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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcW78U4DRoY
This is my homebuilt recirculating system. 3250 gallons of 80 degree water flowing at 10 gallons per minute to each tank all in a 12'x24' room. It currently houses 200 one pound Tilapia and 1200 three inch Tilapia fingerlings.

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Quite the setup you have there.Any idea on what your operating costs are per year or harvest?

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Welcome to the forum fishandworms,

Nice video of your set up. Slow enough and explained in a way that even I can understand it! Thank you for taking the time. I hope you come back and share your knowledge and insights of the set up. I have so many question I don't know where to begin. There are others here that are involved with similar projects. What's your background that got you going on this venture?

What part of Ohio are you?

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Nice fish!

But what about the worms?

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F&W
What does your electricity bill and water bill run? Any guess what you have in the complete project? Do you have to replace parts or filters often?

Do you let your fish spawn? Or is it even possible in your setup?

It looks great!!


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Well done fishandworms. Welcome and I am looking forward to more of your posts.

I would really like to know more about your system and how you built each part. Of my three boys I have one that is very very interested in raising some fish. He would like to take some of our pond born perch and pellet train them for the summer then restock in the fall to our pond.

Cheers Don.


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7/8th of an acre, Perch only pond, Ontario, Canada.
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Its been such a project just to get to where the system actually works that I really don't know exact costs yet although I do know that they are pretty high. The goal for this year is to try and figure out how to minimize them. Steve

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fish n chips, I'll try to answer any question that you have. As far as my background, I'm not even a fisherman, I'm just a dum, old, truck driver who in a conversation with my son decided we wanted to raise some fish that we weren't afraid to eat. I don't have any education other that hard knocks. Thanks for the interest, Steve.

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Bocomo, In the beginning, worms and worm castings for the garden were a part of the project but the fish quickly demanded all of my time. The name just stuck and I really havn't given up on the worms just yet. Steve

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F&W, My utility bills are shameful. My goal for this year is to bring them down. What I spent so far to develop thi thing is also rediculous, just ask my wife. I could duplicate it now for a reasonable amount. The new drum filters have really reduced filter maintenance. They should they were expensive but I can now leave for a week at a time and they run on their own. My fish are a all male population. mixed sex and different size fish in a system like this are not good. Thanks for the interest, Steve

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DonoBBD, You should go on ypotube and search for fishandworms channel, I have 16 videos there. Steve

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Originally Posted By: fishandworms
DonoBBD, You should go on ypotube and search for fishandworms channel, I have 16 videos there. Steve


Yep watched them all already after you posted this first one. Just clicked on the other videos by you.

See what really interests me is that when I was going to school for petrol-chemical refining I lived with my uncle. My uncle and aunt were into raising tropical fish. Would sell mostly angel fish and about 1000 to 1500 the size of a quarter each week. I would feed and clean tanks for my room and board. This background and my love of fishing is why I have this pond on my farm now.

What I am wondering about is the perch we have in our pond is how many will learn to eat the pellets their parents are eating. I am worried that with all the great small minnows and crayfish the new young perch will over take the forage. The big question I have is what % of yearling hatched perch will learn to take the pellets and what % will not.

My thoughts are to trap and catch as many of the new hatched perch and raise them in a tank system like yours for the summer then put them back in the pond in November.

I could be nuts and I could be over populating my pond this way but if I am I could raise the perch just like you did with your tilapia. I have so much room in our barn that we are not using I could build a set up like yours.

How wide is your room? You have a tote and isle then a tote. Is it wide enough would your rather more room in the middle isle? Thinking of a green house for the summer and grow some tomato's/peppers then winter in a hot room like you have there.

Cheers Don.

Last edited by DonoBBD; 01/08/14 05:16 PM.

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Steve -- first things first. Please accept a big welcome to Pond Boss. You sound like someone after my own interests. It is great to have alumni join us. Like many here, I too am a struggling student in the "Continuing Education Department" at the School of Hard Knox!

I have some experience with fish farming, mostly as a volunteer at West Virginia University Extension Service research stations. Unfortunately, we lost most of our research funding, so even us volunteers got laid off.

I also have a little bit of experience with worms, going way back into the 1950s. My present worm/compost piles are as high as my tractor loader will pile them. I would guess that three out of the five piles are usually maintained at somewhere between 10 and 20 cubic yards of stuff for the worms to enjoy. It is too cold right now to turn the piles, or even to go get more manure to help warm the piles.

Late last summer, I think my chickens and guinea hens got every live worm out of the five piles I currently have "brewing." The compost/casting material is mostly used in my gardens. The worms, except for the chicken's amusement and snacks, are normally used for fishing and creating more compost.

What I do here on the the side of a mountain is just a hobby. I've got some overwintering tilapia here in the basement, but far from your scale of operation. I'm able to keep my water at 80 degrees with two 75 watt aquarium heaters. I think I've only got males remaining. It seems that all of the females committed suicide before I realized just how high they could jump out of an uncovered tank. They came out of one of my aquaponics tanks.

My other fish are chillin' out in my two main ponds. I no longer keep track of what we harvest since it is mainly a hobby. I've got two approximately 4'x4'x4' cages, each with about 15-20 pounds of large bass and large bluegill. My smaller pond is designed for "put-and-take." It has channel cats, hybrid bluegill, and winter trout.

Anyway, welcome to Pond Boss. We'd love to see and hear more about your operation and experiences.

Ken


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I have no interest in fish farming. None whatsoever. whistle

Just kidding of course. When I get time I'll have to look at your link.

Gotta get back to a Peacock Bass replica I'm painting.

Cheers!

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 01/08/14 05:22 PM.

