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#495557 - 08/29/18 11:28 AM A safe house for fry
PaPond Offline
Member

Registered: 08/29/04
Posts: 177
Loc: Northern Wayne County, Pennsyl...
This year I added 250 fry to my pond to do battle with filamentous algae and duckweed. 2 months in and it looks like all I did was provide take out dinner to the established fish population in the pond. The LMB and Channel cats probably loved me for it.

The fry were between 1" and 1 1/2" long going in and I released them in an area with American Pondweed growing so they had some cover.

So now, having no evidence that the fry did anything but feed my grateful pond occupants, I am planning for next season. I was wondering if I make a fish cage and anchor it in the shallows right over some floating American Pondweed and use a 3/4" mesh so the fry could get out and back in, if they would use it as a safe predator free zone. If I can somehow keep them away from predation until they get bigger than the mouth's of most of the predators, maybe they will have a fighting chance. The thought is maybe they will be able to come and go, eating algae as they go until they are more acquainted with their habitat and can avoid predation or even go back inside to avoid it.

Question is are fatheads, or for that matter any fish, smart enough to use a cage for a safe harbor?


Edited by PaPond (10/17/18 12:27 PM)
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#495560 - 08/29/18 11:51 AM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: PaPond]
Bocomo Offline


Registered: 05/06/12
Posts: 1203
Loc: Boone County, MO (pond)
Originally Posted By: PaPond
This year I added 250 tilapia fry to my pond to do battle with filamentous algae and duckweed. 2 months in and it looks like all I did was provide take out dinner to the established fish population in the pond. The LMB and Channel cats probably loved me for it.

The fry were between 1" and 1 1/2" long going in and I released them in an area with American Pondweed growing so they had some cover.

So now, having no evidence that the tilapia did anything but feed my grateful pond occupants, I am planning for next season. I was wondering if I make a fish cage and anchor it in the shallows right over some floating American Pondweed and use a 3/4" mesh so the fry could get out and back in, if they would use it as a safe predator free zone. If I can somehow keep them away from predation until they get bigger than the mouth's of most of the predators, maybe they will have a fighting chance. The thought is maybe they will be able to come and go, eating algae as they go until they are more acquainted with their habitat and can avoid predation or even go back inside to avoid it.

Question is are tilapia, or for that matter any fish, smart enough to use a cage for a safe harbor?


I think people stock much larger tilapia for algae control. See if you can get Rex (Rainman) to answer here.


Edited by Bocomo (08/29/18 11:52 AM)
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#495561 - 08/29/18 11:51 AM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: PaPond]
Quarter Acre Online   content


Registered: 06/10/16
Posts: 1092
Loc: West Central Missouri
I think that all of our common pond fishes, including TP, will stray from their safe havens to some degree and risk predation. Just my 2 cents.

From what I have read, TP should be stocked at the breeding age, early enough in the season and in enough numbers to ensure that enough fry are produced to combat the FA. Maybe that is for more southern ponds, but I doubt 250 TP fry would make much difference in even a small pond.

I don't have any experience with TP, so I may be full of soup.
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#495568 - 08/29/18 12:27 PM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: PaPond]
Clay N' Pray Online   content


Registered: 12/03/17
Posts: 210
Loc: Caswell co NC
I stocked 8 total this past spring, all 8 were Breeding age/size.
They spawned. This fry was trapped 2 weeks ago. Is it big enough to eat duckweed & FA?
Hardware cloth is 1" squares.


Attachments
20180818_091553.jpg (164 downloads)



Edited by Clay N' Pray (08/29/18 12:28 PM)

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#495574 - 08/29/18 01:07 PM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: PaPond]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19811
Loc: Miss.
Yes it is big enough to eat FA and DW.
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#495578 - 08/29/18 01:43 PM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: ewest]
Clay N' Pray Online   content


Registered: 12/03/17
Posts: 210
Loc: Caswell co NC
Originally Posted By: ewest
Yes it is big enough to eat FA and DW.


Ok, so that may be an option for the OP.
Stock adults early in spring and let thier YOY help with cleanup.
I buy meat fish, live, by the pound, in my area. They transport well in a simple cooler.

