View Full Version : Help me with choosing best fish to use

05-04-2011, 08:43 PM
I live in Seattle, WA and I have my ebb and flow system in a greenhouse with a 300 gallon rubbermade tank. I just can't decide what the best type of fish would be. My options and I see them are:
Trout: Relatively inexpensive and easy to get in my state, however I would have to stock them annually.
Channel Catfish: Also relatively inexpensive and should be able to tolerate large swings in temperature however I know they do better at higher temperatures and I don't think I can easily keep my water over 75 degrees for long periods of time.
Tilapia: This would be my preference due to the fact that they reproduce so well. Again I am concerned that I can't keep my water warm enough (even if I keep them indoors for the winter). There are no sources of Tilapia within the State of WA.

I am hoping for someone from the state of WA or a similar climate who can share their experiences good or bad. Thanks

05-04-2011, 08:50 PM
Sammamish high school uses tilapia. We use a heater and we are in a green house but my system(it isn't in the green house its just out side it) just has to have 4 heaters in the winter to stay at 74 at night and its only a hundred gallon.... Have you thought of using yellow perch they are native and temperatures up here don't phase them from what I know

05-04-2011, 08:53 PM
I am not sure what the cost is associated with heating 300 gallons, but with decent insulation, it shouldn't be too bad!

It sounds like you are saying you can't use any of those fish for your climate. I have known people up north to simply pack up their setup during those colder months and start back up when things warm up. There is a youtube poster that has a heated greenhouse (fully automated with everything plugged into a computer, very neat). Otherwise, I think you will just have to work with mother nature on this one.

05-04-2011, 09:09 PM
Yeah like trout and tilapia do the best from what I know

05-04-2011, 09:09 PM
Yellow perch mot tilapia

05-05-2011, 09:41 AM
Yes I have looked into yellow perch but the only state approved supplier does not have any for this year. Any thoughts on how well catfish would do? A question for WAbedroomponics: Are you using Tilapia in your system? How warm is your water getting in the summer?

05-05-2011, 04:21 PM
even with good insulation, you'll have massive amounts of heat transfer in your growbeds..
i'm planning on trout after my basement pond is built, but in the meantime i have yellow perch and sunfish (my bluegill supplier gave me a mix, was supposed to be hybrids)
bluegill might be a good choice to start, if provided a good food (high protein fish food) they will grow a pound in 12 to 18 months. will be ok with a wide range of temps (growth slows when it's cold) and are pretty hearty overall
i'd like to try catfish, but the wife is alergic to them, haven't read much on them because they aren't a consideration for me... whatever you pick, there's lots of info out there, keep us up to date!

05-05-2011, 05:57 PM
Yes, but with adequate insulation the rate of heat transfer will be slowed down. Water has a high heat capacity. Between the two it should be more than possible to heat the water to a temperature and keep it heated. Depending on how many heaters it takes and how often it has to cycle on, BY MY BEST GUESS, it would cost $25 to $50 a month to keep it heated. Obviously, the better insulation, the cheaper it would get.

05-05-2011, 08:44 PM
Yeah my system doesn't really have any insulation so that might have been the problem

05-05-2011, 09:29 PM
Yeah my system doesn't really have any insulation so that might have been the problem

05-05-2011, 10:22 PM
welcome to the forum

05-06-2011, 06:15 PM
Most don't ever mention KOI, however pound for pound and inch for inch, Japanese KOI are worth far more than any other fish you can raise and they take the cold quite well. :mrgreen:

05-06-2011, 07:37 PM
Most don't ever mention KOI, however pound for pound and inch for inch, Japanese KOI are worth far more than any other fish you can raise and they take the cold quite well. :mrgreen:
I was just in the pet store looking at their very small and EXPENSIVE African cichlids... it definitely got me thinking...

05-08-2011, 01:04 PM
Neither of those are very edible. I have never really thought of raising the fish in order to sell the fish. Intriging thought.

05-08-2011, 03:03 PM
I raise guppies to sell them but I started selling them because they breed to fast lol.... It takes alot longer to raise fish to eat then it does to breed ornamental fish to sell... And if you sell the you can buy fish lol

05-15-2014, 10:11 AM
I did some research and wrote about this issue in the latest issue of Aquaponics Survival Communities (http://aquaponicssurvivalcommunities.com/). I showed charts, prices, and growth rates.

You'll get your best bang-for-your-buck if you buy 7-8" Trout in the fall, and 7-8" Tilapia in the spring. At those sizes, you can grow them to plate size in 6 months.

For insulation, I'd encourage you to check this (http://coldweatheraquaponics.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/new-product-freezer-to-fish-tank-conversion-kits/) out. Cheaper and better insulated than anything else you're likely to find.