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DonoBBD, My room is actually only 11' wide after insulation, if I were building a room from scratch, I would definitely make it 2' wider. Steve

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Originally Posted By: fishandworms
DonoBBD, My room is actually only 11' wide after insulation, if I were building a room from scratch, I would definitely make it 2' wider. Steve


Thanks my son and I are going to build something just now sure how yet. We have 8 of those totes and 6 or 8 round barrels. If I put it down by the barn we have tones of room and good water. South facing wall for a small green house would be very cool too.

I am one for low operating cost more then cost of the build. I would like to run brush-less motor DC pumps that I am very familiar with and venturi's for air injection.

Wondering about the media beds if we would use a large swirl barrel for solids then into some grow beds back to a sump then into the media beds then to the tanks again. I am afraid that your really nice filter (black boxes) are kind of pricy for my boys little hobby.

Cheers Don.


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DonnoBBD, The best cheap media that I've found is nylon baler twine. You can pickup a 20,000 ft spool at TSC for about 20 bucks. Take a long serrated knife and saw thru the spool lengthwise and you end up with a whole lot of short pieces. Fill up a barrel or IBC with it and you've got a very good bio filter. The black boxes are very pricey but being gone all week forces them. The big trick is getting the solids out early before they dissolve. I never had much luck with a swirl filter but the best thing I used before the RDF was a sieve. It had a 300 micron screen and was really very effective. There's a guy on youtube that goes by mrsuperb1 that has some pretty good vidoes on building one if you don't want to spend the cash to buy one. The main piece of advice I can give if you just want a FUN father son project would be to keep the stocking density LOW. 25 fish in a 275 gallon tank is FUN. Above that it becomes WORK. Above 50 becomes a full time job, HA Good Luck, Steve.

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Why do you buy the fry every time instead of breeding ?

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fishandworms,
I remember finding your youtube videos doing random aquaponics and tilapia searches maybe two years ago.

fish n chips,
he used to , i guess a better question is why no longer? Maybe not enough room to breed and grow out to production size?


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fish n chips, building systems to breed and grow out are 2 completely different things so I only had time and money to work on one of them. Now that I have the grow out part figured out, I am working on a hatchery room. This will take some time but stay tuned. Steve.



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fishandworms, you say you are a truck driver. Do you ever see a day that you might become a full time fish farmer? Or after retiring from behind the wheel?

Reason I ask, you started out with the idea of raising some fish you were not afraid to eat. Now do you see income possibilities that might make it more worth while to be more than just table fare?

Lots of successful entrepreneurial businesses started as a sideline from a hobby or "just an idea".


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Originally Posted By: fishandworms
DonnoBBD, The best cheap media that I've found is nylon baler twine. You can pickup a 20,000 ft spool at TSC for about 20 bucks. Take a long serrated knife and saw thru the spool lengthwise and you end up with a whole lot of short pieces. Fill up a barrel or IBC with it and you've got a very good bio filter. The black boxes are very pricey but being gone all week forces them. The big trick is getting the solids out early before they dissolve. I never had much luck with a swirl filter but the best thing I used before the RDF was a sieve. It had a 300 micron screen and was really very effective. There's a guy on youtube that goes by mrsuperb1 that has some pretty good vidoes on building one if you don't want to spend the cash to buy one. The main piece of advice I can give if you just want a FUN father son project would be to keep the stocking density LOW. 25 fish in a 275 gallon tank is FUN. Above that it becomes WORK. Above 50 becomes a full time job, HA Good Luck, Steve.


Watched your videos over and over trying to figure out the flow. It appears to me that you just run a pile of air to keep the water in the take moving so much that the particles end up going out the skimmers. High amount of air makes the waste partials light.

Do you stop the pumps to feed? How do you keep the feed from just shooting out the skimmers? Sinking feed high fat?

What my son and I see doing is to raise some of our perch that we trap out of our pond. Some young perch that are hatched in the pond but can over populate the pond quickly. Just wondering how many perch would equal one tilapia for your 25 fish per tank calculation. My son is so excited its not funny.

Cheers Don.


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Dono:

Cecil has put a link up before about a "Small Scale Aquaculture" book. If you can find it and get it, it will help immensely. Short of it is, it's not the number of fish in the tank, it's the weight of the fish per gallon of water in the tank. When you size your filtration system I believe it's sized on the pounds (or Kg) of food that you'll be feeding instead of the amount of fish that you have. IIRC it's always sized for the most amount of food you think you'd be feeding, plus some for a buffer.


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Originally Posted By: esshup
Dono:

Cecil has put a link up before about a "Small Scale Aquaculture" book. If you can find it and get it, it will help immensely. Short of it is, it's not the number of fish in the tank, it's the weight of the fish per gallon of water in the tank. When you size your filtration system I believe it's sized on the pounds (or Kg) of food that you'll be feeding instead of the amount of fish that you have. IIRC it's always sized for the most amount of food you think you'd be feeding, plus some for a buffer.


Much more to it than that!

I don't see this rig in the video as being suitable for YP, nor much more than Tilapia.

Only looking at one issue here, and there may be a few more ? wink

If anyone can accurately pin point the slow death issue here and fill in the blanks as to why? Then you can hit the PB mall on my dime!

Answer has to deal with fish other than sewer fish.

Bruce is excluded from this. I gave him the answer. Yeah, but did he read the manual laugh

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fish and worms, great system!
jkb: i'm not sure i understand.. you're saying that this wouldn't work for a fish like yp? are you saying tilpia are "sewer fish"? (because of how you've heard they're raised??)
i'm not doing aquaculture, but raising perch in a pool with tilapia and bluegill.. and not having any "slow death"?? issues...

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