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#495581 - 08/29/18 01:58 PM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: PaPond]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1752
Loc: East Texas, USA
I've stocked TP several years. In my amateur opinion, a smaller number of larger TP would likely do you more good than loads of soon to be eaten fry.
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#495584 - 08/29/18 02:28 PM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: PaPond]
PaPond Offline
Member

Registered: 08/29/04
Posts: 177
Loc: Northern Wayne County, Pennsyl...
I was looking at a Tilapia supplier, Lakeway Tilapia, and they sell pond grade tilapia just for eating pond algae.

Pond Grade™
Pond grade are specifically selected for use as algae control in open water ponds and lakes. These tilapia are not recommended for food production or aquaponics systems. Their smaller size and slower growth rate means that nuisance vegetation such as algae, water meal and duckweed will remain as their primary dietary choice for much longer. We recommend 1000 pond grade tilapia per surface acre for algae eradication. If you intend to stock tilapia for the purpose of sport fishing, we recommended that you select our un-graded tilapia instead.

Pond grade Blue tilapia with free shipping
Expect an average fish length of under ½ of an inch.

They get $116 delivered for 100 fish.

But these are just the small guys, haven't found a live supplier for the larger fish.

Another option would be to buy a breeding colony. Keep the breeders in the cage and let their spawn get out of the mesh and either eat algae or be eaten. At least at the end of the year I could move the breeding colony indoors and use them the next year. I wonder how long they live, and breed.

Pure strain Blue tilapia breeding colonies
A blue tilapia breeding colony is more of a service than a product. After all, the fish themselves are only worth $2 each and shipping is included in the price. So what are you paying for? Well, you are paying for us to raise tilapia fingerlings for several weeks to juvenile size then sexing those fish and putting them together to form a breeding colony. But we don't stop there.

We carefully observe your colony for a few more days to ensure that they all display breeding behavior. We make sure that your male is aggressive and that your females aren't. An alpha female or wimpy male will ruin a colony so if necessary we will continue to swap out members of your colony until were absolutely satisfied that you have an actively breeding colony. All of our breeding colonies consist of one male and five females.

The prices below include free shipping $279

The second option may be the best, they would likely produce 100 fry or more in a 3 to 4 month season where the water remains above 60ºF and when they slow down as the water cools they won't be too big for any of the resident predators to eat. Maybe they will come and go to the safe house cage but the breeding adults will be confined. And if I get 2 breeding years out of them I should be happy. If not we get to eat the pets!
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#495585 - 08/29/18 02:40 PM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: PaPond]
Bocomo Offline


Registered: 05/06/12
Posts: 1203
Loc: Boone County, MO (pond)
Originally Posted By: PaPond
I was looking at a Tilapia supplier, Lakeway Tilapia, and they sell pond grade tilapia just for eating pond algae.

Pond Grade™
Pond grade are specifically selected for use as algae control in open water ponds and lakes. These tilapia are not recommended for food production or aquaponics systems. Their smaller size and slower growth rate means that nuisance vegetation such as algae, water meal and duckweed will remain as their primary dietary choice for much longer. We recommend 1000 pond grade tilapia per surface acre for algae eradication. If you intend to stock tilapia for the purpose of sport fishing, we recommended that you select our un-graded tilapia instead.

Pond grade Blue tilapia with free shipping
Expect an average fish length of under ½ of an inch.

They get $116 delivered for 100 fish.

But these are just the small guys, haven't found a live supplier for the larger fish.

Another option would be to buy a breeding colony. Keep the breeders in the cage and let their spawn get out of the mesh and either eat algae or be eaten. At least at the end of the year I could move the breeding colony indoors and use them the next year. I wonder how long they live, and breed.

Pure strain Blue tilapia breeding colonies
A blue tilapia breeding colony is more of a service than a product. After all, the fish themselves are only worth $2 each and shipping is included in the price. So what are you paying for? Well, you are paying for us to raise tilapia fingerlings for several weeks to juvenile size then sexing those fish and putting them together to form a breeding colony. But we don't stop there.

