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Common Carp for aquaculture?  RSS feed

 
                                              
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  I went to aquaculture, and got one set up... guess I have to look around more....

  yeah I just read sepps stuff the other day. Very interesting work for sure, but Im not sure there was much for what Im trying to do in this phase. When i move into ponds, Im sure it will be....

  Of course theres room for diversity, in fact without it we wouldnt be here talking,  Im just saying after careful study I think its rather clear we can do it better then that....

  Ive read of people in third world countries with small small ponds, that they did nothing but grow algae for the fish. that was the entire filter AND feeding mechanism for common carp. they never listed the amount of water or fish in their set up. But they had a picture, it was roughly 2-3000 gallons of water. they provided all the meat for their family in this way and also sold carp fry and a few adults occasionally traded for eggs. they didnt specify the production levels but the pic of the pond showed fish covering nearly the full surface. Also showed a person holding one and it was a very impressive fish, grown for a single season, of course it was a frost free zone. so that might of been a two year fish if grown for me. 7 people in the family and this was their soul source of protein.

    hordes of other set  ups Ive read on to... truthfully having studied it, I think youll find the best work out of the phillipines and vietnam and asia in general. China had a few amazing studies on old school set ups. both passive and intensive. Everything Ive seen out of western countries always has a bunch of "holes" in the system. its much more evolved over there. and lower tech also, so its more congruent to perma culture.

  based on what I saw of sepps stuff on fish and I havent looked at it all so maybe I just didnt get there yet, it seems like a more advanced version of europes traditional pond culture. I think if he wanted to, and coupled that with asias traditional knowledge... hed do even better....although what he has as a stand alone is certainly in the top tier of pond cultures....

  For myself I want efficiency. i want to be able to safely and humanely raise all my protein, and my proteins food right in my front yard. people have already done this for 1000s of years. im just adapting it to what i have available to me, and a wider base of knowledge then those folks had available. I guess people wont believe me until i show them, but the math and variables make it very clear this is possible, and has been done with the same principles. I guess I should of waited to talk about this like i am with my other projects....
 
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yeah the greencenter.net doesn't make the publications that I'm talking about the most obvious to get to... I wish I could provide a direct link, but you have to click through it due to their web GUI.

The new alchemy journals are quite long and have quite a bit of creative work if you have the patience to read through them.  this is all stuff from decades ago and it's sad no one in the US seems to have progressed it much.

I agree that everyone could be raising quite a bit of food from aquaculture.  I hope it becomes much more common in the US.
 
                                              
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  ok.. I didnt find the actual articles, but i found a list of them, just cant read them. i have actually read most of these.

  their geodesic dome thing with tilapia was rather interesting, but poorly instituted. they shouldnt of stopped with that one, although put the right strain of common carp in there... for cold regions, and it would of been much better. Lots of other holes in it as well, but they DID grow much of the fish food on site. so i found it interesting. they werent getting great yields and theres a clear reason for that imo.

  they were growing foods that tilapia CAN subsist on by itself, but why stop there? they could of put phyto plankton into the set up with not to much effort, and duckweed. they focused on green water i believe. there are other things to, but those are easiest, and better mirror a wild diet of the fish. although really tilapia would love to eat detritus mainly when they have a choice....

more research should be done on that actually. Lots of tilapia farm cultures do nearly as well fed or unfed. Im sure this is because tilapia feed on the detritus, and then digest out the bacteria, and expel it, only to re eat the same thing after the bacteria re colonize. its how things break down in water actually. Ive not come across anyone using these knowledge purposefully in tank culture, and I see no reason why you couldnt. simply stock the tanks with the things that make the preferred detritus for the fish. In all reality those bacteria are among the most efficient growers that exist, I imagine there is amazing potentials there......
 
                                              
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  here is an example of why I wouldnt just go off of base numbers in designing a aquaponics set up... especially if your using water based plants for your beds which he doesnt touch on

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3KctHPcCvY&feature=related

  Its a guy who appears well versed in aquaponics, talking about how many grow beds for plant he would need for a swimming pool sized aqua ponics set up.

  he talks about how you have to balance the system.

  the problem is though he is basing his entire model for the swimming pool on whatever model it was he regularly works with.

