Aquaponic Gardening

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I'm researching and designing a system that will hopefully be economical for me to run. I'm planning on doing a combination of duckweed, BSF and AquaOrganic. I calculated out how much feed 25 tilapia would need to reach full maturity and it is rather a lot...almost 104 pounds which would cost me about $400 to get to my address. Which makes each mature tilapia cost about $16, omitting all the other costs. That's not going to fly! 

How are you feeding your tilapia? Are you using Aquaorganic and do you find the feed rate suggested to be accurate? If you're supplementing with other things are you able to reduce that rate enough to make it worthwhile?

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I have heard of several people using recipes such as the following:

"

grounded soy bean
grounded corn
whole wheat flour
garlic powder
eggs
dehaydrated milk
Azomite
olive oil

Mixed them all up, placed in oven at 180F for 3 hours.
Now I crumble it to very small pieces 

"

I have not tried myself, but I do plan to try. The commercial food is way too expensive. 

I think the problem is the price of the AquaOrganic. Looks like you're spending $4/lb shipped. What about Skretting? I believe I paid $27 for a 40lb bag, and $20 for shipping - just slightly over a buck a pound. Even cheaper would be picking up Purina AquaMax locally.

Skretting seems like a better quality feed than Purina's AquaMax (less un-digestable fillers... in addition to the obvious fish benefits that brings, also means less solids to deal with in your system).

Michael, I'm no expert but there are certain parts of grains that a fishes digestive system just isn't able to deal with...and often lead to fatty degenerative disorders in the fish (like steatosis) long term...like what happens when people feed their fish dog food...sure, they love it and gobble it up, but holy cow does it mess them up after a while...

Vlad, do you have an opinion on cat food? I heard some people using that with success. 

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Skretting seems like a better quality feed than Purina's AquaMax (less un-digestable fillers... in addition to the obvious fish benefits that brings, also means less solids to deal with in your system).

Michael, I'm no expert but there are certain parts of grains that a fishes digestive system just isn't able to deal with...and often lead to fatty degenerative disorders in the fish (like steatosis) long term...like what happens when people feed their fish dog food...sure, they love it and gobble it up, but holy cow does it mess them up after a while...

Yeah, but only for "cat"fish ;)

See what I did there? Heheheheh

The Purina products are not an option for me regardless of price given that Purina is owned by Nestle. I've not seen Skretting listed on any of the sites.  I've sent an email off to see if there is a dealer in my state, since I don't see an easy way to order off their site. 

I'm intrigued by the homemade options and was already planning to do at least a partial diet of bsf and duckweed but since there is not a lot of data on actual feed and growth rates using alternative feed (or even commercial feeds). 

The shipping on 3-40# bags of AquaOrganics is about $80 to my address via the cheapest available method... and since I'm about to move to a more rural area I suspect that will go up. The AquaOrganic looks like they are using either a pea or bean as the prime ingredient followed by a grain (likely wheat, barley or millet) , then rice, canola, corn, flax and then a bunch of other stuff. 

In terms of sustainability and a functional system, I think a food that can be made on-site from locally sourced materials will be the most sustainable...although certainly the most work.

Can tilapia survive, grow and thrive on duckweed & BSF alone? Does anyone have records of how many pounds/ounces/etc they had to feed in BSF and/or duckweed in order to see steady growth? 

I keep joking that I'm not starting a homestead I'm starting a research facility...and there are days that looks more and more like the truth. 


On the Skretting feed does anyone have a list of the recommended amount to feed (presumably by weight?) and a list of ingredients? 

If you go to http://www.skretting.us  They have information on the feed, and an online shop.

I was told by the bio-pod people that BSF should never make more than 1/3 of an animals diet.

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