The Lads (that's as close to a name that they'll ever get) are now mostly at harvest size. This brings some challenges that I'm starting to think about.
Spacing the harvest
I want to eat them fresh, not frozen. Some are quite large and some are still smallish. It is meant to happen that way and avoids fighting by creating a natural pecking order. However, this means that I need to be able to move them all into a small and manageable space in the tank in order to take the larger ones first.
What about the babies?
I need to put more fingerlings in to replace the fish we eat. I can't just throw them into the tank. Perch aren't cannibalistic but the big ones will out-compete the small for food. The babies need to have a separate space of their own inside the same tank (that way the water keeps circulating). I also need to get them in and growing before I take too many of the bigger ones out (otherwise, the fish waste load will decrease too suddenly which will stop the veges from growing).
I am going to build a netted frame across the tank. I need to make it so that I can slide it across the tank to reduce the size where the big fish are for selective harvest and also to increase it for day to day living space (the babies don't need much room). This will also allow me to give them separate sized food suited to their age.
I think I'll document this process because it's not something I have seen a lot about. Some folks never get to this stage. Others have the luxury of additional tanks in which to raise the young. Some bulk harvest and freeze the fish. They accept the slow down in veg. I'll just give it a crack and see what happens.
Hmm! There's always a challenge no one told you about! Sounds like a sensible solution. I get the 'no' to frozen fish - tasteless pap. After all that trouble you need to have the best flavours.
They've been very little trouble to be honest Elaine - except that time the tank exploded. LOL. I'm used to raising fish. It's the damn plants that I am having to learn about.
I made a net cage out of 2 lengths of irrigation pipe shaped into circles like a hula hoop and connected them by using irrigation fittings to do the uprights. Then cut up an old trampline barrier/surround that was not being used anymore and sewed a pattern to encase the pvc cage. I put my fingerlings in it to begin with so I could monitor there progression and feed. All worked perfectly. Was going to use it again when adding new fingerlings. I'm not using it at the moment, so if you did want to borrow it that's hunky dorey.......but always nice to have your own anyway
That's a good idea Karla but I want to be able to "herd" the current boys into a confined space.
For my brother's pet fishes, he puts a cage in the main tank to house the mother and baby fish ~ same concept?
Exactly Florence except that I can also use it to help me catch the current ones.
I bet you there's some room in your yard for a new tank or two Andy! (sorry Roz). Seriously, I love the divider net for a 1 tank alternative.
I've started to look for replacements for my current Perch stock. Wow. VERY short supply and expensive. I'm starting to think about alternatives who breed in captivity.