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#93071 12/13/06 05:37 PM
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Bruce and Theo and others have kindly posted info on their systems for indoor fish raising. I've followed those threads with interest since I'm very much in need of a system for overwintering Tilapia.

Necessity sometimes leads in strange directions.

Here's my story. We had this old chicken coop, nice structure, but not much else. I needed a gym/workout area and so I've transformed the chicken coop into a very nice home gym. At the same time, we wanted to remove a spa/hot tub from the main house because it took up too much space and wasn't used any longer. I moved the spa into the newly created gym.

It looks to me to be perfect for overwintering Tilapia and any other fish. I'm going to hook up a 1500g pump to the spa to augment the filtration and to also provide the option of switching this unit back to a spa come springtime....if anyone decides to use it as a spa.

Only problem thus far is that because I went off to Mexico fishing and a cold snap came along, I lost all my Tilapia...before I could get them inside in the new accomodations....redneck aquaculture...making something useful out of something that isn't being used.

This may not be such a radical thought...in talking to the local spa store, they told me that they often get requests for spa removals(but they have never heard of anyone using an old spa for fish growing). People just sometimes get tired of them. Looks to me like a real potential for fish overwintering. Will post "the rest of the story" next spring.

New fish tank shown below with gym equipment in background:



#93072 12/13/06 06:00 PM
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I like it Meadowlark. Now if I can only find one someone wants to get rid of.



#93073 12/13/06 06:06 PM
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Too bad, it would have been very interesting to see how many Tilapia you could have raised in there.

Any chance you could buy a few just to see what happens? The people who raise them must have some that that they are keeping warm until spring.

Eddie


Lake Marabou http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=139488&fpart=1

It's not how many ideas you have, but how many you make happen.

3/4 and 4 acre ponds.
#93074 12/13/06 07:08 PM
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Meadowlark, tell us about the fishing in Mexico.

#93075 12/13/06 07:19 PM
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I'm proud just to say I know you, Meadowlark.


Hey Moe, I'm trying to think but nuthin's happening!
#93076 12/13/06 07:35 PM
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At the very minimum, you will have some strong tilapia.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

#93077 12/13/06 07:41 PM
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Buff chickens; fish relaxing in the spa tub after a rough day at the offic...er....pond. What kinda place you runnin' down there? What's next...personalized anger management sessions for aggressive RES?
\:\)

#93078 12/13/06 08:04 PM
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Better keep your bathing suit on if that is where you are going to keep your pacu.


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
Dwight Yoakam
#93079 12/13/06 08:09 PM
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If you don't have any Tilapia for this Winter, are you going to put in some other fish for a shakedown cruise?


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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#93080 12/13/06 08:22 PM
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you know yer a redneck when you treat yer chickens better than yer family. by far the nicest coup i've ever seen \:D


GSF are people too!

#93081 12/13/06 09:38 PM
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Bruce tried that in his house and almost boiled the YP alive. Then he had carp in the tub until the ferret got them.

ML what about a couple bonefish. ;\)
















#93082 12/13/06 10:06 PM
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Them are some hard one liners to follow, but....
Now, Meadowlark, I've seen and metcha, and you're a purty good sized guy. Them are some good sized chunks of iron on that machine. Who you tryin' ta fool. Keep workin' out so's you can get a good hook set on them pond world record HSB. Welcome back.


#93083 12/14/06 10:04 AM
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Ya, agreed those comments are hard to follow. Here's the best I can do:


http://www.andycouch.com/whitetrashxmas/

#93084 12/14/06 10:41 AM
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Way to recycle ML! My mother called me last summer with a similar idea for a hot tub left on the property next to her's that she purchased. She is planning on using it for an outdoor mini-pond. Looks like the seats would make a nice place to sit some marginals.

Can't wait to see how it turns out.




"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
#93085 12/14/06 12:14 PM
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I would like to see a picture of you in the hot tub with the tilapia.

#93086 12/14/06 01:40 PM
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Ah yes, James. There are so many photos we need to see, and such reluctance to submit them for our candid review.

Lusk on the zipline

Meadowlark bathing with tilapia

Theo slipping tongue to a channel cat


....the list goes on and on.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

#93087 12/14/06 02:07 PM
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Brettski,

I think the anger management you mentioned was Meadowlark's try at solving the "Mad Cow" problems.

#93088 12/14/06 02:49 PM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Sunil:
Ah yes, James. There are so many photos we need to see, and such reluctance to submit them for our candid review.

