Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

In an attempt to become more sustainable, on my farm, I have started researching how to make my own fish food. I live in Hawaii and we are totally dependent on imported food for both humans and animals. I am looking for alternatives to Aquamax and the other available fish feeds. I grow mainly tilapia for my systems. I am interested in any recipes for fish food that anybody has. Does anybody make their own food?
I have many potential sources of  ingredients(for fish food) that are by-products of current aquaculture operations in my area. I would like to use their waste to make fish food for Hawaii. Any input will be help full.
Coastview Aquaponics

Views: 4503

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I ran a duckweed tank last summer. It was about 28" wide by 20" deep and 16 feet long. I kept 12 adult (or at least breeding age) tilapia in it and their zillions (I don't know how many but it was a lot) of fry/fingerlings. When I fed some commercial feed daily, the surface of the tank remained covered in duckweed. If I stopped feeding commercial feed, the duckweed would be completely gone in less than a week. I can't tell you the particular variety of duckweed but it is a small type that is commonly found in natural ponds in Florida. Hopefully this info is of some use to some one.
Duckweed is a problem for me. I got some Azolla sp. - my fish don't eat it, and it gets in the rafts and sucks up nutrients that should be going to my plants. I'm putting a lot of work into getting rid of it.
My tilapia only ate the duckweed if I wasn't feeding them the commercial feed. I have a feeling that the goldfish and koi who seem to love the duckweed when put into ornamental ponds, might be craving something that is missing from their commercial food that the duckweed might provide.
Thank you for the input. I have been feeding my tilapia azola and they are eating it. I only feed it to them between my regular morning and evening feeding of Aquamax of Rangen. I will also feed them heads of lettuce that bolt.

My intention for the post was to find components of fish feed. In my area there are many algae farms and various aquaculture operations that have a lot of waste product that they have to pay to get rid of. I have been playing with the idea of collecting some of their waste products and making fish food to supply local aquaculture here in Hawaii. I have been on a campaign to keep peoples food miles down for some time and now I would like get the fish food miles down! I believe there if enough by-product being thrown away to make a quality feed.
What sort of waste products come out of an algae farm?
I like the idea of recycling waste for fish food. However, since one of the big advantages of aquaponics is that it can easily be organic, I suggest you look carefully at your sources. Aquamax isn't organic either, but you probably want to be sure that whatever you're using isn't any worse. Even though we need protein for fish, high-protein animal products might be more of a concern than veg. foods. because of substance concentration. I wouldn't feed my fish shrimp farm waste, for instance. Isn't most farmed algae GMO? Some people are concerned about that,too.
I'm not exactly what waste is coming out of the algae farms, but they extract products that they want from the algae and there is some waste afterword. There are many things grown here in the Natural Energy Lab in Kona such as abalone, many kinds of fish, algae including seaweed, shrimp, lobster, crabs, and the list goes on. These businesses have waste that goes to the landfill.

The labels on fish feed is very vague as to the exact contents. One I an looking at now says "plant and animal protein products". What is that?? I have no way of knowing if it is entirely safe. I can however tour the farms that have potential ingredients to make feed from here. The same label warns "DO NOT FEED TO CATTLE OR OTHER RUMINANTS"!????

The labels on the fish food say that they contain corn and soy. I would have a hard time believing that those are not GMO. If food for human consumption is not required to label GMO, feed companies are not going to do it for fish food. Non GMO corn and soy are more expensive than GMO and the feed companies will use the cheapest ingredients possible. Some labels even say "grain by-products", "processed grain by-products", and "poultry fat". Most poultry is fed GMO corn and grow in the dark and in horrid conditions. I would bet the "animal protein" is a waste product form GMO corn fed animals.

Anyway I am going for organic produce, not organic fish.Organic farmers that grow produce in the dirt are not required to use manure from animals that are fed organic feed. I sell my fish and catch fish from the ocean to eat. I like ahi and mahi mahi much more than tilapia!
Chris, it sounds like you're totally ontop of this issue. Best of luck!
And, please keep us posted on how it goes.
Which island are you on. ? I am on Kauai and using commercial catfish feed for my Tilapia. Tim at Friendly Aquqponics, on the big island ,had very bad experience with duck weed. He has considered manufacturing Tilapia feed using fish by products. estimated facility to cost $50 k
not practical without sufficient demand for the product.

Bob horn
Kilauea hi 808-639-
Oh, hi! I'm on Kauai, at Island School. I'll friend you and send you my email, maybe we can trade tours.

Robert Horn said:
Which island are you on. ? I am on Kauai and using commercial catfish feed for my Tilapia. Tim at Friendly Aquqponics, on the big island ,had very bad experience with duck weed. He has considered manufacturing Tilapia feed using fish by products. estimated facility to cost $50 k
not practical without sufficient demand for the product.

Bob horn
Kilauea hi 808-639-
I've been reading a Freshwater Aquaculture book by William McLarney which I think was mostly written back before 1984 (that is the first copy wright date)
Anyway, even though it is a little out of date, it still has many ideas for growing one's own supplemental feed for fish.

A big portion of the book actually discusses the lower density extensive pond culture that are anything from simply stocking a farm pond for sport fishing to fertilizing ponds to produce blooms to increase production and the asian poly culture aquaculture and many other things. This is a book Cosmo lent me and I believe the writer was involved at New Alchemy.

Anyway, there are some ideas in there for helping to either raise natural feeds for fish or for catching or luring natural feeds to the fish that I am probably going to try.

They describe something sort of like the bug zapper but without the zapper part to drop flying insects to the fish. Also the possibilities of feeding fly larva to fish, well already doing this with the BSF larva but it might be expandable as well. Worms of course but they are more labor to harvest for feeding to the fish.

I'll be trying to research what other things might benefit my catfish but there are studies that show adding at least some natural feeds into the fish diet can greatly improve fish yields. Midge larva were one they said could improve some fish types ability to convert other feeds even as the amount of larva the fish were fed certainly could not account for the increased yield alone.

Anyway, as I try things, I'll share what I learn.
They have this thing called a "bug slugger" that is basically a small light with a weed wacker cord above it. The light attracts the insects and the wacker cord knocks them down into the water. Pretty chep means of adding free insects to the diet.

Reply to Discussion


© 2024   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service