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01-21-2008, 01:33 PM
Well congrats on the Forum and good luck.
I have found that the bacteria do infact live well below the temps you state. I'm raising a cold water fish (Yellow Perch) and everything works just fine even down to freezing.
So the need to keep temps in the 60's or so is not the case.

Keep your fish wet and your floors dry!

01-21-2008, 07:33 PM
Welcome to the forum Waterrancher,

Please let me express my appreciation for your willingness to participate in the forum with your post. It's always great to hear a success story.

I, as I'm sure others interested in aquaponics, would also, greatly appreciate it if you would take it one step further for the benefit of others who visit the forum and also post how your system in which you raise the perch is setup; what it consists of as to type of medium used to clean the fish water, size of the tank in which you raise the perch, the approximate ratio of fish to the volume of water you house them in and the frequency of pumping the water to the bio-filter. Please be specific as to volume of water per minute pumped to the bio-filter and how it is returned to the fish.

It would also be a great benefit to all if you would include details on how your hydroponic system is setup and what veggies, herbs or other plants you raise in your aquaponics system.

Again, thank you for your informative post.

01-22-2008, 08:56 AM
:D I'm not trying to be a "BUTTINSKY", however the header said "SPEAK UP" so I am. I agree with the "WATERRANCHER" about cold water fish and the bacteria. But, and there is always a "but", I have read every page of what is currently shown on DIYaquaponics.com and I am assuming you are referring to this paragraph under the header of "Backyard"

Aquaponic systems work much better if a constant water temperature is maintained as beneficial bacterial species that convert ammonia to nitrate have a temperature range between 70o F and 86o F at which they operate at maximum efficiency. At temperatures below 64.4o F, a bio-filter's efficiency is lost and ammonia spikes can occur. You should always strive to try maintain a water temperatures at or above 64.4o F in the winter though it should be at least a minimum of 70o F for certain species of fish to survive, Tilapia in particular.

If you will notice, the author does not state that the bacteria do not do what bacteria do when the water is at or below 64.4o F, but that their efficiency is lost (as comparable to optimum) at colder temperatures. Also that ammonia spikes could occur at these temperatures and this is also true.

Let's face it, the bacteria do not have as much to do under colder conditions as they do in optimum conditions. Under cold or freezing water conditions, the fish are not as active nor are they eating as much, therefore they do no produce as much waste and other byproducts, etc, hence the bacteria's reduced ability to handle these byproducts is still sufficient to get the job done.

Would you not agree that a temperature range between 70o F and 86o F is the optimum for both fish and bacteria?

01-22-2008, 04:35 PM
Spose Im a bit prejudgemental in that what is advised seems to be everyone should be raising Taliapia. Why go there? Many other fish can be raised with Aquaponics that will not require keeping the water heated (a major cost) for their survival. The bacteria will surive colder temps, crops can be grown in lower temps, fish will survive lower temps, this belief that everything most be kept in the tropical temp range just is not so.
Sure most fish grow faster, eat more, etc in higher temps, but if we are going to be chasing this dream that AP is the solution to water shortages and the worlds food supply perhaps we should realise its not so bad to go with nature instead of fight it.
I have taken my small, housed in a green house system, to the burr several times with no adverse affect on anything other then a few plants.
Being in the Midwest of the U.S. its futile to fight the winters for 6 months and attempt to grow a tropic fish in any great numbers. Much more benificial to just keep the temps up enough for the plants to grow, take advantage of a native species for your fish.
So in essence seek balance for your geographical area, we are not limited by a set range of temps and I would suggest that be realized because many doors will be closed for folks if they come to believe its unrealistic in there area due to temps below 60 whatever.
We can grow fish and bacteria to filter the fish waste in the burr, natures funny way of maintaining a relationship.
Did I make my point?

Keep your fish wet and your floors dry!

01-23-2008, 09:40 PM

I have to admit I donít know much at all about your Yellow Perch, however I have raised a couple of different species of Tilapia in aquariums and outdoor tanks for a number of years and I think that all the hoop-la about Tilapia is because there ďAREĒ so many species, the hybridnizing of which is limitless.

I have read somewhere on the net that if optimum conditions were met and maintained, a pair could be induced to breed as much as 10 times per year.

It is unfortunate they are not a cold water fish, but it would be impossible for all things to be perfect, life would be too easy, wouldnít you say :?:

You speak of such cold winters and being from the Midwest of the US, what state do you live in? I live in Texas near Laredo. On a clear day, I can see Mexico! Some times it feels as though I see Mexico regardless of which direction I look. :D No insult intended toward the people of Mexico, at least those that come here legally.

01-24-2008, 05:31 PM
I do not agree with inducing things to breed ie. hormone injection etc. I'm more in line with letting Nature do the work. The design is better then anything mankind could come up with, as it has stood the test of time. Problems arise when mankind has attempted to control the design.

Fine that a fish can be coaxed to breed 10 times a year.
How many fry do they release each time?
Yellow Perch release egg strands of 25,000- 35,000 once a year. Although I have never counted myself.
In all fairness its all in the perspective, you could have a fish that needs stringent temp controls producing 10 times a year, I cant emagine each breeding would produce much more then 300 fry at a wack. So even giving that as a best number that is 3,000 babies a year.
In comparison YP offspring would be ten times that number.
Of course there has been no discussion on breeding the offspring to up the numbers or of survivability rate nor the kind of stress it causes to produce offspring nearly every month.
I would be plumb wore out.