Lusk on the zipline

Meadowlark bathing with tilapia

Theo slipping tongue to a channel cat


....the list goes on and on.
Watch it, Sunil. You're getting dangerously close to slander. The nerve of insinuating, without a shred of supporting evidence, that Bob Lusk has used his zipline.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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#93089 12/14/06 02:59 PM
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My fault. That was a typo for Meadowlark. I've gone and edited it.

Theo, please edit your post; I don't want anyone to think I was messing with Larry's handle!


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

#93090 12/14/06 06:36 PM
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When I think of ML and the natural world, I can't help but remember his post regarding the pigs, the trap, and the front end loader. How did we ever get a man on the moon?


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
#93091 12/14/06 07:23 PM
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Sounds like you guys had some fun with this one. That's great!! I'll try to respond to each question/comment and as time goes forward, make some follow-up posts on the progress of this "experiment" as it unfolds or collapses which ever turns out to be the case.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Shorty:
I like it Meadowlark. Now if I can only find one someone wants to get rid of.
Shorty, keep looking. They are out there. I know for a fact.


 Quote:
Originally posted by eddie_walker:
Too bad, it would have been very interesting to see how many Tilapia you could have raised in there.

Any chance you could buy a few just to see what happens? The people who raise them must have some that that they are keeping warm until spring.

Eddie
Eddie, My intent is to overwinter just a few large Tilapia, some Pacus and Texas Rio’s. I believe I can get the large Tilapia from Ken Hale, but if anyone else has a few, I’m interested.


 Quote:
Originally posted by fishinglth:
Meadowlark, tell us about the fishing in Mexico.
Fishinglth, I had a great trip…got my first grand slam, first Permit (and second), a couple of Tarpon, and many Bonefish, You can read a more detailed account at this url, but if you want more details I’m most happy to provide them along with pictures. I love to talk fishing.

http://www.texasflyreport.com/forums/thread.aspx?id=87985

 Quote:
Originally posted by Jersey:
I'm proud just to say I know you, Meadowlark.
Jersey, The pleasure of reading your posts and through them, knowing you, is all mine. Thank you.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sunil:
At the very minimum, you will have some strong tilapia.
Sunil, I hope you are right, but I’m not as confident as you…I’ve seen my experiments go South before...I’m very capable of screwing this up.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Brettski:
Buff chickens; fish relaxing in the spa tub after a rough day at the offic...er....pond. What kinda place you runnin' down there? What's next...personalized anger management sessions for aggressive RES?
\:\)
Brettski, RES are one fish I’ve had absolutely no luck with…now a Pacu with an attitude just might be something to behold. RES will flee in terror when they see the Pacu next spring.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Rad:
Better keep your bathing suit on if that is where you are going to keep your pacu.
Rad, yep I hear ya and intend to protect that which is mine!

 Quote:
Originally posted by Theo Gallus:
If you don't have any Tilapia for this Winter, are you going to put in some other fish for a shakedown cruise?
Theo, I’ll find some large Tilapia…but I’m really in hot pursuit of some Pacu I learned about in Mexico. It’s a long story, but I’ve made contact with a family in Argentina that has some huge Pacu with some very interesting characteristics. We’ll see where this experiment goes.

 Quote:
Originally posted by dave in el dorado ca:
you know yer a redneck when you treat yer chickens better than yer family. by far the nicest coup i've ever seen \:D
D.I.E.D., You should have seen it when I started…no self respecting chicken would dare set foot in that mess. but it has turned into a fine gym…with a lot of sweat and hard work.

 Quote:
Originally posted by ewest:
Bruce tried that in his house and almost boiled the YP alive. Then he had carp in the tub until the ferret got them.

ML what about a couple bonefish. ;\)
EWEST, Bruce is always ahead of me, always.

 Quote:
Originally posted by burgermeister:
Them are some hard one liners to follow, but....
Now, Meadowlark, I've seen and metcha, and you're a purty good sized guy. Them are some good sized chunks of iron on that machine. Who you tryin' ta fool. Keep workin' out so's you can get a good hook set on them pond world record HSB. Welcome back.
Burger, The honest truth is I workout because I want to be able to wade a salt water flat when I’m in my 80’s, catch an Alaskan steelhead on a remote stream, and, God willing, have the muscle stamina to chase Permit across Chetumal Bay. What a way to go!!

 Quote:
Originally posted by bobad:
Ya, agreed those comments are hard to follow. Here's the best I can do:
/
Bobad, Actually I prefer Bud Lite...but the rest probably applies. ;\)


 Quote:
Originally posted by Ryan Freeze:
Way to recycle ML! My mother called me last summer with a similar idea for a hot tub left on the property next to her's that she purchased. She is planning on using it for an outdoor mini-pond. Looks like the seats would make a nice place to sit some marginals.

