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#14183 05/24/07 07:57 PM
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There is a guy in Okemos, MI That raises Tilapia and shrimp using "proprietary" techniques. He started a couple years ago and from the last article I read he seems to be doing pretty good.

#14184 05/25/07 06:47 AM
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For those of you who may not know, Cecil is the (past? current?) President of the Indiana Aquaculture Association; he knows what he's taliking about wrt fish farming and is in a good position to "hit other fish farmers over the head with this idea" (to no avail, apparently).


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Just to satisfy my curiosity, I wonder how many people in Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virgina would buy tilapia for algae control at $8 per pound and how many pounds. How about a Co-op?

I would buy 15lbs for my 1/2 acre.




"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
#14186 05/25/07 08:21 AM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Cecil Baird1:
I've done everything but hit other fish farmers over the head with this idea, but they seem to be slow to accept new ideas.
Cecil, IMO it isn't only fish farmers that are slow to accept new ideas. Tilapia are so much more than a fish for algae control, so much more...and yet look at how slow many on this Forum have been to accepting them.

I went to a cattle workshop the other day and Ken Hale was there and gave a short presentation on Tilapia at the end of the workshop. People were clamoring for info..how many do I need, when can I stock them, where can I buy them? The cattle ranchers showed much more interest in Tilapia than the latest techniques on cattle ranching. There was more discussion about Tilapia at that cattle meeting, I suspect, than there was in recent pond conventions. It is amazing to me that in Texas, Tilapia warrant a place on the agenda for cattle ranchers at a cattle workshop, but don't for pond owners at a pond workshop. Amazing. Just amazing!

That meeting showed me that the general pond person out there is far more open to new ideas than perhaps the hard core, seasoned pond meister and certainly some pros. I don't mean any disrespect to anyone, although I'm sure many will take it that way and try to twist my words to be negative with unintended meanings. I know what Tilapia have done for my ponds, my pond fishing, and I'd like to see others have the chance to get those same benefits and have the enjoyment of their ponds that I have.

#14187 05/25/07 09:47 AM
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Meadowlark,

How did the Redneck Aquaculture project work out? Didnt you have some Tilapia in there?

#14188 05/25/07 09:24 PM
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Bender,

Does the guy from Okemos have the Tilapia for sale? If so and possible I would really appreciate the name of the business or any contact info you might have.

Thanks, Dan


Mistakes are proof that you are trying.


Dan
#14189 05/26/07 07:43 AM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Bender:
Meadowlark,

How did the Redneck Aquaculture project work out? Didnt you have some Tilapia in there?
Bender,

Yes, I stocked it with 55 3-4 inch Tilapia in Jan. and removed and stocked 54 8-10 inch Tilapia into my ponds on about April 1.

The results were tremendous....however, it was not without a lot of daily attention. My spa/hot tub proved to be a very good grow out tank, but I overestimated the volume of the tank and when the Tilapia, as they will inevitably do, grew to large sizes, my tank capacity and associated filtration system became a limiting factor. I would have preferred to keep the Tilapia in the spa until about May 1, but their growth rates just couldn't be supported in my system.

When the system reached capacity, I observed ammonia and waste accumulation problems that required more and more frequent water changes and daily attention to the system.

Next year, I will go with a smaller number of fish and try to get them to an even larger size for stocking. Fortunately, Tilapia, and Pacu apparently also, tolerate relatively low water quality for short periods of time.

If you are thinking of trying this, be prepared to be committed to daily activity with the fish. It isn't highly time comsuming, but it is constant day after day. I never felt I could be gone for any length of time, especially when the fish reached the capacity of the system...and for someone who travels on fishing adventures, that is a bit constraining.

One season of experience isn't much, but anything I can help anyone with in this regard I'm very happy to do so...just send me an e-mail. Thanks.

#14190 05/26/07 08:10 AM
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What is that thing, ML, about 500 gallons?


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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#14191 05/26/07 08:20 AM
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ML what about starting the tilapia in the RAS a little later so they reach the size you want at the right time? You could also reduce the water temp a little and slow their metabolism but that would be real a trick to accomplish. What about up-sizing the filter system?
















#14192 05/26/07 11:06 AM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Theo Gallus:
What is that thing, ML, about 500 gallons?
Theo,


I originally did some measurements and calculated the volume ar 700 gallons...but I failed to allow for the "seats" that are formed into the structure and the other shaping that reduces the volume. The real size is more like 400 gallons, based on using a 150 gallon stock tank to fill it. Big difference between 700 gallons and 400 gallons in terms of fish carrying capacity.

#14193 05/26/07 11:16 AM
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EWEST,

Water temp is definitely a huge factor in metabolism rates on Tilapia. I did intentionally raise the water temps during Feb to the low 80's to see what would happen...and sure enough the growth exploded...but during March around here, Mother Nature takes care of the temps anyway and unless you have cooling instead of heat, the Tilapia are going to grow. This year, I will get my fish(at a very reduced rate, if not free) when the growers are seining and moving fish inside to their indoor facilities this fall. I won't up the temps above 68 to 70 until Mother Nature does so next spring...that way I think things will go much smoother and be a lot less work on my part.

