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Hi, I was wondering what type of fish feed can be produced to feed fish for an aquaponic setup. I know of algea, duckweed, worms, BSF larvae. But I would like to also know what types of fish are specific to what types of feed? For example goldfish will eat duckweed, but what fish type will not eat duckweed?

 

I am Most interested in:

Trout

Tilapia

Catfish

crawdads/ crayfish

 

Thanks.

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Tilapia will eat some duckweed too.

 

Hi Steven,

 

This is a pretty frequently asked question, so definitely take some time to search the site and do a google search as it should yield some fantastic answers.  BSF is good as a supplemental food idea, but due to the extremely high fat content, is not suitable as a primary food source.  Duckweed is another reasonably good quality supplemental food item, but it takes an enormous amount to do much good, and it is best if dried, as it is primarily made up of water.  Algae can be a very high quality supplemental food item.  It can even be a primary food source for tilapia when employing greenwater culture methods. 

 

Tilapia are omnivores with a very strong tendency towards aquatic plant life.  They can be fed entirely "vegetarian" diets, but they will grow slower than when provided with a more balanced ration.

 

Trout are carnivores.  They require a high protein ration.

 

Catfish are omnivores like tilapia.  However, they will gladly eat other fish if they are of suitable size and readily available.

 

Crayfish are primarily scavengers and detrivores.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Take Care,

Kellen

Thank you that was very helpful indeed

Kellen Weissenbach said:

Hi Steven,

 

This is a pretty frequently asked question, so definitely take some time to search the site and do a google search as it should yield some fantastic answers.  BSF is good as a supplemental food idea, but due to the extremely high fat content, is not suitable as a primary food source.  Duckweed is another reasonably good quality supplemental food item, but it takes an enormous amount to do much good, and it is best if dried, as it is primarily made up of water.  Algae can be a very high quality supplemental food item.  It can even be a primary food source for tilapia when employing greenwater culture methods. 

 

Tilapia are omnivores with a very strong tendency towards aquatic plant life.  They can be fed entirely "vegetarian" diets, but they will grow slower than when provided with a more balanced ration.

 

Trout are carnivores.  They require a high protein ration.

 

Catfish are omnivores like tilapia.  However, they will gladly eat other fish if they are of suitable size and readily available.

 

Crayfish are primarily scavengers and detrivores.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Take Care,

Kellen

I'm so excited! I've finally connected with one of the local breweries to get spent grain. Apparently, spent grain just has starch and alcohol removed, but still contains all the protein and micronutrients. I had built BSF composters to try to raise them but they don't reproduce when it's cold and the 55 gallon drums got really nasty..would much rather just use this wasted by product from the brewery...will let you know how it all works out. I just plan to dry it out first. I have a friend who has tried it on a very small trial set up and he said it worked great...no signs of nutritional deficiencies in the greens he is growing.
Wow thats awesome. Thanks for sharing that info.
I had an opportunity to talk to a Purina representative about sustainability of their use of Menhaden for fish meal and although they claim it is sustainable, many claim that stocks are declining and that because it is a zoo-plankton and phytoplankton filter feeder water quality is declining and larger predator fish are going hungry. I asked if using BSF for their fish food and they said they had looked at it but decided it is not for them. Although, he did say that BSF larvae would be a good food for fish and it could be done. The first person to create pelleted fish food from BSF is going to make a killing!

The first suppliers of very sustainable fish feeds will probably be very popular but I don't know how much of a killing they will make since it will probably cost them quite a lot to manage it so either their fish feed is gonna be really pricey for them to make much profit at all, or they are going to make almost no profit in order to price their feed competitively.

 

Worms and BSF larva and similar things might seem like a great way to earn something but there is a reason that not that many people are making a living raising them.  You need a feed source for them and it takes space, and labor and BSF require warm temperatures to be highly active so are limited to seasonal production in many areas.

 

Now when some one does set up a greenhouse food waste recycling/composting facility for BSF larva along with a fish feed making plant, maybe there will be a chance at seeing fish feed made that way.  Basically we would need to see one of the big waste hauling companies go green and collect the waste and sort the garbage for the recycling and stuff and have the organic waste stream go to composting/worms and bsf.  I know of such companies that do the sorting for the recycling but I don't know if any of them are really making much use of the organic stuff other than maybe incinerating for use in electric generation.

One sustainable alternative would be to use rough fish. Detrimental or invasive species such as carp, bighead or asian carp, sheephead etc. Very abundant in places. I used to remove for human consumption. They are cheap fish and a problem for native species. Very sustainable 2 birds with one stone. The problem, work and investment lies in the processing. Anyone interested in pursuing this seriously on a larger scale feel free to contact me. I will share some sources of fish suppliers.

TC, Growing power now has a small hoop house dedicated to BSF. They have tilapia there so i would imagine they are going to feed most of it to their chickens. I'm sure they are troubled by the use of fish meal to feed their stock.

When I start my commercial operation in about a year, I will definitely be experimenting with it. When you can take 100 lbs of compostable food and get 35-45 pounds of BSF grubs it sounds like a no brainer for rendering protein and fat as part of a balance fish food. 

I know my chickens and ducks get most of my BSF larva.  They beg and they come running for them and don't usually let you get to the fish tank if you have to go past them to get there.

 

Will be interesting to see if Growing Power manages to keep a BSF population going through winter there in a hoop house.  I know mine have already really slowed down since we have had a few nights down in the 50's. 

BSF larva contain too much fat. Do as TLC does and give it to your chickens and ducks. If all goes well, I hope to offer a feed production kit this year or so. It will include a pellet mill, a dehydrator, blender and formula for specific fish diets. The feed company I am working with is interested and researching feasibility of offering it for US use. The question I have is: How many of you wold trust me to supply you with feed?

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