We carefully observe your colony for a few more days to ensure that they all display breeding behavior. We make sure that your male is aggressive and that your females aren't. An alpha female or wimpy male will ruin a colony so if necessary we will continue to swap out members of your colony until were absolutely satisfied that you have an actively breeding colony. All of our breeding colonies consist of one male and five females.

The prices below include free shipping $279

The second option may be the best, they would likely produce 100 fry or more in a 3 to 4 month season where the water remains above 60ºF and when they slow down as the water cools they won't be too big for any of the resident predators to eat. Maybe they will come and go to the safe house cage but the breeding adults will be confined. And if I get 2 breeding years out of them I should be happy. If not we get to eat the pets!








In your area ALL of the tilapia in your pond will die every winter. Tilapia for weed control in areas where it freezes are a restock yearly kind of deal.

Rex "Rainman" sells larger stocker tilapia.


Edited by Bocomo (08/29/18 02:41 PM)
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#495599 - 08/29/18 06:07 PM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: PaPond]
Clay N' Pray Online   content


Registered: 12/03/17
Posts: 210
Loc: Caswell co NC
Not sure how far from Harrisonburg you are. They probably sell live fish.

https://www.pfma.org/news-archive/-envis...-to-urban-areas

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#495606 - 08/29/18 11:23 PM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: PaPond]
anthropic Offline


Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 1752
Loc: East Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: PaPond
I was looking at a Tilapia supplier, Lakeway Tilapia, and they sell pond grade tilapia just for eating pond algae.

Pond Grade™
Pond grade are specifically selected for use as algae control in open water ponds and lakes. These tilapia are not recommended for food production or aquaponics systems. Their smaller size and slower growth rate means that nuisance vegetation such as algae, water meal and duckweed will remain as their primary dietary choice for much longer. We recommend 1000 pond grade tilapia per surface acre for algae eradication. If you intend to stock tilapia for the purpose of sport fishing, we recommended that you select our un-graded tilapia instead.

Pond grade Blue tilapia with free shipping
Expect an average fish length of under ½ of an inch.

They get $116 delivered for 100 fish.

But these are just the small guys, haven't found a live supplier for the larger fish.

Another option would be to buy a breeding colony. Keep the breeders in the cage and let their spawn get out of the mesh and either eat algae or be eaten. At least at the end of the year I could move the breeding colony indoors and use them the next year. I wonder how long they live, and breed.

Pure strain Blue tilapia breeding colonies
A blue tilapia breeding colony is more of a service than a product. After all, the fish themselves are only worth $2 each and shipping is included in the price. So what are you paying for? Well, you are paying for us to raise tilapia fingerlings for several weeks to juvenile size then sexing those fish and putting them together to form a breeding colony. But we don't stop there.

We carefully observe your colony for a few more days to ensure that they all display breeding behavior. We make sure that your male is aggressive and that your females aren't. An alpha female or wimpy male will ruin a colony so if necessary we will continue to swap out members of your colony until were absolutely satisfied that you have an actively breeding colony. All of our breeding colonies consist of one male and five females.

The prices below include free shipping $279

The second option may be the best, they would likely produce 100 fry or more in a 3 to 4 month season where the water remains above 60ºF and when they slow down as the water cools they won't be too big for any of the resident predators to eat. Maybe they will come and go to the safe house cage but the breeding adults will be confined. And if I get 2 breeding years out of them I should be happy. If not we get to eat the pets!



Interesting about Pond Grade TP, never heard of that before. Wonder what regular TP eat after they get big if not algae.
_________________________
8ac E Tx, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17. 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19





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#495607 - 08/29/18 11:49 PM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: anthropic]
airborne3118 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/09/09
Posts: 192
Loc: Indiana, Decatur County
I raise a small amount of tilapia for myself and a couple friends. I have bought all of mine from Lakeway. They are a great company but believe what they say. They make no excuses about it. The pond grade are inferior. They are what is left over after they sort out the fastest growing males for food production. I have had the best luck with unsorted fry. I start them in October and by May I have males that are over a pound and tons of females that are about 1/2 pound. This past year I tried the pond grade and was left with tons of 2-3 inch fish that were probably just bass food. I have no doubt Rex can guide you the best direction but that is my experience. Thanks

