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Does anyone know of specific plant(s) types that can be fed to tilapia & Koi?

I'm refering to veggie (leaf scraps) from the garden beds- as a supplement to there regular diet.  

Are there any types of plants that I should stay away from- for one reason or another? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Growzay

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David, do you have something like a food saver vacuum sealer?  If it is one of the ones with the tube attachment, here is an idea that might help you understand it better.

 

If you have one of those vacuum marinading containers that works with the sealer tube attachment then if that container were a freezer and you put racks of sliced food in it and then vacuumed the pressure low wile the food was also being frozen. That is what is being described.  By lowering the pressure while it is cold the moisture tends to come to the surface and hopefully evaporate into the air before it can condense and form crystals on/in the food.

 

Now I don't know how powerful a vacuum pump you need  in order to work with a freezer instead of just a marinade container.  Nor best how to plumb through the freezer and hook it all up.

I suppose one might be able to modify the seal around the rim (not sure how) of a freezer with a tube that could be connected to a vacuum pump that you sit next to the freezer for when you are doing the freeze drying operations?

 

Oh oh oh..... Wait, do you have a freezer that has a drain plug in it???????  I bet you could use that for the suction port!!!!!

I have a Foodsaver vac bag machine and it has an attachment to vac seal a Mason jar with a stock jar lid.  I've never tried to vac-freeze dry.  I think I'll try it with some fresh veg leaves and see what happens.

It's fun to put a few marshmallow in the jar and vac it, they expand crazy.

I sawmill/kiln dry and make flooring to fine furniture.  This yr I used the kiln to dry 15gl of Roma tomatoes then vac bag and freeze them.  15gl of tomatoes dries to about 1gl of dried slices, then when vacuum packed they get even smaller.

For making feed I guess I'd dehydrate the items, grind then pelletize (some how). I wonder if one could dehydrate,grind then add just enough water to the mix to shape into a thin layer and dehydrate again then crack/break it into small pieces (dust goes back to the next batch)

jim

This freeze drying thing is really fascinating. But I'm with David, Carey, a few details would have been helpful, and a few more are still required before any if us could repeat your success with DIY freeze drying. From what I've gathered online in the last few minutes, the vacuum an freezer method can achieve freeze drying, or rather very freezer burned food, after a very long time, and after huge energy consumption. Here are some not so obvious results of vacuum/freezer method:1-it would take months, at least, to dry enough to store without some other form of preservation2-a home freezer would implode with a vacuum pump sufficient to achieve sublimation3-the moisture laden air that would be evacuated during sublimation is sub-freezing VAPOR, meaning it would condense in the vacuum pump, not as liquid water, but solid ice, destroying common vacuum pumps4-in order to remove moisture before it gets to pump, you would have to build a condensor in the vac line. Said condenser would have to chill vapor to -90 F, at which point it would condense as ice, eventually blocking the condenser, and the whole thing has to shut down and melt dry before it can resume. Not exactly garage science. Am I missing something?  While researching freeze-drying, though, I did come accross something else called simply vacuum drying. It is much more energy efficient than freeze drying, and holds some advantages in food quality as well. Freezing destroys the fiber, making the end product brittle. Vacuum drying is simply room temperature drying in a vacuum. Vacuum causes the vapor pressure to lower, rapid drying, and if it contains some air, it fluffs before it hardens. I have seen a marshmallow swell to the size of an orange in a mason jar with a home vacuum packer. Put it in the sun and keep it under vacuum, and you should end up with a big, crunchy, dry, preserved marshmallow. 
So, I'm thinking a sticky fluffy binder and some duckweed, squeeze it through a pasta maker, air dry til it loses it's surface tackiness, then finish it by vacuum drying in the sun. An ideas for a binding agent that would hold some air?  Corn starch, eggs?  Duckweed merengue for dinner tonight, fishies. It sounds logical, I'll try some and report back
TC freeze drying normally happens at sub zero temperatures. Apparently Carey can do it with a normal freezer I think. Putting a small suction on a normal freezer which really is about 26 degrees insnt freeze drying. I have a food saver but that isnt freeze drying. The moisture is trapped in a suction bag and it helps with freezer burn not the other way around. Thats why Im curious on technique not hypothetical. IF it is just an idea then hell say so. If somebody does it then spit it out.

TCLynx said:

David, do you have something like a food saver vacuum sealer?  If it is one of the ones with the tube attachment, here is an idea that might help you understand it better.

 

If you have one of those vacuum marinading containers that works with the sealer tube attachment then if that container were a freezer and you put racks of sliced food in it and then vacuumed the pressure low wile the food was also being frozen. That is what is being described.  By lowering the pressure while it is cold the moisture tends to come to the surface and hopefully evaporate into the air before it can condense and form crystals on/in the food.

 

Now I don't know how powerful a vacuum pump you need  in order to work with a freezer instead of just a marinade container.  Nor best how to plumb through the freezer and hook it all up.

I suppose one might be able to modify the seal around the rim (not sure how) of a freezer with a tube that could be connected to a vacuum pump that you sit next to the freezer for when you are doing the freeze drying operations?