  For instance, the goal is balancing the system... so an easy answer is less fish.

  Another answer is water plants over land based ones that feed the fish and serve other uses. these grow much more efficiently.

  another answer is sand filters. These can be made pretty cheap and are much more efficient then the amount of bacteria that live in grow beds with flooded then drained medium. there re commercial ones you can buy for any level, but its an old technology and works just fine in low tech ways. minus how you get the water to them of course...

  then algae deserves a mention all by itself even though it can be part of the diet or all of it for some types of fish. Like I said in here before algae alone with NO grow beds can balance a small pond on site even when manure is added 2 feet deep to encourage a continual algae bloom and ducks are raised and fed right there.... though in those systems they drain them yearly to break any possible disease cycle.

  you could just as easy have an algae grow bed, for a filter, if the surface area was equal to the pools and a few inches deep it should be able to handle nearly any load I would guess. Based on the systems I just mentioned and the fact algae grow mostly in the top few inches of water.

  I think charcoal for chemical filtration it is a good idea, and works out well for me since Im using it for my biochar stuff anyway.

    So I just gave a few simple well known methods to completely alter what this guy is saying, by taking basic aquaponics numbers and his understanding of grow beds work and their function.

    It is all well and good though, design your system, youve got the control valve of changing water out until, you find that balance.
 
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You could use a swimming pool to raise fish if you also grew water plants in the pool.  This is  what I want to try with my set-up - half for fish and half for water plants.
 
                                              
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
You could use a swimming pool to raise fish if you also grew water plants in the pool.  This is  what I want to try with my set-up - half for fish and half for water plants.



that works to!! that way the fish wont eat them, and any edible for the fish could just be scooped up and put in their side... I think cattails in a pot would be another good one for the plants side. It looks neat and is an efficient grower.

  you could do very well like that. real low tech if you wanted. a few small fish on the plants side should be okay for insect control...... really high densities if you wanted. (all a personal choice just saying for the record)

  Im about to get into researching water based plants the fish will like or are edible for me, so i can start collecting them. im sure theres s many hidden gems as permies have for the land.

    Once i have a larger area like that, Im going to have a few types of fish. likely still concentrating on carp since its the most efficient and im after food, but ideally I want diversity in there, if for no other reason then its fun.

    Do you know what kinds of fish your going to try?
 
Tyler Ludens
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I'm still going back and forth between the channel catfish and the bluegill.  Leaning more toward the channel cats (for the moment) because they grow so much faster and are easier to process for eating.  But on the other hand are hard to breed in a tank. 

Human-edible plants I want to grow in the tank:

Cattail
Duck potato - Sagittaria latifolia  (I have this and it's doing great in my little garden pond)
Water chestnut
Taro
Canna

I'm also growing out a lot of Anacharis (aka Elodea) for oxygenating.
 
                                              
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I hadnt heard of some of those plants! thanks.

  I think i have the duck potato after looking at pics, does it need to be in soil or a substrate to make the tubers? It sure looks the same anyway.... chickens should like them if ducks do id think?

  I always loved water chestnuts, i forgot about them.... neat... I figured there were some good things for me to.

  I never herd of taro, but that sure sounds promising. Id have to keep it indoors in winter though since its tropical. It could work out though as I have lots of indoor tanks with good light....

  actually, my carp should love all these roots to actually. I want to have a diverse plant diet to go with the smaller amounts of "meat" things I can give them. (phytoplankton) even though the focus will be on this algae i have that they like and duckweed and azolla.

 
Tyler Ludens
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Duck potato grows the edible tubers under the muck at the bottom of ponds - the traditional way to harvest was to walk through the patch of plants with bare feet, dislodging the "potatoes" under the mud with your toes. 
 
                                              
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  looks like Ive got Anacharis and hornwort which is good oxygenator as well. I got them with one of the shrimps or others things i orders I guess.... 
 
Tyler Ludens
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Where do you order your critters from, Silverseeds?  Do you mind sharing?

This supplier has a ton of different water plants, including Taros, Water Chestnut (I got one from them but the frogs stomped on it and killed it). Sagittaria, oxygenating plants, etc  http://www.tricker.com/cat-OtherAquatic ; They also have freshwater clams and a few other things.
 
