I had planed to start my system with Taliapi and had purchased two IBC's for fish tanks. I have since dicided to use channel cat fish, and because they tend to stay on the bottom I am wanting to figure out how many 4 - 6" catfish I should start with per tank. The tanks are 45" X 36" wide. Does any one have some experience with this, I am in need of advise. Thanks!
What is their habitat going to be like in the tank?
Lastly, how is all of this going to fit inside and work together within the tank?
I found an article by Backyard Aquaponics called the "The IBC of Aquaponics". It is chocked full of useful information, just about anything you could ever want to know about aquaponics. I have not read it, but from what I can tell, I think it would be helpful.
Andrew please give me specifics and I will give you what I got, or send you to those that do.
I like channels (catfish in general) over other species...even my trout. You may consider brown bullhead instead as they will breed in larger takes. It all depends on oxygenation/filtration of the water, nitrate levels, etc. Look at advanced fresh water vivarium and aquarium sights as well. These are good sources too.
I agree with Jeremiah R., yet this can be augmented and adjusted even if you have more fish than the system can handle by altering a filtration system and or create "reservoir reserve tanks" in an adjacent location...
I will have 186 feet of grow bed 4 foot wide at about 10" deep. The water flow will be based on gravity feed. I will have the fish tanks higher than the grow beds with the water flowing from tank to beds by gravity and pumped back into the fish tank. So I am not sure at this point what the actual gal per hour will be until it is running. I have a large enough air pump that I can add air stones if necessary, I have a DO (dissolved oxygen) meter and will monitor that closly. I have everything I need to monitor amonia, nitrites and nitrates as well as Do. I was just wanting to make sure that my tanks weren't too narrow (because cat Fish tend to stay on the bottom, at least that is what I have read). I do appreciate your assistance, thank you!!
I think I hear that you're doing DWC, on a fairly large scale. In that case your stocking density will depend more on the size of your biofilter and solids removal filters than grow bed volume. Sorry about the mistaken comment earlier - I misunderstood.
My real concern is that you're building a system large enough that you're going to be selling produce, but my impression is that you haven't taken a commercial aquaponics class. There's a steep learning curve and I'd hate to see you end up in a bad spot. 90% of the challenge you'll face is marketing.
It's funny how this conversation went. To start, yes I have taken some commercial aquaponic training, and thank you for you concern I truly appreciate that. My original question, I apologize for framing it so poorly, has to do with my decision to change to channel catfish. I am starting out with two IBC containers as fish tanks (I will be building a large tank in phase II) and they would work just fine for Tilapia but I have decided to go with channel catfish instead. I realize that they are bottom dwelers and because IBC tanks are somewhat tall and narrow, I was hoping to get some input from someone who has experience with channel catfish in a tank. I would like to determine if I will be loosing a considerable amout of fish volume due to them being bottom dewllers. Thanks again for you time and words of wisdom.
Andrew Watkins wrote:I had planed to start my system with Taliapi and had purchased two IBC's for fish tanks. I have since decided to use channel cat fish, and because they tend to stay on the bottom I am wanting to figure out how many 4 - 6" catfish I should start with per tank. The tanks are 45" X 36" wide. Does any one have some experience with this, I am in need of advise. Thanks!
Okay, the system I just built in Holland had a fast growing catfish that was half African and half Asian. If we did not have a minimum of 75 fish per full IBC of water they would turn on each other and start killing each other. They are a schooling fish that is quite aggressive. Somehow having more makes them more comfortable and they calm down. For schooling fish we generally have one per gallon or less in our systems. But we have fish in all sizes so the overall system does not have (in your case) 500 fish all at plate size. So you want to space out your fish purchases and maybe put in separators to keep the little ones safe. I am sure you know that harvesting more than a fifth of the system at any given time can cause it to crash, so separators might aid in this.
That being said, I don't think you can stock the Channel at the same rates as the Asian or African, from what I've read you can stock more with more feeding and maybe you don't even need to separate them as they have some sort of Hierarchy system.
Location: Czech Republic; East Bohemia; Latitude 50˚ 12' 34"
One more thing, the catfish I had in Thailand (in IBC) quickly learned to come to the top for food. And the ones in Holland did not need to learn, they are there with a vengeance, it seems like you could walk on top of them when there is food.
For some reason cats tend to all pile on top of each other in tanks. Even in a large trough they'll choose one corner and make a big pile. Seems like a poor choice from an oxygen perspective, but they seem to like it.