Knowing fish, I wouldn't rely on this information. The chance of disease and everything is just way too high in that small of a barrel. I can just picture 40 catfish trying to even move around in a 55g anything. The oxygen would be depleted in no time, the waste products, etc. Even with the minor water changes they're talking about, it's just insane. I mean, if anyone wants to try it, by all means let everyone else know, but based on my experience of fish, I just see a barrel full of sickly/dying/dead fish. Not to mention it's still not self-sufficient. When TSHTF, you'll be figuring something else out entirely, because so many unsufficient necessities come into play for this to work (in theory). Electricity... Even if you have the solar panels, what happens when the pump burns out? What happens when the solar panel gets cracked? No warranties are going to be around, right? We're all assuming SHTF you're completely on your own with possibly neighbors, but no big corporations, or access to such, right? What about the water? If you have no access to the water to fish out of, then how are you getting water when your well pump craps out? Also what I don't understand is, if people are against chickens being crammed in cages in commercial operations, then how is this any better? Guess I just don't understand the mentality of the operation.
If we're not talking about SHTF, it's still not reasonable. You're using more money to put into the product, and if money isn't the issue, why not just buy the silly swimming pool and be done with it instead of spending thousands on solar panels or water or whatever?
quite hoenstly form my experience of freinds who trough raise tilapia...raising in 100 gal "troughs" hed buy 100 fingerlings for 2 troughs when he started out. of those 50 in each unit normally 1/2 would "go missing" in each trough fairly early on, typically consumed by the other babies, of what was left, 1/2 of those would have to be culled before consumption size to make room for the others (thouse typically got ground into a small amount of fertilizer), of what was then left then some woudl get eaten by the bigger fish, others hed pull early and salvage as a small meal. each 100 gals woudl comfortably raise about 4 nice sized tilapia to adult hood for eating.
so i agree, small systems are just not feesbale
once he moved to using larger systems he was getting breding and did end up with a very nice self regulating system that provided enough fish for his family and without having to buy fingerlings, he also set up an aquaphonics system so the fish also helped provide greens and such for the family...
BUT the system pumps are expensive to run and i dont think would be feesable should you be running things off the grid ect...
a much more natural set up like a healthy pond or LARGE swimming pools set up with lots of plants for none mechanical filration woudl definatly be your best bet for a self sufficiant fish farming set up.
This year I am going to try to raise 25 or so catfish in a food grade 250 gallon tote. Same as I did in the past but I am going to use a bubbler and not a pump. The water changes will go to the garden. They are supposed to be harvested at around 1 to 1 1/2 lbs by the end of the summer. Since I have to water the garden anyway the water changes don't really add to the cost of the setup. All I'll be out is the cost of the fish and food and maybe a bubbler if I can't find mine and the electricity to run it.