Do you love big bluegill?
Thanks guys! -- for all the help and advice with where
to buy some bluegill around Austin.
After some talk in the other thread, it's become apparent, that I might need to put more thought in to exactly how to go about getting what I want.... which is to use my 1500 gal liner pond (2200 gal empty, but many plants displace a few hundred gal I'm sure) to keep some type of fish... with little to no maintenance... and which I can pull some number of fish out on a regular basis to eat.
After my initial day or two of research, it seemed bluegill could breed fast enough, and be okay in larger numbers and smaller spaces... and that's why I got hooked up here to ask more questions. However, it seems that perhaps they might breed TOO fast? So.. some options may be to use a different fish, or find some way to naturally limit the population better.
Ultimately I'm hoping to eat 1 or 2 meals of these fish per week... if I have a bit more fish than that, I'd love to give some away to family / friends, but don't want a huge hassle in limiting population. So, I guess, my first question for the bluegill group is... Can something like this even be done in a pond this size (actual dimensions turn out to be 7'10" x 14'10" x 2'7" = 2232 gallons - a bit of plant displacement results in about 1500 gal water). From what I've read, I think 50 full sized bluegill should be fine with that.
And if it sounds "not possible"... What are some ideas to make it possible... like all males? (but it needs to be somewhat self-sustaining.. perhaps a kiddy pool with a female and breeding area.. then males get moved to the larger pond?
If fish for the table is the primary goal, and the species doesn't matter, channel catfish would be a much better option. They grow quicker than bluegill do to a good eating size, readily accept pellet food, and don't spawn nearly as prolifically as bluegill do. More often than not they don't spawn at all in ponds.
Walt makes a good point about catfish, if you like eating catfish. With bluegill, you need to be able to control breeding. There are inferior types that are quick to breed so if you can manage selective breeding, you'll be much better off. You'll likely need to do breeding separately from your rearing pond. Every surface in your pond will act as a biological filter, converting ammonia to nitrate so one consideration is not to overload your filtering capacity. I think it's a great idea to produce some of your food at home. You might want to read a bit about aquaponics, if you haven't already, just to learn more about filtering. You can always add filtering capacity and then increase your fish population. 50 bluegill will not translate into two fish meals per week, not for long. Bluegill do take pelleted food readily. Good luck. GT
George, any species of bluegill breeds heavily - hybrids are touted by some people as not breeding as much, but their offspring breed as much as regular bluegill. Neither coppernose nor northern-strain bluegill are "inferior" types, as they're the two varieties that get the biggest, and they both breed like rabbits.
Breeding in a separate pond would not work any better simply because any pond that small that is stocked with both male and female bluegill is very shortly, unless predators are also stocked, going to have tens of thousands of very small bluegill.
any species of bluegill breeds heavily - hybrids are touted by some people as not breeding as much, but their offspring breed as much as regular bluegill.
I didn't know that...
Maybe not quite as much, but I say that based on my very worst pond at the moment, which is horrifically overrun with stunted bluegill, and was stocked initially five years ago with only hybrids (and not many either - only 400 in a four-acre pond - the landowner who stocked them stocked 1200 channel cats and 400 hybrids). I stocked 500 3-4" coppernose (it's a four-acre pond) two Octobers ago, just trying to get some better genetics in there, but it was already significantly overpopulated at that point by f-1 hybrids, f-2 hybrids, etc.
So, perhaps I should have said, in my personal experience...
Should be fun to watch your fish! This winter I might plan to build 16ft by 6 ft and 30 inch deep for about 1,700 to 1800 gallons in my basement! Put in 1 monster bass, 10 large bluegills, 1 channel cat, 2 shortnose gar and order one alligator gar! Feed bluegills to grow big! Fun to watch fish in my basement. Require large pump and good filter!
You can check out website something like indoor ponds/pond in monster tank website forum that might give you some idea or information! Check google.com indoor ponds
Yep, sounds like fun to me - should be a hoot with the largemouth in the tank. I've thought of doing something similar but at present have only 150 or so Coppernose with two channel cats, 400 gals water to 600 gals of gravel filter. My system is outdoors, N. FL. In a situation with predators in the tank, you could have a gravel/sand bottom to allow bedding. Feed the bluegill and they'll feed the largemouth. You could also stock minnows for forage.
Reply by John Cachel
Should be fun to watch your fish!
We agree, I think, but possibly I didn't communicate well. Coppernose is definitely not an inferior type but I can tell you that there are most assuredly inferior types of Coppernose within the population. That's what I've read in study results and that's what I see in my own tank. The inferior types I referred to are known as sneakers and satellite males. They seem to be highly motivated to pass along their inferior genes - genes that I think of as inferior anyway because these are small fish and they'll always be small. It may be nature's way of providing forage but I don't know for sure. What I do know is that when I breed my coppernose I do not intend to breed the inferior fish, just a few of the largest.