We started with Tilapia in the early 2000′s. We use them for forage fish to put into ponds with Catfish and Bass. This is done because they reproduce very quickly and they are mouth brooders and it helps their survival to a size for other fish to eat. They are also used for vegetation control due to their fondness for algae and other aquatic nuisances. Tilapia die when the water reaches around 50 degrees Fahrenheit so they have no chance of overwintering outdoors here at the farm. We started with a small room for overwintering in our fish house. It has been a huge learning experience figuring out how to keep them alive through the winter. It sounds like an easy task but water temperature isn’t the only consideration. We use a recirculating system and have to keep the water quality good to keep them alive. We started with a plant bed and a coal stove to keep them warm and filtered. This worked but was a lot of extra work and was very difficult to keep consistent. Over the years we have slowly upgraded each year adding something new and experimenting with ideas. We decided to do the expansion to the building in September 2013 and fully enclosed a 25 x 80 ft. building. We had spray insulation installed and we are now using propane heat. There is a small propane wall furnace that keeps the air temperature around 80 degrees and a swimming pool heater that keeps our water temperature the same. We have added a bio filter, screen filter, and are working on a drum filter to help with solids and ammonia control. We will have 8600 gallons of water when everything is finished inside. Most of our Tilapia sell for forage, vegetation control, and aquaponics but we eventually plan to enter the food market with our excess fish.