                                              
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    most of it on ebay actually.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Ok, thanks! 

 
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ok, after talking to some aquaponics folks on other forums, I have found some info on some of the systems that are referenced here.  Something to search for is "greenwater aquaculture"

Accurate numbers/stats are kind hard to come by, but UVI did some testing with this sort of system, and had some decent results.  You can find a paper online, but here's a general summary:

1lb fish per 7 gallons of water. They used tilapia. Entire volume of fish tank is circulated every 24 hours (7,000 gallons on one system, and then larger systems as well). Aerators run constantly to keep algae and debris suspended in the water.  Water is circulated through a clarifier to filter out some of the algae to avoid major algae die-offs, and in turn, fish die-offs.  The algae sludge is then used as an organic fertilizer for land-based plants.

They also used commercial feed to feed the tilapia as well as the floating algae.

An interesting note was that if the circulation and/or aerators were turned off for more than a few hours, all the fish would die.  This happens because the algae start dying and their decay eats up all the oxygen.  Another thing is that at night, aeration is super important, because the algae are not making O2, but using it, similar to most plants in the dark.

Here is a link to a thread that is a backyard system:
http://www.aquaponicshq.com/forums/showthread.php/3522-Greenwater-Aquaculture

He claims a 1/10 energy savings over aquaponics (but doesn't get veggies), but there is no sign of long term results.

It seems like most of the Universities testing these systems claim that an algae-based system is less stable than an aquaponics-based system because of oxygen and ph swings during the night.
 
                                              
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    very interesting!!!

    I wonder what the missing piece is? Is carp just superior for an algae system?  You are however talking of greenwater algae, which common carp do not eat, this was floating types apparently. Its a whole different animal. Im only using green water algae to culture large amounts of rotifers for my fish fry, and for daphnia and related species for my adult and growing carp. Its easy to culture, and carp love it. they are omnivores, so i want to feed those to them. also other things im culturing, but those seem like they will be the easiest to work with so far.

    people have done algae based systems in asia for 1000s of years. Its well established, even studied and used in modern times. (theres a few good studies you can find) Many such systems based entirely on algae growth right in with high densities of fish, stocked with 2 feet of manure, and ducks doing their thing as well......  no oxygenation. I will try to find it, but china did a study relating modern chineese fish farming to carp ponds (only common carp i believe for whatever reason) to carp alone, and a carp/duck pond. the second two being based on ancient models. they found there was slightly higher output in modern fish farms, but WAY more inputs. the older system with just carp did pretty good and had higher profit margins since there was less input. at lower densities but still rather high density the duck ponds made the most profit even feeding the ducks with outside sources. they had less fish, but also had ducks. they deemed that the best model to push forward with. these were basically holes in the ground, filled with 2 feet of manure which let the algae continually bloom all season, they let the algae cycle go, then drop in fish fry and ducks.

    Im not growing my algae or other water based plants with my fish anyway, so I dont think it is relevant for me. Its interesting that unniversites in your opinion would think I assume you mean land based plant systems are the ideal. In those cases all the fishes food is brought from much less efficient sources then fast growing water plants while growing less efficient land based plants in a way that makes them need import of nutrients, and mineral deficiencies in the produce. I think its rather clear they are wrong.

    If you grew those same land based plants in soil instead of the fish food, you have better results. Presuming its a good soil with enough water.
 
    If you grow water based foods for the fish, you have WAY more efficient results,(then growing land based foods for them) theres no need for oxygen or Ph issues with separate grow beds... I can change the water between them at key times of the day. they also PREFER live foods. their immune systems are stronger. they are happier. It also fouls the water much less, as you only give them the amount they will eat before it would decompose. Not easy to do with land based foods AT ALL. even feeding them small amounts regularly. which is tedious, and easy to forget. I can feed them once a day, or even less, as im going do it, with no issues.

    there is also the issue of infrastructure. using land  based plants would cost WAY more money. you need huge amounts of substrate. you need deep growing beds. and on and on. because they NEED the nitrification cycle to use those nutrients. Unlike the water base plants, which grow much faster anyway. with no nutritional issues...

      and just on the efficiency of the nitrification cycle within the substrate of land based plant systems... that will grow the right bacteria, but not nearly as efficiently for capitol outlay, cost to run or any other factor compared to simple sand filters.....

    im not sure what the energy savings would be for what I am doing, but there would certainly be more then a 10 percent savings over most systems Ive seen. especially as time goes on and I get some manual things set up for oxygenation. still with less total infrastructure.

    i think these universities are heading in the wrong direction...... oh well....