 

Oh oh oh..... Wait, do you have a freezer that has a drain plug in it???????  I bet you could use that for the suction port!!!!!

When we dry foods, they need to be dried as fast as possible to avoid many types of stuff growing on it.

For a substantial qty. of feed , one should set up a climate controlled dryer and get very consistent results.

 

Putting a hole in a fridge/freezer is easy just use a drill and drill a spot where there is only shell and insulation  I've drilled my  beer fridge for homemade beers in 5gl Cornelius kegs + CO2,, all grain recipes.   It's health food, starch, live yeast, water, hopps ).

Did I forget one ingredient?

jim

Just throwing out brainstorming ideas on the topic until Carey can get back to us with more details.

 

Uh, I think our freezer is sub 0.  Now I have to go check on that.

Try this for a rundown. 
http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/free...
Our freezers our sub-zero Celsius, of course, and cold enough for freeze drying to occur, but it is very slow. If you follow that link, and look at the chart, sublimation occurs where the red zone touches the green zone. Basically below freezing and less than half an atmosphere. The colder and the more vacuum, the better. My point earlier was that freeze drying is a method of DRYING for long term storage at room temperature. If it's not totally dry, it won't keep. So a half-assed attempt is no good, unless you store it in the freezer, an then it doesn't need to be freeze dried, does it?  I suspect vacuum drying will be cheaper, easier, effective as a preservative, less wasted energy, and the added bonus of fluffing the feed to make it float. Freeze drying would make the feed float too 

@ Dave: First off; can you please just do what I do and direct your comment at me or whoever, instead of clicking that idiotic reply button. I think we can follow and would save some linier space for more replies. I wonder why this site doesn’t have threads?…Hmmm

 

Anywayz, I appreciate your honesty and position. I always seem to be able to read out of context and apologize if I seem snooty at times. I am over worked and under paid yet I come here after  a crappy day at work for relaxation?

 

As a teacher, I never like to spoon-feed my students because they simply don't learn. In fact I like to poke them in different directions so they can investigate, understand then apply. When people ask me for specific plans or solve problems, I call them clients and expect to be paid for it. Sometimes, those that pay don’t like to show others what they have/ know/ paid for, (even if it seems like “no big deal” to others). That plus crippling losses of personal pics has very much rendered me proofless, but I will try my best within my abilities to give opinions to help. I hope that is enough and thank you for your respect and understanding. After all, you can’t expect a Lawyer to give out his “how to get out of Jail free” techniques for his upcoming trial.

 

There are several ways to commercially freeze dry products and would behoove whoever wants to get serious into feed production to invest in a freeze-dry machine.

 

Now as for specifics and the process of a Gerry-rig thing, again it depends on what you have and how much you are willing to spend. But unless you are running a successful commercial operation, giving you specifics is just cute reading. I’ doubt you want to write as detailed a description of your AP system simply to back a comment (especially if you haven’t worked out the kinks).Again, sorry I don’t have pics of my old contraption and am working with a feed mill now so it doesn’t apply.

 

I thought I was pretty clear about the basic concept. An ordinary freezer would work just fine. And yes, basically you are making a whole bunch of freezer burned stuff. It’ll probably only take a week to ten days, maybe more to dry it out completely without vacuum. There has to be air space between layers so that the ice can evaporate onto a condenser plate or the walls of the icebox (no you don’t want to run it through your vacuum pump, that’s what valves are for). Once the vacuum has been turned on to desired level or capacity, you close the valve. All ice is still in the freezer compartment. There is no need for super cold temps nor high vacuum as long as you have time.

 

You want to spread it thin, as much surface area as possible so ice forms through the cell but outside of the cells. Slow cooling forms large crystals, while cooling it quickly forms smaller crystals. Cookie sheets work well too. Remove any ice formed.  Those large crystals you knock-off by brushing, tumbling it through an old t-shirt or toss separated like chafe depending on size. After that, the rest can be tossed back in, to continue to dry until you have a dry mass that easily crumbles. Pulverize it quickly and return to the freezer. After it has refrozen and dried the final time pack it in a jar and vacuum seal it until ready to use. Store any leftovers in the freezer or reseal with vacuum. Space is never wasted because new batches are constantly being processed as the former batch takes up less and less room.

 

@ Jon P: I think you get the jist of it, but it doesn’t have to that scientific when we are making small batches for testing. That graph only shows the optimum range but the process does slow down beyond those parameters but doesn’t stop. Yes it becomes very concentrated. Tough I haven’t tried it, I think you may be onto something there with the vac drying to produce airspace/ cavities; however that process might “boil out” or destroy the nutrients we are trying to preserve thus needing the cold temps? Keep reading and commenting. I hope we can learn together.

 

@ David: I’m sorry to hear your freezer does not reach sub zero temperatures. Maybe you can convert it to a smoke box…hehe.

 

Cheers all.
Carey thanks for explaining how you hooked a vaccum pump to the freezer without destroying it. And again thanks for explaning the difference between a subzero freezer and standart household freezer. Only about 2000.00 dollars. Again thank you for explaining how you went about getting the heat need to dry the veges. Oh ya take em out and shake them. I thought you were bullshiting me for a moment. My bust. tsk tsk.......................

