Anyone doing small-scale aquaculture?

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Feb 19, 2008
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I was flipping through a Nasco catalog the other day when I came across a mini fish farm, which was pretty cool. Basically it was a 5x3 open-topped tank with a filter and areator. You could raise up to 150 pounds of fish per year. That got me thinking about getting an areator and buying some of those blow up and fill up pools that you see everywhere and raising some fish. Anyone else have any experience doing some off the wall aquaculture?
I started out with a decent sized tank (pond) with channel cats and hybrid bluegills. Now I have a catfish mudhole. Soon I'll have a catfish dustbowl. :mad: Send rain, in large quantities!

Your weather in Tenn. might make it a bit too difficult or expensive to keep the water temperature at the desired level, but if you've got a closed barn or garage available and some inexpensive means of heating you might want to look into raising tilapia. As I recall, they grow really fast in a "farmed" scenario, something like going from fingerling to table in about half a year or less. I toyed with raising them since I think they are pretty decent eating if really fresh, but with only outdoor water, even in my area along the gulf coast the risk of death from low water temperatures is too high. If my memory is correct, they need water temperatures not much colder than 80 degrees.
I raised trout for a few years....much like cattle on a small scale. If everything goes perfectly you might not lose too much. Fish are like chickens...always looking for a quick way to get dead. Mighty good eatin though.
I would like to raise trout but I don't think I could keep them cold enough, although there is one old raceway in teh county that used to raise trout. Sadly I was never able to see it. In light of that, I was leaning towards something like hybrid bluegill. They grow really fast, and the one's I don't harvest for food can be pond stockers.
Looks like Aquaponics is even better than aquaculture. The only problem I see is buying supplies here in the US. Looks like Australia is big into it.
I am putting a small trial system together using pvc water pipe, a basic pump from the pet store, the growing medium is fine grade gravel used for garden paths here, and an old trough to plant into. My first trial will be with goldfish, and if it works out I will go bigger and use rainbow trout.
I am experimenting with live food, and have some daphnia cultures started, some mealworms and looking at other possible home grown food, mosquito larvae are the easiest to produce in the summer.

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