   
 
                                              
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Lets break it down per issue....

here are my claims, that you say you cant find back up for... they are all solid real things... you can study it or not I wont be trying to prove it to you, just talking about it...

   here are my claims- verify them through your own study or not... and before you dismiss a claim, keep in mind i read studies from austrailia, israel, thailand, phillipines, china, usa, netherlands.. etc etc etc. over months. So some of these may be obscure, take it or leave it.... I will show you my own results soon enough.

   1. water based plants in particular duckweed, azolla, algae (floating type for carp to nibble), Anacharis, these grow more efficiently then land based plants. they use the sun more efficiently. that is what i mean by more efficient. they turn more sunlight into more food faster.

   2. unlike land based plants in aqua culture, water based plants do not need the nitrification cycle the way that land based plants do. what this means, is all that substrate in the grow beds is not needed. which isnt free for me, and certainly not most.

   3. land based plants grown with aqua culture need additional inputs of a few things outside of the system. Generally these are store bought elements. potassium, magnesium, and iron being the most common I believe.

   4. nitrate build up in lettuce, which a member here offered a good solution for, but still an added step. also Ive come across studies in some country showing lower nutritional quality of land based plant in water based set ups. I looked at dozens of them, pictures of many on youtube, never once saw an impressive plant, except a few larger expensive set ups with groups with more cash, and they added the missing iron and the rest. ....so... nutritional issues for 4.

    5. Ive read studies on using live "meat" foods with traditional water based fish farming in asia.... things like rotifers for babies and daphnia for adults. the rotifers as a small fry... showed the ability to give the fish a better immune system its entire life. Many fish breeder in the state swear by this. There was added benefit to this as adults to, but not as drastically.

    6. live food spread into the plant realm, the algaes, duckweeds and the rest.... are also produce healthier fish, in studies Ive encountered. I know for a fact my own fish are much much happier.

    7. in regards to feeding foods like pelleted foods, and corn you grew and dried yourself, worms etc... these start breaking down nutritionally in the water rather fast. a few minutes tops. which is why 3-5 minutes feeding rounds is what is ideal. the quality of the food goes down fast after that, plus it adds the nitrates and the rest to the water, within a short period. with this to get optimum feeding youd need to feed many many times a day, they prefer to eat slowly all day, like a cow in pasture.... imagine trying to feed a cow or pig all it could eat in a few minutes a handful of times a day. the carp is no different, it earns its name the water hog. It is always looking for food.

    8. In regards to growing your own worms and corn... thats great but its not so easy to feed it to them as you might think. Its also a ton of work to process some of those things yourself. corn? soy? you tell me how you feed it to them? Ive tried... they eat it, but its not terribly efficient. youve got to crack the grains at minimum. fresh corns works, but its only fresh so long.. the corn sinks when cracked, and has powdery corn with it that sinks, and become a corn cloud in my fishes water. they liked the worms, but never ate them all. I tried feeding them worms first thing each day, they are always extra hungry then, it wasnt easy... so its WAY more work if your going to use dry feeds, and not as efficient on many levels.

  9. my rotifers, daphnia, shrimp, crawdads, snails, and plants... will all clean the fishes water while they eat at their leisure... a selection of the exact foods they eat in the wild.... I will be of course focusing on what the carps like the most that is the fastest growing, with a range of others for diversity. the rotifers are cultured alone, only for fry. the rest will grow in my plant grow beds instead of rock substrate. the daphnia, monia and related things will do interesting things for my grow beds... the eat bacteria and other tiny things in absence of green algae. study that alone, its a need subject. another missing link of modern systems, as I aim to test, im rather sure im right... either way its food my fish love...

