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#18484 11/14/04 02:22 PM
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I have a pond that is about 2/3 acre in size and we have bass that are in the four pound range but most are one or two pounds. We have blugill, reader, golden shiners,fathead minows, and tilapia that were stocked last spring and will probaly die from it bing to cold in the next few months down here in Texas. My guestion is should I stock gizzard shad this coming spring or tilapia or are the bass to small to controll a gizzard shad population and I should stock the shad next year?

#18485 11/14/04 07:22 PM
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This is what I would try if it were my pond in your location. Since your pond is small, I would for now and at least the next few years stay with the tilapia. Tilapia feed low on the food chain similar to gizard shad and provide numerous forage fish for predators. This way you have a fish that will not easily cause you too many problems due to geting too large and too abundant and taking up too much "space" or biomass in your pond. Your diversity in forage fish seems good to me and should be able to supply adequate forage fish for your bass if the bass do not become over abundant or out of balance. I see the tilapia a plus if you periodically loose them due to harsh winter. You can always restock if necessary. The cost should not be prohibitive. You will not have that option if you add gizzard shad which will be hard or practically impossible to remove unless you do complete fish eradiction. As your forage fish needs change or the tilapia are not meeting your expectations then rethink the use of g.shad. An added bonus is that larger tilapia are very good eating, at least the fresh ones are, that I get at a local food store. They are a very mild, good tasting and versatile fish for cooking. I don't think you will like eating g.shad too well no matter how you cook them.


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#18486 11/15/04 09:53 AM
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Mcdonald,

I have hands on experience with Tilapia and gizzard shad in my East Texas ponds. I have just stocked the gizzard shad, so my experience there is very limited. However I would refer you to the May/June issue of Pond Boss for a great article on gizzard shad. Also read the recent "gizzard shad" thread in which Bill Cody goes negative on gizzard shad.

Some say the gizzard shad will take over your pond and compete with Bluegill. The referenced article refutes that assertion however. In my own case, my worry isn't that they will take over, rather that they will be eliminated by the LMB and HSB before they ever get established. The LMB and HSB have been having an absolute field day, every day since stocking the gizzard shad. You can see the massacre going on in the open water areas of my pond (3.5 acres).

Regarding Tilapia, they are a must have for the southern pond owner, in my opinion. I was told bad things about them (by the so called experts) before stocking, none of which were true. Here's what I have learned first hand: they reproduce like rabbits, clean like a janitor, fight like a banshee, grow like weed, and taste great.

This is based on real, not theoretical, evidence of the value of Tilapia. In one summer growing season, they have transformed my old 1/2 acre "bass" pond from a dead weed, algae infested mess into a thriving system. The bass in that pond are fatter than they have ever been, the bluegill are far more numerous and larger than ever, the algea and weeds are gone. What more could one ask for?

The only unknown for me regarding Tilapia is the cold water die-off. Will that result in a massive fish kill and/or mess to clean up? I doubt it, but time will tell. My water temperature was 61 degrees this weekend. When it hits 50 degrees, I will know the answer.

#18487 11/15/04 09:08 PM
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I'm located in Mississippi about 10 miles south of I-20. Not sure how that relates to your location within east TX. I've been thinking about Catfish vs Tilapia to add to my existing LMB, coppernose bg, redear pond. I'm starting to lean towards the tilapia for the very reason that they will die off each winter. So the affect that they have in your pond is of very much interest to me.


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#18488 11/15/04 10:52 PM
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For the readers. See Meadowlark's and my discussion on gizzard shad pros and cons in Types of Fish To Chose: topic - gizzard shad.


aka Pond Doctor & Dr. Perca Read Pond Boss Magazine -
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#18489 11/16/04 09:21 AM
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I have a 5 acre pond that gets overrun with fil. algae in the summer, so this whole tilapia thing has me intrigued. I would love to be able to stock some of these fish, but being in N. Oklahoma I KNOW that I will have an annual fish kill. Then I would have one heckuva mess to clean up, not to mention a huge 'coon/skunk/badger feast on my hands. Would it be worthwile to stock a smaller number of these fish in order to get some benefits while at the same time minimizing the carnage clean-up in the winter? When is some enterprising fishery biologist going to work on a tilapia hybrid that can stand cold water?


