Breed and Feed

I use these contraptions to feed and breed my fish.

the first one is a devise I made up to feed my fish.

DSCF1112.JPGIt consist of a length of tie wire and a cork float, this system of feeding does many things it first allows me to supplement the natural food the fish find for themselves and to make sure fish are well fed it also allows me to check on the health of the fish. if fishes come up to near the surface and feeds vigorously then all is well. the wire is soft and easy to bend if a fish did get caught it can easily release itself. the cork is a leftover from my previous trade it is a natural substance its actually the bark of a tree its stuck together with latex adhesive witch is water based and cannot in any way hurt the fish.

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The picture above shows a breeding box its made of ply wood and nailed together its about ninety by ninety  in diameter and six hundred in length   the long stick is so it can be fixed at a depth I generally keep it shallow these fish seem to prefer to nest nearer the surface usually less than a metre deep. I did use polypipe but decided to go with all natural products to try and imitate nature as closely as possible.

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this is the kind of food I feed the blackfish this is a large Yabbie ( cherax destructor ) he was born and bred on this farm this one has been in a fight with another yabbie and has lost the tips of his nippers. wood grubs and moths are also used when available.

hi to mark in FNQ.

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Winter yabbies

 

I should point out that fisheries have allowed me to sell Yabbies to the public this is to offset some of the cost of power and other resources used in breeding the River Blackfish this really only affects local readers ( proximity) of this blog and they are only for bait not eating if any one would like some yabbies I have about five dozen at the moment but as it warms I will have more. you will need to call 0407843998

below are some winter yabbies I got this morning they are to big for bait but are a good size for breeding so they went back into the bottom dam. I should also point out that if you want yabbies to grow to this size in your dam you need to feed them, these yabbies are fed on silage, the silage was placed into the dam early in the autumn.

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Bird net

I think the no 1 problem facing fish farmers is birds, some birds will catch and eat the fish others will leave that many droppings that it can affect the water quality so to keep them out I have constructed a bird net over ponds 2/3/4 I set the net at about 2.3 metres so as to allow access under it.

this is before the net went up

this after the net went up

I just have put a some along the front and create a doorway for access and it will be complete .

 

This dam rocks

The new dam is filling nicely and should have fish by the end of summer.

Vegetation will be next both in the water and alongside, a shelter will be built over the flat rock and the track around will have sandstone gravel on it.

I will stock yabbies and shrimp for food this along with insects will be a good start, all things going well I will have a dam full of blackfish in a few years.

Net posts

I have started to erect  bird wire over  2/3/4 ponds today, I stood up 14 posts  with the help of a local bobcat driver and I will string fencing wire over the top of the posts to eventually support the bird wire.

We had good rain overnight this made the ground soggy but I am grateful for the rain, it will help fill the dams tanks and ponds.

The large green bundle on the deck of pond 4 is the bird wire.

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Genetics

I have taken the opportunity during this fairly quiet  time on the farm to empty and refill pond no 1 this is the pond where the first fish I bred came from. the fish in this pond were sourced from a farm dam and the genetics were a concern so to take away those concerns I will populate the pond with fish from nearby streams not all from the one place so as not to impact to heavily on a small population, somewhere from six to ten fish to make sure I have a breeding pair.

 

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As you can see I doubled the air and added more breeding boxes, weed growth is good and there are plenty of yabbies as well copepods water beetles and so on. the pond itself is about 2 metres deep sloping at each end, length is about 8 metres and about 5 metres wide. if the rain keeps coming it will be full in a couple of days.