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Advice needed on large project


mrsmack
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Hi Everyone,

This is my first attempt at posting something so thanks to those who read this. :thumbup:

I'm in the process of turning the kids 2000l swimming pool into a fish pond to supply an aquaponics system, my problem is we don't eat fish much so I wanted to stock the pool with african cichlids. I thought these would be the best choice as the water supply has a ph of 7.8 and is very hard (getting kH & gH kits tommorrow). I live near Mackay and have been experimenting with keeping cichlids outside for a while with no problems. So my questions is this what on earth do I put in there????? :dntknw:

I was thinking of keeping it single species to avoid the dreaded cross-breeds plus a type of catfish. I want the little beasties to breed like rabbits, 'cause I have 4 fry of my own and I need to keep costs down, I'm not interested in selling the fish I just need to stock a big system. I have promised the family that this is a temporary measure and they will have the pool back by summer, I'll be getting 2 x 1100L aquaculture tubs to move the fish into by chrissie.

So what poos and breeds alot ? :lol4: I love reading all the varied opinions on this site so let hear it, plus I would really like some breeders input as I need advice on where to get the stock at a good price as well.

Any advice, comments etc would be appreciated

Thanks Zoe :raisehand:

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Hi Everyone,

This is my first attempt at posting something so thanks to those who read this. :thumbup:

I'm in the process of turning the kids 2000l swimming pool into a fish pond to supply an aquaponics system, my problem is we don't eat fish much so I wanted to stock the pool with african cichlids. I thought these would be the best choice as the water supply has a ph of 7.8 and is very hard (getting kH & gH kits tommorrow). I live near Mackay and have been experimenting with keeping cichlids outside for a while with no problems. So my questions is this what on earth do I put in there????? :dntknw:

I was thinking of keeping it single species to avoid the dreaded cross-breeds plus a type of catfish. I want the little beasties to breed like rabbits, 'cause I have 4 fry of my own and I need to keep costs down, I'm not interested in selling the fish I just need to stock a big system. I have promised the family that this is a temporary measure and they will have the pool back by summer, I'll be getting 2 x 1100L aquaculture tubs to move the fish into by chrissie.

So what poos and breeds alot ? :lol4: I love reading all the varied opinions on this site so let hear it, plus I would really like some breeders input as I need advice on where to get the stock at a good price as well.

Any advice, comments etc would be appreciated

Thanks Zoe :raisehand:

Hypostomus Plecostomus catfish poo lots and grow large too (up to 18")

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Yep they poo alot but the kids willnot get the pool back as they take longer than that time frame to breed.

How about the old flameback.Swords, Guppies or platies . Whatever your going to need some cover/plants for the fry to survive.What can you get ahold of that are breeding size to get you going straight away is more likely the answer. How are you going to clean the pool from whatever chemicals that have been in it?.

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I've been lucky there haven't been any chemicals used in the pool at all, so no need to worry about that. I thought about guppies, mollies and platys but I thought the pH would be a bit too high, plus I would need twice as many fish again. I guess around 400 - 500 for that size pool. I'm putting Azola fern in next week and installing air lines. The Plecos would be great but probably a bit pricey for the number I need, but I'm not planning on shutting the system down at Xmas, just transferring to 2 tubs (same total volume). The other minor detail is the price of fish up here even for guppies you are looking at a minimum of $5 per fish for females and about $7 for males :shock: . What can I say I'm a midget with big dreams. :lol3:

Zoe

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Why would you need 400/500?? maybe to eat all the fry??

Remember they are going to breed so how many will you have then. that will live?.

How many fry can a female produce in the time frame you give.

How about a pair of Jags for 500 fry at a time.

As said 12 breeding convicts = a lot of fry for not much outlay.

Edited by dobbin4
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Every so often a post like this pops up :lol3:

i guess they realise its just not feasible

if i remeber correctly sombody posted a fish store had a shark that they are giving away not only giving it away they will help with converting the pool !

food for thort

i would not put africans in a pool unless the plan was to suit up and scuberdive! and "that would be alsome"

good luck with your dicition summer is not to far away !

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Ah Foti laugh if you want, maybe I should mention I have a BAS (fisheries), 20+ years in the hobby and a hubby whose a plumber. This is a LONG term project with the aim being to grow fruit/veg via aquaponics, the large number of fish is what makes it work. As for the breeding rates, I suspect that in a pond environment that mortality rates in fry would almost be the equivelant of that in the wild ( approx 95%) so I truly don't expect a massive population explosion. I promise to pm you when I harvest my first crop :lol1:

Thanks Batty, I was thinking convicts too but I think I just needed to hear someone else say it to be sure. I'll probably get a few breeding pairs over the next couple of weeks and start the population going. I went to the LFS today but came home with some peppermint bristle nose and mainganos for my sanity tank.

