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#14083 03/03/06 07:41 AM
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Continued from the other thread Tilapia this year\'s thread It's a little rough looking but seems to be functioning well. It was important that is was a class project. With all the students and faculty around, the biggest problem is keeping everyone from feeding them. The water quality is good so far. You can't really see the fish so they are planning to set up an aquarium nearby for observation.










"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
#14084 03/03/06 05:44 PM
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A little tight for trolling?

Did the kids get in to it?


May God bless America and those who have defended her.
#14085 03/06/06 08:19 AM
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There's a 5HP limit. \:D




"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
#14086 03/07/06 07:19 PM
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Ryan--I'm taking the liberty of cutting and pasting your previous good information on this thread for future reference. I'll take it down if you want.

Quote from Ryan Freeze: Haven't posted for awile, here's the update on the tilapia tank: We had several problems. The tank was set up and filled with water to give the chlorine time to dissipate. After setting up the tank (old hopper tank ring)I measured it and calculated that it is only about 700 gallons. We returned the next morning to find the tank half empty. A new liner was donated and the heater was resized and ordered. Only $140 for 2500watt heater, controller, and cables. There were 205v plugs in the roof so we just added a GFCI an plugged it in. When hooking up the heater we accidentally burned a hole in the new liner but we were able to patch it. The water pump they had turned out to be an air pump, 25CFM. I decided to use this for moving water through the filter. The filter was built out of a large trash can. Three 3" holes were drilled in the bottom. 1/4" mesh was used to cover the bottom except for one 3" hole. A 4'with many 1/2" holes drilled in it and a 2-1/2' piece of salvaged plastic pipe were joined at an elbow. The 2 1/2' piece was passed through the bottom of the trash can. The trash can was then set on a couple of concrete blocks, filled with media and topped with filter fabric. 4 airstones connected to the air pump were placed about 2/3 down inside the verical pipe coming through the bottom of the trash can. Works similar to an undergravel filter in an aquarium but rather than pulling the water down through the gravel in the bottom of the tank it lifts it and spills it over the filter fabric before trickling through the bacteria housing pea gravel media. The advantage is that the piece of fabric catches most of the solid waste and it can be easily removed and cleaned as needed. 300 2" to 3" nile tilapia were added on Friday. My newest problem is that these tilapia are 98% female according to the supplier. If this is true, how many males would be needed to promote successful spawning in my pond this summer for bass growth?


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#14087 03/09/06 08:00 AM
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Thanks Bruce! Also from previous:

I misunderstood, only 1 tank out of 5 was 98% female. Actually 30% are male which is a good ratio for reproduction. Thanks Ponds, for the heads up on ammonia and nitrite levels, they will be checked periodically. I transported the fish in the water they grew in, hopefully bringing a good seed of bacteria with them. Pictures will follow and I start a new thread soon. I'll try to find the instructions for posting pics to the thread.




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#14088 03/09/06 10:54 AM
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Ryan- keep a bottle of Amquel on hand. I saved all the fish in an aquarium I overloaded once, by checking the ammonia and nitrites and adding amquel to neutralize every eight hours untill the filter could handle the load.


Please no more rain for a month! :|
#14089 03/09/06 11:53 AM
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We recommend a product for new Koi ponds called Ultimate water conditioner, which takes care of chlorine, heavy metals, ammonia, and nitrite until biofilter gets going. Also reduces stress and contributes to replacing slime coat. Adding un-iodized salt will help.

#14090 03/10/06 07:16 AM
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Thanks for the tips on water conditioners. Looks like the Amquel is considerably less $$. Is there any advantages of Ultimate Water Conditioner for the extra $$?




"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
#14091 03/10/06 09:28 AM
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Have you had any ammonia show up yet? The amquel is available in most large pet shops or the pet place if you need it immediately.


Please no more rain for a month! :|
#14092 03/30/06 03:30 PM
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Water conditions are acceptable. There is a significant size difference between fish now. They are very hard to catch in a net but some have grown to almost 5" already while most are around 3". I have not tried to sex them yet but I am assuming the larger ones are the males. I did not see any fry yet. These fish are eating machines!




"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
#14093 03/30/06 04:18 PM
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Excellent job! Please keep us posted on the results. This is turning into a great experiment for everyone in the northern climates. If you can overwinter tilapia in such huge numbers, everyone could keep a few to help with plant and algae problems (where legal). It will really be interesting to see how long your season above 58-60 degrees will be. Great experiment. I am sorry I was doubtful earlier. I was wrong. \:o Foot in mouth graemlin!


Please no more rain for a month! :|
#14094 03/31/06 07:36 AM
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This topic is of great interest to me and many friends of mine that share my feelings toward this great fish.

I would like to provide funding (money) to a qualified persons(s) to develop a Tilapia overwintering kit. In return for the funding, I would only ask for some reasonable joint agreements. I have a draft set of requirements that the system should meet.

If anyone is interested in this please send me an e-mail. Thanks.

#14095 03/31/06 08:23 AM
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ML and other Tilipia preservationists:

What do you think the minimum acceptable number and size of Tilapia to overwinter would be? I realize this would vary depending on the size, number, and (perhaps) existing fish populations of the waters to be restocked in the Spring. So let's try to come up with the number for a "1 acre predominantly BG/LMB pond". That should at least provide a basis for estimation for differently sized or stocked waters.

My goal here is to try to determine the size of overwintering tank which would be needed.


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#14096 03/31/06 09:07 AM
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Theo,

My requirement, which I am willing to back up with money, is for an incremental system capable of supporting a minimum of 10 pounds of fish but expandable to support up to 100 pounds of fish. My personal target is for 50 pounds of fish right now, but will need more in the future.

The system must be relatively automated. It can rely on well water in copious amounts. It should have a reasonably small footprint and be capable of fitting in tractor sheds, chicken houses, etc. around the farm.

To answer your question on a typical 1 acre system...it would need to support 10 pounds of Tilapia over the winter.

Maybe we should offer a prize for the first successful system?

By the way, I can buy turn key systems all day for $2000...I'm looking for something which is a little more cost effective. There is no question that a market exists for such a product...Tilapia are selling for $10 per pound all over Texas now and most suppliers run out every year. It seems a few folks have finally caught on to the best pond management tool available today...Tilapia.

#14097 03/31/06 10:32 AM
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If I were going to do it, and I'm not, I think I would pour some concrete tanks and plumb them. Size would be dependent on your goals but it would be expandable by pouring another vat next to it/them. A thermostatically controlled propane water heater should suffice along with something electric for aeration. A heater that assured a level, cool temp could be the real key. If you had several, one could be drained for periodic cleaning.

