I would also like to comment that I am in no way an expert in raising fish. A lot of what we accomplished was through trial and error combined with internet research. The intent of the article is to outline what we did, and to describe our successes and failures.
Tilapia really made it big on the scene here in the United States a few years ago. A fish people never heard of suddenly was appearing on restaurant menus throughout the country. Tilapia farms started popping up and all of a sudden this hardy little fish made quite a name for itself.
big appetites and can survive through some really harsh conditions. I have even read articles where people in Haiti have begun raising Tilapia in little puddles that were dug by hand for the purpose of raising their own food.
In our neck of the woods invasive species are a very big concern to our local environment. The warm waters
surrounding us are filled with a number of different and dangerous species that can wreak havoc on natural ecosystems. Whether it is Burmese Pythons or Snakehead fish, all these foreign species need to be closely monitored. The same holds true for the Tilapia. Down here the only type of Tilapia that is allowed to be sold and raised is the Blue Tilapia. This type of Tilapia is already present in Florida canals and waterways and they are not restricted.
Determined to try and raise our own, we decided to give it a try. If successful we could produce our own source of protein and eat fish that we know are not contaminated by any man-made substance. Here’s how we did it…
The time we had the fish inside their home, we had a good chance to watch their habits and learn what these fish liked and disliked. When it came to food, there was very little they did not eat. We gave them everything and anything from lettuce to cheerios. As the fish grew bigger they became more of a stress on the water within the tank. It was becoming much more difficult to keep the water clear. We found out later that these guys don’t really care how dark the water is…as a matter of fact we believe they prefer the water like this.
Much to our surprise, after about one month, the 35 gallon aquarium was dotted with a few dozen babies. Because of the ferocious appetite of the species, we expedited construction of the pond.
building with pressure treated lumber and screen installation.
The floor of the house needed to be leveled out to accommodate the new pond. Using several bags of playground sand, the ground beneath the pond was prepared and leveled.
A small swimming pool was purchased from the local Walmart. The pool holds 650 gallons of water and came packaged with a small filter. The members paid 80 dollars for the pool / pump combo. In our experience we learned that these fish would probably thrive in just about any size pool of this nature. We elected to go with this pool because we wanted to raise many fish at one time. The pool was assembled according to the instructions and filled with hose water. The filter was turned on and allowed to sit for several days in order to make the water safe for the new inhabitants.
didn’t realize it but they were the guinea pigs. This was in March of this year, and I am happy to report that all of these minnows are alive and well (and huge). With the water apparently safe, it was time to add some Tilapia.
The remaining adult Tilapia in the 35 gallon aquarium were netted and relocated to the backyard pool. This is where
the adventure really began.
Keep an eye out for the second article on this topic. I will be posting it soon. As I metioned earlier, we are far from experts in this area, but so far we have had great success. I you are interested at all in this type of self-sustainment activity please do not hesitate to ask questions in the blog or even drop us an e-mail.
Spe Labor Levis