   10. i could if i wanted, take the water from the plants grow beds, and take it to an algae grow bed. finish polishing the water with algae, have the algae for biomass, and return the water to the fish, in a good state.

   11. I could also use a DIY sand filter to finish off the water after the plant grow beds instead of the algae. this is a much more efficient use of the bacteria that do nitrification then drain and flooding grow beds of substrate. study the various bio filters... spnges, sand, other substrates and space age maerials some of which far out perform sand but are expensive.... oxygen is a huge part of all of them and at much higher levels for them then in drained and flooded growbeds.... with a lower amount of fih growing their food alone would likely be enough.

    12. put these all together and you have a system that feeds a healthier, more efficiently prodced set of foods to your fish, that are easier to manage then processing and feeding dry feeds. You can always be assured of optimum eating levels at the fishes own leisure. You can bypass needing to adjust and perfect the infrastructure used for draining and flooding growbeds. a huge hassle for many, though many do it well. theres usually lots of pipe and connections, lots of places for things to break. All I need for my system, is a large shallow grow bed for plants (kiddy pools and yes they are safe, though any plastic isnt ideal) and as large as a place for the fish as possible. airpumps and airstones. If your poor the only other thing needed is a bucket, and time. all the plants and fish to of course. i will be using a solar pump to move water, with a manual hand pump for when its not sunny, which it is 6 days a week here.

    Im keeping it simply and cheap for the solids.... Im going to vacuum out the bottom of the fishes tank, as needed, this will account for water changes. Water changes are good in such systems,(though i DO want to limit them of course) they increase vigor of the fish. I might also use some charcoal filtration for chemical filtrations... this works fine since I will use it for biochar. that might lesson the need for water changes, but since i will use water changes to clean out the solids, that isnt needed. Also malaysian snails will be in the substrate of the fish, aerating it, and eating a bit of those solids...
 
                                              
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  im not going to dig up info on everything i said, just dont have the time... but i am trying to find the duck, carp algae pond stuff.....

  i found some links mentioning it and other related things. but i cant find the exact thing i read before.... these systems go completely at odds with many in the western world apparently... but are much older actually... though have been advanced of time.

  http://www.china-sds.org/kcxfzbg/addinfomanage/lwwk/data/kcx465.pdf

    http://www.fao.org/docrep/field/003/ac233e/AC233E08.htm

   the first one talks about them purposely using manure in their ponds, it is after all plankton and algae growth they do this for, this works with carp... its not greenwater algae like with tilapia. no filters mentioned in anything I read. the algae is the filter... our systems account for the manure of the fish, they purposely add manure to get more algae and fish growth.

   the second touches on a lot of things, one of them being the duck/manure/algae carp ponds...

 
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hi Silverseeds,

I think that you have a good a handle on your system.
creating an "built" system for the fish to live in a naturally as possible is certainly within permaculture principles.
the problems arise when they are turned into "factories"
having  many interconnected loops, rather than trying to do everything in one loop, allows optimization and stabillization
in a large body of water, these loops take place locally outside the main water recirculation, but in a small built system, they must be designed in

I look forward to seeing the results
 
                                              
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duane wrote:

hi Silverseeds,

I think that you have a good a handle on your system.
creating an "built" system for the fish to live in a naturally as possible is certainly within permaculture principles.
the problems arise when they are turned into "factories"
having  many interconnected loops, rather than trying to do everything in one loop, allows optimization and stabillization
in a large body of water, these loops take place locally outside the main water recirculation, but in a small built system, they must be designed in

I look forward to seeing the results



thank you. yes the factory thing is an issue, technically I could turn this into a factory, i could stock at maximum densities with no troubles. I just dont think thats fair to the fish so i wont be doing that.

the only actual drawback to anything I am doing is my small grow tanks for my fish. they will be 180 gallons it looks like. this is acceptable, but not ideal. 2-3000 gallons would be better, but I cannot afford to do that well right now.
 
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Reviewing several FAO documents, like the one you linked to earlier, the maximum production rate (stocking density) I could find was 8,000 kg/ha, and that was with ducks+carp with no aeration (but with externally supplemented feed).  Without ducks, the max was 6,000 kg/ha.

