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Growing your own

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#1 MurCurY



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Posted 08 September 2011 - 03:29 PM

So, recently I've been on this "grow your own food" kick. As some of you know, I'm grower at a farm. I pitched the idea to the manager...and she said if I do all's a go! it is...growing your own food. I hope this to be a place for people to come for help on Aquaponics and Tilapia growth.

Here is the plan....

I'm going to purchase tilapia as fry from a fish farm...raise them to 2" in my house fish tank...then into a 1kL tank in the greenhouse. The water then will be pumped up into a biofilter that converts fish poo into usable nitrogen, then ductwork that will have plants growing in them using the nitrogen from the fish..then into a mechanical filter that will filter out sediment....then back to fish tank.

I'm building my own filters and tank in my cabin to accommodate approx. 50 full grown fish. I will breed my own fry at home...and introduce them into tanks in the greenhouse.

Pictures, links, and diagrams to follow.....
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#2 teesus



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Posted 08 September 2011 - 03:47 PM

very nice plan. i'm thinking about aquafarming as well.
i know nothing about tilapia, but i'd get 2 500 l tanks ( or better 2 1000 l ) with seperate filtering rather than one 1000 l tank in the greenhouse. it really hurts if you have all eggs in one basket and than have a stupid accident or pest destroy all the work.
really interested in your plannings!

#3 anne halonium

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 03:51 PM

were on board with this one,
except, we were thinking free range "sarpa salpa".........

regular fish farming is kinda beyond the scope of this forum,
sarpa salpa though, is a line drive down the middle!

this is perfect for a koi pond of loph waterlillies
kiddie pools all around.......

Edited by anne halonium, 08 September 2011 - 03:58 PM.

#4 MurCurY



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Posted 08 September 2011 - 04:45 PM

Over the winter I will be purchasing a few 275 Gallon IBC totes. These will be placed outside my cabin and each can house approx 50 2# full grown fish. It takes approx 8.5 months from egg to harvest.

Here is where I'm buying my fish. I will be getting half White brook and half Blue.

In my search for information...I found this....http://tilapiafarmin...ilapiafarm.aspx

O. Mossambica x male O. Hornorum
From this specific cross of two species of can get 98% male offspring with the "improved bodyform". And when you setup your breeding tank, you put one male to 6 female.

#5 MurCurY



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Posted 08 September 2011 - 06:40 PM

so...the container i was going to use as a tank...will NOT fit through my door :spank:

so...I'm going to build a wooden frame and line it with an outdoor pond liner....I've decided on 42"x42" square by 35.5" high...this size "pool" will fit through my door so when i move i can take it with me :rasta:

I'm going to talk to the carpenter here and ask him what he suggests for building the frame....this is the liner...guaranteed for 15 years and "fish and plant approved".

I'm thinking a square version of this...
and instead of tile...hardwood panels just like my walls here...pic to follow.....

#6 mycobri


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Posted 08 September 2011 - 06:43 PM

Looks like a hell of a project
Go for it :bow: Tilapia is a fine choice for food
and the setup materials and ideas are spot on.

Good luck making it happen:thumbup:

#7 MurCurY



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Posted 08 September 2011 - 07:53 PM

so...building my biofilter....

I'm going to pick up a 30 gallon open top drum with a band closure. It will become the container for my "skippy" style biofilter.
It will be sealed with a no chance of it overflowing onto my floor :thumbup:
Here is the pump I'll be using...

I also have a venturi valve that I will be installing to aerate the air pump aerating the stock tank for the fish.

#8 Spliff



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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:11 PM

This is super interesting! Auqaponics has so much potential I reckon. So iv been working on this business plan for the past few months on the use of aquaponics in agriculture and the benefits it has for rice yields.