#14098 03/31/06 12:19 PM
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Theo - I don't see why someone in your situation couldn't get by with 20-30 2" tilapia in one of those 150 gallon Rubermaid tubs. You could use a filter similar to what Ryan is using above. A good heater is the most important equipment with such a cold sensitive fish. The fish would grow rapidly in the long overwinter and you could experiment with temperatures to see when they start to spawn. If you could have fry ready about the time to release they would quickly populate the pond. Just an idea for a cheap experiment. You could keep some of the fry for the next winter or seine some when the water temperatures start to drop.


Please no more rain for a month! :|
#14099 03/31/06 02:14 PM
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PFF:

You figured out where I was headed. I am in the process of setting up a Condello Po'Boy RAS (Pat. Pending) for a different project. I thought the Tilapiasts' (my new word for the day) ideas might indicate whether a PBR would suffice for overwintering Tilapia.

I don't know if I would be actually interested in doing this, and would not make such a decision unitl after 1) I have proven I can make a PBR that keep fish alive and 2) we see a little more Northern state Tilapia experiences. Currently, I have had no bad problems with FA. And I still have to buy some Tilapia fillets for experimentation purposes (burp). \:D


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#14100 04/03/06 11:28 AM
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Tilapia are very forgiving as far as water quality and DO. The most significant factor in overwintering tilapia in colder climates is the cost for heating the water. This cost will vary greatly depending on ambient temperatures where the tank is stored. Heating costs in an 80 degree greenhouse for example will be non existent but running a 2500 watt heater 24 hours per day in an unheated chicken house would cost roughly $165 per month at $.9 per KWh not including energy to run aeration and filtration. The size and cost of the heater will also be directly related to the volume and temperature increase required of water to be heated as well as the efficiency desired.

Without the addition of pure oxygen the standard ratio is 1/2lb of fish per gallon. It is cost effective to size the tank for the amount of fish you plan to raise, not heating more water than needed. If the goal is 10lbs of tilapia, a 20-30 gallon tank with a good filtration/aeration system and properly sized heater will work. A bare bones system of this size could be set up in a heated room for around $200 or less if someone already had some of the components or purchased second hand. As the size of the tank increases the cost per gallon and pounds of fish produced decreases.




"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
#14101 04/04/06 02:52 PM
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ML, what is the lowest ambient temperature your proposed tank will be exposed too?




"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
#14102 04/04/06 03:23 PM
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Ryan,

It depends....

I have some available space in an old chicken house and also in a tractor shed. Either could be insulated/enclosed for a fish holding tank....and either could be augmented with propane or electric heat.

Our winters are mild in East Texas. Lows below 32 degrees are very rare and even cold nights are always followed by warm days (almost always).

I would consider a green house for this application but would prefer to utilize existing space if possible. Thanks for your interest.

#14103 04/13/06 01:38 PM
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I dropped off some feed today and man are these things growing!! Most are around 4" and a couple are close to 6". I tried to net out a couple to get some measurements but they were too fast. The filter was reworked by the science teacher a couple of weeks ago. It looks like a hang-on-the-back filter for an aquarium made out of a 2'x3' cheap plastic tub. It works by a waterfall pump lifting water to the top and a PVC drain at the bottom that lets the water fall about a foot back into the tank. It frees up more space in the tank, adds more aeration (still using air pump too)and looks better. The only disadvantage I see is that is uses more power. I forgot the camera today but will take some photos next time.

ML: Why do you prefer the Moz.Tilapia over the Nile?




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#14104 04/13/06 04:20 PM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Ryan Freeze:
ML: Why do you prefer the Moz.Tilapia over the Nile?
Ryan,

We don't have a choice in Texas...only legal Tilapia are Mozambique. As I was told, the State wanted to insure that die off happened if at all possible in the winter. Even with Mozambique, however some folks in south Texas have winter survival. I like the winter die off, all things considered...but long for a way to overwinter for re-stocking the next year.

#14105 04/14/06 11:41 AM
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ML,

I have a question about your forage ponds and cattle. If you have cattle do you fence them out? Problems you have seen? I would think you would not have to fence them out but just checking.

#14106 04/14/06 02:10 PM
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Texas715,

I have cattle and fence them out of only one pond...the pond we primarily use for producing eating fish. The rationale for that isn't surprising; I think fish taste better without the cows "influence". All other ponds, including the Kids pond with the TGG's are open to the cattle. They don't cause any problems, help keep the vegetation down around the ponds....I don't ever have to worry about mowing around the ponds open to the cows. Some folks say cows will ruin pond dams...one pond has had cows drinking out of it for some 75 years and shows absolutely no damage to the dam, spillways, or banks. Another benefit from cows...never have to fertilize.

#14107 04/14/06 03:16 PM
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ML, others have said they believe a sick cow may go to the pond and drown, that's the reason they give for fencing the cows out.
I tend to lean in your rational and fence out only my main fish eating pond. It makes for more work ie mowing the bank and levvy. Previous owner let his cows keep the levvy down and they did a fine job. I am thinking I'll temp fence the levy only and put some goats on it. It's too steep to mow and I am tired of weed eating it, takes a full day and three tanks of weedeater fuel. I've rented the self propelled Dr type mowers and they work, but going up and and down a steep pond bank is some serious work.


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#14108 04/14/06 05:54 PM
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viking,

Yes sir it is much more fun to watch the cows mow the grass than run those weedeaters or weed burners. I've had cows for most of my life and never had one die in the pond...found three under a tree once that must have been hit by lightning, ouch ...but they have never done anything negative to the ponds that I can see.

#14109 04/14/06 09:10 PM
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You guys have cows that must be smarter or better trained than mine. ;\)

"That cow would eat you in a second if he had the chance, Timmy!"
-Actor Troy McClure, narrating "Bovine University"


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#14110 04/15/06 08:03 AM
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\:D \:D \:D Great reply!!
















#14111 04/19/06 12:42 PM
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I've been checking my water temperature daily and it has been hovering around 65deg. for about a week. My thermometer is pretty cheap, is anyone else in the area recording similar temps? Submerged FA and a few floating bits have completely surrounded my pond about 3' out from the bank. These tilapia are going to have their work cut out for them!




"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
#14112 04/19/06 04:43 PM
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Ryan:

I'm somewhere in the upper 60's. I moved my temp gauge indoors for a 100 gallon tank after the pond passed 65 deg, so I'm not exactly sure what it is - but the weather has been nice and it should have gone up a little.


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#14113 04/19/06 07:11 PM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Ryan Freeze:
These tilapia are going to have their work cut out for them!
Ryan,

Believe me, they are up to the challenge! \:\)

#14114 04/22/06 12:53 PM
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Thanks for the confirmation on water temps Theo.