Shawn

#18490 11/16/04 09:45 AM
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Shawn,

I put probably only about 1/2 dozen Tilapia in a 1/4 acre pond on April 1 ...in addition to stocking 7 or 8 pounds of Tilapia in two larger ponds which I've written about. This 1/4 acre pond was constantly covered over with aglae because it is a cattle hang-out with lots of nuturients provided. Now, it is completely algae free and has been for the last couple of months. It also has large numbers of small Tilapia. They reproduce like rabbits, literally.

In your area the growing/reproducing season would be shorter and thus less worry about the die-off.

An interesting thought on these fish is that old saying that nature always finds a way...meaning that it may be in the future that these fish will adapt to the relatively mild winters here in East Texas by selective evolution. All it would take would be for a couple of genetic freaks to make it. That would indeed be an interesting development.

#18491 11/16/04 12:13 PM
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Shawn, If talapia didn't die out every year I bet they wouldn't be allowed because they would be considered an invasive species. I'm pretty sure they only let one brand in Texas.

#18492 11/19/04 09:54 AM
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I understand that Tilapia have wiped out bass fishing in Florida phosphate pits where they have been introduced and where they survive year-round. However, I have a related question for which I would appreciate opinions.

My 45 year-old 13 acre pond in north-central Alabama is stocked with LMB, BG, and shellcrackers. The forage population is not quite able to bring the bass to optimum size because my friends just can't make themselves throw out every bass they catch when I am not looking. This is not a problem for me, for my grandchildren and I are primarily bluegill fishermen, but I would like for guests who don't know any better than to bass fish to catch good sized bass.

If I put in Tilapia at 5 lb/acre in May, just after the first BG spawn, would such a population be likely to help the bass gain weight without doing much harm to the BG? I suppose that my hope is that with a larger forage population, reduced predation pressure on the BG and shellcrackers might compensate for the increased competition for food. The Tilapia should be gone by late October or early November, I would think. I am also hoping that the Tilapia would eat the clumps of filamentous algae which float up in summer.
Thanks in advance,
Lou

#18493 11/19/04 10:54 AM
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Lou Heron,

I only have this current growing season as personnal experience with Tilapia but based on stocking Tilapia in three different ponds of different sizes, I can categorically say that 1) yes, there is no question that the bass in all three ponds have benefited significantly(as well as the Bluegill) from the Tilapia stocking and 2) my algae problems, which varied from mild to severe in the three ponds, is no longer a problem in any of the ponds.

After the die-off this year, I plan to write a "white" paper summarizing my Tilapia experience for anyone interested.

I would very much like to see real evidence of where Tilapia stocking has hurt the bass fishing...and an explaination of how that happened. Based on my experience, which granted is limited, that does not seem like a believable outcome.

#18494 11/19/04 11:05 AM
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It has been mentioend before but to let folks know it is illegal to stock Tilapia in GA. I wish we could believe me I have seen in AL what great forage they can be.


Greg Grimes
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#18495 11/19/04 11:12 AM
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Meadowlark, sounds like you plan on stocking them each spring and just writing them off at the end of the summer.?.?

Can the talipa be of that much benefit during one growing season? If so, it might be something many of us would consider.
Also, I would enjoy reading your paper.

#18496 11/19/04 11:15 AM
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Greg where does it say it is illegal to stock Tillapia in GA????? I was planning to grow Tilapia in Baskets and harvest them for eating...

#18497 11/19/04 01:37 PM
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LD,

I paid $10 per pound for 30 pounds of Tilapia....$300. Okay, I figure the chemicals alone to treat the algae and submerged weeds in the three ponds would have been at least $1000 and thats a conservative estimate...if you have ever priced SONAR. The forage value far surpassed the $700 I spent one year in ONE pond on threadfin shad. The fun of catching them...priceless...the fun of eating them, even better. The value of turning an unfishable pond mess into a vibrant system...priceless.