Can't wait to see how it turns out.
Ryan, Very little goes to waste on Meadowlark Ranch, not so much because we have to but because we believe it is the right thing to do.

 Quote:
Originally posted by james holt:
I would like to see a picture of you in the hot tub with the tilapia.
James, You must be still looking for the ultimate terror inspiring “No Trespassing Sign” . That probably would be it.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sunil:
Ah yes, James. There are so many photos we need to see, and such reluctance to submit them for our candid review.
Sunil, You first.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Cary Martin:
Brettski,

I think the anger management you mentioned was Meadowlark's try at solving the "Mad Cow" problems.
Cary, You think this may actually work?

 Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Davidson1:
When I think of ML and the natural world, I can't help but remember his post regarding the pigs, the trap, and the front end loader. How did we ever get a man on the moon?
DD, Ah yes the pigs…this little experiment may be right up there with the pigs in terms of interesting anecdotes. At the least, I’ll stake a claim to the highest class fish hotel in East Texas.

#93092 12/14/06 11:37 PM
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Not sure that having the highest class fish hotel in East Texas is worth braggin rights. Especially since it's in a chicken house. That won't raise many eyebrows in East Texas.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
#93093 12/22/06 10:54 AM
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Ok, I'm ready to declare the Redneck Aquaculture System(hereafter referred to as REDAS...hey RAS is already taken by Theo) operational for Phase I. I'd very much like to hear comments or whatever on the approach and plans for going forward.

To get to this point, I have:
1) installed an old (15 years) spa in an re-conditioned well insulated building
2) installed an aux filtration system
3) primed the aux filtration system by adding one ounce of biological microorganisms daily for a week
4) installed plexiglass viewing and operating windows hinged with duct tape (what would a REDAS be without duct tape?)
5) conditioned the water chemistry to ideal ph and alkalinity
6) and last but certainly not least, conducted a week long simulation/shakedown.

Regarding the aux filtration system, it is a biological/mechanical pressurized filter used often in water gardens. I have installed it as an insurance policy to protect against spa failure (15 years old) as well as insurance in case the spa filtration system does not have enough capability to let me achieve Phase II, a fully loaded system. Since it takes 2 to 4 weeks to fully activate the microorgs for acting on fish waste in the filter, I added the all natural bio starter. The return flow on the aux system is also set up to provide horizontal aeration to the water.

The plexiglass windows are installed in a sheet of R-Matte R3 insulation board which I use to cover 1/2 of the spa. the other half is covered with the original insulated spa cover. These windows are used for viewing, feeding, and other operational needs.

The shakedown/simulation was conducted using Fatheads, Gambusia, and 1 unwilling Koi. The Koi was used as a canary to assess any potential adverse affects of heavy metals in the well water, in particular copper. Koi are very sensitive to free copper and some old spas used copper as the heating element.....thus the need for the test. The test went fine with only a couple of fathead casualties. The Koi is still trying to figure out how it is so blessed as to reside in a spa and the Gams are too busy taking care of physical needs(i.e. reproduction) to care.

Hence, I'm ready to go operational for Phase I and in fact have already done so. During this initial phase, I plan to grow out some speciality fish for later stocking in my ponds. Later, in Phase II, assuming the REDAS gets that far, I will fully load the system to the breaking point to determine first where that point is in terms of fish carrying capacity but also to generate hundreds of Tilapia for spring pond stocking. Phase II will start, as currently planned in late Feb. next year.

Pictured below you can see the installation. I figure I've got $250 invested in the preparation/aux system. You can buy most if it at your local Lowes. The operating costs of the REDAS are going to be incrementally very small. We already kept the spa at 65 degrees during the winter and the aux system uses very little power.

Here's the picture. I look forward to any comments on the system thus far and Phase I and Phase II plans.



#93094 12/22/06 11:08 AM
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would a sand filter from a above ground pool work for a fish grow out tank. I have one and it is just sitting here waiting to go to a land fill or put to use..


A little snow, Please!
#93095 12/22/06 03:21 PM
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Trialsguy,

Working at Aquatic Eco for a while, I recall that questions several times a week. A sand filter is great for a swimming pool where the water does not contain organic material, (fishwaste, dissolved and solid). The bacteria will grow on the sand grains resulting in a clumping them together. We have seen the grains stuck so well that the backflush method simply created channels opposed to fluidizing (made up word) the sand.

If you were to use the Filter assembly as a holding tank and add a different media like bio balls or foam or lava rock, then you might be okay.

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