So, I was doing a lot of research yesterday on feeding my fish. I somehow got it in my head that they could live off duckweed, but after finding out that's not enough I found some very interesting things.
First, and I mean no offense here, but many AP'ers are using commercial feed while claiming to be organic, or thinking they are eating healthy. That stuff ends up in your plants, thus tainting them. You can't get around the evils of GMO's and pesticides. I was actually kind of dumbstruck by the fact that a community that is so focused on sustainability and healthy/organic would overlook something so basic.
So, diving into this more, I found a lot of people growing their food, and how difficult it is. I was getting depressed as I thought my project was doomed. Could I grow food for my fish? After even more research this morning, I came to this conclusion.
Everybody is overthinking this thing. All you need to do is do what you do in AP, mimic nature. What do (in my case) Tilapia eat in the wild? They don't eat corn, or soy. They do eat other small fish, insects, algae, vegetation and so on.
So that's what I'll feed them. I've already got duckweed growing. I'll breed guppies, and I'll have a special bed to grow the "various vegetation" to make sure they have what they need.
My system will be augmented with vermiculture, so I don't think my system is missing anything. So, while I think some are overthinking it, am I underthinking it? Am I missing anything?
Yes we do Todd, in fact we had about 40mph yesterday, today is mild so far, I'd say 15 or so. I heard they have wind turbines for about $2000. Not in my budget right now, but I would love to do that and solar and be totally off grid.If I only had a well for my water.
Hey Jon, didn't take your post in a negative way, and nobody said this was easy (especially for us newbies). I don't want to get into a debate on which is better, I think both have their place and value and can actually work quite well together. You bring up some very good points about dirt.
I lived in So cal for longer than I care to admit, and it was pretty dry there. I'm curious about your dry farming (never heard of that before).
My plan is to use all wood and cinderblocks (for the tank). I do plan on using plastic liner tho (can't see a way around that). I'm also using plastic for my worm bins and temp duckweed "ponds". I was thinking of using plastic bins for "container gardening" but I read last night that most food grade plastic contains BPA, so now I'm rethinking that.
We've come so far down the road of unsustainability as a society that moving away from it is almost impossible cold turkey. Plastic is nearly unavoidable, but we can lessen it.
At first glance, that looks fun, interesting and AP useful. But do I really wanna eat it? We'll see.
Jon Parr said:
Jon, that is pretty cool. I wonder how easy that stuff is to get - and the price. Thanks for sharing that.
Now, the dry gardening is pretty sweet as well. I may have to try that next year and see how it goes. I'm a big tomato and pepper (especially the hot ones) fan!
Hi Phil, I agree with TC, just get it started and make improvements as you can. In time you will understand where I'm coming from. PS If fish aren't what you are after, you may consider pee-ponics and save a lot of hassle.
@ Jon P: Thanks for your input...That Magnesium Oxide Cement thing looks pretty amazing. I can't wait to get my hands on some and give it a whack. I see all sorts of applications.
Hope y'all have a great weekend...cheers
Hey Carey - It's not that I'm not after fish, it's just that I can only raise so much. From a product POV, I'm going to get a whole lot more veggies than fish. I don't eat fish because of where it comes from (just like I don't eat chickens or pigs or cows in the grocery store, I get those local from grass fed/organic farmers).
But you and TC are right, the real learning is once you dive in, straight into the deep end.
You have a good weekend too!
Algae, plankton, and ditritus are all food to Tilapia.