My Fish are Fine, Thank You.

Tilapia Barrel

Tilapia Barrel

Many concerned friends have asked me about my 20 baby Tilapia. After I broke the tank and stuffed them in a little 5 gallon aquarium overnight, I received calls and emails, requesting a follow up.  So here it is.

The next morning, I cleaned out my blue 55 gallon drum that I use for growing essential microbes in for the garden. I did not waste a drop though. It is being saved in 5 gallon buckets until I am done with the drum. 

I put the tilapia, their 5 gallons of rescued cycled water, and bacteria filled rocks into the barrel. I added 5 gallons of clean water, and a bubbler to disturb the surface of the water. The bubbler will cause the oxygen at the service to enter the water. 

At the bottom of the deep blue sea

At the bottom of the deep blue sea

Instead of changing water everyday now. I just add 5 gallons of clean, unchlorinated water every evening prior to feeding them. It will take these little ones a long time to dirty this large amount of water. After the barrel is filled, I will start taking water samples. When the samples start telling me that the water is dirty, I can start changing the water and cycling my tank. 

I have read that a 55 gallon barrel willl support up to 5 full grown tilapia, so it is indeed possible to do this on a smaller scale . One of my students mentioned putting 4 barrels for 20 fish. That would work too.

I hope to have my 130 gallon IBC tote soon. When I do, I will follow up with another post.  Until then, these babies are safely tucked in, and playing at the bottom of the barrel. Don’t tell them though! They think that they are “Under the Sea” Ohhhh– Silly Song alert!


About sharinglifesabundance

I am a backyard food producer. I grow 800 square feet of organic vegetables in the desert year round.
This entry was posted in Aquaponics, Songs, Tilapia, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My Fish are Fine, Thank You.

  1. Ashira G says:

    Hi! I came across your post about your tilapia and I noticed the date. I was wondering how’s things going with your setup? I’m interested in raising a few tilapia’s myself in the near future.

    • Ashira,
      The tilapia were a huge success! They actually started breeding and as the adults were harvested, the fry took over the tank. Most people say that you cannot raise them that way. My secret was placing old clay pots, and pieces of PVC pipe down in the bottom. The babies hid and grew until the bigger ones were harvested.
      The plants did well too, but when I moved to the farm, I could not get any of the males in my family to help me move it. So, I found a friend who wanted the system. I swapped him my system for 2 registered Nubian female goats. We both felt that we got the best of the deal.
      I am thinking about a larger set up in the future with a large above ground pool complete with filter. I would use the floater trays to float the plants on the top of the water and use sprouting bamboo to shade the fish during the summer.
      Please let me know how your set up goes and if I can help in any way.
      Good Luck to you my friend.

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