Carey Ma said:

@ Dave: First off; can you please just do what I do and direct your comment at me or whoever, instead of clicking that idiotic reply button. I think we can follow and would save some linier space for more replies. I wonder why this site doesn’t have threads?…Hmmm

 

Anywayz, I appreciate your honesty and position. I always seem to be able to read out of context and apologize if I seem snooty at times. I am over worked and under paid yet I come here after  a crappy day at work for relaxation?

 

As a teacher, I never like to spoon-feed my students because they simply don't learn. In fact I like to poke them in different directions so they can investigate, understand then apply. When people ask me for specific plans or solve problems, I call them clients and expect to be paid for it. Sometimes, those that pay don’t like to show others what they have/ know/ paid for, (even if it seems like “no big deal” to others). That plus crippling losses of personal pics has very much rendered me proofless, but I will try my best within my abilities to give opinions to help. I hope that is enough and thank you for your respect and understanding. After all, you can’t expect a Lawyer to give out his “how to get out of Jail free” techniques for his upcoming trial.

 

There are several ways to commercially freeze dry products and would behoove whoever wants to get serious into feed production to invest in a freeze-dry machine.

 

Now as for specifics and the process of a Gerry-rig thing, again it depends on what you have and how much you are willing to spend. But unless you are running a successful commercial operation, giving you specifics is just cute reading. I’ doubt you want to write as detailed a description of your AP system simply to back a comment (especially if you haven’t worked out the kinks).Again, sorry I don’t have pics of my old contraption and am working with a feed mill now so it doesn’t apply.

 

I thought I was pretty clear about the basic concept. An ordinary freezer would work just fine. And yes, basically you are making a whole bunch of freezer burned stuff. It’ll probably only take a week to ten days, maybe more to dry it out completely without vacuum. There has to be air space between layers so that the ice can evaporate onto a condenser plate or the walls of the icebox (no you don’t want to run it through your vacuum pump, that’s what valves are for). Once the vacuum has been turned on to desired level or capacity, you close the valve. All ice is still in the freezer compartment. There is no need for super cold temps nor high vacuum as long as you have time.

 

You want to spread it thin, as much surface area as possible so ice forms through the cell but outside of the cells. Slow cooling forms large crystals, while cooling it quickly forms smaller crystals. Cookie sheets work well too. Remove any ice formed.  Those large crystals you knock-off by brushing, tumbling it through an old t-shirt or toss separated like chafe depending on size. After that, the rest can be tossed back in, to continue to dry until you have a dry mass that easily crumbles. Pulverize it quickly and return to the freezer. After it has refrozen and dried the final time pack it in a jar and vacuum seal it until ready to use. Store any leftovers in the freezer or reseal with vacuum. Space is never wasted because new batches are constantly being processed as the former batch takes up less and less room.

 

@ Jon P: I think you get the jist of it, but it doesn’t have to that scientific when we are making small batches for testing. That graph only shows the optimum range but the process does slow down beyond those parameters but doesn’t stop. Yes it becomes very concentrated. Tough I haven’t tried it, I think you may be onto something there with the vac drying to produce airspace/ cavities; however that process might “boil out” or destroy the nutrients we are trying to preserve thus needing the cold temps? Keep reading and commenting. I hope we can learn together.

 

@ David: I’m sorry to hear your freezer does not reach sub zero temperatures. Maybe you can convert it to a smoke box…hehe.

 

Cheers all.

I am going to take your advice Carey.  As a researcher know I should weigh the fish but it is too stressful on them.  I once had a little screw die in my hands just because I picked him up,  I used to do research on the parasites of small mammals.  Stress is very easy to bring about and would throw your results off.  I have to design an experiment to put equal amounts of fry of the same size in 3 tanks.  1.  feed measured amounts or all they will eat of duckweed and azola, 2. feed them regular amount of commercial feed and all the duckweed and azola they want, 3.  feed them just commercial freed.   I will weigh them at 2 months and 4 months 6 months and 8 months providing I do not seem to stress them. Maybe weigh them at 8 months only.  Compare females to females in each case and males to males.  It has taken me about 8 months to get to 1 lb for the males on commercial feed.  I will record what I observe every day.  

Tonight I put 1 oz of duckweed in the fry netting.  I bet by tomorrow it will be gone.  I also put 3oz of duckweed, 3 oz of azola in one of my IBC tanks plus I fed them regular food.  In less than 1/2 hour they had consumed it all.

I have been thinking about how fish feed and I don't think they eat 2 times a day in the wild.  I believe they forage for their food.  So I will leave the duckweed ion until they consume it I will note how long it takes them to eat it,

I will keep you all informed what happens.

I have been feeding koi and goldfish one minute oatmeal for ten years only. The gold fish are like small kois. I just started feeding them peas and carrot blended in a food processor, plus the left over pulp from juicing vegetables, apples, etc. and they seems to love it.

My Koi & Tilapia seem to love eggplant leaves, arugula and oak leave lettuce - you're right, they do get used to a variety of food but start young (fingerling stage) and they need alittle time to get used to it

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