I decided that yesterday was the day and what a day it was! It was sunny, 70s, just beautiful. Started loading up the tank and trailer at 3:30PM. Couldn't find the right size ball for the trailer, struggled getting the tank loaded, the high capacity trash pump I had planned on using had a stripped pulley which I didn't find out until after I had changed the oil and filled it with gas so I subbed a small 110V sump pump. I finally made it to the school at about 4:30PM and it was raining pretty steady. We started transferring water from the Tilapia tank to the portable. The undersized pump was working too slow and not needing that much water we started a siphon to help drain the tank down. By 6:15PM the fish were loaded and I was on my way. Arrived at home at 7:00PM. Started backing the short axle tiltable trailer through the gate and got stuck in the mud about 15' from the edge of the pond in a low spot. While assessing the damage and bucketing water into the tank to acclimate the fish to the pond temperature I decided that this may be a good opportunity to get a count and some pics. I pulled the plug, tilted the trailer and letem' rip. I started counting around 7:30PM. I can't catch fish in a puddle to save my life! I picked them up one at a time and put them in a bucket. My yellow lab Emma was a great help in keeping the bucket aerated. She would promptly dunk her head in the bucket after each fish was added and blow bubbles. I finally had them all in the pond by 10:00PM...at least I thought. I found 3 more still swimming in the much receded puddle this morning while taking "before" photos of the algae. Only one casulty of the transfer so far, even the almighty tilapia can't survive my size 12 Red Wings, oops. I am offering a free all-you-can-eat tilapia dinner to anyone who can guess the number of tilapia I counted before adding to the pond.

Here's the tank


Inside the tank


Here's the largest


Some others


Here is the algae this morning

About half were 3" to 4" with some as small as 1" and one that was about 8".




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#14115 04/22/06 03:35 PM
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Ryan, those are the kinds of stories that make this forum so entertaining. Thanks for the good visual. They're funny after the fact, huh? \:\)


#14116 04/22/06 04:55 PM
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Great information once again Ryan! I vote this the best experiment of the winter 2005-2006! Keep that information coming!!!


Please no more rain for a month! :|
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OK, humor me guys. I started the grow out tank with 300 2-3" fish. A few were lost along the way. How many would you guys guess there were at stocking time?




"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
#14118 04/23/06 03:25 PM
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OK Ryan I don't mind starting off the guess work. As Theo says this will be a WAG (Wild ___ Guess), not in Engineer-speak a ROM (rough order of magnitude more detailed and hopefully more accurate than a WAG ) and not even A SWAG (Semi-WAG). :p

I have 2 guesses :

If they spawned while in the RAS then my guess is 487,345.

If they did not spawn (your only report wrt said they had not spawned yet) 287. Any one else for a try. \:\) \:D :p
















#14119 04/23/06 04:19 PM
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Ryan, if only you could know how much analysis and thought I've put into this guess: 286.


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#14120 04/23/06 04:46 PM
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287
("Price is Right" educated guess)

#14121 04/23/06 04:50 PM
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With many people involved and much feeding and handling of fish: 267?


Please no more rain for a month! :|
#14122 04/23/06 06:21 PM
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267! Final answer!!!! Ship my DMD to Theo.
Honest, I didn't see PFF's 6:50 PM post.


Just do it...
#14123 04/24/06 02:36 AM
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Ryan,

Good project for all interested in overwintering Tilapia, well done! Now for the guess...don't think you had any spawning during the experiment, not the right habitat; subtract one right off for the oversized Redwings making 299; your set up was probably adequate for twice the population when it comes to Tilapia so my guess is 291 figuring a few might have jumped out along the way. Please send the dinner in a thermal pack to keep it fresh!!!


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I was guessing in the same range as you guys.

The final count...drum roll please......719

We had only one more casulty. Emma carried it up to the back porch. I believe she was trying to give it CPR. It didn't make it, bringing the grand total to 718.




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#14125 04/24/06 05:58 AM
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...I wish I could pick stocks and M funds like you raise Tilapia.
(I didn't win the Refrig/Range combo, either)

#14126 04/24/06 07:40 AM
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Lets see hmm - started with 300 - no spawn - few morts - wow I didn't know they could replicate by division. ;\)
















#14127 04/24/06 09:29 AM
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I knew this was a miracle fish but nothing like this has been reported since the sermon on the mount. :rolleyes: :p


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I did not expect any reproduction in this short of time and I would rather have produced a fewer quantity and larger tilapia. Fortunately most of the tilapia are small and I expect a large portion of the stocking to become snacks for the LMB. I couldn't catch a bass all weekend which is very unusual so they must be full.




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#14129 04/24/06 12:16 PM
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Ryan,

Tilapia normally start reproducing at around 2 ounces in size and have even been known to spawn when as small as 1/2 ounce under less than favorable conditions. They are reproductive machines, an attribute which makes them such a great pond management tool. I saw ample evidence of Tilapia spawn apparently eating algae this weekend that were spawned from fish that were stocked only 20 days prior.

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My friend has a few in his home aquarium. Last week he added feeder guppies for some other fish in the tank. The tilapia ate them too. This observation raises the question as to what effects they may have on desired fry in the pond. They may have mistaken the guppies for swimming pellets.

ML: I failed to get pictures of the new filter for the grow out tank again but made some observations: Plastic tub about 2'x3'x1.5', the lid was either concave or inverted with 1/4" holes drilled in it in a 1"c/c grid pattern, filled with packing peanuts, water pump floods the lid and it trickles through to the media and through a PVC drain at the bottom, a bypass valve was installed between the pump and lid that dumped back into the tank for flow adjustment...a picture would have been easier.




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They have been known to eat fish (including their own) and fish eggs . Here is the link to the Fish Base data on what they eat - mostly plant material.

http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/TrophicEco/...ies=mossambicus
















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Due to the release size of the Tilapia being small and concern of their being quickly consumed would a small outdoor pond on the cheap side be a benefit? Something like a plastic lined pit or cheap swimming pool to allow the numbers to increase and add some size. If a small pool was managed to capture and release the smaller ones so the larger fish were not stunted from over population it seems this would add to the forage while allowing the initial stock over-wintered to grow larger to ensure their survival. Now your being in SW Ohio...not sure if some of the overnight temperature drops may present a problem.


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Ryan,

In addition to my primary pond I have a small pond around 1/6 acre in size, since the climate is tropical the Tilapia live to old age. In this pond Tilapia and numerous other local species were spawning and multiplying without my noticing any impact on fry recruitment, matter of fact the pond's fish were close to stunting from overpopulation. The addition of a few Peacock Bass brought an immediate halt to the overpopulation, but the point to be made is I don't think the Tilapia had much impact on the other fishes. Some of the local fishes that were in the pond prior to the introduction of the Peacocks's included small species such as a minature pike fish, Gourami's and a shad type fish each with growing populations. In an aquarium environment void of a Tilapia's natural diet I would think that some unnatural behavior traits may become more apparant.

Hate being on the opposite side of the world as my few posts always trail the ongoing discussions!


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Thanks for the lead Ewest. I have stocked Oreochromis niloticus http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/TrophicEco/...ecies=niloticus It seems the diets are nearly the same for both species. During the planning for this experiment I came across a paper on LMB prefering BG over tilapia. It seems strange because their coloring is similar and the tilapia have a more slender profile which would make them go down a little easier. There should be enough predators in my pond to keep their numbers in check and Ohio's cooler temps should slow things down a bit. Time will tell.




