Blue tilapia. Everything is set up as if they are food fish but they have convinced me they have personalities, a social structure, and would not take it lightly if their friends started disappearing. In case of apocalypse, their feelings in the subject might not carry so much weight.
Yes, they are blue Nile, I thought I was missed something in the name. A couple are pink and suspicious for another variant. Can’t remember the name of that one either. But they are all supposed to be blue Niles, and came from Lakeway Tilapia (and subsequent offspring thereof).
Still figuring my way around here and how to do things. Trying again with a history of the tilapia and pond build out…
Prepping the DIY starter tank (a resin planter from Home Depot) for tilapia fingerlings I ordered from Lakeway Tilapia.
They arrived in June 2022. They were very shy in the beginning. I fed them little crumbles in the center several times a day and they would hide, and run out a couple at a time to grab some food and go back in hiding. I called it running the gauntlet.
Three channel catfish in the stock tank, and later some of the tilapia went there as well because I felt they were getting a little crowded.
Perhaps overkill on the filtration: canister filter, skimmer, and waterfall.
Foundation. The outer wall was preexisting. You can see the remnants of coyote rollers along the top to keep an adventurous escapist Yorkie from climbing out of that enclosure. Very rocky ground that was challenging at times. Some larger rocks I was hoping would be dinosaur fossils but no, just lots of crustacean fossils. I dug down about 2 feet on one end. We never get freezing temps here so I don’t have to protect them from extreme cold. I covered the cinder block openings with lattice work, trusting the heavy pond liner would hold the water from there. So far so good.
Yep, holds water. There was starting to be some urgency to get the fish in as I’d already had 2 jump-outs which I took as a sign of overcrowding.
The fish are in. Filter and fountain in one with plans for a waterfall filter in the corner.
Covered when not attended for shade and to keep predators (birds) out.
Thought the two fountains might get a swirl flow going and prevent dead spots. That was a fail. The two basically canceled each other out and weren’t getting aeration to the far end. The tilapia hung out by the surface until I figured out they were getting air. I had thought they could hang out where aeration was best, by the waterfalls, if it was a problem. However the best real estate was some large Terra cotta pots at the far end. I came to realize they set up in little territories and, just like with people, some found they got more space and luxury away from the best resources (aeration) and crowded urban centers (smaller rock caves).
Added another layer of cinder blocks for reinforcement. These are not cemented on, the theory being if the cinder blocks are no more than 3 high, that’s ok. That near corner is still awkward and not finished in a way I like.
Temporary seating for working from home during COVID days. The copper piping is there to keep netting off the water when I cover it.
LoL, the dog fish is Chloe, a blind dachshund. One time I took her out in a rather large pond but wasn’t sure if she could or would swim so just carried her. She was blind by that time (hereditary condition, progressive retinal atrophy). All of a sudden she turned around, swam off quite efficiently to the edge and walked on out. She’d had enough of that. Rather fearless for being blind.