Those ponds are 1.5-2m deep, so the total volume is about 3,600,000 gallons at 1.5m deep, 1 ha pond.  That's a stocking rate of at least 200 gallons per lb of fish.

Here's from the link you sent:
300kg of carp per mu (800 square yards) in ponds 1-3m deep.  At 1m deep, 1 mu would be 162,000 gallons. That's 245 gallons per pound of fish.

Those are the stocking rates from the links you sent and the associated resources/references.

Please send examples of the following:

1. fish stocking densities with only algae/water plants/aeration pumps
2. plant stocking densities
3. examples of measured feed conversions
4. measured DO, ammonia, and nitrate levels over periods of time (months)
5. examples of similar systems that have survived at least one full growing season

 
                                              
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velacreations wrote:
I just want one example, just one, of a system that has a stocking density greater than 1lb per 20 gallons that resembles the system you propose...

Just one.... 




lets see cleaner water possible with duckweed alone (study it, i gave you a good starting point with a link above)

healthier fish with live foods, study it... easy to verify.

good oxygen by changing water when oxygen levels are at their peaks in the day.... alone with airstones

now explain AFTER you study those things why cleaner water and healthier fish would not be able to be stocked at densities of any other system?
 
Tyler Ludens
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I think I might include a duckweed tank in my system, just to see how it helps.  What about a duckweed tank with a sand bottom with clams? 
 
                                              
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
I think I might include a duckweed tank in my system, just to see how it helps.  What about a duckweed tank with a sand bottom with clams?   



Im pretty sure clams eat mostly green water and... i actually thought of trying a greenwater bed out with plankton and clams in there eating up the greenwater.....
 
Tyler Ludens
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ok.

 
duane hennon
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carp can "live " at high stocking densities
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qH7mJVFN9c&NR=1


this is at a state park near me. an artificial lake was created to provide fishing opportunities.

these guys congregate here because people throw stale bread at them (and the ducks fight with them over it) a local store sells stale bread specificially for feeding carp.

Silverseeds, try to keep your stocking rate below this!!!
 
                                              
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duane wrote:

Silverseeds, try to keep your stocking rate below this!!!



oh i will, im NOT going to try to maximize stocking densities, well I am i need them high for it to work, but no where near the top of whats possible....

i could though, i can keep the water clean enough...
 
Tyler Ludens
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SILVERSEEDS wrote:
Im pretty sure clams eat mostly green water and... i actually thought of trying a greenwater bed out with plankton and clams in there eating up the greenwater.....



My garden pond is super green.  Guess I need some clams! 
 
                                              
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
My garden pond is super green.  Guess I need some clams!   



the right ones  would do well, and clean out the greenwater fast,(if you have enough of them) and it would grow faster... over all you could handle a higher biological load. because as it is now, the algae probably grows to its max then dies, which ends up counter productive. tilapia would eat it to, silver carp and other carps, but those arent legal. probably other fishes, but i know mainly about those types. clams will work well though, and technically you could eat them, or chickens could I bet. In the right conditions they should breed well.
 
                  
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Location: South Carolina Zone 8
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While the matter of ice was discussed a page or two ago  I want to revisit it even though you could just simple let it ice over naturally. Quite simply in order to keep water from freezing in cold weather it must be warmed. The cheapest and most environmentally friendly way I know to do this is a solar water heater. Considering you have a pump already to circulate water you could plan in a solar heater as simple as black pipes in a frame under Plexiglas. Pump cold water in and the sun heats it so warm water comes out. Now you would need a shut off valve to slow or speed up the flow for temperature control and you can shut it down for summer. It will take a little tinkering to get the waterflow right for a steady temperature and it might need adjusting every few days depending on the outside temps but given the overall thought that has to go into a project such as this with balancing everything out controling the temperature is the easy part.
 
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Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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On that note, our upper pond just freed up of ice - we're north and high so it's a bit late. We have more fish now than there were in the fall. They spawn and hatch under the ice in the spring. This pond is about 5' deep by about 60'(?) round - not huge. It is spring fed and has a continuous inflow in the winter.

