Aquaponic Gardening

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Has anyone found a source of feed for their tilapia that doesn't have fish meal in it?  I"m not having any luck finding anything I consider sustainable so far, and I'm too busy / lazy right now to start up a duckweed system.  Thoughts?

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I am in the process of negotiating duckweed foraging rights with a nearby ranch. They have a system of holding ponds and a duckweed issue. You might try something similar rather than growing your own.
try black solider flies
Check out kensfish.com He has a great fish food selection.
I have a 10g cherry shrimp tank with a bristlenose pleco that I have run for over two years. Other than the occasional water change and tossing in a few algae pellets now and then, it is very nearly a complete ecosystem, and ultra low maintenance. But, the shrimp are really teeny-weeny, and I don't think you could produce enough of them to actually feed very many larger fish.

Emma Lysyk said:
I actually have plans in the works to raise cherry shrimp in my 20 gallon, and maybe feeder guppies. I've been reading that you can keep the fry and baby shrimp safer by placing pantyhose over the intake for your filter, and keeping plant cover does help ensure more survive than would otherwise.

A plus for the cherry shrimp is that I can feed them fruit and things grown in the garden. Full cycle eco system.
After I thought about this a few days, the only thing I could think of to substitute for fish meal was hard boiled chicken eggs (as a protein supplement for duckweed). I don't have any Tilapia, but I do have a couple Tinfoil Barbs (a fish worth considering in a warm climates for aquaponics IMO). So, being the adventurous type, I boiled up an egg and tossed a little of it into the Barbs...they LOVED it. Definitely worth researching more. And it might be a good way to get some extra iron into my tomato plant system. And I'll let you know if my Barbs kick the bucket anytime soon :)
I know people have used hard boiled egg yolk to feed tilapia fry.  You scrape your finger across the boiled egg yolk and float the residue into the water for the fry.  That was suggested for people who had a sudden fry population but no appropriate feed for them.  I've found that the 45% protein flake food works well for small tilapia fingerlings but ya gotta keep that stuff very dry so not appropriate to most automatic feeders.

i saw this problem in honduras. fixed it by puting a bicycle iner-tube inflated just enough to give it some rigitity on the water, then put the food inside the ring. the fish can get the food and the food stays unafected by water movement.



TCLynx said:

Perhaps you can adjust you water flow and aeration such that it would help keep the food from floating into the plants before the fish have a chance to eat it. That might be kinda tricky to balance and keep the plants from floating to the spot you are trying to keep the food.
Yea, a feeding ring works where the fish are not too aggressive in their feeding and floating feed is used.  I've found that fish splashing when they come up for food can tend to move much food out of the feeding ring though.  Just have to find the right balance I guess.
I have had blue tilapia now for three days and have never seen them eat the Wardley Koi/Goldfish floating food. I fed them what I thought were BSF larvae and watched them eat and then spit them out. The only thing that I am sure they eat are Kang Kong (oka: Ung ChoY, and water spinach). They also eat sweet potatol leaves, and Taro. I hang these plants in the tank and they all the leaves were eaten off the stems.

TCLynx said:
Yea, a feeding ring works where the fish are not too aggressive in their feeding and floating feed is used.  I've found that fish splashing when they come up for food can tend to move much food out of the feeding ring though.  Just have to find the right balance I guess.

I found this article about a great concept!  This student is testing the use of post-consumer food scraps to replace the fish feed!

 

http://eponline.com/articles/2011/07/07/fish-lettuce-and-food-waste...

 

 

It often takes fish a while to catch on to a new food source.  I too found that tilapia like sweet potato leaves.

Is anyone growing plants for fish fodder in their dirt gardens?

 

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