You know that your common bottom feeding fish, like carp or cat fish, are super to use, as well, they dont need really deep water, and more interestingly you can feed cat fish pretty much any waste product, from fruit and vegetable peelings to chicken shit. They will sort through it and convert it into much more beneficial fish shit for the plants. The whole ecology of it is the fish eat insects and pest found in rice paddies, while stirring up and fertilising the ground to improve plant growth. By eating the pests, cuts the need for excessive amounts of ferts and pesticides. And then when you take your bumper crop of rice to market you have the second crop of cat fish or what ever to be processed, filleted, or fingered.

Im also looking at introducing ducks to the rice paddies, for the same reasoning, except, ducks need to be put away at night for protection. This can be done by mounting pallets on stilts over the rice paddy water, when the ducks shit, it falls into the water through the gaps between the slats and the fish eat it, processing into goodness. Doing this though you cant feed dispose of chicken shit, as you would probably spread disease to the ducks from chickens. Thats now three things able to be taken to market when you finally harvest your rice crop.

Anyway, im still researching and gaining knowledge, but I thought I would chime in as Im presenting my initial idea to some investors in an elevator pitch on Monday, hopefully I can get across the benefits of such a practice.

#9 riseabovethought


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Posted 09 September 2011 - 10:12 AM

were on board with this one,
except, we were thinking free range "sarpa salpa".........

regular fish farming is kinda beyond the scope of this forum,
sarpa salpa though, is a line drive down the middle!

this is perfect for a koi pond of loph waterlillies
kiddie pools all around.......

Sarpa Salpa

Posted Image

Also known as salema porgy or the sea bream, this fish is indigenous to the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. Although the fish's flesh is safe to eat, psychoactive chemicals can accumulate in its head. Those who are brave or ethnic enough to consume this fish's head run the risk of ichthyoallyeinotoxism, a scientific term for "You just ate a fish head--welcome to 48 hours of mind-blowing hallucinations!"
The Downside
Posted ImageBefore you go down to your local fishmonger and start decapitating every fish in sight, know a couple of things. First, the fish's head is rarely psychotropic--the sarma salpa's hallucinogenic powers come from a compound called indole, which is present in the plankton and algae it eats. If there isn't enough indole, then you'll just be that sober, fish-head-eating person you see at every kegger.
Furthermore, tripping on the Sarpa Salpa is a magical mystery tour through the seventh circle of hell. Crippling terror, unearthly howls, and visions of demonic animals are reputedly common. In 1994, one salpa-tripping man realized something was terribly awry when giant arthropods surrounded his car.

Posted Image
Not an actual photo of incident

Fun Fact
In 2006, medical journal Clinical Toxicology reported that ancient Romans knowingly hallucinated off of Sarpa Salpa heads. Presumably these bad fish trips inspired all that strange as hell Roman mythology, or at least the mass orgies.


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#10 anne halonium

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 10:34 AM

the obvious solution would be to,
"cut out the middle fish"
and ,just aqua culture the hallucinogenic
plankton in a stiff broth , and A/B.........

we have been cracking sarpa salpa jokes around here for yrs......

#11 MurCurY



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Posted 11 September 2011 - 12:21 PM

i found a local store that sold me duckweed and mosquitto fern...and a chunk of water hyacinth. I'm picking up my liner this week...and pump next week...I'm having the application for "Commercial Aquaculture" license sent to me....apparently you need this to have Tilapia in my state. So...I guess i'm commercial now.... :flash:

Right ' picked up 2 super actinic HO bulbs for the aquarium too...
Makes it look pretty cool.

Next update I should have my aquarium coming together....

#12 MurCurY



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Posted 12 September 2011 - 12:38 PM

Getting out of work early today to pick up my liner :dance:

The store I went to yesterday gave me some great tips on building the frame of the tank. She said to make the supports 6-8" apart and use 1/2-3/4" plywood as a liner. I then am going to put down 2" corning insulation panels. The water will be kept above 80oF so...want to try to keep the heat will provide some padding for the EPDM liner.

