Home-based and small business aquaculture

Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby Anthony Calfo » Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:37 pm

Cheers, my friends :)

Anthony Calfo here. Please forgive me for the (gross!) immodesty, but for the benefit of the uninitiated, I have been a recognized professional aquarist (read: pioneering commercial production and - yes - profitable) for the better part of twenty years. I have published hundreds of articles, several books, 7 educational ID posters, and a series of reef journals (3 years and running). Most of these endeavors (in publishing) have been for break even or even at a slight loss to me personally. I mention this not for sympathy :) But rather to emphasize that I am truly dedicated to sharing the experiences and wealth of knowledge that I have (largely shared with me or stimulated by other kind luminaries). My life experiences also include traveling the world many over (averaging 50-100K miles by air each year! To to teach, consult, lecture, and especially to see and share reports on other grand systems and facilities with you).

I also have accumulated over 20,000 posts on just a handful of major message boards, not to mention the dozens of minor ones I've had the great pleasure of enjoying internationally. Which brings me finally (!) top my point! I like to focus on just one or two forums for a year or three usually and establish a good amount of content for the archives of fine orgs like MOFIB. And so... here I am. I'd love to share with you some unique experiences and images and especially to learn from you and your insight on my own progress and path. Let us learn from and teach each other!

I intend for this thread to likely go quite long and be worthy or a sticky and honest-earned archive.

I will begin with a discussion of the conversion of a simple garage to be a fishrooom for breeding fishes (in this case... seahorses, nudibranchs, and seabasses! principally). We will cover the wide gamut of needs for a proper fishroom... live food culturing station, quarantine facilities, water purifaction and treatment, pest control, photo documenting station, microscopy, and of course the simple mechanics of construct for the system. Many folks have a garage they can convert and those that dont can scale the system for available space in homes/apartments.

Stage two of this thread is the capping of the garage with a small hobby greenhouse for photosynthetic needs. Others may equate this with solar tubes, balcony or sunroom culture, etc.

Stage three of this discussion will cover the commercial facility that I share with colleague Steven Pro. We are aspiring, among other things... to displace the demand for wild caught anemones with aquacultured specimens. The rate of sustainability of anemones from the wild is abysmal and the rates of survivability and suitability in mixed reef aquaria is even worse. In a phrase... anemones are being slaughtered. We need to educate about and culture them domesticallly... or leave them in the ocean :( I am VERY confident based on personal experience and anemone farms I've started internationally that we (USA) can become self-sustaining for anemone consumption and enjoy these magnificent creatures in aquaria living long and robust lives.

We have a lot to cover my friends :) Let the games begin!

with kindest regards, Anthony Rosario Calfo
Aquarium hobby and aquatic science author and publisher. Micro hatchery operator (marine fishes and invertebrates).
Consultant - contact at www.ReadingTrees.com
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby lance » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:14 am

Welcome Anthony haven't seen you in a while how you been?

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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby PaulG » Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:34 am

Anthony,

Why couldn't you of done this like 4 weeks ago? lol

I just finished building my fish room! at least 3/4 of it anyway, still need to finish some plumbing when I can afford it lol.


I look forward to your sharing of info on this topic.


Thanks
PaulG
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby Anthony Calfo » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:51 am

Cheers Paul! No worries... I'm sure we can learn from each other at any stage of evolution in our fishrooms. There's always room for improvements. I may be a bit tardy posting pics in the next week or two, though... I'm traveling with one of your compatriots from Oz (she's visiting the States). Looking forward to reading more about your systems :)

Lance... howdy! Yes, I have been a hermit for a while. Travel and finishing work on the greenhouses. I've been daydreaming of making it back to the message boards and finally had a chance to peek in. I'm hoping we can all make this a wonderful and useful thread.

kindly, Anth-
Aquarium hobby and aquatic science author and publisher. Micro hatchery operator (marine fishes and invertebrates).
Consultant - contact at www.ReadingTrees.com
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby KathyL » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:09 am

Welcome, Anthony!
OK, let's get down to the nitty gritty. How do you prepare the garage for climate control, etc? I have a one car, too small for my purposes, unfortunately, but it gets quite cold in winter,and quite hot in summer. And that big door would be hard to plug up the drafts.

Kathy :D
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby Anthony Calfo » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:24 am

Hi Kathy :) A couple of quick questions first, my friend:

- is the garage below ground at any point
- do you have a finished ceiling or open rafters
- is the garage integrated into the house (habitable space next to or above it)
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby KathyL » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:38 am

Hi Anthony,
No it is not below ground. It is level with the first floor, has a back door and a window, and is attached to the house via a door. One wall is seamlessly attached to the house. Strangely, the garage has a plaster ceiling. It's an old house, and they did things with more finish than was really needed. My daughter's bedroom is directly above the garage.
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby enigma » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:07 am

Anthony,

As a friend and acting President of MOFIB I would like to thank you for taking the time to start this thread. Aquarist of such eminence and experience as yourself are needed on MOFIB to add to our wealth of knowledge. We hope for MOFIB's future integrity as THE source for marine ornamental breeding erudition to grow through the support of it's members fostered by it's leaders and friends such as yourself. These types of outreach will hopefully prove cathartic in your quest to share your copious experience and relationships within the Marine industry.

