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PostPosted: Dec 20th, '16, 17:13 
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Hi! :wave1: This year was my first year with my aquaponics system and the fish of choice I decided to go with was the Channel Cat (extremely easy to buy here in Oklahoma). Being that it was my first time raising fish Iam not sure on how fast I should expect them to grow. When I bought them they were about 6 inches, so not very big. 6 months later they have grown a few inches and gained some weight but I'm not sure if they are growing at the rate I have read they grow at. So I'm curious as to if anyone else has grown them and how long it took for the fish to get to a big enough size from fingerling size to eating size. Also I feel like the feed I'm using is kind of low budget and is effecting water clarity so could anyone recommend a nice catfish feed that isnt going to break the bank :D
Thanks for any help!


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PostPosted: Dec 21st, '16, 02:45 
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The growth rate is going to vary depending on your local conditions and water temperature. It's cool where I am and they grow very slowly. They grow pretty fast when conditions are warm though and the amount you feed is based on temperature and percent of body weight. I'm just guessing here but I think about half of your six months was probably too cold and probably wouldn't be considered optimal growing conditions for catfish (if your system is outside).

If you're buying the large 40 or 50 lb bags of feed then Purina and Skrettings work well and you can probably find the right chow in your area (look at feed stores) (tougher finding catfish chow around where I am since most places have trout instead). In a pinch I've also been known to feed them chopped up hard boiled eggs (they may not want to go back to the regular feed after this) but that will also affect water quality.


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PostPosted: Dec 21st, '16, 03:16 
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scotty435 wrote:
The growth rate is going to vary depending on your local conditions and water temperature. It's cool where I am and they grow very slowly. They grow pretty fast when conditions are warm though and the amount you feed is based on temperature and percent of body weight. I'm just guessing here but I think about half of your six months was probably too cold and probably wouldn't be considered optimal growing conditions for catfish (if your system is outside).

If you're buying the large 40 or 50 lb bags of feed then Purina and Skrettings work well and you can probably find the right chow in your area (look at feed stores) (tougher finding catfish chow around where I am since most places have trout instead). In a pinch I've also been known to feed them chopped up hard boiled eggs (they may not want to go back to the regular feed after this) but that will also affect water quality.

TY I'll look around for the Purina feed and that is an interesting idea on the hardboiled eggs as I have about 10 chickens that lay so I have extra eggs all the time.

For about 3-4 of those months the water temp averaged at about 85-90 degrees.


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PostPosted: Dec 21st, '16, 06:04 
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Last year I got 4 - 6" cats in winter. They started eating well when the water was above 70. I use automatic feeders to be sure they never miss a meal (3x per day), and try to make regular adjustments to the quantity. From about March through September the cats grew to 12 - 14", about 1.2 lbs average size.

TCLynx claims growing to 5lbs the first year, but she's in FL.

I use Purina Aquamax 400 and 4000. My local feed store doesn't carry it but they order it for me and it comes on the regular truck, so no shipping costs. It run's about $30 for a 50# bag.

I use other things (high protein, smaller pellets, sinking) for smaller fry and fingerlings, but the Aquamax is the main feed. Last time there was an issue at the factory (4 week delivery) so I got a bag of Tilapia feed from Star Mills that they had in stock. It's working well too, though the pellet size is a bit small.

Check the Purina website for protein ratios, fish sizes, water temps and you'll get a good idea.

https://www.purinamills.com/game-feed/products/fish-aquatics/purina-aquamax-pond-fish-4000

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PostPosted: Dec 21st, '16, 06:19 
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I have six chickens myself and started doing this with the questionable for human consumption ones. I'm not actually a huge fan of eggs but like having the chickens so I give many of the better ones to the local food pantry.

That's primo growing temps for the catfish. Just by putting on a few inches of growth yours did better than mine the first year. I think it would take a couple of years to get them up to a good eating size here. Buying them bigger like you did is a good idea mine were fingerlings and had some disease problems before they hit 6 inches.

Sounds like dstjohn99 has it working pretty well, probably a reasonable comparison with a bit of fudge factoring for the different seasons and climate.


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PostPosted: Dec 22nd, '16, 05:31 
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I am a little bit south of you. I find channel cats grow at vastly different rates even in the same tank on the same feed. My best was 4.5# in roughly 1 year..

here is a picture on my ferro thread.
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=16585&start=180

As said by others.. they dont grow so fast in the cold/winter

You did not mention what size tank you are growing them in.. i would not grow channel cats in an ibc, it is too small

that 4.5# was grown in a 700 gallon tank and nowadays i grow them in 1500 gallon tanks

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PostPosted: Jan 23rd, '17, 14:54 
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Channel catfish has taste buds all over the body, and hence they have enhanced capabilities of taste perception. Also, they have high sensitivity to amino acids. An average of 12 inches catfishes are 6-8 years old. They are slow growers. If you need to grow them in a farm pond, one and two-acre farm ponds should have fewer than 50 catfish.


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PostPosted: Jan 23rd, '17, 22:36 
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bcotton wrote:
I am a little bit south of you. I find channel cats grow at vastly different rates even in the same tank on the same feed. My best was 4.5# in roughly 1 year..

here is a picture on my ferro thread.
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=16585&start=180

As said by others.. they dont grow so fast in the cold/winter

You did not mention what size tank you are growing them in.. i would not grow channel cats in an ibc, it is too small

that 4.5# was grown in a 700 gallon tank and nowadays i grow them in 1500 gallon tanks

Thanks for the link Brian. I was at an Aquatics store in Santa Fe last week and they have Channel Catfish for sale. I had no idea what they looked like after a year or so. They are a good looking fish. I was tempted to try a few in our 2600 gallon tank, but our trout are adults with big mouths and teeth. I'd need to start them in a different tank, like the Koi tank once Winter gives it up and I have removed the rotten hay cover over that tank. I'm inspired about Channel Cats, thank you all.

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