Yes, I will re-stock each year.

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There is a cattle feed lot near me that I am told stocked tilapia in a catch pond. That is the downhill pond that all of the cattle waste runs to. I am told that the tilapia kept the pond clean. Once a year the pond is drained and the tilapia ground up for fertilizer or something. I have no personal knowledge of this but it sounds plausible. Not sure I'd want to eat the fish, though.

Curious about a couple of things. How do tilapia eat? Do they filter water or actually take bites of algae or both? Is there any downside to them? I would assume that the amount of manure they produce would foul the water but beign filter feeders maybe they can clean up after themselves.

#18499 11/19/04 04:55 PM
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Meadowlark, that sounds like a great idea.
Tilapia seem to be a well suited forage base for a pond with two predators and BG (if you are willing to restock each year). Couple of questions:
1. How many pounds per acre to you stock?
2. Did you see any down sides?
3. Are they easy to get a hold of, where and what size do you stock?
4. With an established predator base how do they spawn so quickly and how well do those initial fingerlings do? In other words -- how long until they reproduce?
5. How do you catch a filter feeder?
Okay, I'll stop cause it turned into a bunch of questions.
Thanks

#18500 11/19/04 06:29 PM
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$10.00/lb. sounds like a lot. This year's price from Southeastern Pond Mgmt. here in Alabama was $5.00/lb for Tilapia which were large enough to escape predation and to begin breeding right away. As I understand it, they are mouth incubators and do not expel the fry from their cheek pouches until the hatchlings are big enough to be good forage size. This means a high success rate from each large and frequent brood cycle.

So far as ruining bass fishing, I suspect that such can only occur if the Tilapia are in water warm enough to survive year-round. The problem is their astounding fecundity and high initial survival.
LOu

#18501 11/22/04 09:37 AM
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Little Dog,

My attempt at answers:

1. I probably averaged 7 or 8 pounds per acre but 5 would be plenty in my situation.
2. Not yet, but they haven’t died off yet either.
3. Mine were 4 to 6 inches. Fortunately I have a dealer close by in Texas.
4. Not sure, but very quickly and very often it appears.
5. They are not easy to catch, very difficult. Small flies targeted to individual fish in shallow water worked sometimes. See my post on Tilapia Bonanza. In cold water, with an afternoon sun warming the shallows, you can entice them away from Bluegill into the shallows and catch them with worms. That’s the only way I have found to catch large numbers of them.

As to the cost, they were a bargain at $10 per pound. They have paid for themselves many times over, and that is the definition of bargain in my book.

#18502 11/22/04 10:57 AM
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Thanks, sounds like an option many could attempt with little problems after the experiment. Heck, they would be gone by now for me.

#18503 11/22/04 05:59 PM
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Big pOnd I just saw your question. Tilapia are exotic fish and unlike other states GA is restrictive. They can only be raised in a closed system. This means not in ponds where water exits the pond. Basically indoors is the only option. I have asked if this will change in the near future answer was probably not.

Folks take advantge of this fish if trying to grow big bass if it is legal in your state. Big pond you could alway plead ignorance if you got caught. I feel it is ridiculous since they die in the winter in GA weather but can not risk stocking them in my line of work.


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#18504 11/29/04 10:22 PM
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I have been doing a good deal of additional reading up on Tilapia, and I just cannot find a single negative for ponds which cool enough in winter to kill them and where they are legal. I even found information which suggested that they are perfect for removing the sludge formed by vegetable debris. The following is a quote from one site: "the Aswan dam in Egypt was found to be losing 3 to 4 inches per year due to deposition of debris. Tilapia nilotica were stocked in the dam, and the amount of build-up actually began to go the other way. Up to 2-3 inches a year were being removed by the Tilapia."

