Fish Farming

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pointer_hunter, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    I went to a fish hatchery the other day and fed the trout. They have a really good setup. They have 8 concrete runways about 4ftx150ft each with different sized fish in each one. The first runway has 1-4 inches, second 5-8 and so on. They charge 1.50 per person to get in, then 1.00 per bag for fish food. The bag holds, maybe three handfuls. Basically, you pay to feed their fish with food you just bought for them. Not a bad gig, cause then at the end of each year, they sell out to stock ponds and keep the breeders for next year.

    Has anyone here tried doing something like that even just for your own use? I thought of maybe getting one of those large stock tanks and putting some fingerlings in it and raising them to eating size. Any ideas?
     
  2. ohio_kid

    ohio_kid Well-Known Member

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    A friend of ours has three ponds, nothing real big, each one aboout 1/4 acre or smaller and they were spring fed. Each was shallow around the edges and gradually getting deeper to about 12 or 15 ft. The deep water gives them someplace to go in the warmer weather. Trout need lots of oxygen, they kept small floating fountains in the ponds to keep algae at bay and to oxygenate the water. He stocked one pond with trout and the other two with catfish (cats being the best seller) that he bought from a hatchery. He had some private individuals, a few grocery stores and a couple of resturaunts that bought from him. He didn't get rich but he did okay and the ponds also fed his family. We had a deal worked out where I would catch and clean the fish,package them and sometimes deliver the fish to his customers. In return I got all the fish I wanted and he let me hunt his property and hunt mushrooms. Pretty sweet deal. As far as using tanks to raise them, you would need a pretty good sized tank even to raise them for your own consumption. The two biggest keys to raising them is water temp and plenty of oxygen. I would say a 200 gallon tank would be big enough to raise them for tablefare.
     

  3. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, that's kind of what I was thinking. We don't eat a lot of fish, but I thought that I raise my own beef and poultry might as well raise my own fish too. You never know what's in the water these days! If the contamination level gets too high, the big companies just pay to the the standard level raised so they don't have to clean up the mess!
     
  4. A 4-H class in Columbus, Nebraska has been raising trout as a class project for years using galvanized stock tanks. County extension agents might know more about this idea, as it apparently is feasible, altho I think it would work better with catfish since they are tougher than trout and in my opinion taste better.

    bw
     
  5. ohio_kid

    ohio_kid Well-Known Member

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    That's a very good point.Trout are very fragile. And cats do taste better.
     
  6. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Never tried catfish...maybe it's time :cool:
     
  7. We have our pond stocked with catfish and a few grass carp. We feed them 2-3 times a week in the summer time. I think they hybernate in the winter? These fish are huge---like 18-30". And yes, they're delicious eating----deep fried along with hushpuppies.
     
  8. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    I think along the same lines as you pointer! I raise my own meat, now I raise my own shrimp here in Oklahoma. It's hard to beat fresh! :)
     
  9. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Farm raised cats are not the same as river cats. I love the farm raised ones. The river ones taste like old mud! blech!
     
  10. Gina

    Gina Active Member

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    Fish farming is something I can definitely get into!!! I've been a waterbaby all my life. My mom tells people there was never a time that I didn't know how to swim. I've kept aquariums for about 90% of the last 20 years and have kept both fresh and saltwater tanks. I know quite a bit about water chemistry, fish diseases and parasites, habitats, breeding styles and practices (including egg layers and live-bearers). I think I would be particularly suited to this type of work. Does anyone have any links for fish farming? I would be interested in raising fish for food or for stocking streams, lakes and ponds.

    Gina
     
  11. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try http://aquanic.org/

    I'm planning to do some fish one of these days myself -- I have a couple of ponds dug (when the backhoe was here), I just have to cement them and figure out how I'm going to drain 'em. One pond for the ducks, and a deeper one for some fish.

    I'm in the Pac NW, so we don't have a whole lot of experience eating freshwater fish around here...amazingly, I do like carp, however.
     
  12. Gina

    Gina Active Member

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    Thanks for the link Snoozy! :) I really appreciate it.


    Gina
     
  13. Ken in Minn

    Ken in Minn Well-Known Member

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    Hi Gina
    We used to raise Tillapia.
    They are very good eating fish. very forgiving to raise. Some of the best eating fish I have ever eatin. My oldest son went to school for it. We kind of got dragged into raising fish so he could graduate. The machinery, that they used in school was junk. but after a couple of yrs we finely figures it out. and the system worked good. The markets are not in place, to make a living at it. But if they ever get the markets in place. I would go to raising fish again. We raised Tillapia in a four stall garage.We can produce about 4000 lbs. a month. It was very interesting project.
    Hope this answers your questions. If not, get back to me.

    Ken in Minn
     
  14. Gina

    Gina Active Member

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    Thanks Ken! I appreciate the information. I'm definitely going to keep looking into this because I think it is something I could handle. I know northeast Arkansas has a lot of catfish farms. We drove past them once. So someone is making a living off of it. I'll just have to work on figuring that part out. :)

    Gina
     
  15. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I raise a few in two 200 gallon tanks in my garage. Keeps me in catfish and provides fish sludge for my worm bins.
     
  16. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Shrek...I'm not sure if you've already seen this article, but it sounds like they have the same type of setup that you do.

    Raising Catfish in a Barrel