He Grows "Dinner" In A Stock Tank
After reading an article about raising catfish in a barrel, Frank Martin decided to try the idea on his Northport, Alabama, hobby farm. Instead of a barrel, he used a 300-gal. Rubbermaid stock tank. In less than a year he was enjoying catfish that weighed up to 3 1/2 lbs.
He placed the stock tank on cement blocks to make it waist high and installed a 600 gph pump with a bubble nozzle for aeration. He placed the pump, which has foam filters, on a 5-gal. container of lava rocks and marble chips to keep the water clean and filtered.
Because Martin has city water, it needs to be de-chlorinated by letting the water set for 24 hours.
He purchased 100 4 to 6-in. fingerlings from a fish farm and placed them in the tank last spring. He put 2 and 3-ft. long pieces of 4 and 6-in. pvc pipe at the bottom for cover (he had to weigh down the pipe).
"It was amazing how many of them are in the pipes at once," Martin says.
Once a day he feeds them catfish feed purchased at a local co-op. He experimented to figure out the correct quantity - enough to fill them but not overfeed and pollute the water.
Every two or three days, Martin drains off 20 to 30 gal. of water and replenishes it with fresh water. He cleans off the foam filter weekly. Once a month, he washes off the lava rocks and marble chips.
With only a tree to shade the tank, the water temperature occasionally reached 95 degrees, but the catfish survived. Overall, Martin says he lost 15 to 20 percent of the fingerlings, but had no predator problems.
Martin enjoyed many good eating catfish that weighed between 1 3/4 and 3 1/2 lbs.
He started another batch of small catfish this spring. "It's like growing fresh corn on the cob," he says, "Only it's catfish for the plate."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Frank Martin, 19747 Mormon Rd., Northport, Alabama 35475 (ph 205 330-5826).
2008 - Volume #32, Issue #3|