That's pretty impressive to my eye. I suppose that if the stocked population were high enough, they might stir up enough bottom silt to make the water muddy, but I don't plan on stocking more than 7-8 lb/acre. I do wonder if the species makes any difference. Almost everything I can find either concerns commercial operations with all-male fish, something which would be next to useless in sport pond management, or with sport-fishing in natural or large reservoir waters. I have discussed stocking them with two of my neighbors and they plan on putting them in their 10 and 1.5 acre ponds.
Lou
Shelby county, Alabama, 13 acres, max depth 21 ft, constructed 1959

#18505 11/30/04 09:55 AM
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Lou,

In Texas, we can only stock the Mozambique Tilapia. I have testified here to their benefits from first hand, personal experience.

I just read a magazine article about flyfishing for bass in Mexico and the professionals there attribute their fantastic bass fishing to the Tilapia...but they also say that local commercial fishing (ie gill netting) is needed to keep the Tilapia population in check, because they do not die out in winter there and they will reportedly eat small bass fry when they (Tilapia) reach a larger size. I guess that is a possible down side.

If this winter is any indication....water temperature 62 degrees...even East Texas may in the future be able to carry these fish over in the winter.

#18506 11/30/04 10:29 AM
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I wonder if it is too far north in Oklahoma City area to stock tilapia on an annual basis. At what water temperature would you stock them?


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#18507 11/30/04 11:17 AM
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LRunkle,

My advice would be to stock when your water temperature is reliably 60 degrees or above. In my area this year, that was April 1. Lower temperatures than that and you run the risk of a sudden cold front lowering your water temperature to the 55 to 50 degree killing zone.

I don't have any data yet on the other end, i.e the "unstocking" or die-off. My water temperature in East Texas has yet to fall below 61 or 62 degrees so far.

As a result of the "long" growing season, I've have weighted 2 pound fish and believe that 3 pounders are present from the original stockers. I can tell you a 2 pound Tilapia on light tackle is a blast...but also a very infrequent occurence unfortunately as they prefer vegetarian diets.

#18508 11/30/04 07:04 PM
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Tilapia are mouth breeding herbaviores and detritivoires.
Here is an interesting article
http://www.aquanet.com/features/tilapia/perfectfish.htm

They are able to digest cellulose, like a cow, and there fore can eat and digest detritus (aka loon shit). Most fish do not use this as a food source. Detritus is a very poor food source for pretty much everything. So when they have the oportunity to eat algae they probably do even better. Algae has a low c:n ratio and is good forage.

#18509 12/01/04 05:50 PM
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That is really interesting article. The single sex and growth issues mainly concern people who grow people food, not fish food, like we do.

Texas A&M University has some good information available here: http://srac.tamu.edu - publications 280 to 283 They have been growing Tilapia in the water from their hydroponic houses for years.

I believe only Tilapia Mozambiqua is legal to stock in TX, because they die out in the winter. Several other types would make it through the TX winter. According to this weeks article in Houston Chronicle, there is a thriving population of Tilapia - doesn't say which type - and other imported species in bayous around Houston.

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/outdoors/2918238

My water is muddy, so I haven't been able to sight cast like Meadowlark, and I cought - drumroll please - 2 Tilapia in 5 weekends of fishing and netting. One 2lb and one 1lb. This is driving me bonkers, because I really like Tilapia meat and I still have to go buy it.

If there is one negative that I can see, it is that they eat too much vegetation.

My water plants, that provided cover and shade couple of years ago, barely grew few strands this year. Shade is important here for about 3 mo during the summer, when cool night is around 80 Deg. I will try to grow lilypads in pots next year to keep the water cooler in summer. We will see if they make it. They didn't set back the cattails in any way.

I wanted to put bunch of Tilapia in an aquarium this year, to keep over winter. But the males are very territorial and the 2lb one killed the smaller one in 1 night. It tolerates bunch of bluegill just fine. It also reduced my flourishing aquarium plant to bunch of stumps. I feed it algae pellets now.