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#14135 04/25/06 07:33 AM
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I agree with Don's observations. My experience is that BG benefit from the presence of Tilapia not suffer. Studies of lakes in Mexico where Tilapia survive year around have pointed to the possibility that older Tilapia may consume eggs and fry. In lakes with heavy commercial netting in Mexico, there is no evidence of Tilapia feeding on eggs, but where there is no netting (of the older fish), there is some evidence of reduced LMB recruitment.

Ryan,

Do you happen to have a reference for that paper? It certainly does not agree with actual observations every summer in my ponds, i.e LMB preferring BG over Tilapia.

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Ryan :

I have a paper that finds just the opposite on BG/tilapia from Fla if I recall. Not surprising that different studies show different results . I have run across such conflicting info on several matters. Uggh

Don great info and observations and never to late for such to be added to the mix. I am glad you keep us aware of the different pond systems and fish - a real needed mind opener.
















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Ryan, if you don't have enough predators the onset of winter will cure any over populations of Tilapia. My guess is that you are therefore in a win-win situation and well positioned for the next year's crucial decisions.


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I have faith that things will work out just fine and I agree, Don, winter 55 deg. temps will cure any problems that develop.I'm excited to see how the project develops




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#14139 04/26/06 09:30 AM
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Ryan, did you ever tell us what you fed them in the grow out tank?

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I fed 42% protein 1/8" pellets from Freedom Feeds. About half the pellets float and the other half sink. Only fed about 40lbs total. The feed is all plant based and they advertise that fish fed their products taste better. I was going to link to their site but it says it's been shut down. There has been rumors that they were on shakey ground. I have been feeding their pellets from the start and have been happy with the results. Their plant is only a few miles from me too.

They will grow fine on 32% feed or even lower. I used 42% because it was the only thing readily available in 1/8"




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#14141 04/27/06 10:25 AM
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I was curious because pond food dirties the water faster than aquarium food. I think Lusk even told someone that. I thought maybe you fed something different.

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Here are the one week results. FA on two banks has been eliminated almost entirely. They seem to be working their way around the pond clockwise. A little algae remains in the shallow end but they have reduced it by more than half. No chemicals have been used since last fall. Probably the most surpising is their impact even with the relatively cool, 64deg., water temps.

Before


After 1 week


I'm not sure if I should give the tilapia 100% credit. The tadpoles seem to be eating algae too. If you look close you can see them in the upper picture as well.





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#14143 05/01/06 07:15 AM
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Ryan,

According to the SRC, Tilapia do not feed at or below 63 degrees so that is indeed a surprising result. The B/A pictures are dramatic. I wonder if you had a major rain event during that week? Sometimes that will temporarily get rid of the algae also.

Regardless, now that they are ahead of the algae, you can kiss it goodbye for the season, in my experience, as well as the need for chemicals. Great pictures!

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We had a little rain over the week and temps have been cooler. Other pond's filamentous algae in the area has been growing as expected with floating mats and pieces breaking off. One pond owner raked the algae out from his pond about two weeks ago and it has returned with vengence. It appears he has more than he started with.




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The fish donors suggested I build a couple of 10'x10' areas fenced in with with 1/4" mesh to serve as "control" areas to keep the tilapia out for comparison. I think it is a good idea and would like to give it a shot. I have plenty of fence posts but would like some suggestions on some cheap mesh.




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#14146 05/10/06 04:11 PM
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Hi Ryan: Awesome experiment!! I would be interested in settig up something like this my self. I would like info on how to get tilapia for my pond(9.6 miles north of I-70 off st rt 201). I have raked my pond two times so far, it is killing me. Also, My wife and your wife teach together. Small world.

Would love to chat more with you about tilapia and fishing and pond other pond info

you can email if you would like @
tiltaplenty@verizon.net

Thanks Brian Carter

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My niece dropped her fishing pole off the dock this weekend in about 3-4 feet of water. While trying to to "fish" it out my pole came up with quite a bit of FA on it during my retrieval attempts. It appears that the tilapia have been only eating the algae in the shallows. I assumed all the algae was gone because I couldn't see any. I imagine this is because the water is warmer in the shallows and the algae has been free to grow below the thermocline. Has anyone else experienced this?




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#14148 05/11/06 07:10 PM
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Hi Ryan: I would think they would eat where it is warmer. Wouldn't they eventually move deeper if the food was not available in the warmer areas? Will be interesting to see as the summer gets going.

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Cold snap update: The 3rd and 4th weeks of May were pretty cool here. water temps dropped into the high fifties and the algae started making a comeback. I was beginning to wonder if the tilapia would make it. The water has warmed considerably the past 7-10 days and the algae has disappeared again. I have been seeing a few schools of 4-5 6-8" tilapia circling the pond and some 3" fish in very shallow areas. While feeding last night I saw some of the 6-8" tilapia taking pellets for the first time. I also saw one large approx 12" fish slurp a few pellets off the surface.




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#14150 05/31/06 07:06 AM
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Good report, Ryan. Since Tilapia stop feeding at and below 63 degrees water temps, your experience makes a lot of sense. As you may be aware also, artificial feeding can reduce their algae eating amounts by more than 50%

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I really have no idea how many tilapia I have left. I'm interested in others observations of how many tilapia they stocked vs. how many they saw throughout the season vs. how many floated to the top in the fall.




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The pond was almost completely free of algae for the first couple of weeks in June. I noticed the algae increasing again around the 3rd week of June so I stopped feeding. I returned from vacation on July 9 and there was even more algae. Before yesterdays rain the algae appeared to be about where it started at this spring. Water temps are in the low 80s. I see schools of four or five tilapia about 4" long about every 30 feet around the bank. I dropped a handful of feed off the dock and one tilapia appearing to be about 10" managed to get a couple of pellets in the boil of bluegills. No fertilizer has been used in the field surrounding the pond.

What happened/is happening? Could they be spawning and therefore not eating nearly as much(2/3 are female)? I have not seen any tilapia fry but it is hard to tell because there is a lot of bluegill fry and, I think, a few bass fry (more slender with a black tail) as well as fatheads.

I have several options on what to do now and I'm interested in everyones input.

1. Let it go as is and keep the experiment pure, running full cycle through the season and see what happens.

2. Treat half of the pond with Cutrine and see if the tilapia can take care of the rest.

3. Treat the entire pond, half now and the other half in about a week, with Cutrine and see if the tilapia can maintain the pond for the remainder of the season.




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#14153 07/19/06 09:21 AM
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Ryan:

I remember Meadowlark has stated that it took more than one season of Tilapia to get his FA fully under control, and that he used chemicals the first year (or two?) in conjunction with the Tilapia.

