aquaculturists out there?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by silvergirl, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. silvergirl

    silvergirl Well-Known Member

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    As one of our backyard farming projects we are looking into starting to raise tilapia and catfish in pools in our back yard... to keep the goats, rabbits, chickens, dogs and cats company, of course... (not to mention further outraging our conservative neighbors!) Any experienced fish farmers out there can give us some advice, sources, pitfalls, ingenious solutions, book references, etc???
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Some one was raising fresh water shrimp about 18 months back, there was a lot of discussion conserning this subject, I think it was member Cowgirlone, and there have been others. Try the search feature.
     

  3. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Feds started a tilapia growing program in the South some years ago. I believe it was very successful. Why don't you contact your local ag agent. I'm sure there is quite a bit of information, and you may be able to get funding.
     
  4. tannerz

    tannerz New Member

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    A topic I hold near and dear to my heart... here are a few links to get you going... doing it, and DOING IT are two very different things. Someone who has 'done it' will have vastly different advice than someone who has 'DONE IT'. ('doing it' = a hobby, with a few fish here and there. 'DOING IT' = a business with research, DNA strings, hundreds of fish rotating ponds and raceways, making a profit) Some of those links may not work, haven't been to some of them in a while... The key is fresh water, as in a large supply of fresh water, and an effluent field/runnoff area, if you ever want it to be more than a pond with some fish.

    Cornell Univ has a great distance learning program, with a FANTASTIC text book, and great instructors...


    http://www.hboi.edu/index_03.html
    http://www.aquaculture-online.org/
    http://www.bee.cornell.edu/extension/aquaculture/short_course.htm
    http://www.freshwaterinstitute.org/pdf/880 gal ras oper manual.pdf
    http://www.freshwaterinstitute.org/pdf/880 gal ras installation guide.pdf
    http://www.freshwaterinstitute.org/?article=1002
    http://www.freshwaterinstitute.org/pdf/growing bed management.pdf
    http://www.rmsg.us/farm/aquaponi.htm
    http://www.dtplankton.com/frameset1.htm
    http://www.mbari.org/staff/conn/botany/phytopl/Default.htm
    http://www.gf.state.az.us/w_c/conservation_management.shtml
    http://ag.arizona.edu/azaqua/links.html
    http://www.fao.org/fi/statist/fisoft/fishplus.asp
    http://ag.arizona.edu/azaqua/
    http://ag.arizona.edu/azaqua/aquacltr.html
    http://ag.arizona.edu/azaqua/ata.html
    http://www.aesweb.org/
    http://www.ustfa.org/
    http://www.was.org/main/FrameMain.asp
    http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/support/lib/seas/seasQA/QAs/L/luminescence.html
    http://ce.ecn.purdue.edu/~piwc/w3-research/free-ammonia/nh3.html
     
  5. phrogpharmer

    phrogpharmer Well-Known Member

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    We make our living raising and selling aquatic animals. Tannerz is exactly right, you can have a small recirc system and grow a few fish to eat or you can get large scale and try to make a profit. Winter weather in most parts of the US puts a stop to most backyard aquaculture.
    www.aquanic.org also has some good info.
    Good Luck
     
  6. silvergirl

    silvergirl Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Thank you all so much - excellent info and research tips! I love this site!!! We would like to make a modest profit raising fish eventually... so we are aiming for a mid-size fish farm and part of our overall plan is to buy some land with good water resources we can utilize for the fish farm... We have our house in WNC on the market now and are planning to re-locate out west, to Oregon... Meanwhile, we will get our feet "wet" here at home, on a much smaller scale, and hope to learn a great deal at this as we have with our rabbit, chicken and goat ventures! Our overall goal is to be not only self-sufficient (and well-diversified) but to operate on a large enough scale to make a tidy profit at multiple ventures...
     
  7. tannerz

    tannerz New Member

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    in that case you NEED to take the Cornell course (IMHO)

    http://www.bee.cornell.edu/extension/aquaculture/DistanceLearning.htm

    Contact Mike on that page and find out when the next one is. Register early and get the book (included in the registration) read, read, read some more. This is a VERY scientific field, more so than any other "farming" venture. There's a lot of chemistry, fluid dynamics, and thermo dynamics involved to turn any real profit. There are also many species to contemplate, so make sure you do some HEAVY research on your market for the product. Competing with foreign fisheries is a tough thing to do (and still make a profit)...
     
  8. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There was someone on here several several months back that had a website using hydroponics....growing food with the water using the nitrogen cycle. I searched but can't find it. I gave it a whirl with a 300 gal tank. The catfish grew from 1.5" in February to about 4" in early May then they all died. The reason they died was heat and lack of Oxygen. I'd make sure if you have a substantial investment, that you include a decent Dissolved Oxygen meter and some good aeration equipment, as well as a heater, although solar may be enough in NC. In south LA where I am, the outside air temp was only 86 in May but the water had already climbed to 88 when the fish died. Make sure you can heat 'em AND cool 'em and you should be successful. I think that the pool idea is one with ALOT of merit and could possibly be used in many applications. GOOD LUCK!!!!!
     
  9. Mallow

    Mallow Well-Known Member

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    WV
    I am also interested in small scale aquaculture. I currently have a small spring flowing about 5gpm on dry summers and more the rest of the year around. I will have to chose some cold water species like trout or walleye to give this a go.
     
  10. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    I have been raising shrimp in our small farm pond for a few years. These are for our own personal use (friends and family)
    I found the aquanic.org site pretty interesting. :)