Growing Catfish in small tanks

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by rwinsouthla, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Does anyone have any experience in growing channel catfish in 300-400 gallon tanks? I've seen an article on the web about growing them in 55 gal drums but nothing larger. I have a 300 gal tank that I could use.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    ray in south louisiana
     
  2. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Ray, I raise freshwater shrimp here in Oklahoma, and I've found aquanic.org to be a big source of information about ANY aquaculture projects.
    You might want to check it out.
    I love catfish, and if I didn't already have my pond set up for shrimp, I'd probably be tempted to stock it with channel cats. lol
     

  3. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    I have a stocked catfish pond and I have one lil pond off to the side that gets no use. It is only about 1/8th of an acre surface wise. It is your typical stopped up holler. It is about 80 feet across at the dam. In the deepest part its right at 9 ft. Would this be acceptable for fresh water shrimp? The previous owner put it in to be used as water for some goats. Its only about 2 years old. Only thing I have ever seen is tons of frogs and tadpoles. Could I use it and how would I curb the frogs from eating the shrimp?
     
  4. Jimmy Mack

    Jimmy Mack Well-Known Member

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    the aqaunic site inlcudes lots of information on raising catfish:

    http://aquanic.org/beginer/catfish/catfish.htm

    one of the best aquaculture sites is Aquatic eco systems - they even sell Ictalurus punctatus! :

    http://www.aquaticeco.com/

    http://www.aquaticeco.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.detail/iid/6131/cid/1712

    for basic aquarium equipment at good prices try Big Als:

    http://secure.bigalsonline.com/catalog/parent_category.xml?category_id=2885;pcid1=

    Raising fish for food is a super idea Ray, I wonder why more people don't do it.

    Did you have a filtration system in mind?
     
  5. Jimmy Mack

    Jimmy Mack Well-Known Member

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    Channel Catfish
    Ictalurus punctatus
    Illustration by Rick Hill
    Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
    Common name: Channel Catfish
    Scientific name: Ictalurus punctatus
    Production potential: Easy
    Marketing potential: Potential: High
    Size: 0.75-2.5 lbs
    Market: Food, Sport
    Temperature requirements: Growing: 80-85oF
    Spawning: 72-82oF
    Lethal: NA
    Feed requirements: Protein: 28-30%
    Fat: 6-12%
    Spawning requirements: Annual spring spawners that lay eggs in cavities; 3,000-4,000 eggs/lb body weight: eggs hatch in seven to eight days at 78oF
    Most common
    production systems:
    Ponds
     
  6. sylvar

    sylvar Well-Known Member

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    Wow...10 bucks for 20 eggs?!? You can get fingerlings cheaper than that from the state.

    Cowgirlone, What size is your shrimp pond? Are you a commercial grower or do you raise for personal use?

    Shane
     
  7. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Drippingsprings, your pond should be fine for shrimp. I ended up leaving patches of moss in my pond for cover so the juviniles had a chance to grow.
    About twice a month I will use a rope with metal hook on the end to drag in a small section of moss and count the juveniles buried inside.
    My biggest predator problem has been turtles, (which I trap) and at the end of the season I have one heron that shows up.

    The uneven bottom on my pond makes seining a pain in the neck, so I use crawdad traps to harvest at the end of the season.


    Shane, My pond is only about 1/4 acre. I raise them for personal use right now. I think I could sell a lot if I wanted to, fresh shrimp are hard to come by where I live. lol
    So far my family and friends have been enjoying them. I like to freeze them for winter use too.
     
  8. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No I don't have a filtration system in mind. I have my eyes on a 12 V solar panel and a salvaged bilge pump. What I have in mind, and ya'll correct me if I'm going astray, is a 300 gallon plastic tank, cube shaped. I'll fill it with tap water and let it sit for a couple of weeks. I'll then get a couple of bluegill from my neighbor's pond and break it in for a week or so. I'll get the catfish fingerlings and put them in, feeding them some floating catfish food at first, ground up so they can get it in their mouths. Then, every week, I'll drain off 10% of the water and replace it. I'll let the water sit before I put it in to help the chlorine dissipate. The water will be removed from the bottom drain on the tank. I'll use that water on my garden and any solids will go to the compost pile. I'll have a solar panel powered bilge pump for aeration. I have read that I'll need to spray the water some to help remove ammonia.

    My question was has anyone done this before? If ya'll have any ideas, pass them along.

    Thanks,
    ray in south louisiana
     
  9. Arborethic

    Arborethic Well-Known Member

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    Ray, plenty of people have grown catfish in above ground tanks! A basic google of the internet will show you that. In fact, one site I looked at suggested cheap above ground swimming pools as the least expensive way to achieve your goal. You can buy them used for next to nothing.

    You might want to consider a fairly inexpensive biofilter for such an arrangement. As I understand it, most above ground pool owners spend far too much money on horsepower of the pump, rather than upon the size of the filter.

    But, catfish are TOUGH in comparison to Bass, Shrimp, or Trout! I'd say 'GO FOR IT'!
     
  10. jeffreyc256

    jeffreyc256 Well-Known Member

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    I have been trying to come up with an idea myself. I have been toying with the idea of burying plastic septic tanks to keep the water cool. The main challenge appears to be water quality and oxygenation. Still working on a cheap plan.
    check out these two sites
    www.growfish.com
    www.kens-fishfarm.com

    Mother earth in the 70's had an article on 50-100cats raised in a couple of 55 gallon drums so I know it can be improved upon.
     
  11. Arborethic

    Arborethic Well-Known Member

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    I would seriously discount an 'article' that claimed 50-100 catfish raised in two 55 gallon drums! That is INTENSE aquaculture at a level that can be achieved only by someone that has the time to check water quality and oxygen levels every hour! If you have to actually work at a job, you might come home to 100 dead stinking catfish. LOL...

    Rather than trying to maximize fish/volume efficiency, I think you ought to try making a less efficient system, a less tedious system, work for you. The excavation costs, whether time/labor or money, for burying an aquaculture project is counter productive. Instead, pick a spot for an above ground tank that has some natural shade!
     
  12. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cowgirlone: I have followed your experiences closely for a few years. Do you use the crawdad traps to trap them? I thought you kept them in cages in the pond?

    Do you think a pond that is also used for a few cattle would work for this?

    I assume there are only certain months in the year when you can grow shrimp? Too cold otherwise?

    I have no natural moss that I know of in the pond. Can I take some from the creek and put it in the pond? There is shade during the afternoons.
     
  13. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    I have heard of people doing a sort of hydroponic greenhouse thing where they have catfish in tanks and plants growing above. Not sure what plants or if the catfish keep eating the roots. The tanks also act as heat storage for the greenhouse.

    p.s. Found this 'Aquaponics' Journal.
    http://www.aquaponicsjournal.com/articleEvolution.htm
     
  14. Rowdy

    Rowdy Well-Known Member

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    I've often thought about this, ever since reading Kurt Saxon's page about it. Kurt Saxon food page

    It is a rather simple setup that could be improved on, but a start. There are several ideas on his page.

    Rowdy