#14194 05/26/07 04:07 PM
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Were those 54 nice-sized adult tilapia enough to stock all your ponds at the "maintenance" level (IIRC you said you've ended to need fewer tilapia as the level of FA in the ponds has come down over time)? How many occurs of water is this, or how many acres were they sufficient for? I'm trying to establish a (very rough) gallons of winter-over capacity vs. acres of water ratio.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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#14195 05/27/07 08:00 AM
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Theo,

Those 54 fish came to about 40 pounds and worth $400 at the going rates. That is the perfect number for stocking a 4 acre southern LMB performance pond which also has artificial feeding. I can easily get by with 5 pounds per acre, even 3 pounds per acre in non-artificially fed ponds after a couple of years of Tilapia presence.

One additional comment to you, after several years of experience with Tilapia now, I'm convinced that to get full effectiveness from them, it helps greatly to stock 8 to 10 inch fish. If you stock the 3 to 4 or 5 inch fish in an open pond with predators, you should wait until water temps are at least 75 degrees and preferably even higher. Otherwise, the Tilapia will simply be forage for your predators. Not only that, but the Tilapia isn't worth much of anything in your pond at water temps below 70 degrees....they survive, yes, but they don't eat much of anything and they do not reproduce. This is a key factor one should consider, especially in northern ponds....how many days do you have in which the water temps are in the positive range(above 70 degrees) for making good use of Tilapia? Consider that when contemplating stocking Tilapia north of the MD line... south of that line, if you don't use Tilapia, then you are missing out on the greatest pond management tool available.

#14196 05/27/07 12:58 PM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Meadowlark:

... south of that line, if you don't use Tilapia, then you are missing out on the greatest pond management tool available.
Kudos to ML for spreading the gospel of tilapia.

Todd Overton stocked ours at the rate of 10#+/acre exactly 4 weeks ago today.
First couple of weeks not much apparent change in the worse case of FA we have ever had.

Last week a noticeable change had occurred.
Today, not a shred of evidence FA had ever existed in the pond.

Magic.

Thanks ML and Todd. \:\)

#14197 05/27/07 02:14 PM
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¼ acre HSB/BG ”grow-out”/ forage pond report.

I continue to catch 2-pound fat and healthy HSB from an unaerated ¼ acre pond that have survived two record setting, drought ridden, low water condition summers.

I caught two this morning that were 2005 class fish, having believed most of them had been “grown-out” and moved to main pond – or succumbed to “hot Texas summers”.
Three or four more of this class fish were observed

I release this larger class of fish to control current prolific BG spawn until the 2006 stockers are large enough to control the BG.

I am pleased to report 2006 class of “grow out “ fish are now feed frenzy trained.
I caught and transferred a couple of the 10 inchers to main pond his morning.

Over the years I have had more than my share of Texas white bass and striped bass fishing and know full well that they are tough, hard fighting fish, and find that their prodigy retain the same characteristics.

 Quote:
Originally posted by george:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Meadowlark:

... south of that line, if you don't use Tilapia, then you are missing out on the greatest pond management tool available.
Kudos to ML for spreading the gospel of tilapia.

Todd Overton stocked ours at the rate of 10#+/acre exactly 4 weeks ago today.
First couple of weeks not much apparent change in the worse case of FA we have ever had.

Last week a noticeable change had occurred.
Today, not a shred of evidence FA had ever existed in the pond.

Magic.

Thanks ML and Todd. \:\)


#14198 06/22/07 09:07 AM
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I picked up my donated fish and stocked 20 females and 2 males last night. These are quite a bit larger than last year's and there are far fewer. Let's hope for a spawn. This should be enough for maintenance by Southern standards, we'll see.

Here's my redneck fish hauler



Male size


Female size


The little one doesn't seem to mind the algae.


Here's a look at the post Cutrine results. I hope the tilapia can clean up this dead material as well.


The pond is pretty low right now, you can see my beached water hyacinth.





"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
#14199 07/10/07 08:05 AM
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Over the weekend we noticed a lot of activity around a now partially exposed boulder on the South bank of the pond. Several of the tilapia were muddying up the water and were gathering around the rock. There is now a slight hole under the rock that is occupied by small bluegill and the tilapia are gone. This is the same area that the bluegill typically spawn. The females are no longer feeding when I throw out pellets, just the two large males which leads me to believe that the females are brooding. I haven't seen any algae yet but this is likely due to residual effects of the Cutrine. I expect the algae to come back a little before the tilapia fry depart from their mothers' protection. Hopefully the timing will be right to see some effects.




"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
#14200 07/10/07 08:10 PM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Ryan Freeze:
Just to satisfy my curiosity, I wonder how many people in Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virgina would buy tilapia for algae control at $8 per pound and how many pounds. How about a Co-op?

I would buy 15lbs for my 1/2 acre.
I don't know how I missed so much of the recent parts of this thread, especially Ryan's post above. This is one of several really great threads that has kept me awake at night.