As to temperature, it is very, very cold. Well, about as cold as water gets. I had to work on the outflow and my hands kept going completely numb. I'm very tolerant to cold but holding your hands under ice water for a while does a number on them. Makes me appreciate how well the fish do.
 
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I have a plant order for my pond I'm waiting on, already have pickeral weed, lots of water lilies and tons of cattails in the shallows as well as some wild plants growing, but am adding the following this spring when they come:
a floating heart (a form of nymphea), 2 hardy lotus, one each Bacopa, cabomba, joshua plant, baby tears, water wisteria, sagittaria, water money wort, water penny wort, green Hygrophilia, Junfle Vallisneria, ludwegia, water sprite, anacharis, a clump of duckweed, and water lettuce and one water hyacinth (i realize I'll have to weed those out), and 6 wild rice plants. also have planted a lot of transplants of siberian iris and other water LIKING plants around the margins..

I have goldfish that have been breeding in the pond for 4 years, and have hundreds of tiny baby pinhead goldfish that have just hatched.

I would LOVE to plant some protein fish in the pond, it is 175 x 75 feet irregular shaped with shallows and with deep areas up to 10' deep ..but mainly  between 3 and 5 feet over most of the pond.

we are in a freeze area but the goldfish do fine, not sure if tilapia would work in this situation or not..will try to get some local suckers as they would do fine and I like them canned..they grow large, but i LOVE tilapia and would like to try them, but not sure they could withstand the weather here.

any people in zone 4/5 have tilapia out in a pond (not in a tank?)
 
                                              
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Brenda Groth wrote:

any people in zone 4/5 have tilapia out in a pond (not in a tank?)



You might consider the common carp. Tilapia is as much bottom feeder as carp, and acquires the same poor taste in the same conditions carp do. this might not be apparent because we are used to mainly farmed tilapia. You can look into the feral tilapia in florida, they are despised just as the carp, not because of invasiveness, but their poor taste in such conditions. I have yet to eat mine, but carp wins blind taste tests when raised right, tilapia does not.

that said....

you can grow tilapia in a pond, but the temp has to be over 50 degrees for most tilapia and 45 for blue tilapia. But you really want it warmer then that, as getting to close to that level can hurt the fishes immune systems. Lots of work being done on this, but it seems they arent thus far able to lower the acceptable temps for tilapia to much, but have success in breeding for better tolerance of the 50 degree temp range, so it doesnt stress the fish as much as it does.

Lots of people will grow them in the colder regions, they simply keep some good breeders inside in winter, and as the pond warms up to a good temp, they stock them into the pond. If conditions are ideal they will breed FAST. they grow real fast to, but might not get "full" sized in your given season, but big enough to eat. then youd have to catch some breeding sized ones again, and save them over the winter....

Many people with ponds that have meat eating fish like bass or trout, will stock with tilapia each year. the tilapia breed like mad, in a decent sized pond you'll never catch them all, but as it cools down the tilapia will slow down, and it will be a feast for the bass or trout, and yet the tiapia never take over because the are caught by you or the other fish each and every year.

You will not be able to keep them outside over winter unless you find a way to keep the waters temp atleast above 50 degrees. If you figure out a way to do that, then youd be fine. Ive seen people who have used geodesic domes and other means to greatly extend the season, although not really feasible for a pond, and im not personally aware of anyone pulling it off over winter.

hence a thread on common carp, which really should regain its place in american fish farms. with the right breed it outgrows tilapia, can be tastier(according to many sources but I will let you know if im still on here when I eat mine this summer), MUCH larger, easier to feed (not that tilapia are hard to feed compared to most fish, but carp are even easier), and of course its cold tolerant..... both have been farmed for 1000s of years in various ways.
 
                                          
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My fish supplier advised that I probaly wont be able to get the required stocking permit in Arizona.  After inquiring with Az Game and Fish that was confirmed.  Catfish are to delicate and will not breed in small ponds or tanks.  Even my heated greenhouse aquaponic fish tanks get down to 50 deg. F in winter so tailapia are out.  That leaves bluegil and goldfish which havent bred in four years.  Striped bass available here are hybrids and cant breed.  Without the stocking permit I cant legally even catch carp from the Colorado river and bring them home to keep alive.  All carp are considered pests here.  It doesnt matter that I am in the desert 45 miles from the nearest body of water.
 
