We just got 6" of snow and Thursday the high temp will be 14f, perfect time to start thinking about raising fish outside this spring. Last year I recreated a project I did over 30 years ago just to see if I could. I learned a lot and have to say the project was funny and fun to do. This year I'll be more prepared. I plan to journal the process as I go and form the basis for a step by step process for people. Any suggestions, tips, warnings will be greatly appreciated.
Last year was Endlers, Least Killies, Marmokribs-cloning crayfish and Jacks. I started with well under 100 breeders and ended up with over 1,200 fish once the final count was in. The Endlers bred quickly and as the weather warmed the breeders got a boost from all the mosquito larva. I have three lines of Endlers and just tossed in a mixed group. They bred until I finally took them out the first week in October.
Least Killies were kind of slow starters. I noticed them really picking up the reproduction pace in late July as the original fry were breeding as well. They finished strong with over 300 fish. If memory serves me correctly, I started with about 20 females.
The Jacks just freaked out and actually had to be moved indoors as they would not feed properly. The crayfish, well I did not find one small one. I have no clue what happened there.
This year I plan to use more pools: 2 x Intex 10' round x 14" deep pools. 2 x 6' round by 10" deep hard plastic pools, 1 x Intex 110" x 72" x 18" inflatable pool, 1 x 125gal stock tank and 1 x 175 gal stock tank.
I have upgraded my stock with some more marketable fish. I started 60 days ago with 8f and 4m Painted Swords-Pumpkin Orange with Black marbling. I put them in a 40 brooder. I now have 18f, the 10 new are still virgins. I have about 25 fry, so my goal is 25f-50f by May. I also have 8 RREA females and they are now huge. I will introduce a blood red albino male in late April. I also have about 6 Koi Swords and I'm hoping to get at least one batch of fry raised by May so maybe 8f-10f. I am also purchasing a group of mixed color variety female platys, approximately 30. I will also breed Endlers-Blond Endlers and Least Killies. The last two will start in all the pools and vats.
This year I'm using breeder traps, large rubber made containers with holes drilled in the bottom, sides and sitting on PVC for elevation. IF YOU HAVE A BETTER IDEA FOR BREEDING TRAPS PLEASE SUGGEST IT. I will take photos of the breeding traps and post them when I make them next month. After the first month, fry will be pulled, counted, graded and moved to grow out pools-hard plastic and vats. I plan to bring small groups inside to quick finish with fresh
hatched brine shrimp. I plan to have fish to market by June 1st.
That is it for now, thanks for looking.