Dobbin4 the budget is not huge to be sure, but here's the thing, I specifically wanted to do this myself rather than just buying a kit, I have always felt a hands on approach gives a person a much greater understanding of what they are doing and a greater sense of achievement at the end. I have put a lot of thought and planning into this but it is my first attempt so I'm going slow so I find and fix mistakes early (hopefully).

Hey Batty, how hard is it to breed the plecos you mentioned?

Thanks Zoe :raisehand:

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Depending on what age you brought, Pepps take 18/24 months before they will breed.Be intresting to see how many maingaino would make it in a lg pond.

If you had plenty of plants/cover i dont think your mortality rate would be that high. Thats why i was saying to stock with less breeding fish with give you more fry that live. If you had 400/500 fish as you say thats 400/500 mouths to eat the fry.Try some research into breeding catfish.I dont think many fry will live long in a pool like this with cichlids in it as they would grow fast and large. But they will give you the poo for your plants.Common B/nose breed at about 7/8+cm 9/12 months, dont eat their fry and would give you the food for your plants..

Try looking at some shellies that dont eat fry and N brichardi or Aus rainbows, blue acara would give you plenty of fry from just one breeding pr, Jack Demspey as well.But your going to have to pick fish that will get a long and not kill eachother much less the fry.

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I like your idea for the aquaponics, its a good Idea, but I don't know really know that Cichlids are a good choice of fish to do it with.

I would have thought you would need more waste then the Cichlids could provide.

I would stick to the more traditional fish species used, especially if you are trying to stick to a budget. I wouldn't waste money on fish that might not work, when you can get fish that will work.

I would also think that 400/500 fish, would be too many in a 2000l system

Adding plants to the pool would defeat the purpose of the system.

Edited by Josh
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G'day

If you are sure you want cichlids, then I would suggest you stick to americans. They tend to be very messy eaters and breed well.

In addition to the convicts, you might also consider Green Terrors - Either the White or Gold saum variety.

In regard to the cats, I would only suggest you try common bristlenose. These are a lot tougher than almost all of the other types that are now available and any long finned varieties will get nipped fins by the other tank inhabitants. They will also be smaller than if left alone in the pool. But you can increase their survivability and ability to feed by putting lots of hidey holes in the tank. This will also increase the survival rates for the fry in the tank.

Another option is to only place fry in the pool and keep the breeder(s) breeding inside.

Remember to enclose/cover/protect your pool or you will have some very happy kookaburras when they find your fish.

Cya

Matthew

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:thumb Yep Josh hit it on the head.

To enable the bacterial activity in the grow beds, you will need more than just Cichlids.

I have a system that runs 12 months of the year.

I have Koi that I have bred in the system but if I am right, you cant have Koi in Qld :dntknw:

I have also used Jungle Perch, Mangrove Jacks, Barramundi and Grunters.

These species have good growth rates so are ready for the table in around 6 months. [Not bad I reckon'! :thumbup: ]

You should be able to catch those species in your general location [so no costs for stocking] and even if you don't eat lots of fish, there is always the local restuarants who seem only too willing to buy the culture raised fish.

This combined with various types of Herbs that I grow in the system, it pays for itself.

Hope This Helps

CHEERS :thumb

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Would he not be pumping the pool water to his growing trays? Taking the water from the bottom where the poo would drop to.

50 B/nose well feed would give a lot of waste.

Depends Josh what plants he use's in the pool to have cover ,,, in a pot they would use little of the waste thats being pumped into the growing trays.

But as said Barra etc would be even better, with a fed at the end as well.

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Would he not be pumping the pool water to his growing trays? Taking the water from the bottom where the poo would drop to.

Yes that is the way an aquaponics system is ideally designed to work.......BUT....

pumping from the very base of the pond/pool has to be avoided as much as possible as the solid wastes tend to clog the pumps and lines.

Ideally he would be using the water that has the waste content as a free floating source to avoid the above mentioned problem.

I have to clean my pumps and lines quite regularly as it is, without having to strip piping etc. to free blocked pipes or fittings. :thumb

Also I have found that, even having up to 300 Adult BNs in one of my systems, they still did not produce enough waste to maintain a reliable level of nutrients for the grow beds.

This in turn means feeding the grow beds with a liquid fertilizer such as 'Charlie Carp' to maintain growth rates in the grow beds.

Unfortunately this has the adverse effect of adding too much nutrient rich water in the ponds, thereby increasing the rate of algal growth that results.

This has proved to be too much for the BNs to have a suitable control over, resulting in the pumps becoming clogged with the fine filiments of blanket weed etc. that results.

HTH

CHEERS :thumb

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