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PostPosted: Oct 21st, '07, 07:20 
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Les (LKB) and I decided that we'd both like to try some Barramundi this year. The intention was to get them early in the season and try and grow out before it gets too cold. Unfortunately we were unable to source any Barra early and also timing with holidays and stuff became an issue.

I found a place here in South East Queensland that got a small number of Barra in this year though - so the plan is going ahead. The negative is that the Barra are extremely small, like 20mm. Regardless, off I went yesterday to get 200 Barra, with the intention that 100 would end up with Les and 100 with me.

I ended up purchasing 220, 20 extras to try and offset losses - which were always going to be relativelly high due to a higher mortality rate at that age and also Barra's tendency to eat their mates.

I had set up a nursery consisting of 2 x 150litre fingerling tanks joined toghether, with a pre-cycled 25 litre biofilter attached (biofilter made out of an old beer fermenter full of hydroton). I pre-dosed the tanks to 4ppt salt.

Once I picked up the fish - which were a bit smaller than had been quoted - (were meant to be 20-30mm, but most were smaller) it became apparent that the nursery I had set up was too big for them to go into straight away. This was for a number of reasons, including the increased difficulty in fishing out dead, difficult in seeing if they were feeding and the pump/filer being too stong and likely to suck up the fish.

When I got them home I moved some water from the nursery to a 50 litre aquarium and floated the new fish in there to acclimatise them, and in the meantime rigged up a smaller biofilter using some of the matured clay ball from the nursery biofilter.

Once I got the fish into the tank it became fairly apparent I'd been duped on numbers. Although the guy had made out to be counting them to the last one when he netted them for me, it was clear that I had well under the 220 and there was no way any of them had been eaten by their mates at that stage.

Anyway - I did all the necessary things yesterday and identified that the biofilter was working on the new tank, having measure some ammonia in the system early, but on later testing it had been processed into nitrite (at a level not toxic, especialy with the salt in the system).

While I haven't tested this morning yet, I have removed dead - totalling 14 - and also gave the fish some food. They were clearly hungry as one of them had decided to eat one of his dead mates, eventhough it was the same size as him. This meant half the fish was still hanging out his mouth, while his body was engorged with the rest. I removed this dead fish from the other ones mouth by holding onto its tail ;-).

I expect a fair few losses over coming days, so this together with the decreased starting numbers means that final numbers will be significantly down on intended - so may end up having to source some barra elsewhere.

Anyway - will take some pics later and update as time goes on.


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PostPosted: Oct 21st, '07, 07:23 
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So to compensate for the eating of their bretheren, does it mean you have to feed them lots/more often? if they are full of pellets/crumble at this size, will they lay off eating "little Jimmy"?

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PostPosted: Oct 21st, '07, 07:33 
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That is what I'm hoping Axl. Only problem is that I will not be around often to feed them frequently. They also need to be graded. Again this is going to be a problem for me due to availablility, but over the next week I'l probably grade them into 2 lots, bolters will be put in another tank. The ones that grow at a standard speed will stay where they are and any runts will get eaten I guess.


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PostPosted: Oct 21st, '07, 07:54 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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standard survival technique- Grow quick or be eaten!

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PostPosted: Oct 21st, '07, 07:56 
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I joked to the guy when I bought them that at worst I'll end up with a couple of big barra - little did I know that my quip may turn true :-/


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PostPosted: Oct 21st, '07, 08:05 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Pitty you can't put a mesh in that divides them, like the little one fit thru the biggies stay put.
I know we have been there with the dividers -Les's work etc.

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PostPosted: Oct 21st, '07, 08:13 
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I gave that some consideration C1 - but at this size they will grow so quickly I'd need to change mesh size every other day. Look, in the end I'll take what happens and treat it as a learning experience. This is why I am calling it an experiment. Normally I would not have purchased fingerlings this size or purchased them at a time when I have a heap of committments which will see me all over the place. But I was keen to make sure I at least had a crack at some Barra this year and also wanted to use my 200 fingerling credit that I had up my sleeve - so really this whole exercise is only costing me the $20 that I paid for the supposed additional 20 fish. BTW - I'd never normally pay $1 for such a size fish either. It is a rip off because of the number of expect mortailies at that size.


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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '07, 20:52 
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Here are a couple of pictures of the Barra experiment. Sent an e-mail today to the supplier - a bit disappointed with the clear discrepency in number orderred as opposed to number received, but don't really expect a reply.


Attachments:
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DSCF4529 (Medium).JPG [ 93.53 KiB | Viewed 21377 times ]
DSCF4539 (Medium).JPG
DSCF4539 (Medium).JPG [ 87.42 KiB | Viewed 21385 times ]
DSCF4547 (Medium).JPG
DSCF4547 (Medium).JPG [ 95.81 KiB | Viewed 21326 times ]
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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '07, 21:03 
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BTW - only 20 deaths so far. You judge for yourself whether there are 200 barra remaining (which there should be since I supposedly purchased 220 :roll:)


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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '07, 21:10 
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most likely not 200, but very pretty fish all the same.


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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '07, 21:11 
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87 by my count.

so 100 got eaten by their bro's huh? ;)

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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '07, 21:22 
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It becames all the more clear how much I have been duped once a still photo is viewed. Is much harder to tell when they are swimming around - though still obvious.

I have e-mailed a copy of photo to the supplier. Will see if they have anything to say.


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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '07, 21:24 
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lol, yeh, your water quality made them de-molecularize........

sorry, really sarcastic ATM, have done my neck again this arvo. and what makes the injury all the more gay (not that there is anythign wrong with that) is that it wasn't done carrying a 20kg bottle up a 10 foot ladder, no, it was done reaching for my mouse...............:shock:

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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '07, 21:38 
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bummer steve, and bummer to you too VB i hate getting short changed :(


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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '07, 22:17 
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Steve,
Do you have someone who can massage your back and neck? My wife has neck ad shoulder issues and the only relief is after I massage it for a while. She says that my massage hurts worse than the neck & shoulder, but that is only while massaging. It is much better afterwards (no pain = no gain)
It is the same for my shoulder and her sciatic nerve. Massage and the problem reduces or is gone. Repeat massage next night, all pain gone. In the worst cases 7 (non -consecutive) days with 1/2 hour massage to clear multiple issues.

I don't do this for money, but ?I have paid for remedial massage and I know it does work for most issues.


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