This made it seem to me that FA control with Tilapia can be a progressive thing, beating the algae back some each year and leaving a smaller residual amount of FA to start up again the following year.

If your FA situation seems better now than at the same time (and weather) last year, I think would be an indication that you and your Tilapia are making progress.

I'm sure ML will add much more detail.


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In previous years I treated the 1/2 acre pond with 1 gal. of Cutrine when I saw FA on more than half of the bottom in the shallows, roughly about every 6 weeks from spring through fall. This kept the pond very clean. My "before" pics are the worst it has ever been. I have no doubt that without the tilapia the pond would be completely covered with a near solid mat of FA by now. I would like to resume feeding soon, I'd hate to slow down the growth of the BG, so I am leaning toward treating the entire pond and seeing if the tilapia can maintain for the rest of the year.




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#14155 07/19/06 10:14 AM
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Ryan,

You've had a couple of things happen which didn't happen to me:

1) you had a rapid disappearance of algae following initial stocking of Tilapia...and during a temp period which, as I recall, was not conducive to Tilapia feeding.

2) you've had the algae come back as bad or almost as bad as before Tilapia stocking.

Here's my guess, Ryan, and I underline guess as to what may have happened:

The first occurrance was an act of nature...either temp change, rain or some combo knocked the surface algae down but not nearly out, on the bottom of the pond...and that was not due to the effects of Tilapia. By artificially feeding Tilapia in the early season, you delayed or lessoned their effect on the algae.

Now that your temps are up and artificial feeding is limited(the eighties are great for Tilapia), they are working their magic on the bottom residing algae. It took me a full growing season the first year to see complete algae control. The second season I used early season treatments of cutrine plus to help with control before the Tilapia were "unloosed". The third season and subsequent have been completely chemical free and algae free....this has made me suspect, certainly not prove conclusively, that there is a cumulative effect from Tilapia relative to algae control.

What to do now? I think that's entirely your preference/call. My experience says, if you are patient, the Tilapia will reduce/eliminate the algae as the season progresses....and it will get better with each passing season.

You could treat with chemicals if you want more immediate results. A word of caution, however, regarding use of chemicals in the full summer temps...use sparingly and only on partial areas of the pond, in order to lesson the risks of DO problems.

Bottom line from my experience....be patient. Hopefully you will report down the line, like Looptech did recently, that the Tilapia have worked their magic. Good luck.

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Thanks for your replies. The pond is very close to the house so I am going to give it a round of chemical treatment. I believe the combination of tadpoles and tilapia in the early stages during cooler weather contributed collaboratively to the dramatic decrease immediately after stocking. I also suspect that the 300 or so unexpected 1-3" tilapia fell prey to the LMB and HBG the few weeks following stocking without YOY BG present. I read Looptechs thread and I would be interested to see what he would come up with if he drug a rake across the bottom of his pond. I suspect there is still a significant amount of algae 3 feet deep based on my experience a couple of months ago.

It seems that the tilapia paired with a quality dye would make a good team in these Northern ponds. In theory, the tilapia would eat the FA in the warmer shallow areas while the dye shades the deeper. Personally I am not a fan of dyes but they are safer than algaecides.




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#14157 07/19/06 03:53 PM
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I was wondering how much cover you have in the pond and how many predators you have. Tilapia in the belly of a Bass cant clean much grass. Algae didn't rhyme. \:\)

I have a new pond without any predators except CC. I put 10 # of large tilapia 11 weeks ago. I have had literally thousands of fry. The original spawn are now 5" and have spawned themselves. My limited experience with them leads me to believe they are not that good at avoiding predators. The first spawn swim in schools of dozens. One of the large originals was white. These offspring are so easy to spot that they are bound to be easy fodder. You can see them so easy that the darker cousins look like shadows swimming with them. My CC have quit eating completely. I believe their belly's are full of tilapia. I think the small tilapia fry would be quickly devoured in a pond with enough BG to boil the water. My water boils with tilapia when I feed. Have you done a seine survey to see what kind of numbers of original tilapia you have left? My opinion is that the tilapia would do much better if they had lot of cover or a caged area of the pond to spawn and keep their numbers high enough to take care of the algae.


Please no more rain for a month! :|
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PFF,

Interesting post...5 inches on the original spawn sounds really good to me as does a spawn from that generation. If we called the original spawn the second generation (original stockers being first), then you should be able to get a fourth generation spawn and maybe even fifth...that would be a whole bunch of Tilapia! You're going to have a bunch of them by fall!

And some fat CC's.

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I have 6 pallet piles, a few rock piles, boulders, 2 sputnicks, and #2 limestone surrounding the pond. There are about 40 LMB, and less than 20 HBG left, 15 CC, and what appears to be a good balance of several generations of BG. Last night I noticed tilapia on nests for the first time. They were in a colony near the shore sprinkled evenly along with an equal mix of BG nests. A couple of HBG were also sitting on nests. I can walk around the pond and see at least 7lbs. of tilapia. I'm pretty sure there is more than that because I only see the large ones when I throw out pellets.




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PFF, what kind of cover for the tilapia?




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I was thinking about the way ewest had his pond caged off with a seine. If you could get your tilapia on one side of the seine and the bass on another they could clean without being harassed. If you only have 40 Bass that should not be too much of a problem. I don't have a lot of experience with a predator laden pond. In my pond the tilapia swim around like the kings of the pond. I was thinking that would be a lot different in a pond with predators. I am just amazed at the numbers of tilapia that came from about 16 adults. They are bank to bank.

Meadowlark- I don't think I can expect any more spawning without their being completely overcrowded. When the temperature drops some and pray for rain , I will stock some HSB. If my health improves I will try to overwinter some tilapia in a 55 gallon aquarium I have in my barn.


Please no more rain for a month! :|
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PFF & Ryan,

I've got predators...lots of them...HSB and LMB. Believe me, the Tilapia do NOT swim around here like kings of the pond. They are very nervous, very nervous critters indeed, and fearful for their very lives.

PFF, you may see somewhat of an overcrowding condition....especially if you don't add HSB or some other predator. You may recall the "math" discussion that went on some time back where I showed how it is theoretically possible with multiple generations of Tilapia to generate tremendous amounts of forage during a growing season. A large part of that forage will be created this fall with the rolling generation effect. This fall, before the temps drop too much, would be a great time to add HSB...they would absolutely feast on all that forage!

You might get a pretty good fish kill when temps drop, but I wouldn't worry about it, especially if you stock some predators before that....the dead fish are gone before you know it....natures clean-up crew is amazing.

I also hope to be carrying over several pounds of Tilapia this winter....my problem is finding enough time to get a system together.

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That's funny. My tilapia swim around like kings. I spawned some in a small pond and the first 60 that I moved to the small bass pond act like there is no danger. My bass are on feed and probably not as aggressive but when the few pellets reach the edge of the moss, the tilapia peck at them. This is in pretty deep water. The tilapia are only about 4" long and sprint to the moss only when the bass get within a foot.
PFF thinks they are easy prey and I question a bass's ability to catch the fast buggers before fall. I have to dump most of the water out of the bucket to catch them with my hands!

