Anyone else raising fish for food??? Now with pictures of the Harvest!

My supplier does recommend UV sterilization… hoping my natural filter will take care of everything...

So it’s not pretty, but here are a few attachment pictures… I’ll replace these later with higher quality hosted pictures, when I can…

Just put up my LED grow lights over the unit, hanging from the roof… on a timer to extend the natural light only… not as much for the plants at that height, but to extend the feeding hours for the fish… this morning, it was too dark to feed them, before I left for work… if they help the plants, great… but they are there for the fish… lights don’t use much power, but I have 2 dedicated 20 amp circuits to run the whole thing, with the lights, pump, and heaters ( heaters are 1800 watts each ) may need that this fall to finish them out???

Pump sits in a 30 gallon barrel, with a 5 gallon bucket with 1/2" holes drilled in the bottom, half full of porous lava rock, a prefilter mat, on top of the lava rock, with a handful of additional lava rock. to weight the mat down when it's clean, in case of storms...& a mesh bag of activated carbon, on top, directly in the water stream... suspended over & out of the water level of the drum, by at least a foot... lots of aeration happening on this system

there are also prefilters between each tank, that each have a bigger bag of activated carbon, & a prefilter mat, with a few rocks on top to hold down fresh mats this picture shows the prefilter between the middle & bottom tanks, that one has the hydroponic drip tubes connected to it... ( prefilters are constructed out of the bottom half of some 5 gallon pails I had on hand... the one between the top tank & middle tank has 1/2" holes in the bottom to drain into the middle tank the one between the middle & bottom tanks has no holes in the bottom, so all the water goes through the drip tubes, to the vegies ( there are a few holes half way up, that can act as overflows during heavy rains, they drain just through the prefilter media, into the bottom tank... my giant duck weed is getting too thick, I may need to scoop out some into 5 gallon buckets until the fish are big enough to start eating it...

top prefilter here... I will eventually have the 1/4" X 1/4" hardware cloth ( metal mesh ) around the tanks that have fish in, to keep critters out, & fish from jumping out... I don't want to find any dead birds in the fish tanks... the heavy stainless steel mesh covers are overkill, it's just using some material I had around... I will likely replace those, with wood framed hardware cloth covers, as that won't block as much light...


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Drip bars for the hydroponics...

cucumbers do great with hydroponics



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addition of the lights allows me 2 more feedings in a 24 hour day... may cut a week or two off reaching harvestable size, over the whole summer... that could be critical in a northern climate like "Minnesnowta"... lights are functional right now, but I need to finish the permanent wiring... waiting for a protective box for the outlets & timers on the 2nd circuit... it's still a work in progress

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This is true about meds for parasites but can’t they be treated with salt instead?

Edited for clarity.
salt is actually recommended... from my reading, best is to use no iodine table salt???
salt is actually recommended... from my reading, best is to use no iodine table salt???
No iodine is correct. Table salt can be used but there is a cheaper type of salt that is recommended. If you search the forum for “first aide for fish”, Colin gives directions on the use of salt.
I've been re-reading the suggested feeding instructions from my fish supplier, & unless you opt for the expensive graded Tilapia fingerlings for actual farming ( they all mature at the same rate & time & almost all are male fish, since they grow faster & at similar rates )... I have the aquaculture grade which are still graded to be the same size when you get them, but are cheaper to buy, & they have a tendency to spread out the amount of waste a little being different sizes as they grow, includes more females ( which I was OK with since I'm wanting to breed some ), & now I'll have some ready to butcher earlier, & won't leave me cleaning 100 fish all on the same day... reading between the lines, I think the biggest challenge will be making sure the littler ones get enough to eat, that they don't get stunted in their growth ( I want them all growing at their maximum potential ) they are like fish pigs, I see the big ones going around & gobbling up pellets, until they are hanging out their mouths & can't pack another in them, so the urge to overfeed is strong... we started ours as little as they came, on the algae disks... so currently everyone is big enough to eat pellets, but, I'm still adding an Algae wafer a minute after I feed pellets... I suspect the smaller ones are only getting one or two, while the biggest ones gorge... this way at least the smaller ones can eat algae wafers at their leisure, after they get their 1 or 2 pellets down...

right now I'm on the smallest pellets & they are produced, progressively bigger for the fish as they get bigger... so when I transition to the next bigger pellet, I will continue to offer a small scoop of the smaller pellets, after the bigger fish pack their mouths... to try to make sure the smaller fish get more feed suitable for their size...

they are growing amazingly fast, with 4 hours of additional light, & the 2 extra feedings that the longer light allows, & trying to keep the water between 85 - 88 degrees... the fish are still too small to sample, but I'm optimistic, we'll have Tilapia to eat this fall
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I have an empty tank in my fish room at the moment so I've got some soup on the go. Shutting it down this evening though so I can raise some keyhole fry.
are key holes catfish???

did a little www searching... must be a cichlid
about 4 weeks since the receipt of the fish, & the bulk of them are at 2.5 to 3 inches long... a couple biggest go to 3.5 inches... I think they are growing are the maximum the supplier indicated... this morning it was 60 degrees F outside, yet the tanks that hold the Tilapias were each at a toasty 87 degrees F, at 5:00 AM when they got their 1st feeding

I am noticing 1 or 2 that have only doubled in size in the 4 weeks, while the population has doubled in size each week... so maybe 2 out of the100+ are runts or stunted... need to figure out what to do with them??? might try adding them to a tank in the house, & see if they continue to develop or not... I'm sure they are getting food in the form of the algae wafers I'm weaning them off of, but soon I'll be going to the next size pellets, & if I start seeing residual algae wafers left on the bottom, from the previous feeding, I'll have to quit adding those, then it'll be time to decide... might be kind of cool to have a couple in an aquarium if they continue to develop, just to see them... don't really get to view or watch the ones in the aquaculture tanks
trying to perfect my "Super Sucker" tank bottom vacuum today... I have a 2" X 48" clear tube, 1st tried attaching a 1/2" gravel vacuum tube with a syphon starting bulb on it, & it worked at syphoning water, but didn't flow enough water to pull the solids fully up the tube... so today I'm trying a 1" hose with a less restrictive syphon starter... fingers crosssed
Sure, we can mail order. Lazada and Shopee are both sites similar to Amazon.

Imported products are horrendously expensive, what with the double whammy of international shipping and tariff/duty/taxes, both way to high imho.

I will see what I can find for similar products on these sites, just that a) it was unexpected and I was unprepared, and b) it is doubtful I can find the same products you mention. Also c) translation issues. I was looking for powdered milk last month and couldn't find exactly what I needed until I used the term 'nipple powder'. lol.

Nipple powder. Lol. That made my day
salt is actually recommended... from my reading, best is to use no iodine table salt???
That's a cool setup! In terms of salt, I've had great success with using water softener salt (which nearly every Minnesota resident has easy access to). It's vastly cheaper than "aquarium salt", "table salt", or even "rock salt". Plus if has to be NSF certified, so you can be sure it's pretty safe in terms of adulterants. Do remember though that your tilapia are likely to be more tolerant of salt and your cucumber plants.

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