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

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Well so much for bragging up the new pump, after about a half hour it quit pumping… it’s running, no leaks, just extremely little air pressure… not happy
Well, the company is sending me a new one should be here in 2 - 5 business days… they are an American distributor, but the box says made in China… it worked so well for a half hour… fish have been doing reasonably well, considering mid 100 degrees heat index the last couple days… I would feel a lot better, if I had the air I paid for, with this heat
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The start of my breeding setup for next year’s tilapia, a 65 gallon on the bottom of a stacked pair, 45 gallon on top
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90 gallons of water change between the 3 tanks… only takes 15-20 minutes… equipment is working well, and I have a good routine… wouldn’t be a huge problem, if I had to start doing it twice a week, as the fish get closer to finished size… breeding tank set up getting closer…
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It's a good thing the Tilapia tanks have big valves on the bottom, as the fish get bigger, it's going to require a bigger / more often, water changes... I have an adaptor made that goes from the 2" drain valve, down to a garden hose fitting... I'll use that to "fish water" the plants I've been trying to do that for, instead of bucketing the water to them...

also good that I have a hot & cold freeze proof blending faucet out by the tanks, so I can fill off of it, & have well water with no chlorine... I've been able to match the 87-88 degree water going into the tanks...

I found a use for that pair of marineland inside the tank canister filters that I bought early on, & found too unsightly to use, in my other aquariums... they are working nicely to cycle the water... both tanks are 1/2 full right now to press everything together, while the adhesive cures..., & until I get some substrate, heaters, & a divider into the top tank... the bottom tank will use 4 of the biggest foam filters I could find, 1 in each corner ( rated for up to 70 gallons each ) the top tank will eventually have a pair of bigger hang on the back filters, one on each side of the divider... I'm wanting to get these tanks going... I will probably go outside my comfort zone, & do a fishless cycling, for the top tank, once the filters come, as 3-4 6" fish will be going in as soon as I sex them, after the tanks are ready... top tank will hold & separate the fish, until they are moved to the lower tank for spawning, after which the male will move back to his side of the top tank, & once the fry start eating, & I can get them out of the mothers mouths, the females will be moved back to their side of the top tank... the supplier I bought the original fingerlings / (I'd have called them fry ) from, highly recommends Zeigler's Algae wafers for feeding fry, & I have a bag of those here, even though I hope to start spawning mid winter, & have the fingerlings ready to go outside next spring, when I can maintain the correct temperatures
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I bought 20 meters of plastic hose that fitted over the top of a 2 litre plastic drink bottle and used that for gravel cleaning my big tanks. The big diameter hose could drain a 4x2x2ft tank in 5 minutes.

To make a plastic drink bottle into a gravel cleaner, just cut the bottom off and throw the bottom bit away. Remove the cap and plastic ring at the top. And the remaining bottle is the gravel cleaner. :)

Take the new pump apart and check the rubber components. It probably broke a rubber seal.

Pumping air down 3 feet is going to put a lot of back pressure on any pump. I used to hang my airstones in 2 feet of water and they still circulated and aerated it, but didn't have as much back pressure on the pump.
I make specialized "suckers" all the time... I have one that has an inch & half diameter by 30 inch long acrylic tube, reduced to a half inch hose that I use on my 45 gallon, that is built in, so you can't work above it... 3 sides viewing, so it's hard to work on, only from the top of one end...

the one for the big Tilapia tanks is a 2.25" tube 4 ft long, reduced to 3/4" tube... that one drains water fast...
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Thoughts??? setting up the Tilapia breeding tanks... the holding tanks for the adult fish... I was going to buy a couple Aquaclear 70's, as I already have several...

but lately I'm considering the Seachem 75's, as they have that integrated surface skimmer... normally I'm not sold on skimmers for regular use... noisy... however they do add additional aeration... but the skimmer part is what turned me off on the Seachem for my regular tank use...

however the floating pellets I'm feeding currently makes the Tilapia poop float... if that were to continue into the aquariums, the skimmer portion might come in handy... currently the Tilapia poop is like pleco poop, but it floats... might have to give the Seachem filters a try for this application

