I have two batches of fingerlings + 4 more fish getting ready to deliver any day now and no place to grow out thousands of tilapia. I read somewhere that chickens love tilapia fry as a treat. Anyone else out there have any advice? I'm thinking of just giving them to the chickens live to see what happens.
I did have some duckweed but recently disposed of all of it. I would recommend that you use a separate tank, bucket to grow in. Also be aware that if it has been taken from the wild you run a good chance of picking up unwanted guest like snails. I did find the separate tank was good when I had high ammonia in the water. The duckweed flourished. Almost doubled every 7 days, and yes the fish loved it. Problem I ran into was it grew to fast and I did not stay on top of harvesting so once it started to rot all of it started to rot and man did it stink!
If you are trying to grow veggies from your AP system then yes, growing duckweed or other water plants to feed the fish will be robbing your veggies of nutrients.
Keep in mind that with tilapia you should probably not supplement more than 50% of their diet with duckweed since any more than that and you are likely to have reduced growth rates.
Duckweed and water hyacinth (where legal), do use up ammonia directly (as do many water and pond plants) and can do quite a bit to help keep water clean. But as noted, maybe too much if you actually want to grow veggies so using a separate pool with a little aeration can probably grow more fodder without throwing your AP system too far out of whack.
This is fascinating! I have been wondering what to do with extra tilapia fingerlings. I'll have to try this with my chickens!
I'm growing duckweed with my aquaponics and the baby tilapia love it. Doesn't seem to grow very fast at all in the aquaponics system. I've put a bunch more fingerlings in the tank to try to kick up the nutrient levels to see if that helps.
Very interesting discussion on the omega-3s. The complaints that I read about regarding low omega 3s in tilapia all seem to stem from commercially farmed tilapia. One of the reasons for raising my own tilapia was the assumption that if I fed them duckweed, black soldier fly grubs, and the expensive fish food, they'd have higher omega 3s than the commercial ones fed primarily corn and soy. Has anyone discovered any data regarding the fat profile of commercially raised tilapia vs aquaponic tliapia? It's a little prohibitively expensive to go out and spend $500 at a food lab.
ps: update on feeding fingerlings to chickens: first try, not very interested. I came back a week later, and they went totally crazy over the fingerlings. couldn't get enough and they chased each other around trying to get each other's snacks.
Keep in mind, that when you try to grow duckweed in a system, it will suck up nutrients often before your veggies can get them.
In my gravel pit "system" growing duck weed helped suck up extra nutrients that were burning my plants while I could only pump once a week much of the summer due to the low water table, helped keep the pond cool too (the sun sure beats down on it) till my trees get big enough to shade it.
I will have to remember this when I get to many bass fry, or if despite the bass I end up with so many minnows in the pond they are squeezing each other out of the water again!
Transporting fish has a few unique requirements that must be met or you will have dead fish. And you are right about shareing.
Bobby McGovern said:
Why not offer them to members who are interested. Give them away and let whoever is interested pay the shipping.