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In a small setup, feeding 24/7 is not practical. In our production tanks and ponds, we use belt feeders that use a clockspring that is wound daily. Food is poured onto a belt and it moves the full length to let the food fall slowly over the day to be constantly available.

At home in my small tanks, and now that it is my full time job, I feed small fish 15-20 times per day. If your filtration allows, you can over feed and let the fish browse some during the day.



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So THAT'S how you do it, by feeding them foof! grin

Ya had to go and correct the typo, didn't ya?


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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Yeah, I had to jump over to the Fish Acronyms wondering..... What tha Foof is "foof"

Oh well we all foof up if we type long enough.


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 Originally Posted By: JohnK
Wow, How do you have feed available 24/7 ?


Rainman already answered the way it's done on the commercial side with the belt feeders, and they work great let me tell you.

A good alternative method, IMO for home growers, is to grow fry and fingerlings in greenwater. You still feed as frequently as you can, but in between feedings the tilapia will browse on the algae. This helps offset the reduced feeding frequency when you aren't available 24/7 to feed them or don't have a belt feeder due to cost (they are somewhat expensive).

I actually tested this method myself this winter by splitting up offspring from the same male and female into two separate tanks. One had cultured greenwater and the other was clear water. The fish were fed the same amounts at the same frequencies. The tilapia in the greenwater tank grew nearly twice as fast as the ones in clear water.


12 ac pond in NW Missouri. 28' max depth at full pool. Fish Present: LMB, BG, RES, YP, CC, WB, HSB, WE, BCP, WCP, GSH.
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For those who doubted the power of the tilapia prepare to be amazed.

First have algae infested ponds..check




Next of course comes the Tilapia..Check






Next...Release said Tilapia..check




Finally, wait for 15 inches of friggin rain and presto, no more algae...









All was not lost however..Gingie the wonder dog got to swim for the first time..








Six days of hard labor and $15,000 to $20,000 in damage to the pump house and bridge repair later we are back open.. Has anyone seen my Tilapia?

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Hal, sorry to hear about the damage. I believe the Tilapia are starting to munch on the spilled crude oil. That's why the oil isn't becoming a problem.

Hopefully they took refuge in the lower level of the pond, if not they're probably out in the Gulf by now.


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I was really wanting to see what these guys could do.

Sorry about all the rain, we flooded a couple of years ago.

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I believe Yolksac had the same problem in the Nashville floods...Last I heard the water level of the beautiful pond that I stocked with 75 pounds of blue tilapia was suddenly 6 feet higher and connected to a river about 600 yards away that is normally about 30 feet lower!



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Sounds like some tilapia were calling that river home til winter set in...

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Originally Posted By: DJT
Originally Posted By: JohnK
Wow, How do you have feed available 24/7 ?


Take them to Denny's


Hehehe.... New research paper coming out. "Tilapia Culture: The GrandSlam Method"

But to answer the question seriously, you use belt feeders. They are a bit pricey for the home/backyard grower though.


12 ac pond in NW Missouri. 28' max depth at full pool. Fish Present: LMB, BG, RES, YP, CC, WB, HSB, WE, BCP, WCP, GSH.
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Regarding belt feeders. If a feeder is listed as a 24 hr feeder, and has a capacity of 5#, does that mean that it dispenses up to 5# of feed in a 24 hr period depending on how the feed is placed on the belt? I've never used one or seen one other than a picture. I'm assuming that you pull the belt back to wind it, load the feed on the belt come back 24 hr. later and repeat?


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Originally Posted By: Weissguy
Originally Posted By: DJT
Originally Posted By: JohnK
Wow, How do you have feed available 24/7 ?


Take them to Denny's


Hehehe.... New research paper coming out. "Tilapia Culture: The GrandSlam Method"

But to answer the question seriously, you use belt feeders. They are a bit pricey for the home/backyard grower though.


Not if Ken (Catmandoo) gives you one for free. grin

Scot, I have two of them. One is acting up. The belt wants to slide forward too easily. Not sure what the deal is but I will look at it.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 05/20/10 07:45 PM.

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






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If you want an extra set of eyes to look at it, just let me know.


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Just keep in mind that belt feeders can also be a real quick way of killing fry. Put too much food on them, and you can destroy water quality while you are away... returning to a smelly tank of dead fish and rotting food.


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So what is the trick to using cultured green water? What are the steps to get it green? Do you still use filtration and aeration?


When is the best time to start growing these out inside to stock in ponds once warm enough?


How long would it take to grow one out inside to get big enough to eat?


Can these be grow outside if the temps are warm enough or you use a heater on your tank or system?

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Would you mind explaining you 100 tank setup in the garage? I am thinking of trying something like this and wanted a little input.

Please let me know where I can purchase items needed to get one setup.

If you happen to have some pictures you could post as well that would be great.

Thanks

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