Aquaponics: Day 46 – TILAPIA

You know those people that are so excited, they’re annoying? That was me today! Getting my Tilapia in the mail at the office really made my day. I bought them on sale on White Brook Tilapia Farm. Caution: it sounds cheap at about dollar each, but the shipping is pretty steep. These guys are tiny at about 1″-1.5″. I sure hope I was given a few ladies, but I hear most farms only breed males because they grow bigger. Tilapia are fast growers, maturing in about 9 months. I heard a few people say it takes more like a year before they are ready for the plate. And backyard to plate is exactly what I intend to do. Until then, I need to purchase a nice knife and learn how to clean a fish. 
25 fry or fingerlings they call them. They were pretty lethargic when I first opened the box. It was a long trip. 

Had to follow the fish rules, so they floated for as long as I could stand. The goldfish went straight for the bag like it was food. I’m wondering if they will be food once the tilapia get big enough. Note how clear the water is from the last update. Apparently, algae have a hard time growing without light. Check.

While we waited, The Old Lady did this...

…and The trouble maker did that. (squirrel hunting is all about patience)

The plants are barely hanging on to life. 
I keep reading my aquaponics book and then reread parts here and there. wow! I expected to put-it-together and have an instant success. Talk about work in process and learning curve. I’d really recommend getting the book first, YouTube, and then getting the system. This was not the order I followed. The key factor that is not so obviously said: worms! Worms, that’s right. They are part of Aquaponics and I can assure you, it’s a circle of life. Don’t forget you must have the right balance of fish to plants.

Feed Fish – Fish Waste to grow bed – WORMS compost waste – compost feeds plants – plants clean fish water

People really like to scare me about the water getting too hot, so it started getting to me. I was told weed blocker. ok.  Great idea, nothing like a black cloth to attract the heat. Enter bamboo fence. Shade the fish and plants have the sun AND no sun for the algae. 
Am I making this too hard? I’m good at that. I’d really like to know what else or differently I can be doing. I added worms to the grow-bed the other day, and with the addition of the fish maybe things will take off soon. I read on the internet that tilapia grow four inches in two months. I can’t wait to watch!
On top of my giddy-ness, two chip bags fell when I paid for just one at the vending machine today. See you at the fishing hole in about a year!

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