Meadowlark, I love the way you put it:
"they reproduce like rabbits, clean like a janitor, fight like a banshee, grow like weed, and taste great"

#18510 12/02/04 09:25 AM
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Ed,

Your comment on too much vegatation and my own experience has me considering stocking alternate years instead of every year. What they did to my 50 plus year old, weed chocked, aglae covered, scum mess of a pond was simply amazing...but now that they have cleaned it up, I'm wondering about stocking that pond again next year. Probably will anyway because they are such an interesting fish.

#18511 12/02/04 02:30 PM
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I don't want to give them up either. I am going to try to find some plants that I like and they don't, and I am going to work on catching them reliably.

#18512 12/02/04 02:32 PM
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Hi Meadowlark,
Are you seeing your tilapia, boiling on top of the water right now? My lake is east of Centerville, and I have seen my water go crazy this year. I put tilapia in this spring from Overton and now when I see my surface churning I cast in there and always pull 1 to 5 bass that will go over 5 pounds. Never had this happen in last 3 years.
Thanks, Bob

12 ac 22ft deep

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We raise mozambique tilapia at our farm for stocking. They start to die at 55. We've seen as low as 42 degrees here already in central texas.

On the issue of wiping out bass: tilapia are numerous in trophy mexico bass lakes...hear any negatives there? The fact is, if tilapia overwinter they can outcompete bass for nesting sites early in the year. This does not occur assuming winter dieoff and restocking after bass spawning season. Also, with the need for bass harvest in most ponds and lakes, why is there an idealistic sympathy for their successful spawn. The fact is, you'll grow larger fish if bass spawning is restricted.

On the issue of pond bottom clean up, we've seen them vaccum organic debris like nothing else. In a pond with some types of clay bottoms, they could cause muddy water, but we haven't seen that problem on the farm yet. As a matter of fact, tilapia contribute to a good plankton bloom. Our fertilized tilapia ponds cleared up after tilapia died off this year.

On the issue of fertilization. Sometimes fertilizing a pond will cause byproduct vegetation problems, not a bloom. With the stocking of grass carp and tilapia, you can ensure that your fertilizer won't grow coontail, bushy pondweed, or filamentous algae. It will...in fact grow fish all the way up the food chain.

On the price of tilapia....$10 per lb is cheap when compared with $/lb prices of bluegill, about the same as fathead minnows, and much cheaper than threadfins and gizzard shad. Also, the price will go down in 2005, guaranteed.......


It's ALL about the fish!
#18514 01/06/05 03:43 PM
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Hey Todd, I guess the bass or what ever ate my tilapia over the last 3 weeks. I never saw any floating on on the banks. My place is 10 miles east of yours and this was the best year ever for fishing. I just got back today and fished before the front hit yesterday afternoon and caught about 28 bass 4 went over 4 pounds and 1 went over 8.6 pounds. Let me know when to place my order for spring stocking, I want to do tilapia again and put some pure strain bass this spring. Thanks, Bob

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This may sound dumb, after reading posts on tilapias, was thinking at the $10# price, would these fish survive summer in central indiana.
Reasons I ask
1.Would not be spending $ on fighting filamentous all summer.
2.No chemicals in water.
3.Would provide great eating all summer.
4.Would die out and not over populate.
5.Would really help feed bass.
6.Price is very cheap.
7.Also is it legal in Indiana to stock them,if so where can purchase them,could a person drive and haul them in own tank. (legally)
Reason for asking is I see nothing negative about these fish, and at price seems worth try.
THANKS PO

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I'm not sure of the legalty of stocking tilapia in IN. Cecil could help us on this point.

In theory I also think it may be a pretty good idea but here are some hurdles.
1. The main problem is getting stockers in your area. Final cost may not be all that cheap esp considering 2nd point.
2. Secondly the stockers would have to be big enough to avoid bass predation based on how big and numerous your bass are.
3. We have a fairly short growing season in our area so initial stockers (May 1) would need to be fairly large to end up with cleanable sized fish (9"-12") by Sept 20-Oct 1 (140 days).
4. To get noticable filamentous algae control I would think you would need to stock at a fairly high rate to allow for mortality; natural, induced from handling, and predatory.

