I have a 300 gal tank and have both Talipia and Koi. Does any one know if there will be good tank-mates?
I'd assume it would be similar to mixing tilapia with goldfish, in which case they'll be fine as long as you keep their bellies full and they are similar in size, or the koi are larger than the tilapia. If the tilapia start getting larger than the goldfish, they can beat the heck out of them. Mine tilapia weren't interested in eating the goldfish, but the goldfish were in the tilapia's territory. Territorial tilapia try to chase everything out of their space.
Why take a chance? A Tilapia is a garbage fish with a finite food value. An undamaged Koi gets more valuable as it grows. Why not invest in another tank and separate them? My system has Koi and Catfish in separate tanks. I would never mix fish types.
Why would one want to waste precious tank space on gold fish ... I do not understand that reasoning.
Bryan Man said:
Garbage fish...that's a little harsh. Tilapia are alot hardier than koi. So starting a system off, which I am assuming the OP is in the beginner stages. Tilapia and goldfish are a much easier and cost effective way to learn about an AP system. I have heard horror stories about people with these expensive fish make a newbie mistake (as we all do) and end up wasting ALL that money.
Well, I guess that it boils down to the notion ''are you in aquaponics to make money on fish or eat veggies." I am in it to make money selling pond Koi 12 inches or longer. Raised from fry.
I have a breeding pond full of catfish and a few tanks of them for aquaponics growers to have fingerlings and larger cats for commercial sales.
Bryan Man said:
Cheaper to replace , more readily available. OP is starting off why would he invest so much into fish/fingerlings that require a higher level of knowledge to keep healthy. Goldfish are goldfish once he has a handle on things I am pretty sure he can give those to his kids or neighbors and add whatever he enjoys eating. Catfish/tilapia/etc...
:) that it does right now for me its just a hobby and something fun to do. I actually never considered selling Koi or anything so that is something to think about later on.
Might ask you for a few tips to get something like your system established.
I've read the same information on the internet as you have. I have read a couple books on breeding and raising both Koi and Catfish. As far as selling pond size Koi, that was a no brainer for me. We are fortunate, we have a lot of predator birds in NW Washington and people keep losing their Koi and doing nothing to protect them. I love herons, hawks, falcons and especially the bald eagles. As long as they are eating fish, I have a market for my Koi.
Three books that I found useful are:
"Channel Catfish Farming Handbook" by Tucker and Robinson. Very expensive book, but well worth the money.
"Koi - A Complete Pet Owner's Manual" by Blasiola
''Backyard Fish Farming" by Bryant, Jauncey and Atack
I've studied everything from Aquaponics 4 You and everything from Back Yard Aquaponics.
The catfish breeding pond just had to be deeper and bigger so that those same predator birds could not hit me too hard. One thing, my pond and my fish tanks only use filtered - lava rock and activated charcoal - rainwater. I use no chemicals in my IBC tanks or pond, except a Baking Soda washout of my IBC tanks when cleaning them. I maintain a 2,500 gallon rainwater storage tank. The water comes out of that tank and is filtered through 64 cubic feet of lava rock and activated charcoal, tested and then pumped into the IBC fish tanks. The rain water for the pond, except for direct fall into the pond and pond slope runoff, goes through bio filters before it goes into the pond. For garbage fish like Koi and Catfish, mine are living in a pretty clean environment.
You make a good point, Phil, koi are valuable fish. Calvin asked about koi, but I mentioned goldfish because they are carp, like koi, and I have experience mixing goldfish with tilapia.
The motive for going into aquaponics are varied. Some eat the fish, some don't. If you don't, and if you aren't into reproducing/selling fish, the easiest fish to use are goldfish because their messy (create lots of nutrients) and very hardy.
Back to the question as to whether koi and tilapia are good tank-mates, any time you mix aggressive fish (tilapia are cichlids, an aggressive species), with gentle fish, like carp, you're eventually going to have bad experiences. :)
Phil. Thanks for the book recomends. I love to read and learn. Now an off topic true story....I have a swimming pool and several years ago we were having a party and Leslies pool supply had battery powered fake Koi that swam around the pool for hours on a couple of D cell batteries. I bought one but they warned me that customers had been telling them that predator birds had been swooping then up from the pools in my city.
i brought some koi they were 1 inch long at the time and i put some baby Tilapia fingerlings in the same tank with the koi and they are living quite good together they are now almost 5-7 inches long, will put up some pics with them tommorow