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Author Topic: Raising Catfish in a Barrel  (Read 3542 times)
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tbird
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« on: August 08, 2010, 05:01:35 AM »

 This is a story from 1973 but it is a good story and a plan to raise 40 catfish in a 55 gallon drum and feed them earthworms raised in two halves of another drum.  Interesting.


http://www.libertysflame.com/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?ArtNum=4109
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VirginiaBeachMike
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2010, 09:37:51 AM »

That's pretty interesting... 40 of them in 55 gallons doesn't seem like it would allow them enough room to grow to eating size.

You could probably use the waste water for an aquaponics setup to grow greens with... Grin

VBMike
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tbird
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 03:27:53 AM »

  I know I raised tropical fish for breeding and made a few bucks in the late 70s and early 80s.  Now I had heard of "high Density" farming of catfish and they were working on Tilapia at that time.  Tilapia were unheard of to anyone but the few like myself raising African cichlids at the time.

  The idea of using the water taken from the bottom of the barrel (15 gals / day) and putting it in a garden would be great.  Also a bit of the detritus (fish poop)added to the worm beds would also be good.

  I have the facilities to do this and over 35 years fish raising experience so I could give it a go.  I would probably fore go the strict worm diet and supplement it with commercial chow and such.  Another thing I thought about with this setup.  In my experience of raising fish primarily in glass aquaria I realized very early on it is not the amount of water so much as the surface area to water ratio.  In other words a "29 Gallon Long" tank was 30" long X 12" wide X 16" deep while a "29 gallon Tall" was 24" long X 12" wide X 20" deep.  Now the water volume was the same but the 29 Long would allow a higher density of fishes to be supported.  The reason was the surface area of the air/water and bottom/water was greater in the longer tank.  What I am getting to is I think the fish would be better off if the drum were mounted sidewards allowing the fish to have a greater horizontal span which in turn would increase gas exchange between water and air.  A simple soft rubber flap top could be hinged to seal the tank well enough against critters.  What many don't realize about water is that the air stones do not impart much Oxygen to the water.  It is the turbulence they cause at the water's surface where the gas exchange takes place.  Therefore sealing the top of the tank prevents fresh oxygen carrying air to get into the top of the tank.


  Just a thought.  I wouldn't mind trying this.  In fact now is the time to start it because it is better to have small fish wintering than larger fish.

  It is a thought....    Wink
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VirginiaBeachMike
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 02:50:48 PM »

I would just raise them in that big pond of yours...!

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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 04:30:59 PM »

I don't know Mike.  I never heard of "As easy as shooting fish in a pond"   Dynamite maybe, but not shooting!   Grin


I have lots of catfish in both ponds.  Mainly Blues and Mudcats. The mudcats are so green up top and yellow on the bottom I swear they look like a Cutty Sark Scotch bottle!  Trouble is they taste like mud all year around.  The Blues only get that taste in extremely warm weather of July and August.  The small pond used to be a catfish pond some 50 years ago.  I should drain it, harvest all the fish (bass, bream and catfish, clean it out well, scrape the bottom clean, add a few breeding ledges and then toss in 300 Channel Cats.  It is 153' across. 5' deep and comes right in at 1/3 acre. I mean it was a catfish pond so it would make a good one again.  But it is not too hard to have a barrel right on your carport full of fish either!   Grin
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tuttimato
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 06:06:07 PM »

Tbird I've always heard that fish won't outgrow their aquarium and figured that would hold true for any kind of container.  Is there any truth to that in your opinion?  I know in some aquaculture situations where they've spared no expense for filtration and oxygenation that they seem to flourish in crowded tanks.

By the way.....it seems to me tha south LA folks could make an absolute killing $ with aquaculture.  They've developed several crops (tomato for 1) that do well with brackish or high saline water that would benefit from the nasty stuff from the tanks.  If I had 2 ponds, I'd look into fresh water prawns.

I've got a piece of property that I had planned to crop mayhaws and crayfish but I've done got too decrepit and my kids aren't interested.
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MS Coast
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 06:14:18 PM »

African Cichlids are mean little beggers but very beautiful.  i had a 105 tall and could not put all that many fish in it for it size so i understand what you are saying.  It was an easy tank to care for with so much volumn but it was so deep John had to take his shirt off to vacuum it!

I wish we had a pond.  I now who to call to help me set it up.

Gail
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tbird
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 08:15:12 AM »

@ Tut:   Certain fishes will not grow larger than their area will support, but most will.  Catfish will continue to grow until they can't swim in that area.  Whe a fish can't swinm around they usually get sick and die.  Sort of like people!   Wink


@ Gail:  I had 32 pairs in a 90 Gallon High made by Odell.  I did it by having over 450 pounds of large and small granite stones stacked in it all the way from bottom to top.  There were so many crevices and cracks they all managed to stake out an area.  The problem is when you add a new pair you have to rearrange the rocks so every fish has to re-establish their new area and that gives the newcomers equal ground. Although most Africans I found to be just territorial instead of actually mean, I did have a "Bad Boys" tank with even more densely stacked rocks rocks.  I used a self designed and built under gravel filter system that didn't need vacuuming or breakdown but every 3 years.  The store bought systems are terrible, but if you design for flow and balance the under gravel will breakdown all waste and keep ammonia and nitrites undetectable.  I also encouraged algae to grow on the rocks and it consumed nitrates and buffered pH.  I also used a counterflow protein skimmer I also built and designed, so the tanks were vitrually self sustaining except for food, light and air!   Grin

  I will try to look through my old photos and see if I have pics of the old tanks.  There were really pretty and useful too~!   Grin
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 08:20:26 AM by tbird » Logged

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18.25 Acres in Central West Louisiana | USDA Zone 8b

Isaiah 66:22, 23, 24

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VirginiaBeachMike
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2010, 09:24:37 AM »

I had a cichlid tank for a while when I was a kid... I only had 8 or 10 of them in this cool slate-bottom tank I had.

Later I had a 55 gallon salt-water reef tank, but that got too expensive for me once they came up with all of the reef harvesting laws and all of the stuff at the pet store had to be cultured...

The barrel idea does sound pretty cool, though.  I read an article somewhere about a fellow doing that with those IBC containers like Chuck's got.  I think he was raising tilapia, though.  You'd need a fair bit more room for the IBC, though...

VBMike
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tbird
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2010, 02:42:09 PM »

Ya know Mike?  Ya gave me an idea.  I can get those containers (IBC) for free from Domino when I go down.  I was going to get a few for rain barrels but now that you mention them as fish tanks they would be perfect.  They even have a bottom drain on them to strip off fish doo and crud on the bottom of the tank.

Dang, Mike I knew we kept you around for something!    Wink
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18.25 Acres in Central West Louisiana | USDA Zone 8b

Isaiah 66:22, 23, 24

Many, LA


Enough Farm Equipment to Run a Small Farm!


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VirginiaBeachMike
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2010, 03:24:26 PM »

Gee, thanks... I think!  Smiley

The bottom drain could be used to plumb several of them together... or for a filter.

VBMike
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