish?   Is that breeding process that you described within the grasp of a mere mortal?  Is that a means by which we could breed feeder fish for higher species?

 

Gary

I used to gig carp in the creeks back home as a kid. The only problem with those bottom feeds was that they had a lot of small bones. But if you could clean them and were careful the meat was excellent.  But I suspect that most people do not use Koi because they want a food fish.

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When i was a child, my grandfather took me to one of his friend's house on cedar creek lake. His buddy had this homemade recipe for carp bate. I just remember it was powdery and had some sunflower seeds in it. We added water to make a dough and put it on a treble hook. They threw a bunch of the dough into the water to give off a scent and we fished from the shore.

 

It was probably an hour before we got our first bite, but after 2 hours we had a 10 or 12 carp in the range of 3-6lbs. My grandfather considered them junk fish and too boney to eat. But his friend smoked them. The bones on this sized fish were pretty big and just fell out of the meat. As easy to eat as chicken.

 

where there is a will, there's a way

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Hi,

 

I'm given to understand that koi are common carp in terms of their genetic makeup....right?   The fish depicted in those attachments looked like common carp....right?

Do koi grow quickly like common carp?

Gary

Hi Gary,

 

Scientifically they are the same species, how ever... I would not recommend walking into a Koi Show and verbalizing the phrase 'common carp' :unsure: 

Yes, the growth rates are the same. Perhaps 2.5-3kgs in the first 20-24 months.

 

Heya strider bcotton, I have a similar memory's as a child in NY state, both jagging them and making that dough type of bait. I also remember that we would then cut up and use the carp as bait for catching snapping turtles.

Mother made a wicked turtle soup, back in the day.

 

Cheers

Joe

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bringing back the smoked fish memories for sure.. one of my childhood friend's father smoked carp, the other fish he smoked that suprised me was drum, or as the locals call them sheephead, another fish often considered a trash fish, but very tasty when cooked properly

i think it's all in the name - chilean sea bass is really Patagonian Toothfish, the slimehead is Orange Roughy, rockfish are sold as pacific red snapper.. i could go on!

i think minnesota is pushing to rename the asian carp

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I would imagine Koi in my clay ponds would be somewhat muddy flavored, my catfish sure are....  Now that I am getting the hang of what rock and liner ponds take to build, I intend to build two of them next year,  30 foot diameter around 25,000 gallons each.  They will have continuous water flow until fall then I would have to pump the water if I wanted water flow.  These ponds could be kept much cleaner than my clay ponds so I could conceivably be able to grow a less muddy flavored fish.  I mostly like the Koi for the colorful nature of them, but I have also eaten a lot of carp in my time and have no aversion to eating them as well.

 

The milky water problem could be a tough one if it can get that bad, though I imagine if you keep the number of fish down you could fairly easily avoid such an event.

 

I can't wait till spring to start building the ponds, man that will be cool, I want to put one just below my clay dam and pipe the small leak in it into the first pond.  Build a rock wall with a clay dam behind it and then another rock wall on the backside of the clay dam and then lay flat rock all across it to make the entire thing look like a full rock bridge.  Pipe the overflow through the dam/bridge into the lower pond on the other side.  This would give e a way to drive through that area which is impossible due to it's being marshy year round and it would look cool.

 

My neighbor John can come do all the digging in about two hours so it will cost me $200 to have them dug and the clay dam set and packed.  It will cost me $650 for 24 tons of rock delivered, then I will have to haul in 3 or 4 tons of the nice dredge rock with moss and lichen myself, but I can easily pick and haul 2 tons a day and the rock is free just costs the $10 a ton in gas to haul it.  Then haul in another 4 to 5 tons of the big flat rock from the mica mine nearby to lay in on all the bottom surfaces, and then haul in a few tons degraded granite to set all the flat stone with.  No Idea what liners would cost me but I should be able to do everything on them but the liners for about $1,000. 

 

I was talking to a guy about Koi the other day and he mentioned that they need to have some subsurface oxygenation during winter here to help them survive and he also mentioned that the water has to be reasonably deep for them to survive the winter temps here.  Does anyone have any knowledge about overwintering Koi in colder climates?  My catfish have no trouble, but they seem to settle down in the muddy bottom in the winter and the water depths are at least 10 to 12 feet deep.

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I'm looking at a system that is produce focused with minimal labor/out put on the fish side for now.  Thinking produce first, then expand to Tilapia as second income.  I really like the idea of using Koi as an "engine" for the system, something that has minimal turnover... I'm interested in knowing how/if the stocking density would be different than Tilapia?  If the system requires "X" amount of feed for grow beds, then you would need "Y" amount of Koi in "Z" amount of tank volume....

 

Anyone have any resources on this? 

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from your other posts i get the impression you are planning to run a commercial system and i wonder why you would forgo a cash crop/edible  fish for koi.,,, not that koi couldnt be a cash crop but there's a lot of knowledge you obviously lack to raise koi as an income source.

 

anyway.. if you want to lower variables maybe just start with hydroponics and leave out the aquaculture aspect?

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I do lack knowledge with Koi, everyone does/did at some point, which shouldn't prevent anyone. Like I said, I'm interested in an "engine" not the income from it (for now). I want to focus on one market at a time. I've spent some time in my MBA and am not really interested in discussing business strategy; that part I know backwards and forwards. Briefly, based on an entry market analysis, there isn't a good demand here for tilapia and the amount of labor and processing standards involved isn't worth it (again in this area). Until I could get to a size that would be attractive (fiscally by scale), I don't intend to bring on tilapia (unless I have to).

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And "like i said", you can use hydroponics for your "engine" and simplify your design and focus. Focus on the plants.   You can add aquaculture  later if it's prudent.

 

I dont know what a business strategy is, i was just commenting on the topic you suggested so maybe you should check your high horse at the hitching rail by the door.

 

i never said anything about tilapia, i dont know why people assume when someone mentions  fish or food fish in aquaponics that it is somehow universally assumed we are talking about tilapia... no.

 

brian

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I agree with Brian on this, the easiest minimalist way to go is a hydroponic system and hook a fish system up later once you determine some form of profitability from the fish.  If it is an issue of organic/natural/sustainability, hydro can offer all that at much lower costs than even the simplest fish system.  To achieve economies of scale a minimal fish system is too costly.  Get good at one part  (growing vegetables/herbs/plants) and then expand it your system with marketing and local area knowledge to find a fish that will yield profit.

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I have no experience in the commercial side of things but i can imagine a person wanting to use the aquaponics as a marketing strategy. Is that not what you have done clint? I think there are consumers that would buy aquaponic produce but not hydroponic produce. Thoughts?

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