                                              
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  well i know a guy who would send them to you anyway, out of ohio. as far as he is concerned legal issues are your problem not his. what about koi? those are available in most states, besides maine that Ive ever found, not that I looked for each state. Koi are the common carp except unlike the mirror or israeli carps which were bred for food, thse were selected out of food carp for being colorful. A friend of mine in cali cant source local common carps, but can get koi.
 
                                          
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Location: N.W. Arizona
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Because I do have stocking permits for bluegil and catfish I am supject to unanounced inspection by Az game and fish.  My gardens and aquaphonics are based on fish poo and do not want to risk being shut down. 
As for koi I do not care to spend $6.00 or more per fish.  Feeder gold fish are $0.29 each and grow to 6" breeders in two years.  They too are carp, do well in crowded conditions and have been caught over 30 lb.  The goldfish are so messy that they need not be crowded to grow great produce.  The problem with them is that they are often purchased infected with ICH which will kill them and the other goldies.  Salt will kill the ICH but also bother the plants.  They are not considered "game fish" and are not regulated.  Mine have survived frozen water and 85 deg.F water.  If I seperate them from the bluegil and catfish I expect my 8 inchers would breed this spring.  Will let you know.
 
                  
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Location: South Carolina Zone 8
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Isolate all newcomers in a fish tank with a closed system (meaning it does not use or discharge any water that might get mixed into any other system). You then treat the fish as quarantined for a bit allowing you to treat ICH and anything else before declaring them safe and releasing them into your larger already populated system. This does mean you will need a special set up with a filtration system that is not aquaponic in nature because as was mentioned adding salts will kill plants. Regardless of species and where you got them adding new fish into an existing populated system is risky and quarantining them is recommended to avoid potentially infecting your general population.
 
                              
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I'm really excited about this thread! I have researched aquacultures for sustainable small-scale protein production here and there and haven't really found anything that jibes with me- it all seemed to either be overly technical and sensitive like tilapia production or simple bass+bluegill polycultures that you need a large amount of space for. But here is what I've been searching for all along: Common Carp!

I'm interested to see how your setup is doing, Silverseeds. If you're at all inclined I would love to see a simple diagram that explains your system. I understand about the main tank and small pools for aquatic plant production, and then a sand filter, but I can't quite visualize how it all goes together.

For me, I'm interested in a system that preferably needs no pumps, but I would be fine with a small pond heater in winter and/or a small fountain for oxygenation. Also, I'm mostly interesting in in-ground. Do you think that if I had some sort of pond liner that kept out the mud (basically a tank in the ground) that it would keep the muddy taste to a minimum?

Any links or books that anyone knows of about small-scale carp production would be great!
 
                                          
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Location: N.W. Arizona
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PeterK: I do have a 80 gal. tank that I isolate new fish in.  I have no filters for it but change 10% of the water daily, is that to little?.  The last feeder goldfish showed no signs of ich or started dying off untill I transfered them to an active tank, after five days isolation.  How long do they need isolation?  If they show signs while in isolation how much salt should be used?  Do I continue to change water after salting? 
 
                                
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Location: Eastern Colorado, USA
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SILVERSEEDS wrote:

eventually im going to build a solid cement one. i could actually do it right in my native soil with some efforts, as I have that expanding clay in my soil, but I prefer guarantees.



I would think you could dig a hole in the ground and line it with remesh or mesh lath, and a couple inches of concrete.  Sort of like building a swimming pool.  Should be dirt cheap, and the advantage being that you can patch concrete underwater should it ever crack.  Any size, any shape, and doesn't need forms, rebar, or nearly as much concrete as doing it above ground. 

Maybe line the dirt hole with sand to take up any heaving from the clay.  Or if it's bentonite, add some water to it so it swells... once you cover it, it will stay wet.  That can be 17-24% moisture before it's done swelling.
 
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Hi All!

I know this is an old thread, but I was wondering if anyone knows where to get carp(mirror)? I have searched high and low on the internet and haven't found any suppliers, including ebay. The more I read, the more I want to grow carp instead of tilapia.

TIA,

Ryan
 
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