BTW... outside, I ran 150 feet of garden hose from the tilapia tanks to my hedge row of Hazel nuts ( they have been getting buckets of fish water ( workin smarter not harder ) now I just have to have the patience to move the hose from plant to plant, & wait for the water too fill... I think I can change 100 - 150 gallons at a time ( gallon restriction, per time is the hot water heater, as I'm adding back water to the tanks at 88 degrees )
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Got the adapters on the tank drain valves and hooked up the 150 feet of garden hose, and did a 20-25 gallon water change just to test the system… hooked up the replacement “big” air pump, that arrived today… and I have 6 - 4 inch air stones rolling the surface in 2 corners of each tank… been running for a couple hours now, hope it run’s until at least harvest time…
Kind of funny, the other day, ( before I installed the reducing adaptors & garden hose fitting on the 2" tank bottom drain valves ) while I was doing the emergency water change, I was just barely opening the valves & letting the water go out on the lawn... pretty soon... plop... out comes one of the runt fish... I was temped just to stick him in an aquarium, but I plopped him back into the tank... I had seen a runt a month or so ago, but haven't seen it lately, and the rest of the fish that are visible are 5-7" long in that tank... so I thought I was pretty safe draining from the valve... this runt was 2.5 to 3" long, but only 1.25 to 1.5" tall... so he had no problem slipping through a 2" butterfly valve... if I had time to think about it, I should have just put it in a bucket, & took it to my buddy, that bought 20, delivered with mine, that the frogs ate all his when they were little ( he had his in an ornamental pond in his yard )
A little update... breeder tanks are about ready for fish ( that means I'll have to net & sex them )
made a pretty big mistake the other day... in too much of a hurry, got done with work, got home & had to leave for 3-4 hours right away... wanted to get Tilapia chores done... got them fed, & started the make up water to replace evaporation ( always got quite a bit of evaporation from the filters but adding 6 rolling air stones has increased that evaporation ) I fill off the house with a blended hot & cold faucet... I forgot to turn it off in my haste... gone for about 3.5 hours... the overflow water change was fine, but I ran the hot water heater out of hot water, & when I got home I rushed out to do my last feeding of the day, & the tanks were getting cold... had to shut the water off & skip that feeding... one tank was at 65 degrees, the other at 60 degrees... everyone was fine, as these are Blue Tilapia & they are more cold hardy, but they will start dying at about 50 degrees, so I got lucky... if we were still in the middle of that +100 degree heat wave, the water would have warmed faster, but we have a cold front going through right now... 70 degrees for a high, upper 40's & low 50's for low temps the last couple days... took 2 days for the heaters to get back to 87-88 degree tanks, & the fish to get their appetite back...

biggest fish are about the size I would start keeping panfish, if I fished for them... I got my 1st package of the biggest pellets ( finisher ) just the other day... they haven't quite started on them yet...

BTW... I got to see one of my Bichirs that is in the plant tank last night... 3 of them between 3 & 4 inches went in this spring, to keep the bugs from growing in that tank... the one I saw last night was 8-10 inches long, & looked healthy... the giant duckweed, that I was growing in that tank, did not like the 2 weeks of 100 degree heat index, & between feeding it to the fish 1 scoop per day & it not growing... there is very little left right now ( a few patches in the nooks around the vegetable containers is all that's left ) I haven't decided if I should move any to an aquarium in the house for the winter, or just buy new starter cultures in the spring??? but I can now see down into the tank that has the Bichirs in it... so hoping to see more of them, before time to move them in the house for the winter... I put a 3 foot high silk Monstera plant in there this spring, to give them a hideout & place to rest... I'm guessing they spend the bulk of their time in it...
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The fish can jump...
I never did finish my mesh around the top of the tanks, even though there are covers, there is still an 8" gap around some of the area around the top of the tanks... doing chores this morning, and I'm always trying to get a glimpse of one of the bichirs in the plant tank... this morning I was surprised by the sight of a 7 to 8 inch Tilapia in that tank... they must have been mating or sparring last night, & a big one, went "over the wall"

not really an issue, since he appears to have landed in this tank... the heater is set at 75 degrees on that tank, instead of mid 80's, & the duck weed is pretty much gone ( the growing of duck weed was really the only reason, there were not Tilapia in that tank )... it should get along fine, with the bichirs in that tank... other than it's probably chewing on the exposed roots of my vegies growing over that tank...
I may decide to turn up the heater a little, or will try to catch him, but I may have to leave him in there, with all the root masses & hydroponic vegies growing around the outsides of the tank... he may have to stay there until the vegies are done... I sprinkled a few Tilapia pellets in that tank this morning, & will assess the situation tonight, or this weekend...

BTW... since the fish are nearing harvest size, I better get my breeding tanks finished, ( since it's pretty large, I'm guessing it's a male... I'll sex it for sure, but I may have found my breeding male??? ) & I have been doing about a 100 gallon water change, daily... if I do that, I find they eat more aggressively... if I don't, even with the water at mid 80's, they slow down on eating, & I'm trying to grow them as big as I can, before it gets too cold... 48 degrees this morning... it was in the 30's yesterday morning, but it's still warming to the mid to upper 70's most days... so with the heaters, the tanks are still maintaining their optimum temperatures...
Ok… not been any comments positive or negative, lately… so if no one is reading along any more, I’ll save the bandwidth, and quit posting… fish are over taxing my filter, and the rolling air stones, are also increasing evaporation, so I’m doing 20 - 25% water change each day right now… fish vary between 4 inches and 8 inches… I bought the hydroponic grade, so this expected… will be sexing a breeding group within a few weeks, when the tanks are ready… took a few pictures today…
Pictures 1&2 are of the drain valve, reducer to the garden hose, and some old hoses I had laying around, at 25 feet, going down a slight hill to the tree line… pictures 3,4, and 5 the floating finish pellets, also make the poop float( looks like pleco logs ) so my tanks are designed to surface skim, if I pull the elbows off, and the water goes into a floss filter, before draining into the next tank, to make that easier to remove, ( BTW, the elbows just slip on and off, so that when I’m feeding the floating pellets, they don’t get sucked up ), then and finally some veggie pictures tomatoes and cucumbers still producing

Sorry, with this many pictures, they got out of order…


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The last picture, to tank appears to have a line on the front glass going from top to bottom. If there 2 pieces of glass on the front of that tank or is it something weird with the picture?

If you keep some of your current duckweed, it will be more adapted to the conditions than new stuff you buy. You might lose most of it again next year but if you keep some each year, you will eventually develop a strain that does well at your place. If you keep buying new stuff in, you will keep losing it when it gets hot.

Just do a weekly or fortnightly update from now on if you like. People still follow threads like this but it will be less work for you.

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