I can see clearly!

I’ve written a few times about Justin’s new “pet” project – fish. Aquaponics is the latest happening here on the urban homestead. Tilapia make a great addition to homesteads because they can be raised in a small area and are extremely hardy.

The other day he got himself a glass fish tank and moved the fish from the galvanized watering trough to their new larger digs. I’m wrangling to make an outdoor bathtub with the galvanized tub Justin still wants to add more fish but that’s another story!

As I was passing the tank, walking from the animal compound to the back porch, I had to stop. Oh my, I can actually now see the fish! Curious, I went over, bent down to see 24 fish staring at me. “Oh dear,” I thoughtΒ  to myself, “we can actually see the fish now!” I stood there mesmerized, watching them with their glinty gold eyes and shimmering bodies and soft fins float softly back in forth in the water like a clock chime counting time. Oh my, now I can actually see er, um dinner, staring at me; and with that thought, I promptly stepped away from the tank before I started to name them.

Our fish are smaller tilapia because we allow female fish in the population. Commercial tilapia farmers raise only males, which grow faster without females around. Naturally raised, non hybrid tilapia take about a year or more, so we have about 6 more months to go.

They are checking out me and me them

Hey fishy, fishy!

:: Tank to Table Resources ::

Raising Tilapia in the Backyard
Tank Culture
Just Add Water


  1. Frank says:

    That is GREAT!!, tell Justin good work. I’ve thought about adding fish but can’t get threw the current to-do list.

    It takes a little thought to not name animals that are going to be dinner. I think knowing where your food (plant or animal) comes from and raising and processing them with respect builds a great appreciation for all life. I’ve been impressed that some friends that come to dinner ask if the protein and plants where raised by us. They seem to understand the respect I have for my plants and animals and appreciate it. I see it as a glimmer of hope for the future. (Thanks to people like you and your family)

    Have a Great Day!!

    • Christa says:

      I don’t think naming them is terrible, so long as the God-given purpose is kept in mind. names like “Filet” and “Stick” (as in fish-stick) work just fine. πŸ™‚ kinda like naming a cow ‘hamburger’.

      • Anais says:

        @Christa: LOL, good ones.

      • William says:


        Yeah, or sandwich … hee hee !!! πŸ˜‰

        • Aunt Chris says:

          Hey There,
          I like what you are doing.
          Aunt Chris

  2. Marney says:

    Absolutely first rate! I’m so happy you were able to get this up and running and integrated into your system. Another step in closing to loop to self sufficiency.

    Thanks for the update!

  3. Jordanne Dervaes says:

    I simply refuse to look. And those pictures are too personal! Ack! Not looking, not looking!!!!!!

  4. Morgan says:

    I really appreciate you posting this. The other day I was wondering if people raise their own fish and here you come with this informative post! Thanks for the resources.

  5. Tamlynn says:

    Where can I find what kinds of fish are suited for this type of farming? I really like red snapper, but I don’t know anything about its natural habitat.

    • Dan Langhoff says:

      @Tamlynn, You would need a salt-water set-up for raising red snapper. There is a lot of upfront expense for saltwater, and a LOT of maintenance involved with saltwater aquaculture. Red snapper populations in the wild have been overfished. You may want to look into some other type of fish that is similar to red snapper, but not on NOAA’s list of “bad” seafood.

      • Tamlynn says:

        @Dan Langhoff,
        Thanks. I agree salt-water fish would be way too much trouble. I’d want to be able to use the fish water in my yard.

  6. Ty says:

    If you are interested in a cheap home aquaponics setup, check out Travis Hughey’s “Barrel-Ponics Manual”. It is a free download. I have not been able to setup a system yet, but it is on my list. I’m not sure about Red Snapper, but catfish are another commonly grown fish. There is also a Barrel-Ponics mailing list on Yahoo. — Ty

  7. Gale says:

    I wonder what you are feeding them. Have you found a low or non-mercury laden type of food? A big concern with farm-raised fish.

    • Anais says:

      @Gale: organic chicken/duck feed pellets

  8. Heather H :) :) :) says:

    Wow…now fish πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ It’s probably a good thing you didn’t name them since they’ll one day be fishy dinners…but that’s still cool. I didn’t know about how fish farmer’s raise them …all males..I guess I like the mix of both…and have them raised more “natural”? Anyway, that’s so cool…How much bigger will they grow? Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather πŸ™‚

  9. Mary Lewis says:

    We are planning to add fish to our place. We are concerned about the pond freezing in the winter. Do you have suggestions about the type of pond or tank that works best in cold weather like Northern Arizona?

  10. Louis Brown says:


    Is it ok to produce worms (through a combination of vermiculture and vermicomposting) for the sake of feeding fish raised in ponds in the subtropics?


  11. Arden says:

    love it that cool

  12. John Ludovico says:

    We’re much interested in Fish farming for homesteads.
    Kindly please get us much information & guidance.
    We will be waiting for a prompt reply from you.
    Warm rgds,
    John Ludovico.

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