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 Quote:
PFF thinks they are easy prey and I question a bass's ability to catch the fast buggers before fall.
You are more experienced than I am, I have never seen a bass chase a tilapia. I was just going on watching them parade around at the top of the pond in schools of 10 dozen without a care in the world except for something to eat. They "look" like easy prey. Looks like a large bass could come from behind and get 2 or 3 at a time.


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PFF, i was watching a fishing show couple weekends ago and they did a little underwater filming of large schools of tilapia being gorged upon by LMB ranging from 1 to >10 lb down at El Salto,MX


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My tilapia have about half the reflexes my bgill have. While they are great at reproducing and assisting with pond control, they do not have the same keen awareness to fear predators. I like that, it carries by bgill forage well into the Winter, the threadfins & shiners appear harder for predators to catch too.

My pond forage base is very thick and well fed, I'm basing my observations on how fast prey flees the area when an intruder arrives.

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Mine are some wherein between. However, I don't think they are overly bright. Many that I catch will allow themselves to be taken directly to the net, some at the net will then put up a good fight, some will wind up spending a lot of energy in the net. The smaller ones, pound or so, fight more than the larger ones. An exception being if they have been caught before they are much better fighters. The pacu have always been very skittish, since the beginning of their pellet feeding experience, some unknown thing will panic one and they all flee in different directions. When the direction is up it is fun to watch, I see pacu flying all over the place. This usually happens 2 or 3 times per feeding. Sometimes the tilapia go with them, but most of the time they continue to feed as if nothing happened. The pacu are the largest fish in the pond and have no predators so I don't have any idea why they take off. I do have a predator that is eating tilapia up to about 6". But the smaller tilapia still show up at the edge of the feeding area. I will be moving to the pond in the next month or so and try to sample what I really have.


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Maybe tilapia would wise up wrt, say, BG, if they lived longer than one warm season? Rad's do, but he has no direct comparison for alertness, etc. with common N. American fish.


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The FA problem has not improved or worsened. The algae is not terrible but is more than I can live with. I was finally able to get a gallon of Cutrine Plus last night and I am planning to treat tonight to give the tilapia a boost. This will be the first and hopefully last treatment this year. I expect the tilapia to be able to keep the pond clean the remainder of the season.

Here's one of the average size tilapia. She appears to be full of eggs.





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Bad news: The school where the grow out tank was last year is not going to do the tilapia project again this year. They seem to be shifting the program more toward landscape management and golf course management. The seine I was planning to use is probably not going to be available to remove the tilapia in the pond and the cost to rent one, $150, is not cost effective and seems a little steep considering you can rent a $25K skid loader for <$150.

Good news: Another school that has better equipment and an instuctor with experience with tilapia is willing to take on the project. It's pretty much the same deal as before, I supply the fish and feed and they supply the labor, equipment, and power. They also get a portion of the fish next spring.

I would like to seine to evaluate the overall health and balance of the pond and remove as many gizzard shad as I can in addition to the tilapia. Does anyone have any alternative suggestions or know of source of seine for rent in the Columbus/Dayton area?




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If your own seine (or paying a mgt. company) is not an option then check into a share deal with an area commercial fisherman. You may be able to talk them into seining for a share of the tilapia as they can probably sell them.
















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Do they eat plankton algae?
I sure am tempted to try and find some for next year and throw them in regardless of the laws..Opps did I say that out loud?


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Brian Carter borrowed a seine and was kind enough to help seine my pond on Sunday. The goal was to remove tilapia brood stock for next springs stocking, remove all gizzard shad caught, and evaluate other populations. The seine was 100' with about a 1" mesh. The tilapia proved nearly impossible to catch by this method and our efforts only yielded two. We did catch about 2 dozen shad in the 6-8" range that promptly became fertilizer. Several LMB, bluegill of various sizes and some large channel cats were also caught. I believe smaller mesh would have delivered a better overall picture of things but the price was right. A seine with a built in bag in the center may also have yeilded more fish. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun. I believe the tilipia are too skilled at escaping for seining to be an efficient method of removing them. About 30 were caught by rod and reel in the evening and were transferred to their winter home yesterday. The students in the natural resources program at the school (winter home) seemed very interested and had many questions.

Here are some of the seining pics


My helper before Brian arrived


Brian and I pulling in the catch



grass carp, 1 of 2


30" and 28" catfish






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Ryan:

I wish you had been able to seine more Tilapia out; I would be interested to see if you could determine a big difference in survival rates for seined versus hooked fish transferred into your tank (I have seen this myself and would love more data points). Unfortunately the GShad don't provide much useful data on post-transfer mortality. :rolleyes:


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The Ohio guys need to band together to get Ohio's fish farms to produce or at least have them available for stocking into our ponds. Seems like it could be more profitable than sending them to market and would be a lot easier than the above method.




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Funny how Tilapia are cheaper at the supermarket here than catfish - the opposite of what the Texans report down there. PM's would probably pay more for live Tilapia than the grocer gets for frozen.


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Supply and demand...$10 per pound for live Tilapia is pretty much the going rate across much of Texas. Still a bargain at that price, IMO.

Ryan,

Did you stock the HSB to reduce/eliminate the GShad as you were contemplating and have you noticed any progress yet?

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Yes, I stocked 25 6"-7" HSB. They are about 9-10" already. The mesh on the seine was too large to catch small gizzard shad but no medium shad were netted so the HSB may be doing some good. The schools of shad I observed earlier in the year seem to have disappeared. I failed to mention that I caught one HSB in the seine and have caught a couple while fishing for other species on nightcrawler and the home-made tilapia dough bait.




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#14179 09/21/06 07:20 AM
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That's consistent with my experience also...HSB completely foiled my attempts at establishing threadfin shad and later GShad in my pond. They are one fast,hungry predator.

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They're all dead. About a week ago I was mowing and mulched one and saw a couple very sluggish in poor condition in shallow water. The dogs dragged about twenty tilapia from 4 to 11 inches into the yard. There are a few still on the bottom of the pond. Not a big mess but the wife wasn't real pleased when the pups came in smelling like fish. A little FA has returned but not enough to worry about until spring. Hopefully the broodstock I reserved will reproduce enough for stocking again next year.




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This experiment has come full circle now so I thought I would officially conclude it. The broodstock did not make it back to my pond this year and like many northerners I was unable to find any locally to stock. The FA really came on strong about 5 or 6 weeks ago and I treated it with Cutrine and eliminated about 95% of it. As of yesterday about 1/4 to 1/3 of my pond was covered in floating mats of FA so I gave it the second dose of Cutrine Plus. Last year with the tilapia I only treated once in late fall after the spring stocking. Although somewhat unscientific this is proof enough for me that the tilapia is effective and practical in my area. It would seem that some of the local fish farms would be interested in growing such a prolific, fast growing fish to sell at $8 per pound live weight, hopefully a local grower will rise to the challenge and provide a much needed service.




