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 Post subject: My new breeder system
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:33 am 
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Location: Cape Coral, FL
After building two floating raft systems, I wanted to try my hand at a flood and drain system. This will be my tilapia breeder system which will house a male and 3 or 4 female breeders.

I used a 54" diameter (100 gal approx.) wading pool as my sump/fry tank. A 300gph pump runs through a 5 gallon bucket filled with AC filter and knotted window screen media which is my mechanical/bio filter. Two 2ftX3ft 8" deep plastic mortar mixing trays filled with pea gravel and armed with 1" bell siphons rest on a 2x4 frame supported by cinder blocks footed inside 10 gallon totes which rest inside the sump. (The totes keep the water from contact with the cinder blocks and contain the leveling sand I used to level the frame for the grow beds. My back yard slopes and I was too lazy to try to level the sump, so leveling sand worked for the fish tank and growbed frame) I used soda bottles as screens for the siphons and used a piece of 1/4 metal rod heated with a torch to burn holes in the soda bottles. (This was much cheaper and easier than drilling a bazillion holes in 4" PVC!)

My fish tank is a 70 gallon plastic cattle watering trough. I had to put five 1" pvc drains in the fish tank to keep up with the flow when both bell siphons kick on at the same time. Bigger drains would have lowered the water level by another inch and I didn't have a hole saw bigger than the 1 3/8" I used to drill the drain holes)

I plan to cycle the tank using sunfish and catfish caught from my backyard canal and get my winter crops started. Come late February or March, when the night time lows get back above 60F, I will liberate the wild fish back to the canal and populate the tank with breeders from one of my floating raft systems. The plan is for the fry to flush thru the drains into the sump where they will remain separate from the adults .

Here's a pic:
Image


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:50 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Very cool. Like the compact design and look forward to hearing how it progresses.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:58 am 
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Basil1 wrote:
Very cool. Like the compact design and look forward to hearing how it progresses.


Thanks, Basil1. It only has a 6 foot by 5 1/2 foot footprint. I estimate total system volume at 170 gallons. By designing it so that all fittings and plumbing lies within the circumference of the sump tank, should any leaks or catastrophic failures develop, the water will simply fall into the sump.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:06 pm 
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I like this idea. If you don't mind, I am going to pirate it, and play with it. My opinion here....but egg crate would work better for sizing/seperating adults from fry. I use it as a cheap fish grader, but it only comes in one size. Cut portions of this out, and zip tie them on the inside of the over flow drains to keep any frenzied adults or hold back juevies from getting through. Young fry are pretty strong swimmers and may not want to go out on own...just a thought. My Tilapia like to make babies instead of growing...wasted energy when I am pushing for size. Only way I know to fix that is either manual seperation/sexing or hormones. I don't like using hormones. And manual is not always 100%. I have an extra volume tank...330 tote, and I bet if I bury it in the ground so that only about 12-18 inches sticks up, the ground will work as an insulator and a wood slatted decking system over the top will allow a walkway/working area. I am gonna push this around a bit on paper. You might be onto something.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:15 pm 
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what pump are you using? Looks like from the pic a 110V. I don't see the heavier wiring associated with higher voltage. Your lift I would imagine is around 4ft, maybe 6 as you probably want a little more than required.
This would be really nice for going vertical with. Why are you worried about the cinder blocks touching the water? Aged concrete is for the most part inert and will add porous surface area. Much in the same way reefers construct thier own live rock. Never, ever thought of ac filters....but it makes sense as long as you use the fiberglass bats, this would work to pull out the particulates.....But may deteorate faster. But buy the cheap ones in bulk, think I paid $10 for case of the blue ones....hmmm. Use a rubermaid style tote from walmart. Cheapo depot special and line the filters in horizontaly with porous media. Water can either go in the bottom and rise up to an over flow, plumbing, whatever. Or from top down utilizing gravity. Man my wheels are spinning. When the smoke clears in my head I will make more inteligent explanation. Thinking outloud is not my strong point.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:22 pm 
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A modified Travis Hughey system, with much higher volume.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:50 pm 
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Location: Terre Haute, IN
foodchain,

Have you thought about screening the bottom of the FT so the eggs fall through, and can't get fertilized by the males or picked up by the females, to stop the breeding?

Just a thought.

-Larry


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:55 pm 
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no. And that's sad. That's an obvious one. Dang it. I don't keep mine in tanks though. All large ponds, only come into the volume tanks for winter. They get salted, and feeding is reduced and kept pretty cool....then cycled back out in the spring. But you have a very good point. The screening, egg crate would be perfect in the bottom of the ponds would double as cage culture for the prawns though. Just a lot of cutting to make the crate fit the pond walls, then use milk crates to lift it up off the bottom. Hmmm. Currently use catfish to eat smaller ones. Cheaper than pellet feed. Let me play with this idea a little bit.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:38 pm 
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foodchain wrote:
what pump are you using? Looks like from the pic a 110V. I don't see the heavier wiring associated with higher voltage. Your lift I would imagine is around 4ft, maybe 6 as you probably want a little more than required.
This would be really nice for going vertical with. Why are you worried about the cinder blocks touching the water? Aged concrete is for the most part inert and will add porous surface area. Much in the same way reefers construct thier own live rock. Never, ever thought of ac filters....but it makes sense as long as you use the fiberglass bats, this would work to pull out the particulates.....But may deteorate faster. But buy the cheap ones in bulk, think I paid $10 for case of the blue ones....hmmm. Use a rubermaid style tote from walmart. Cheapo depot special and line the filters in horizontaly with porous media. Water can either go in the bottom and rise up to an over flow, plumbing, whatever. Or from top down utilizing gravity. Man my wheels are spinning. When the smoke clears in my head I will make more inteligent explanation. Thinking outloud is not my strong point.


I think it's a 300gph pump 110v, but it may be 400gph (can't remember - it's an old pump.)

The cinder blocks are like 10 years old, but in my second system they are in contact with the water and the pH stays in the 8.0 to 8.3 range as a result. I wanted to avoid that in this smaller system.

I use the A/C filters as media in all my systems. It's a coarse filter. The knotted up window screen chunks seem to have much more surface area and provides finer filtration, so I always top off my mechanical/bio filters with the window screen knotted into scrubbie sized chunks. Between the two grow beds and the bucket, I have more than enough biological filtration for the 5 adults I plan to house in this 170 gallon system.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:34 pm 
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Here's a video I filmed this afternoon while the system cycles...


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