5. If it is legal to stock tilapia in IN, I think a likely source would be some "indoor" fish farmers (recirculating aquaculture farms). There are a couple that raise tilapia in north west central Ohio. I would think that they might be willing to sell some fish that are not quite big enough for market.


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#18517 01/09/05 07:50 AM
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Bill, thanks for the reply, you opened my eyes to several negatives for the fish in my area. I will call the indoor fish farmers just to see what they have to offer. I would love to find a natural way to fight that filamentous algae, and just thought this might be ticket. THANKS PO

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Tilapia have provided a huge boost to my pond. In my pond they have survivied for two years now and have made it so far this year. My water temp has gotten down to 42 degrees but they stack up at a point where a well flows in. The water temp coming from the well is 88 degrees. In the morning you can see the bass coming in for a feeding frenzy. Bass weights are up. BG and Redears pops are up and everything is doing much better.

Tilipia are also stocked at a power plant lake near San Antonio. They servivie year round there for years. No problems that I have ever hear of there with them.

#18519 01/10/05 12:22 PM
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88 degrees? How can it be that high? Doesn't most well water come out close to 60?

#18520 01/12/05 04:09 PM
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Geothermal heat?
I thought all ground water, at least from signficant depth, was closer to 45 deg F.
Wish I had 88 deg well water- think of the extended growing season!

#18521 01/12/05 05:07 PM
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Ground water temperature equals annual mean air temperature for a specific location. i.e. cooler as you go north in North America.

Lincoln, NE has ground water temperature of 54.8 degrees F.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#18522 01/19/05 01:47 PM
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It isn't abnormal around here from some ground water is that warm. I was at a county water board meeting and there is a chicken farm in the county that has a well where the water is 110 coming out of the ground.

Let's just say that I have seen Tilapia spawning this winter and three bass on beds this week.

#18523 01/19/05 02:02 PM
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Why is the groundwater temp so high? Is there geothermal acitivity?


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#18524 01/19/05 03:45 PM
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Texas715, Where is your land?

#18525 01/20/05 11:10 AM
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Bill Cody, thanks again for your reply on the tilipia.I did some checking around like you said and found a place here in town called Inland Aqantics that specialize in all types of fish for aquariums,(very big outfit). Called and talked to Mike at Inland and he said they had tilipa at one time but don't carry them any more. But he did say that if I would like to get some to come in and talk to him and he would order me some this spring when ever I need them, so I think I'll experiment with them here in central Indiana this spring. THANKS PO

#18526 01/20/05 11:31 AM
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PO, keep us updated -- I am in Southern IN and eventually I would like to try them (once my pond is stocked and established).

#18527 01/20/05 07:33 PM
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No problem Little Dog, I'll update everything I find out from how much they cost me, size they get me, and then will post how they are doing in pond after spring is here,sure hope they help on the filamentous algae.
PO

#18528 01/21/05 09:13 AM
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I'm about 30 miles southeast of Seguin. Was out yesterday with all sorts of fry around the dock. cormorants are starting to come more often.

#18529 01/21/05 01:42 PM
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Funny, I've been invaded by water turkeys also in East Texas...hadn't been bad until just the last week...now it is really bad.

#18530 01/22/05 02:25 PM
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Meadowlark, where are you at? I was at my place last week and have no problems with birds except robins by the 100's. They crapped all over the place. I am in Leon county.

#18531 01/23/05 12:55 PM
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My pond is in leon county,texas too, its right on the leon, madison county line.

#18532 01/24/05 09:11 AM
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Guys,

I'm in Polk county. This weekend I had a flock of about 30 water turkeys descend on my pond at the same time. It is absolutely terrible. They were raining from the sky. At about 2 pounds of fish consumed per bird per day, well you figure it out...it won't take long to clean out my ponds. It is an absolute disaster for the pond meister who can't be there 24/7. Why anyone would consider these birds protectable is beyond me.

Watch out guys...these birds make all other pond problems combined minor in comparison. They are devasting.