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It's definitely a niche market that could be exploited with the only downside you would have some considerable capital investment in an RAS system intitially IF you wanted to produce your own and overwinter your broodstock. However, if one found a reliable source and had a holding pond, one could purchase them and sell them probably in a few weeks once a year. You'd only need holding pond(s) and a seine and of course some live haul tanks and a large enough vehicle to pull the tanks or place them on a flatbed. You could plant them via a small pickup and small tank to local pond owners.

It's a perfect opportunity for an entrepenuer, as not only could you create a large demand as they are a great environmental alternative to copper products, they provide forage for largemouth bass, you could charge a premium price, and you would have repeat customers due to their die off every fall. On top of that they are a very hardy fish as long as the temps are warm enough as they handle low D.O., high ammonia and hauling very well! What else could one ask for! Wish I had the funds to exploit this market! Maybe I should find investors? I'll bet you could get a free write up in a local paper and have all the local business you wanted!

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. I had the same experience telling them not to pitch their male broodfish trout after use as I could make some money selling them for them, and they said they didn't want to be bothered with it. :rolleyes: I now raise them myself and sell them for $100.00 a piece to other taxidermists. Go figure! I can't keep up with the demand and I would guess the same would happen with the talapia!

You know what's really wild about exploiting this market? RAS investors are going out of business left and right trying to raise more difficult, slower growing fish for much less. No one has made a profit in RAS's on perch yet! Not one person!


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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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.

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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.




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#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.

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Meadowlark,

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

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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.

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What is that thing, ML, about 500 gallons?


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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?
















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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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. \:\)

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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. \:\)


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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.





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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.




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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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catmandoo,
Have you tried an aquarium shop? I know some do sell tilapia as hobby fish. They spawn quite rapidly.


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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!

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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.
















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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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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.
















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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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 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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I have a year round 70-72 degree spring/artesian well that runs naturally at 5 gpm...7200 gallons a day..
It is what keeps my pond full all year even in drought but I don't need the extra water in the winter at all.. The water quality is excellent according to A&M for any use..

I wonder if that could help me cut down on cost of over-wintering some tilapia here in SE Texas?
I sure want them in my ponds..

I might try it this sept/oct if I can find the fish..

Seems like a great fish on many different levels.. I also enjoy the mild taste of the fish as well.. They really seems to suck up any type of spices you add before cooking and are not a very fishy smelling fish at all.

I was already going to build a 4x8x4 (aprox 1000 gallons) fiber glass tank for another project... If I insulated the tank and built a small greehouse Maybe I could try some Tilapia instead?

I now have more questions for Meadowlark on my visit..

I wonder how many Tilapia I could raise with 7200 gallons of 70-72 degree water a day...

I would think it would help heat, flush and aerate the tank or maybe tanks?

Sounds like a fun project anyway..
I always had aquariums as a youngster and the fish did very well and multiplied..

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Check some of the aquaculture sites as to how many you can stock, it will be alot, they mature for sale/eating at about 5 months, so factor that in. When you talk with ML ask about pacu, with your water temps it is another choice.


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You may also look for Midas, similar to tilapia but their color is bright gold. They are in the Cichlid family and will live with tilapia. They are slightly less cold tollerant than the Nile tilapia I have. They are readily available in aquarium shops.




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 Quote:
Originally posted by Rad:
Check some of the aquaculture sites as to how many you can stock, it will be alot, they mature for sale/eating at about 5 months, so factor that in. When you talk with ML ask about pacu, with your water temps it is another choice.
Thanks for the responses..
I have a couple of ponds and several relatives ponds I want to keep stocked with mozambique tilapia for FA control, water quality, forage and maybe a few to eat or what ever..

I checked out several aquaculture sites and you can pack a lot of Tilapia into a small area if you know what your doing.. Many more than I expected..
Recirculating systems have the best capacity but Free flow are very high as well and 7200 gallons a day will raise a lot of healthy Tilapia.. I would have to warm the water some 10-12 degrees to really grow them during the cooler months but it is perfect for over-wintering...

I found several sites for a free flow or recirculating into a hydroponic garden system that sounds really good for me (Aquaponics System). Pretty easy to automate through gravity, small pumps, pvc and timers..
Plants live off the fish waste and thrive while cleaning the water.. Very small eco-footprint.

I was going to build a tank and a greenhouse in the future anyway and this sounds like a good combination considering I already raise a vegetable garden every year anyway.
Might as well kill three birds with one stone. Raise fish for many uses, grow plants and clean-up the water to a pretty high level..

A small Fish Farm/Greenhouse sounds like a fun, challenging and interesting project that I'm sure I could handle.. Live fresh fish at times and vegetables available year round for my family sounds pretty cool.

The hardest part might be getting mozambique tilapia this fall after/if I build the system..

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Tecohorn,
Don't wait buy a few from a pet shop and let them reproduce, they mature early, several inches long is all. They are prolific to say the least, keep them in a 20 gal tank in the house till you need them.


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Dwight Yoakam
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Tecohorn,

I have a source for fall Tilapia...we can talk about it when you come by. You won't find them in pet stores or anyplace that sells aquarium fish in Texas. I've got one year of experience in overwintering Tilapia...just enough to be dangerous, and I'll show you my system, such as it is. Sounds like we have a lot to talk about...let's get it on!!

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 Quote:
Originally posted by Meadowlark:
Tecohorn,

I have a source for fall Tilapia...we can talk about it when you come by. You won't find them in pet stores or anyplace that sells aquarium fish in Texas. I've got one year of experience in overwintering Tilapia...just enough to be dangerous, and I'll show you my system, such as it is. Sounds like we have a lot to talk about...let's get it on!!
Sounds great and yes I have many questions for you, I need to start writing them down.. I've read a bunch of your post and spent many hours researching the topic online and I'm sold on Mozambique Tilapia for my situation.

I couldn't fill up my pond yet because the creek I'm going to use is way to high right now becuse of all the rain... Hopefully it will drop and clear by friday.. The trinity river being so high has really slowed down the clearing though... It's usually crystal clear in only two day's after a heavy rain storm..

I have my spring running into it at 5gpm but I need around 600,000-700,000 gallons to fill it up close to normal again... The rain has helped but since I have very little runoff, a 2 inch rain only makes it rise 2.5 - 3 inches.

What the rain has really did well is keep the water temp from getting to lethal levels..
It was getting over 90 last week with the 3 or 4 96-97 degree days we had.. It's in the mid 80's this afternoon.

The 3 inch trash pump I will use has 320 gallons per minute output or close to 20,000 gallons an hour/480,000 gallons a day... I'm going to attempt to run it for 24 solid hours.. Wait a couple of day's and run it until it starts coming out of my rebulit spillway.. I won't know exactly at what level to set my new drain until it's refilled completely..