BTW...if you plant on doing this....there are two thickness of liners out there... 45mil and 20mil. the 45mil is EPDM and carries a 20 year manufacturer warranty. The 20mil may or may not be EPDM...may be PVC... EPDM is the standard for liners. Mine is a Firestone 15'x15' EPDM 45 mil. guaranteed for 20 years....and lets face'll want another before then that's bigger right?

Also make sure your liner states that it is OK to use with fish and i found out in my search...some are not....

So....Next stop...lumber yard for 2'x4' finished framing. I'm going to talk to the carpenter for some pointers :D

I've been super busy with everything and work....:spank:

I promise to transfer pics from my phone when i get back from the pond store. I might build this up and put some koi in till i get my license for Tilapia.

#13 MurCurY



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Posted 12 September 2011 - 08:03 PM

as promised....
Pic 1 hydroponic cucumbers...why not right?
pic 2,3,4 hydroponic strawberries...look at the flowers!
pic 5...pond liner :dance:
Pic 6 this is the space...notice the 1k hps hanging above...and the blue barrel is going to be the biofilter.

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#14 datsun



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Posted 13 September 2011 - 01:08 AM

Awesome stuff, The Wife and I would love to do this! Thanks for sharing the pics.

#15 MurCurY



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Posted 13 September 2011 - 06:44 PM

so...saw the carpenter today. Asked him if my cabin floor would support a 200 gallon tank....he went and climbed under my building to check the support. Aparently...the outside support would definately hold...however...the cross supports run the whole building with no under support so....he made a few suggestions and said he would think about the best option and get back to me. He has alot going on right now so...i might have to dig a 3' square hole so we can lay block and fill with cement. This will make it so when the ground doesn't move. He would then build the support off the new footing. So...I'm going to proceed with the building of the tank and can't be filled...totally...till the support is done. But...this will not slow me down ::GRIN:: Thursday I get paid...then lumber and such....

#16 BotanyPhD


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Posted 13 September 2011 - 09:21 PM

MurCury besides plants I have a definate skewing of education to ichthyology. Blue tilaplia is the way to go with aquaculture, they breed like roaches and are mouth breeders. So they protect the eggs well. One thing to watch out for is with duckweed, mosquito fern and water hyacinth, make sure they are not invasive to your area. In Florida you could be arrested for the hyacinth. Duck weed is horribly invasive in most areas and requires a treatment of SONAR or if you can manage to try 2,4D or Rodeo it might work, but it hard to apply. Id hate to see a local pond get over run if you can help it. BUT duckweed is pretty much transmittable by birds as it is. They call it duck weed as it clings to ducks and other water birds feet as they fly to pond to pond. We did a study back in the late 80's swabbing birds feet looking for fish eggs. Yeah we found some. Kinda solves part of the mystery how fish get into a pond that is newly created (also some eggs survive the birds make feces experience too).

One thing to think about is O2 in the water, I have an abstract you might like hes fishy guy Doc Tziah "The growth rate of Oreochromis aureus in relation to dissolved oxygen concentrations (2·63±0·12, 3·75±0·12, 6·51±0·13 ppm or 31·3, 44·6 and 77·5% saturation, respectively) was investigated. Three duplicated populations of 29 specimens (mean initial body weight ∼27·3 g) were reared in 100-litre tanks for 200 days under recirculated water conditions. Fish were offered an artificial diet three times per day, 6 days per week. The obtained results showed statistically significant final body weight differences (P < 0·05) between oxygen groups and actual differences regarding their specific growth rate and food conversion ratios. However, although mean body weight increased according to the dissolved oxygen concentration, the best food conversion ratio was shown by fish of the intermediate dissolved oxygen group. It is concluded that the lowest feeding cost involved in tilapia controlled mass production, could be achieved with relatively low dissolved oxygen concentration, under simple recirculated water system conditions."

Ive done catfish in trashcans with good success with a flow through method, was kinda cool we had a stream near the house I had a pump kick on for 5 mins once every hour and gave fresh water, the water would overflow onto my blueberry bushes. They didnt mind the wet feet.

