Who is Aleece Landis?
Aleece B. Landis, more commonly known as the hands-on aquaponic expert TCLynx, has been enthralled with aquaponics since 2007.
TC learned much of her aquaponic know-how engaging in all kinds of forums and online communities and now is one of the “go-to” people on many sites. Aside from helping all levels of aquaponic enthusiasts, TCLynx also devotes her time to duckaponics, permaculture, helping families grow food for her business, Aquaponic Lynx, LLC, and raising her little boy.
ZipGrow holds TC in the highest regard and refers to her on all matters catfish.
There are lot’s of possibilities when you are choosing a fish for your system. Catfish are a great fish and might just be your perfect match. Let’s talk about catfish in aquaponics.
Why might Catfish be a Good Choice for your System
Another admirable quality is that catfish are hardy, and thrive at convenient temperatures; a system that stays around 60-70 degrees is ideal, and catfish will keep eating to at temperature of 55.
Where to get Catfish
Catfish are easy to get, especially compared to carp, and even some types of tilapia, many of which are illegal in some states. Aleece says:
For ZipGrow systems, we recommend 1.5 to 2.5 pounds of fish per 5-foot tower.
That means that if you have 50 towers, you should be stocking 100 pounds of fish, and starting with about 40 catfish fingerlings.
Your fish tanks would need to hold at least 400 gallons with good aeration and filtration, or 1000 gallons if there is less aeration and filtration.
Handling Catfish is different than Handling Scaly Fish
Catfish, unlike tilapia, carp, and most other fish, have skin rather than scales. This makes handling much different. Aleece says,
“Having no scales they have sensitive skin so minimize handling (NO catching fish to show them off!!!!!!!) … Watch out for nets that can get tangled in the little barbs of small fingerlings. The little green aquarium nets are terrible for this. I usually use my hands to transfer new fingerlings from the bags into the quarantine tank when I first get them. And I often leave them in there until they are big enough that I can net them up with a silicone fishing net for transfer to the grow out tanks. For the move to the grow out tanks they get a salt bath (only about 3 ppt usually and NEVER more than 5 ppt) with aeration and aloe in a basket in a bin of system water then we wheel the bin to the new tank and lift the basket to transfer them into the new system so they are really only handled the one time on transfer which seems to minimize stress and injury.”
Why use aloe?
“To help sooth the skin during handling/transfer. There have been studies that aloe can help mitigate the chances of injuries resulting in columnaris infections. Aloe is the active ingredient in some commercial projects for protecting slime coat and reducing stress in fish. That said, don’t use too much and make sure water is kept well aerated since it and the salt can both interfere with dissolved oxygen levels and oxygen transfer.”
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