The MOFIB membership thanks you for taking the time, you are truly a friend to the hobby and trade.
With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost. --William Lloyd Garrison--
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby Anthony Calfo » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:12 am

Yowsa, Mark! Thank you for the welcome and very kind words, my friend. As I think you've probably heard me say before... it is redeeming and rewarding for me to be able to share and learn from hobby friends. For me, as it is for many of you, this is my life's passion. To be able to make any kind of positive impact is truly an honor. I'm looking forward to building a lot of ties and content here!

With kindest regards, Anth-
Aquarium hobby and aquatic science author and publisher. Micro hatchery operator (marine fishes and invertebrates).
Consultant - contact at www.ReadingTrees.com
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby xroads » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:38 am

Hello old friend,

You hit the nail on the head with my thoughts on my aquaculture business. The only difference is I am still planning on building a free standing building. I am going to install several skylights to aid in lighting.

I have decided to continue to grow my reef as my hobby, & not propagate corals but instead focus on nems, fish, & other inverts.

I have been splitting RBTA's again, working on building up my inventory. I have a beautiful purple LTA I have been thinking about splitting. It is about 5 inches accross. Can I split this as a RBTA? I notice the foot is quite a bit bigger.

Thank You
Craig
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby Anthony Calfo » Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:39 pm

cheers Greg. Good to read of your progress. The short answer on your LTA is yes. Actually... you can cut any true anemones in half if they are healthy and have been well conditioned/fed for at least several months (bare minimum) prior. I like to use a very sharp fisherman's fillet knife because of its length (less likely to have to make a serrated cut through a specimen).
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby Anthony Calfo » Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:49 pm

Hey, Kathy. As luck would have it my garage is almost precisely in the same situation as yours with a shared wall and bedroom above. This adds another dimension of prep work to prevent moisture from entering the house and also fire hazards for the bedroom above. To address both of these issues, I recommend a product like Tekfoil to line the walls and ceilings (also to be foil taped on all seams... a complete seal from floor to and over the ceiling)"

http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/pr ... af1a4.html

This product is fabulous. Lightweight, cheap, easy to install, fire retardant, vapor blocking and 97% reflective (amazing how little ambient light fills the room when your fishroom is insulated this way).

If you don't need the benefit of the light reflectivity (or the look of a foil coated fishroom) you can simply cover it with drywall (moisture resistant and painted well) or any of the specialized panel boards used for kitchens, bathrooms and other high moisture areas.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. First the bare garage walls need to be sealed (gutted perhaps first) and then possibly insulated (traditional is fine... furring strips, plastic sheeting... then perhaps the tekfoil and/or decorative wall covering).

I have step by step pics to share of this. Will post them as soon as I can but am getting an out of country guest at my house for a spell. More chatting soon :)
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby robinscp » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:47 pm

Double post please delete.
Last edited by robinscp on Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby robinscp » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:51 pm

I found that building a wall dividing half the garage negated the problem of the large steel door and also allowed me some space to store all my junk etc. :D

viewtopic.php?f=132&t=2728

The wooden panels are treated and the insulation is 3inch thick foil coated polystyrene.

Climate control is done via an ATC 800 attached to an oil filled radiator (only needed in winter in the UK) and a humidity controlled bathroom fan is used to extract any humid air.
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby Anthony Calfo » Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:06 pm

Or if the garage is going to be utilized fully for a fishroom, consider a cheap lean-to greenhouse to cap the opening (take the garage door off). These greenhouses are easy to install, let in a ton of light and heat winter and summer, are very easy to cool with the provided thermostatic fans and expand the possibilities of things you can culture (food and target species) for having natural sunlight :)

This was the option I chose. Again... I swear, pics will be cooming soon :):):)
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby Marcel » Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:51 pm

Anthony Calfo wrote:Cheers, my friends :)
...fishrooom for breeding fishes (in this case... seahorses, nudibranchs, and seabasses! principally). We will cover the wide gamut of needs for a proper fishroom... live food culturing station, quarantine facilities, water purifaction and treatment, pest control, photo documenting station, microscopy, and of course the simple mechanics of construct for the system. Many folks have a garage they can convert and those that dont can scale the system for available space in homes/apartments.

