Friday, August 24, 2012

Raising Tilapia

I'm not one to waste things, except for maybe time. As regular readers know, we recently raised enough money to put in a new in ground pool (see pool here) . But our old pool was still usable so we decided we would use it to grow bream fish (Tilapia) for eating. My husband likes eating fish -a lot -and we rarely get bream here in Mahalapye.

I phoned the fisheries people in Mmadinare. I was not a little bit amazed by how knowledgeable those folks were and also how very easy it is to be a fish farmer, I'm quite lazy when it comes to manual work. Fish farming is perfect for lazy people.

Since my pool has a diameter of four metres, it meant I could keep 26 fish in it. The most important thing is the surface area of the water so they can get enough oxygen. I was told to put water in the pool up to about one metre and let it sit for four days to let the chlorine disappear. Then I could go and collect my fingerlings.

When the water was ready Giant Teenager No. 1 and I set off for Mmadinare about 150 kms away. The fingerlings were bought for 50t each. We were asked if we wanted one sex or mixed sex. Apparently they breed like crazy and things can get out of hand. But too we hoped to make our fish pool sustainable so we decided to get mixed sex. They advised us to get extras as some would die on the way home. So we left Mmadinare with 35 fish, 10 female and 25 male. One died on the way. We now have a bit of an overpopulation problem. We've decided to solve it by ignoring it and hoping for the best.

(that's the dead fish (female), and Senor Ramon in the back mourning the dead fish)

So we've had them now for about three weeks. At first the pool was quite clear and you could see them swim around and it was a good way for a writer to procrastinate, watching the fish swim around. Now the pool has gone a bit green, which is apparently a good thing according to the fish people, and you can't see them very well. But when the sun is out they like to all come to the surface, I think they're sun bathing, I'm not sure. They eat a kind of pellet I bought in Gaborone. But they also eat the algae and the insects and mosquito larvae.

Below is a photo of the fish sun bathing. Sorry the photo came out so that you can't see the fish, but they're there. Honest.

So that's my experience as a fish farmer so far. My conclusion is that compared to the many ways I try to avoid writing, this is one of the more calming and rewarding ones. I like going out to look at the fish and I like feeding them. I'd recommend this procrastination method to all writers.

I'll keep you posted.


KT Moreis said...

I want to be a fish farmer now.

Sue Guiney said...

You never cease to amaze me!

Lauri said...

KT it is very easy so far. I'll keep you posted. And surprisingly the pool doesn't smell fishy at all AND the fish guys said you mustn't clean it since the fish like it all mucky.

Sue- as you can see, it is the laziest farming in the world I think.

Unknown said...

im agisanyang of molepolole. you made my day. i want to grow veges using aquaponics,so i have been wondering where to get the fish and which type grows better in our weather. now i have the answer. if i can just get hold of mmadinare people,have tried looking,cant get their contacts. keep us posted on how you a doing

Lauri said...

Agisanyang, if you are ever in Mahalapye let me know I have lots and lots of baby fish right now. You need only bring a bucket and give me a bit of warning. My email is lakubuitsile at gmail dot com.

Unknown said...

wow,thats great. maybe i shud build a fish pond and come and get them,breed while steel waiting for the project to commence. then by then i will hav a lot supply my project.
thank you.
will keep in touch

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Unknown said...

Hi Lauri,

Are you still working with the fish farm? Interested in venturing into this area and wondering if you were still involved with the project and/or if the fish have grown?

Lauri said...

I wouldn't call it a fish farm, but yes we still have our old pool filled with tilapia which we fish out every once in a while and eat. Yes the fish have grown- more importantly they have multiplied and that's sort of our problem at the moment. We're thinking of getting another pool, not so deep since depth is not so important compared to surface area, to transfer some of them.

Macsmoker said...

Good day Lauri,I'd love to benchmark on your pond especially on how you deal with ammonia form fish excretion..

Lauri said...

Hi Macsmoker! We are doing everything at very low intensity so we don't have any problem so far with ammonia. We have a lot of algae in the pool. It does not have a pump on the water. It is just that pool in the photo filled with water. We top up the water maybe once every two months. We are careful about the amount of food we give them as we were cautioned by the fish people that over feeding can be poisonous in the water. We put about a handful a day.

Unknown said...

Hi Lauri,
Could you give me the contact details of the fish hatchery in Mmadimare.
Was working quite some time on an aquaponics set-up, now the only thing left are some fingerlings. Many thanks! rrasego

Unknown said...

Hi! Guys
I was in Mmadinare two weeks back for bechmarking only to find that they collapsed.So, could you please help me because i am partinate to start fish farming.So i have a business plan and want information on the equipments required and where to get them.I thought of constructing a hatchery but somebody adviced me not to at this stage.please help me guys

Unknown said...

Hi Laurie.
Have you still got fish?

Unknown said...

Hi Laurie I am in Gaborone and want fingerlings,is there any way I can get them.,my email

Unknown said...

Hi Laurie please could you send me contact details where I could buy fingerling so
My email address

Unknown said...

Hello Laurie pls share with me on how to start fish farming I want it as business got borehole at my farm

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