We have a new aquaponics system in Panama City, FL. We think we are going to go with Catfish (Tilapia are not an option for our area per FWC unless we are commercial). Our stock tank is a 300 gallon rubbermaid tank and grow bed is a approx 36 sq ft gravel flood and drain with a sump tank (which is also 300 gallon tank but is not filled). Just wondering if anyone has raised Channel Catfish in a tank like ours and if it seems to be big enough? Also, any suggestions on how many Catfish we should use? We plan to expand our grow bed area in the future. We also thought about Bream but think Catfish would be easier per their acceptable temperature ranges and the size they can become.
Thanks in advance!
I have Cats and Tilapia mixed in a 300 gallon rubbermaid tank. The 10 cats were started as fingerlings and are now around 8-lbs each. Biggest suggestion is plenty of air and redundancy on the air. The tank itself has worked very well
We started our system using channel cats in a similar size tank. In the beginning we had 25 fingerlings and that worked fine until they got bigger. They have done well in the cold temps too. Also, they grow fast. TCLynx is an expert on channel cats and she will happily any question you may have.
Is your 36 square feet of grow bed also 12 inches deep? If so, then I would say you can do about 30-36 channel catfish in that tank.
Bluegill would also be ok with your temperatures as long as your system isn't swinging in the extreme on temperature from day to night. Bluegill can survive the same temperatures that channel catfish can but they are a little more affected if the temp swings too fast/much from day to night. If you are having extreme temp swings from day to night, I would recommend goldfish and koi as being the heartiest for that but better option would be to do something to mitigate the extremity of the day/night swings so that the fish will be happier, healthier and eat better. The fish like it better if you can keep the day/night swings less than 10 degrees F. I have one system right now that is tending to do swings over 14 F between day/night since we are having some hot sunny days and cold nights and the fish are not eating as well as I'd like.
Thanks everyone! We'll probably do about 30 catfish to start and will definately monitor the water temp better to see how much it varies. We have not really been checking the temp that much so I'm not sure how much it changes.
Another question: Will the bluegill and catfish play nice in one tank? and what feed do you use/recommend?
I have a tank with catfish and bluegill. I can't be certain that it still has all it's bluegill but well fed catfish tend to be fairly lazy and there are still some of the bluegill so I know they can co-exist to an extent.
Just beware, it will be nearly impossible to catch a bluegill on purpose until after you have netted out all the catfish, the bluegill are faster at darting out of a net.