01-25-2008, 11:54 AM
Hey Waterrancher,

Donít get me wrong. I wasnít saying that I agreed with the drug induced hybridnization of Tilapia, only that it was going on and did present some interesting strains which were able to produce more weight in less time. Iím talking about cross breeding not drugs. If it were not for cross breeding, we would not have the large selection of live stock and poultry that we have today, but I draw the line at drugs.

Yellow Perch may be able to produce 25 to 35,000 eggs per year, but do you have the facilities to breed them and even if only half of them hatch, do you have the facilities to house 12,500 to 17,500 YP? The advantage of the Tilapia, though the egg production depends on the size of the female, it can actually be anywhere from 100 to 1,500 per spawning. See this link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=E_eu9E ... _JKKjSGxGA (http://books.google.com/books?id=E_eu9E-bn6EC&pg=PA53&lpg=PA53&dq=tilapia+egg+production&source=web&ots=oR2oVOhKF0&sig=zCLPzEPhVEs40o0HQ_JKKjSGxGA)

This can allow a person to breed and cross breed their own stock without having to buy the fingerlings from anyone and if controlled properly, he can produce the fry when needed so as to have a continual flow of fingerlings when needed to be able to restock as many tank/ponds as desired.

Nothing says that a persons has to induce spawning of a single pair of Tilapia to 10 times per year, however the fact that spawning can be induced more or less at will, then with the right number of trios (one male, two females) a person could insure they have the fry they need when they want them.

Just another point of view.

01-25-2008, 01:51 PM
Trust me, I wrote such a long and brilliant response that the forum timed out on me and it was lost in the ones and zeros that are the internet!
Ohh well :roll:

01-25-2008, 01:54 PM
Don't get me wrong, the discussion is worth the effort. Just so much can be written at a time.

01-25-2008, 02:00 PM
:D Waterrancher,

I guess you could say I'm on the sneaky side. I learned a long time ago to create all my posts in MS Word (it checks my spelling :mrgreen: ) and then copy it to the forum. That way, no lost thoughts or typing labor 8-)

01-25-2008, 05:44 PM
I'd say more productive not sneeky.

02-15-2009, 02:55 PM
I have to agree that the big downside to tilapia is the need for heat, but if you can provide warm water, they are the best fish going. The reason I say this is that they convert their feed to meat on a ratio of nearly 1:1. A pound of feed to a pound of fish. They get to 1.25 pound in just 4-5 months. 2 pound+ in under 9 months. You can pack them to 1 gallon of water per pound of fish, and they reproduce year around. This allows you to restock as often as you like.

An adult female tilapia can produce 2,000 fry at a time. She can live for 5 years and breed once every 3 weeks, not just 10 times a year. Survival of the fry under proper conditions of about 70%.

Here is the other trick. You don't need all male fish. Put the fish in a screened cage that denies them a flat surface to spawn on and they can't breed. The reason the females don't grow as big is they spend all their energy brooding. They hold the eggs in their mouth and don't eat for 2 weeks at a time. To spawn the females lay their eggs on a flat surface, the male fertilizes them, then she picks them back up. The eggs are heavier than water and sink like rocks. They go right through the screen and are lost.

If they don't breed the females eat & grow just like the males. This means you can use nile tilapia, and not sweat the hormones.

02-19-2009, 08:32 AM
Badflash, sounds like you really have a handle on the Tilapia situation and I really like what you did with the Fish section. Very informative. I don't post very often but I like to keep up with what's going on so keep the good info coming.

02-19-2009, 03:32 PM
I don't post very often but I like to keep up with what's going on so keep the good info coming.

Lets see you post more often. You have info others can use. After you've been at it a long time, you forget the things that used to trip you up. People closer to the beginning remember it clearly. We need to know about what goes wrong too, not just what went right. Better to learn from other's mistakes.

02-19-2009, 11:37 PM
I don't post very often but I like to keep up with what's going on so keep the good info coming.

Lets see you post more often. You have info others can use. After you've been at it a long time, you forget the things that used to trip you up. People closer to the beginning remember it clearly. We need to know about what goes wrong too, not just what went right. Better to learn from other's mistakes.

Yeah, people like me who haven't yet got the first experimental system up and running. That way we know what to watch for ;)

02-20-2009, 01:29 PM
We can learn from the other sites as well, but its nice to have some good old USA know how too :D

02-24-2009, 12:02 AM
We can learn from the other sites as well, but its nice to have some good old USA know how too :D

It's also nice to not have to open up a web site that converts all those liters, mms, cms, etc. to good old American measurements ;) I am a member of three of those sites, and appreciate what I learn, but I have to admit that I spend a heckuva lot of time converting measurements so I can understand what they are talking about :D. I've always been given good advice there, just as I have been here, so I'm not knocking them, it's just nice to see things in inches, feet, and gallons.

@ crawdad, Thanks for the welcome, I hope to learn a lot from you and all the others here. I'd like to learn more about the Yellow Perch that waterrancher raises, as I am presently raising Goldfish (carp) for a food fish, and would like to know more about other cold water fish. I'd like more specifics about their tolerances, grow out time, etc. if he is willing to post more specifics for us.