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#495608 - 08/30/18 12:02 AM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: airborne3118]
PaPond Offline
Member

Registered: 08/29/04
Posts: 177
Loc: Northern Wayne County, Pennsyl...
Airborne,

What type of tank and setup do you have for your October to May breeding cycles? I understand the males need to be separated from each other and from the females after breeding.
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#495609 - 08/30/18 05:20 AM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: PaPond]
airborne3118 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/09/09
Posts: 192
Loc: Indiana, Decatur County
I have 4 poly tanks similar to water hauling tanks that equal about 1500 gallons total. I also have an IBC food tote that is 275 gallons that contains all of my media for biofiltration. This all flows into a parabolic sieve that screens off the solid waste before entering a high pressure bead filter to captures finer waste. I don't understand why the males are supposed to be seperated. My males are just reaching maturity about the time we stock them in May. This is evident as their pink tales and bellies start to show which is a sign of mature males. I do know they are quite agressive if kept together during breeding but you shouldn't have that problem unless you try to keep them in high densities for an extended period of time.

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#495616 - 08/30/18 07:56 AM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: airborne3118]
john kelsey Offline


Registered: 04/15/12
Posts: 143
Loc: mi.
I did the same thing in my heated garage. I later put them in my pond in a a plastic screen and plastic pipe cage. I put wheels on it so I could roll it out to see there growth. When they got big enough to survive the Bass. I turned them lose. They look cool running in schools.

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#495618 - 08/30/18 08:23 AM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: PaPond]
PaPond Offline
Member

Registered: 08/29/04
Posts: 177
Loc: Northern Wayne County, Pennsyl...
When the water warms you just end the indoor fish operation and put them in the pond, never to return and start the next October with another 1000 fry. I know when breeders keep their breeding stock they keep the males separate from the females and from each other, but they are in the breeding business and you are in the raising fry business. I assume they never get mature or large enough to breed again before you stock them.

Another question, come the end of September early October how big are the TP? And are they eaten as they slow down or do you have to pull out floaters that died?
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#495668 - 08/30/18 09:23 PM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: PaPond]
airborne3118 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/09/09
Posts: 192
Loc: Indiana, Decatur County
Yes, around May 15 I stock them into the ponds. They are big enough to start breeding almost immediately. Then around the middle of October we start fishing for them before they freeze and die. We rarely see any dead ones after the freeze. Last year we caught quite a few in the 3-4 lb range. These were mostly males but we did catch a few nice 1-2 lb females. I did keep a few females and males in my system this summer instead of shutting it down and did successfully raise about 300 fry that are about 3 inches right now. That just saves me a little money on fry to buy this fall.


Attachments
20171003_202206-ConvertImage.jpg (66 downloads)


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#495669 - 08/30/18 09:47 PM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: PaPond]
wbuffetjr Online   content


Registered: 08/16/14
Posts: 961
Loc: in the mountains
Check out highflyers thread on Tilapatopia. He's doing similar to Airborne. He also pulls some out before they die and uses them as breeders the next year. Pretty cool stuff.
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#495671 - 08/30/18 11:04 PM Re: A safe house for tilapia fry [Re: PaPond]
Rainman Offline
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Field Correspondent
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Lunker

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 7022
Loc: St Louis, MO area
PaPond, you won't find a tilapia supplier for pond stocking in PA...It is illegal in PA to put tilapia into an open system (open system is defined as..any water exposed to weather or unsanitized water touches the ground)

FWIW, Tilapia should be stocked at 40 pounds per surface acre in more northern waters, NOT by numbers! Tilapia stocked into a pond with predators need to be a minimum of 4 inches long...6-9 inches is better. All you stock in the pond are ungraded brood stock.

virtually everything in a pond can, and will, eat 1/2" fry!!! Less than 2% are likely to survive even a week.


Edited by Rainman (08/30/18 11:12 PM)
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