Aquaponics 101 – Here come the ladies !!

On Wednesday, permit from Cape Nature in hand, I made the long awaited trip to the Graaf Reinet hatchery to fetch the brood females and some fingerlings. My idea is to introduce both plain and red bloodlines to the Tilapia that I am using to give me some long term genetic diversity. I am going to try out the plain/red cross and see what sort of fish I get. This will just be an experiment. I will however be producing the plain and red Tilapia (seperately) from my little aquaponic setup to supply other aquaponic enthusiasts.

The 800km round trip was long and hot and I made a few scheduled and unscheduled stops, including rescuing a big mountain tortoise that was attempting suicide in the middle of the N9.


By the time I got to Graaf Reinet, the temperature was in the high 30’s and I can only guess what it was in the hot and humid conditions in the hatchery.


They have a great setup, and my 50 brood females (300 – 450g) were ready waiting for me. I also took 200 small fingerlings and ended up putting them together in my big container.


The ladies showed no interest in the fingerlings and I’d swear I had an extra 100 fingerlings by the time I got home. Tilapia are mouth breeders and often spit out their eggs and babies when stressed. And boy, did I stress them.


When I got home, I settled the brood females safely in a pond in my greenhouse with the lucky bachelors, and kept the fingerlings separate. The next day I released them into the holding dam at a piece of ground where I will be establishing a larger aquaponic system. These little fellows will be my future brood stock which should keep me supplied with fingerlings for a very long time.


Enjoy your weekend.



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