Aquaponic Gardening

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I can't grow BSFL because we are a zone 4/5 - they just aren't native here - but I love the concept and they sound like both awesome composters and wonderful, productive fish food.  Since I just wrote a blog post about them, and am selling the BioPod, they little guys are on my mind.  Is anyone using BSFL to feed their fish?  Is anyone doing this in a zone 6 or below?  What are your thoughts?

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Two Jay, did you try it?  There are reports on the net that you can do it.  Your pod will be semi dormant during the winter - Generally the larvae eat but don't mature and reproduce.  Reproduction begins again in spring.  You must protect the pod from freezing, 40-60 degrees temp and insulate it.  Even here in Fla I will insulate mine.  My new pod produced a small harvest on day 1, which the chickens enjoyed.  I simply dumped my old, small pod into the new one and apparently a few were ready to self harvest.  You can check the BSF Blog to see which parts of Africa host BSF.

Two Jay said:
Adding another project to the list... I will build my first unit, test it over the next year or so and see how well it performs, if all goes well, I will buy a Pod. Thanks for the encouragement.

I am now feeding a handful of BSF larvae to my fish every day sometimes twice a day.  Tales and I got some larvae from Kirsten and we seeded are vegetables with them and now we have several buckets and barrels going.  We just need to make escape routes on a few of the buckets.  We are excited about the aamount we are producing.  We also get some other fly  l;arvae, fruit or house.  We also feed these to the fish..  The guppies grab them by the tail and take off it is fun to watch.  I don't know if the flies breed all year or not.  We have an endless source of veggies and fruit.  The grocery stores hire a co to bring it out to farmers who want it for free.  My friend and I split it up and feed it to pigs, chickens, fish, BSF larvae and we compost any left over.  I am hoping the BSF mates all year like the other flies.

If I can get enough I am going to try a tank of fish that only eats the larvae and the vegetables we give them and see how they do.

I expect they will go all year for you there Raychel,  They slow down or stop for the cooler months here but we actually get some stretches of weather and nights down below 50 F here in the winter and usually a few freezes a year.

I got my first BSF bin going about two months ago. The flies are slowly colonizing on their own. I looked yesterday and there are dozens of larvae easily found now. The numbers are steadily increasing so they are obviously breeding, here in Kona, on the shortest and coolest days of the year. I am not harvesting them yet because I want to increase their numbers and start a large bin to supply lots larvae for chickens and fish. Right now I feed ALL food scraps and farm waste to the chickens. What they do not eat gets put into my first BSF bin and will ultimately get fed back to the chickens.

Hey you guys could check this videos out i found it while researching BSF

and this video on how to build a DIY bucket 

Thanks Jovan

I have been looking at the BSF videos almost everyday for a week just trying to get a little more info.  One of my WWOOFers had built a bucket like that over a year ago and she never could get a fly to come.  We now have endless grocery store garbage and we have them coming in large amounts.  We reused her buckets and they work well.  I just want to see if they stick around all year so I don't have to freeze them.  To me freezing isn't sustainable living.  But as long as we have the money we can use it.  If they stick around all year and I can improve on collecting them I can pay a lot less for food in the long run.

It's quite a sight, that many pupae.  That's a lot of chicken and fish food.  No action going on here in N. Fla right now but I look forward to ramping up production in the spring.

See the great design for DIY BSFL composting and self harvest bin

I built my Black Soldier Fly Composter several days ago, but I have nothing but common house flies breeding.  Should I clean it out an start over or will the Black Soldier Flies move in later?   I know we have Black Soldier Flies in this area because when we had an outhouse they were thick in there.

As I understand it, no.  As the black soldier flies become prevalent, they will repel the other flies. Too, if you dump it, you may be dumping BSF larvae and/or eggs.   I'm having a tough time getting them going this year so I'm going to move my biopod  back to where I was successful in the past.  I wanted to keep it near my fish tank for convenience but it's not working out.  Even though I built some overhead shade, it may be too sunny and hot where I have it now.

Thanks George.  I have mine in the shade.  Our temperatures have been 70-90 but we are heading for a hot spell of 104.

I can't believe how quickly those house flies breed!

I'm having some trouble with the larvae crawling past the Velcro.  I used both sides.  Which is the best side of the Velcro to use?

The side that gives them less adhesion/less traction to the side of the bucket.  If you're just dealing with regular fly larvae at this point, it may not be a problem.  My first bucket, before I had fish, just released them all back into the wild and I entertained the idea of using two exit points, one for capture and the other for release.  That would give them a 50/50 chance of releasing into the wild.  I never followed through with that one.  104?  geez. 

Bob Campbell said:

Which is the best side of the Velcro to use?

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