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Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby CaptCrash » Fri 28 Feb, 2014 4:44 pm

Hi,

Your setup looks quite good and there appears to have been a lot of thought gone into the fit out of the shed.

A couple of items that I would add are as follows
1. Add airlines with a sponge filter to each of your breeder tanks and several to the grow out tub.
2. Put the air pump for the sponge filters on a UPS, its a low cost way of keeping everything happy when the power is out or tripped.
3. Have fans for summer that can run off of the UPS and keep it cool if power is out for a few hours.
4. A generator that can run the full setup in case of extended power outage.

One thing that I don't immediately understand is why you have gone with a single large tub for grow out. (Sorry if the following sounds negative, i am not having a go at what you have done, rather I am trying to ask some questions as to if you have a plan for managing these items or to give you time to plan for them before you have the issue).

The parts that I think are a limitation with a single grow out are as follows

No Fish Separation
1. Feeding separate sized foods for different stages of grow out will be difficult and/or wasteful (cant keep small foods with just small fish)
2. Larger fish will pick on smaller fish (especially with new batches being added)
3. Collecting fish for sale or removing dead fish will stress all of the fish in the tub
4. If you start breeding multiple species, it will be painful to collect/manage what you want from grow out

Maintenance
1. No ability to drain the tank between batches for cleaning if you have continuous addition of new fish for grow out
2. Deep container will be more difficult to keep clean/work with (its tall and wide, letting fish get away, letting you fall in when cleaning <-- I would do this and end up head first in the tub)
3. If you add netting to separate fish batches then these will need to be cleaned and maintained. This is harder than just cleaning glass tanks, it will also make catching the fish more difficult as there will be things that are in the way (netting, pipes etc).

Other
1. Any parasite or disease will affect all of your fish (grow out and broodstock)
2. Human Error, any mistake will affect all of grow out. eg. failed air line in grow out will probably lead to all grow out fish being dead (lots of fish use the air in the water very quickly in high density systems).
3. When things go wrong (which they will) where can you put the fish whilst you fix a problem (leak, floor tile subsides under the weight of the container etc).
4. From the equipment list I am assuming that you are planning to have a single system for the broodstock and grow out, I would change this and separate broodstock and growout. If you loose grow out due to a problem that is bad, but you can breed more. If you loose the broodstock, then its game over and you need to start again.

Im sure that there are some positives to using a single large grow out, Im just not clear on what they are other than larger water volume.

I hope the above helps and gives you some questions to think about. I have taken a different approach with my grow out, that does not mean I have done it right, its just different.

regards

Darren
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Re: Backyard Hatchery - Purpose-built Air Conditioned Shed!

Postby SammyJ » Sat 01 Mar, 2014 11:12 pm

Thanks for all the comments guys! :cheers:

Spent most of today setting up the breeder tanks so will aim to do a freshwater test tomorrow and take some pics...

Thanks also to Darren for bringing up a few talking points - I will do my best to address them all! :thumbsup:

CaptCrash wrote:One thing that I don't immediately understand is why you have gone with a single large tub for grow out. (Sorry if the following sounds negative, i am not having a go at what you have done, rather I am trying to ask some questions as to if you have a plan for managing these items or to give you time to plan for them before you have the issue).


I have used batch-raising previously, but found it frustrating given that growth rates vary largely within each batch of larvae - for example with my current Darwin babies, I will have some that are easily twice as large as the smallest fish in the group. So there is already a size gradient within each batch. Given selling point is size based (not age) I would still have to pick individual fish out of each batch to sell. I also found that in some cases, aggression is worst when you have smaller numbers of fish in a small space. So far the Darwin clowns have been MUCH better in terms of aggression than the GSMs which is nice change! After researching into the set-ups used by commercial hatcheries I decided to try this system and see how it goes. Basically I aim to grade the fish prior to each monthly sale (they will be shipped to overseas buyers mostly :pirate:) and select out the largest for sale.

CaptCrash wrote:The parts that I think are a limitation with a single grow out are as follows

No Fish Separation
1. Feeding separate sized foods for different stages of grow out will be difficult and/or wasteful (cant keep small foods with just small fish)
2. Larger fish will pick on smaller fish (especially with new batches being added)
3. Collecting fish for sale or removing dead fish will stress all of the fish in the tub
4. If you start breeding multiple species, it will be painful to collect/manage what you want from grow out


1. At this stage, my larval tanks are such that they will accommodate fish until they are roughly 2 months of age, by which time they are all eating prepared and frozen foods of the size I will continue to use through to sale size.
2. So far so good on the aggression front - would obviously be a different story with GSM clowns... :roflmao: I am hoping that the large number of fish spread out over a large area will minimize specific bullying to some degree.
3. So far it seems difficult to stress these guys - even during transfer - as soon as I put my hand in the tanks they are all over it like a rash!
4. At the moment, Black and Whites are in demand so I will focus on them for a while. I have some new pairs of designer clowns but they will take a while to start spawning, however as they are all ocellaris species I think they will be fine to go in with the Black and Whites. As mentioned the Banggai Cardinal's have their own grow-out tank. If I get any demand for more GSMs I will figure something out down the track (maybe basket reared etc).

CaptCrash wrote:Maintenance
1. No ability to drain the tank between batches for cleaning if you have continuous addition of new fish for grow out
2. Deep container will be more difficult to keep clean/work with (its tall and wide, letting fish get away, letting you fall in when cleaning <-- I would do this and end up head first in the tub)
3. If you add netting to separate fish batches then these will need to be cleaned and maintained. This is harder than just cleaning glass tanks, it will also make catching the fish more difficult as there will be things that are in the way (netting, pipes etc).


1. This will be a continuous system, so no need to drain frequently.
2. Yeah it is pretty deep, but easy to clean/vacuum with long-handled stuff.
3. I agree with the netting - total PITA plus clowns love working their way between the netting and the plastic frame and getting stuck :wall:

CaptCrash wrote:Other
1. Any parasite or disease will affect all of your fish (grow out and broodstock)
2. Human Error, any mistake will affect all of grow out. eg. failed air line in grow out will probably lead to all grow out fish being dead (lots of fish use the air in the water very quickly in high density systems).
3. When things go wrong (which they will) where can you put the fish whilst you fix a problem (leak, floor tile subsides under the weight of the container etc).
4. From the equipment list I am assuming that you are planning to have a single system for the broodstock and grow out, I would change this and separate broodstock and growout. If you loose grow out due to a problem that is bad, but you can breed more. If you loose the broodstock, then its game over and you need to start again.


1. The broodstock tanks are on a completely separate system - they were a late addition to the plan when I realized I had a bit of extra space :clap:
2. In my experience a large volume of water is usually safer in error situations (salinity/temp swings, heater malfunction etc). I will not be relying on airlines for oxygenation as the skimmer/surface water movement/macro growth will provide far more. Once the system is up and running (hopefully successfully) I will look into a generator in case of power outs.
3. Floor is stable as we could possibly make it and system will be thoroughly leak tested prior to start-up. The rest I will have to trouble shoot as it happens I guess! Cautiously optimistic at this stage though. :crossfingers:

I guess in summary this system is a product of frustration with batch grow out and research into commercial set-ups. I have no idea if it will be successful but I was ready to try something different! Will keep everyone posted on how it progresses though!

Cheers!
- Sam
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