#18533 01/24/05 03:12 PM
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I lucky I dont have that problem. Mine is the beavers work very hard to stop up my over flow box. I always have about a foot of water comming out my pipe and a 4 foot box with a meatel grate on top of it. They put sticks and pack mud and moss to stop it up. I don't need any more lake. I have about 12 acres and off 831 and 1511. If you copy and paste you should be able to see it off terra sever. http://terraserver-usa.com/usgsentry.aspx?T=1&S=11&Z=15&X=559&Y=8703&W=1&qs=%7cflo%7ctexas%7c

#18534 01/24/05 03:37 PM
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Very nice....12 acres. I wonder why you don't see the water turkeys also. Maybe because there are so many large lakes in East Texas....for me Livingston and Rayburn are within flying distance. You are lucky.

#18535 01/24/05 03:40 PM
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I guess I should say my lake is 12 acres. You should be able to just click that above this post. It is the one with the island. That is where the beavers live and the does drop their fawns in early summer. It is cool to watch them swim the lake.
Thanks,
Bob

#18536 01/24/05 04:34 PM
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Hey Meadowlark, do you think you lost all your tilapia? I could not see any of mine on the banks or floating on the surface. I think the water got cold enough, but I have 22 foot depth with an average of 10 to 12 feet. I hope some made it, even though I plan to buy more this spring. Did you pick yours up? Mabey we should combine our orders to get extra discount from Todd.
Thanks,
Bob

#18537 01/24/05 05:11 PM
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Yes, I believe they are all dead. No sign of them for a couple of weeks now. I have some 22 foot depth also and should have tried to measure the water temperature at that depth, but I didn't. I don't think any survived.

I'm planning to have Todd shock/survey my pond this spring before re-stocking to get a baseline on where I'm at. He will bring my Tilapia with him when he comes out to do the survey. I'm looking forward to that and hoping I still have some fish left after the water turkey invasion.

#18538 01/26/05 08:14 AM
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I have three ponds here in Punta Gorda, Fla. which I use for my fly fishing schools.

Prior to stocking tilapia, I had bluegills and bass in the ponds. This resulted in bass which after period of time of catch and release were impossible to catch and whole slew of medium to pygmy bluegills and of course, the invasive walking catfish.

I then added blue tilapia. They grow to 2 bls plus down here the first year, and I now have ones to 10 lbs. Once accustomed to taking floating catfish food, they take a dry fly just like a brown trout.

Of couse, they breed like welfare receients. Solution? Bass weren't good enough predators to keep them in check, so I added channel catfish.

The channels eleminate enough of the tilapia fry to hold their populations just about right and also took care of the walking catfish!

#18539 03/04/05 05:22 PM
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Just wanted to post what I found out about getting tilapia here in Indiana. The Inland Aquatic people kept giving me run around on getting tilapia for me and never would give me any real info I was looking for. So I did as Bill Cody suggested and found a ex hog farmer, who turned the operation into a recirculating aquaculture farm and they raise Nile Tilapia (oreochromis niloticus). Mr Jim Bradley is owner and just spoke to him today. He told me to wait till water gets to about 65 and then I can go get them from him. Said they will be about 1/4 lb and bigger and that he gets almost $2 apiece but would let me have a hundred for $1 apiece. Name of his company is AQUA-MANNA, just northwest if Indianapolis, IND. about 30 miles in Ladoga IND. Now my question is I don't now how this type Tilapia will do on the filamentous algae and how many to put in. My pond is only 1/2 acrer and my brother wants what I don't use for his 10 acrer lake. Aqua-Manna has lot of info about their self on internet. I did a googles search to find them. This was the kind of committmet I was looking for in a supplier, real nice guy.

#18540 03/07/05 09:14 AM
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PO,

Excellent! If you aren't living on the edge, you're just taking up space.

My advice would be to start slowly. I've found that 5 pounds per acre is sufficient; the repro rate for Mozambique is amazing. It will be most interesting to see how the Nile perform.

Keep a good account of things and let us know.

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