I feel it is too late for me this season, but I'm sure interested for next season. As I've posted elsewhere, and as I carped at the PB convention, I've found it to be an extremely frustrating effort to try and get tilapia or grass carp in my area (I'm in West Virginia, but just 15 miles west of Winchester, Virginia).

I'm seriously thinking about doing both types of fish just for friends and myself next season -- if the bureaucrats don't get the best of me. We've only got two in-state, and one out-of-state who can sell grass carp in-state. All are many hours away from me, with schedules that don't match mine.

The closest tilapia I've found are more than eight hours away. Does anybody know of anybody who can ship a few small aquarium size "tropical fish" tilapia that I could grow out, and if so, can they ship out of their state? A few I contacted were not allowed to sell out of their state.

Nobody seems to know what I have to do to bring in "non-native" tialpia -- much less try to provide them alive for pond use. All I know is that I seem to need an "importation" permit, and neither fish fit into a category for bait fish or food fish.

(Am I the only one in WV on PondBoss?? We need a WV pond lobby! As far as I can tell, our aquaculture industry is less than small.)

I've got room, I've got clay soil that doesn't perc very well, I believe I have enough water, and I've got a backhoe/loader to dig some grow-out ponds. (If I should decide to go this route, I'd eventually like some advice on building them so they would be easy to maintain and seine.)

There seems to be enough of us within 400 miles of each other that we should be able to start something. For now, this is just a hobby for me. I'd be glad to share whatever fish I can grow out for ponds.

Thanks
Ken G.


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#14201 07/11/07 03:15 AM
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catmandoo,
Have you tried an aquarium shop? I know some do sell tilapia as hobby fish. They spawn quite rapidly.


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
Dwight Yoakam
#14202 07/11/07 08:00 AM
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catmandoo,

I feel your pain, I really do. Knowing what I know about Tilapia, I think I would do whatever it took to get them in my ponds. One problem you may be experiencing is the restriction on aquarium stores (at least in Texas) from selling food fish which Tilapia are considered to be.

Last winter, in an effort to find some Tilapia for a grow-out tank, I searched every internet site I could find and could not find a single one that would ship Tilapia...take that back there was one in Israel that would ship but only in thousands of fish. Finally, I found a great Texas dealer who had a set-up that allowed him to provide me a few fish without a lot of trouble. I drove a couple hundred miles each way to get them, but would do it again in a heartbeat.

Persistence will eventually pay off. You just need a few fish to get started. They will take care of the rest. If you comletely exhaust every possibility, I'll offer to give you some for free....but have no idea on how to ship them. You might try calling Ken Hale here in Texas @ 1-800-333-9154. He doesn't ship fish that I know of buy he has lots of them, is a businessman, and a good guy to boot. Tell him Meadowlark sent you....but also have your check book out because I'm sure it will be expensive for him to make a special order like that, if he even can do it. Good luck and don't give up!

#14203 07/11/07 08:45 AM
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catmandoo does your state allow tilapia. Some states won't allow them to be stocked unless a permit (next to impossible to get)is granted. Penalties can be severe. Know what you face before making choices.
















#14204 07/11/07 11:06 AM
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ML and Ewest,

At lunch time today, I spoke with a very knowlegable Dr. at WVU. He gave me several suggested tilapia sources -- one in Louisana that can ship fingerlings! But, he also said that there are a number of schools in WV that have tilapia programs that may dovetail with what us PB'ers want to do. They run fish all winter, and shut down for the summer. They need places for their tilapia come June!

I still have the issue of permits. I'm going to again meet with our DNR fisheries representative on Friday to see if I can make this a little more clear.

Thanks all. I think is is Meadowlark who really got me excited about tilapia. The research and efforts by people like Ryan hopefully will lower my learning curve once I get past these few hurdles.

Ken G.


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#14205 07/11/07 11:45 AM
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If you tell the DNR guys you are helping the University programs out it may help. Ask the Univ. people who run the projects what is up.
















#14206 07/13/07 12:53 PM
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From my experience the aquaculture guys at the university have the fish (tilapia seem to be the lab mouse or wingless fly of the fish world) and the natural resources/fisheries people at the university have direct interest in what you're trying to accomplish for obvious reasons. Pair the two and they should help convince the DNR.




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#14207 07/13/07 09:31 PM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Ryan Freeze:
From my experience the aquaculture guys at the university have the fish (tilapia seem to be the lab mouse or wingless fly of the fish world) and the natural resources/fisheries people at the university have direct interest in what you're trying to accomplish for obvious reasons. Pair the two and they should help convince the DNR.
I'm very encouraged after meeting with two DNR representatives today. They were extremely helpful. As I look further into this, I find more and more personal connections, and more and more needs. Cecil's views on this may be really prophetic. I will be meeting with more university people next weekend at an aquaculture open house near where I live.

We are into kind of a drought condition right now. I hope I can find some time before it starts getting wet again to start digging at least one grow-out/holding pond that I may be able to use next spring.

Again, thanks to all for the great ideas and support.


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