One book I have shows tilaplia stocking density for optimal growth is 1fish/m2; the optimal density for total harvesting weight and fish size is 2 fish/m2

#17 Vultoid



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Posted 24 September 2011 - 08:17 PM

I'm nearing completion of a 2000l flood-and-drain aquaponics system in my greenhouse and have been immersing myself in the field for a year or so now. It was actually on this forum that aquaponics first came to my attention (in this thread) and I've been obsessed with every aspect of it since.

Glad to see you didn't skimp on the liner MurCurY - I too first opted for the cheapskate PVC option, which isn't terribly suited to having a metric ton of coarse gravel and water laid on top of it (what a fun day of desperate panic and and grief that led to!)

Good thread with some useful info. Looking forward to seeing it finished.

#18 MurCurY



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Posted 29 September 2011 - 12:46 PM since my last post alot has come about....

I have aquired another tank. This is a 40 gallon with all needed equipment for $ boss asked her mom if I can have her 50+ gallon she is not has a small leak someplace...see...using my myco skills caulking it should be a breeze :special:

Also, in my state you need a permit to own tilapia. However...I have found out that there is no enforcement on the law...because UPS/Fedex is not responsible for the laws on either end of the transport...sender is responsible on his end...receiver his end. This also means that if you order fish to my state...they should arrive with no problem or intervention of law officials.
I also found a farm in my state that would sell me sex reversed all male fingerlings for $2 each at 4" long...without any paperwork saying i could legally have be aware by owning these you may be breaking the law in your state...there are places you can look up laws in your state regarding is one....
Tilapia laws
They also sell breader colonies if you want to get on the bandwagon :reb:
Also..if you want to setup a pure breed colony...this place seems reputable...
Tilapia Fingerlings and fry
This winter I may try to build a greenhouse attached to my cabin so I can run a small above ground pool to grow out some 2# fish

So my setup so far consists of...
50 gallon tank with Fluval 405
40 gallon tank with Fluval 204
50 gallon tank....not sure what this will come with....
If i can build the greenhouse....
-2000 gallon above ground pool heat something like this you have to have watched every episode of McGuyver and Mythbusters....

I'm getting a "super male breeder colony"
This is a "YY Male" Oreochromis niloticus and 7 mixed sex O.niloticus
The mixed sex are so you can produce as many females as you like with a chosen male/female sets to produce fry which you will choose many females to breed back to your YY supermale. I understand there is a "natural" way to produce this supermale. By altering the temperature of the water during fry stage you can produce batches of fry that are mostly crossing some of these females to can find a male that was sex reversed from temperature change....however the one I'm getting is definitely done by genetic engineering.

#19 MurCurY



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Posted 29 September 2011 - 09:33 PM

So...yesterday I threw my back out at went to pick up my meds at the pharmacy and came home to a 50 gallon on my porch ::GRIN::
lined with shells and a nice background...2 clips for a heater...but this works out cause the other tank came with a heater and no clips :dance:
Now I have to figure out a stand and filter for it...

#20 MurCurY



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Posted 30 September 2011 - 11:22 AM up today and let the cat out...there was the stand for the tank! sitting on my grass :GRIN:
So...filter....The craigslist tank came with a canister filter..missing some parts so I went to fish store and they are ordering the parts for the filter for me. About $20 for the 2 pieces I need and it will definately keep the 50 gallon clean. And for the 40 gallon...I dug out an old hang on filter with built in heater and am using it with the hang on that came with the tank...using both should keep it fairly clean.

By clean....I don't mean visually clean...but keep enough bacteria to convert all the waste into usable fertilizer for plants.

More pics on the way....I'm moving real slow cause my back still hurts....but it's coming together. Fish should be ordered next week after I cycle the tanks with some goldfish to get bacteria colonies going....

Then the indoor 200 gallon "pond" with waterfall :eusa_danc

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