2011 catfish group order

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Aquaponic Gardening

I’m getting ready to get an order of catfish to quarantine. Since my systems can handle the minimum order and the 300 gallon system will be able to handle quarantine of a fairly large number of small fish I am offering to get a larger order than I need so I can share out to others once they have been isolated for for 3-6 weeks.

Now for stocking catfish, I wouldn’t really push them on anyone with much smaller than a 300 gallon fish tank and I’ve also heard of situations where very small numbers of channel catfish can become aggressive to each other especially if there is already a big guy in the tank and smaller fish get added, the big guy may chase the others to the point that they jump out of the tank.

In a 300 gallon tank with 300-600 gallons of media beds, 30 fish is a reasonable number if you like to grow catfish big (how big will depend on the amount of media beds.) I have grown more in a 300 gallon tank before but as they got big it really seemed over crowded to me and without some form of backup aeration they wouldn’t have survived long with a power out.

Anyway, I’m gonna start collecting orders but probably won’t actually get the fish till early March (I don’t want to freeze the new fish if I can help it.)

Please let me know how many you would like, figure they will be available last week of March or first Week of April for those who don’t feel too much need for quarantine or Later in April (as schedules allow) or even May. For the service of getting the fish, quarantining and providing them in small numbers, I’ll charge $1 per fish just to keep the numbers easy.

If you get them from the farm, they cost less but you have to get a hold of them when they happen to have fish available, they won’t go into the pond for a small order. You also have to talk them into bagging the fish for you, they don’t like to do that with catfish anymore apparently. The minimum order for the smaller fingerlings was 100 fish last I knew or 50 of the larger ones.

Anyway, let me know either here or by message how many catfish you want. (I think aggression may be less if there are at least 15-20 fish in a tank but I haven’t really gotten to experiment with that too much.)

9 comments to 2011 catfish group order

  • I was just blogging about wanting to set up a backyard system in a hoop house, and wondering what fish made the most sense. Silly me, didn’t realize I already knew one of the best experts available on aquaponic use of channel catfish (looking like the best option, since I can’t use tilapia outside).

    I don’t have a 300 gallon system outside yet, but would be interested in doing so, and 30 catfish is what I’d be wanting – probably May timeframe. What size of container would I need to bring home 30 small cats (prbably in the back of my car)?

  • TCLynx

    Hi Meg,
    (another option if you are not wanting huge fish or fast would be blue gill but I’ve not grown those myself.)
    But to bring home catfish, and yes, 30 of them would do if you have plenty of filtration for them, 15-20 will also easily support a 300 gallon tank with 600 gallons of grow beds. To bring them home, well depends on how small they are and how far it is to drive them home.
    The fish farm I get mine from bags them with oxygen so I just put the bags in bins just in case of a puncture or leak. When the fingerlings were very advanced, it was only about 15 fish per bag and they were boxed in a 15 inch by 15 inch box. Same size bag when I got smaller fingerlings they once put 140 fish in a bag.
    So if the fingerlings are real small like less than 3 inches long, you could probably bring home well over 30 of them in an ice chest with a battery powered bubbler. If they are a bit bigger, like over 6 inches, you might not want to bring so many in such a small container even with a bubbler.

    Gotta drive careful to avoid sloshing.

  • Ooo – liking the option of bluegill now. It can get nippy here near DC, and since bluegill are OK in icy conditions, I’d feel much less nervous about them dying from the cold. Seems like they are very similar, in ways, to tilapia. I’ve found the list of fish hatcheries local to Virginia (if you call places up to 8 hours away “local”).


  • TCLynx

    I have to postpone the group fish order as there is something in my 300 gallon system currently making my fish sick.

    I want to clean things out and make sure it is all good and safe for the fish before I put in a large group order.

  • Sminfiddle

    I picked up more and bigger Channel Catfish than my first order, and I did lose 4 of them this time.
    Distance from fish farm to my house: ~40 miles

    First order: qty 25 size “4 to 6 inches” mid-July. All perky and no problems observed while tempering.

    Second order: qty 40 size “6 to 8 inches” mid-March. They were very sluggish and several sank to the bottom, though breathing. 2 were yanked right out and 2 appeared as floaters a couple of days later.

    Oxygenated 3-gallon “bag in a box” both times. I didn’t bubble but will look into doing that for future runs.

  • TCLynx

    Well, if you had all 40 of those fish in a single bag in a box, I’m certain they were out of oxygen by the time they got home. When I got bigger fish they generally only put about 15 per box/bag while the small fish 3-5 inch fish can easily transport 100 in a boxed bag with oxygen.

  • TCLynx

    No I haven’t started doing an e-mail newsletter yet.

  • Andy

    I am just about to start a 250g ibc with 10 channel cats. Just got to figure out how to filter and pump.

    • TCLynx

      You want to make sure you have plenty of filtration, water circulation and plan on some air pumping for good measure. I recommend cycling up fishless for a while before getting any fish.

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