Stage two of this thread is the capping of the garage with a small hobby greenhouse for photosynthetic needs. Others may equate this with solar tubes, balcony or sunroom culture, etc.

Stage three of this discussion will cover the commercial facility that I share with colleague Steven Pro. We are aspiring, among other things... to displace the demand for wild caught anemones with aquacultured specimens. The rate of sustainability of anemones from the wild is abysmal and the rates of survivability and suitability in mixed reef aquaria is even worse. In a phrase... anemones are being slaughtered. We need to educate about and culture them domesticallly... or leave them in the ocean :( I am VERY confident based on personal experience and anemone farms I've started internationally that we (USA) can become self-sustaining for anemone consumption and enjoy these magnificent creatures in aquaria living long and robust lives.



Hi to all and hi to Anthony,

sorry, did I miss here something? Do you really want to fit all the above in one thread? It is not to late, to split the big discussion into a few threads.
In general, I like the whole idea and I am also busy at the moment with my garage hatchery. So I will give in some experiences to this thread.
But I think, with that what´s on your list, you could almost fill a new forum with it. Is there any possibility to give the whole discussion/thread something like a table of contents? I guess this thread will have many, many thousands posts after a long period.

Just a suggestion from a German Breeder, who you will be meeting at the IMACSA in Cape Town.

Regards

Marcel
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby Anthony Calfo » Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:07 pm

cheers, Marcel. Looking forward to meeting you in SA :) Regarding the post management... lets see how it unfolds and get feedback from the mods on how they see it working out best (subforum with chapters? I dunno).

Very much looking forward to seeing your contributions and your garage hatchery unfold.

with kindest regards, Anthony
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby KathyL » Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:23 pm

At the very least, this thread should be placed in Business. IMHO
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby Anthony Calfo » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:17 pm

perhaps yes, Kathy. I'm happy anywhere the consensus chooses to put it.

kindly, Anth-
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby KathyL » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:38 pm

As am I. Thank you for starting this thread and your attention to it. I've already gotten some good ideas. Please continue as before, about the garage...

Best regards,
Kathy
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby Peter Schmiedel » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:06 pm

Hi Anthony,

hope you had a short flight back to the US ;) and not the same long flight which got you finally to Amsterdam.
That sounds like an interessting topic, looking forward to read more. My conversion is already done, but there is always need for expansion plans.
Take care
Peter
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby PHYTO4LIFE » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:09 am

GREAT BOOK
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby lance » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:48 am

Anthony Calfo wrote:
Lance... howdy! Yes, I have been a hermit for a while. Travel and finishing work on the greenhouses. I've been daydreaming of making it back to the message boards and finally had a chance to peek in. I'm hoping we can all make this a wonderful and useful thread.

kindly, Anth-



Anthony If you and steve need any help at all with the build I would glad to lend you guy's a hand if you needed it. Hope to see you soon at Elmer's. Other then the greenhouse and travel anything else been new?

lance
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby Marcel » Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:18 am

Hi Acroporas/Will,

I thought, it might be a good idea to add into the breeding forum, besides plankton, fish and inverts another chapter.
In this chapter, we could split it into :

fishrooom for breeding fishes (in this case... seahorses, nudibranchs, and seabasses! principally)

live food culturing station,
quarantine facilities,
water purifaction and treatment,
pest control,
photo documenting station,
microscopy,
simple mechanics of construct for the system.

Stage two
capping of the garage with a small hobby greenhouse for photosynthetic needs

Stage three
commercial facility with colleague Steven Pro.
aquacultured specimens

BTW, I think Anthony deserves to have his own chapter here on MOFIB. I know, I am the Newbie here, but that´s how I feel.
This whole chapter could be find easily and after the chapter is full, it is also much easier for everybody to find a special post or picture.
And it will be easier for Anthony, to find what he needs, if he will use this chapter, to write a new book. THE MOFIB Breeding BIBEL, by Anthony Rosario Calfo


Another thing is, I never would have read this thread, because it is in * Board index ‹ Breeding Forums ‹ Inverts ‹ Techniques ‹ Growout

Thanks to robvdv for sending the link.
The more people can find this thread/chapter, the more information will be shared. Who opens up * Board index ‹ Breeding Forums ‹ Inverts ‹ Techniques ‹ Growout????
But I think, 90% of the users will open up a chapter named by ANTHONY CALFO.

In times of ipods, iphones, etc. it might be, if possible also an idea, to convert this ANTHONY chapter in an ebook. Just a thought!

Think about it, before it is to late!

Marcel
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Re: Home-based and small business aquaculture

Postby xroads » Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:17 am

A question on splitting nems.

Have you ever used rubber bands to get them to finish the split on their own? My thought is that it may be healthier on them if they split on their own with a little help.

Thanks
Craig
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