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Update and observations:
End of April Cutrine treatment lasted about 6 weeks before FA returned. Treated again mid June, added aeration and added tilapia a week later. I returned from a week long fishing trip on July 30. No feeding took place while I was away. The water was muddy and slightly green. Green is normal, muddy isn't. I began feeding again once daily last week and the water is returning to normal color an visibility depth of about 18". No chemical treatments since June 16 and so far there is very little algae visible except in water less than 3" deep. I only see a couple of tilapia at feeding time. I believe these are the 2 larger males. It has been a very dry summer and the pond is the lowest it has ever been, 3' below full. I am unsure what the muddy water was caused by but I suspect it was due to foraging fish due to the lack of being fed. I have not seen evidence of a successful tilapia spawn but cannot rule out the possibility as they are an elusive fish.




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 Quote:
I am unsure what the muddy water was caused by but I suspect it was due to foraging fish due to the lack of being fed.
I'd guess the same thing.


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I would think with the higher concentrations of nutrients due to this drought and higher temps that the FA would be growing like crazy. This is week 7 since the last cutrine treatment. Week six after the previous treatment yielded large floating masses of FA. I'm interested in what others are experiencing locally relative to the amount of FA growth and treatments it is requiring. Do the current weather conditions promote FA growth or slow it down typically?




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Once the full heat of Summer hits, FA typically does less well. It's more of a cool-to-warm water phenomenom.

In my pond, it peaks in June.


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My pond is VERY low due to the drought. The FA growth rate has declined significantly with the heat, only to be outdone by the proliferation of curly leaf pond weed. I have spot treated with Cutrine Plus and raked, and raked, and raked... but its hard to fish anywhere due to the weeds. Next spring I plan to resort to an aggressive chemical regimen.


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Pictures of pond at week 10. I still haven't applied any chemicals. Compared to others ponds in the area, are the tilapia keeping it clean or is the FA just not growing well?






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Nice lookin' Ahia water, Ryan.


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I had to do a search on what Ahia was. I didn't get it until I found your post on Ahia's "frozen mud, dusty mud..." seasons then it all made sense! Some Ahian I am..LOL!!!




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Tecohorn,

I've got about 60 beautiful Tilapia ready for your system...come and get them cause I need the room to get some more for us before its too late.

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I threw out my cast net several times on Sunday night and caught 1 3" tilapia along with several small bluegill and a 6" gizzard shad. This confirms that tilapia will reproduce in Ohio ponds, even if the water is aerated. One interesting thing is the 2 male tilapia I stocked were actually sex reversed females so this also proves they were fertile. The lower stocking rate was adequate as I still do not have any significant algae or weeds. No chemicals have been applied to the pond since prior to stocking the tilapia. I'm hoping to seine the pond with the donors soon as they would like their males back.




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I've been checking my water temps periodically. 11/1/07 water temp was 57.2 F. 11/3/07 it was down to 56.1. Saturday I noticed the HSB blowing up on the suface all over the pond around mid morning and swirls from the LMB in the shallows. Yesterday 11/4/07 I found 1 large dead tilapia. I think this is the end of the this year. They lasted almost 3 weeks longer than last year.




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I forgot who was growing the tilapia in a dairy lagoon? Can you contact me via pm I have some questions on how well it is working. Thanks!

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Is tilapia tank ready? I have a 300 gallon tank with three air pumps, a homemade bucket filter. The bucket has holes drilled in the bottom. Big plastic hair rollers on the bottom with filter material over them. It catches most of the sediment on the bottom. I have a heat lamp that keeps thr water between 75 and 80 degrees. Am I ready for 75 tilapia? Any information would be helpful.

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 Originally Posted By: Ricky W.
Is tilapia tank ready? I have a 300 gallon tank with three air pumps, a homemade bucket filter. The bucket has holes drilled in the bottom. Big plastic hair rollers on the bottom with filter material over them. It catches most of the sediment on the bottom. I have a heat lamp that keeps thr water between 75 and 80 degrees. Am I ready for 75 tilapia? Any information would be helpful.


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Tank Culture of Tilapia - SRAC Publication No. 282

http://srac.tamu.edu/tmppdfs/329734-282f...da952d9276f3646
















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Do you have a photo, Ricky?


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Bruce, here is the picture you wanted to see of the tank.



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Hey ricky,
Instead of a heat lamp, i have a 1500w.,110v. heater element that was intended for a hot water heater. I run it off a timer, for about 2 hrs. a day at night and early morning. I wonder which one is cheaper to run?

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Howard I am using a 250 watt heat lamp now. I leave it on three days and off two. The water will get around 85 degrees if I leave it on all the time. The two days off will drop it around 75 degrees. I am getting the tank ready for my first tilapia, about 50 to 75. I have had the tank about a month and the electric bill went up about $ 8.00. I did not think that was bad, light, water pump, air pump.

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If 75 deg. is as low as you get, i bet you could make do with no heating. The tilapia i am currently overwintering, are doing well at anything over 60 deg..Under that, and they quit eating.

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Howard, what do you think beside temperature is the most important thing to watch for in raising tilapia in a tank? Is it oxygen, ammonia? I am new at this and any information would be helpful. Thanks

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Howard, what do you think beside temperature is the most important thing to watch for in raising tilapia in a tank? Is it oxygen, ammonia? I am new at this and any information would be helpful. Thanks

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Howard, what do you think beside temperature is the most important thing to watch for in raising tilapia in a tank? Is it oxygen, ammonia? I am new at this and any information would be helpful. Thanks

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my system uses well water on a constant flow thru basis,similiar to one described by Bruce condello, i think. so i dont have a filter.But i do have a big aquariun aerator. I do flush the tub out , about 80% of the 150gal. total, on a weekly basis, and they have shown no ill effects.My sense is, these are very hardy fish, not terribly sensitive to water quality.i have noticed they eat a lot more at 70deg. than at 62 deg. or so. So you may want to target the low 60's, if you just want them to maintain their size, and not grow too much.

good luck,Ricky..Let us know how it goes..

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by Knobber - 02/20/24 07:50 AM
Help me build a sign
by Theo Gallus - 02/19/24 02:25 PM
New to Pond Boss
by Sunil - 02/19/24 01:09 PM
Dredging in KC Area
by jludwig - 02/19/24 11:35 AM
Newly Uploaded Images
Eagles Over The Pond Yesterday
Eagles Over The Pond Yesterday
by Tbar, December 10
Deer at Theo's 2023
Deer at Theo's 2023
by Theo Gallus, November 13
Minnow identification
Minnow identification
by Mike Troyer, October 6
Sharing the Food
Sharing the Food
by FishinRod, September 9
Nice BGxRES
Nice BGxRES
by Theo Gallus, July 28
Snake Identification
Snake Identification
by Rangersedge, July 12

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