some growers are using cargill 6mm with great gains , Randall , the catfish food does it float?
anybody have a clue here? Yes, I am currently running a feed comparison at work.
what is a quality food? Depends on the species, bottom line all other things constant(protein, fat, fiber) a digestible food is going to give you the best FCR
does it make a difference ? Ingredient choice makes a HUGE difference
how do you know good food? Quality feed manufacture
can you make your own food? Yes(and others will argue) but it is not worth it. The formulas are highly researched and designed for the best efficiency they could muster.
I use Aquamax 4000 dense culture feed for my Catfish and bluegill and when I had tilapia they ate it too. It is a Purina Mills product. You can get it from feed stores that are purina dealers (except tractor supply) You just go to their web site do a dealer search, enter your zip code and get a list of feed stores that are dealers. Call them up and see if they can have a bag put on their next delivery order and see what they will charge you for it.
I have used the Aquamax 400 grower food, didn't work well for me. I don't think the ingredients used to up the protein numbers really worked so well. Now whenever I get a batch of new fingerlings that need smaller feed, I'll pick up a 5 lb bag of something higher protein/smaller pellet from Aquatic Eco systems and then transition the fish onto the 4000 dense culture feed before the 5 lb bag runs out. If I have to I'll grind up some of the 4000 to be smaller for small fish.
There are other good feeds but I know the Aquamax 4000 works well for the fish I have raised. The Goldfish seem to eat it fine too.
I used Aquamax for a long time- found out they use feather meal in almost all of their feeds to up the protein content. I switched over to Silver Cup and found that I ended up with a lot less sludge in system- better conversion and less siphoning on my settlement tank. I think they were just crapping out most of the feather meal and it was all ending up in my settlement tank.
Right now I am finding the best results with Zeigler. But I am growing trout (42%protein, 16% fat, 3& fiber).
The least cost method is used in a lot of foods, where they substitute ingredients as cost fluctuates in order to maintain a constant price. Sometimes this leads to sub-par ingredients being used when more digestible ones are too expensive.
Howdy, there is a tilapia dealer who promotes rangen feed they make every size you need also they have a grow out program that gets nice gain.
The make your own food/ is a hard thing to do. it can be done, also we are trying to find a custom mill, too make us all superior feed, that has all the RIGHT STUFF. if you know of a custom mill please tell me,
another issue is adding a supplement to the food . is this ok?
You can buy a vitamin pre-mix supplement to use when making your own feeds. Aquatic Eco Systems sells it.
I have found rabbit feed to be the best and cheapest food for tilapia and redclaws, and worms love the solids
What constitutes the "best"? Aquaculturists try and create a minimal of solids, with the most efficient FCR.
The "best" in my opinion is the happy medium of cost, sustainability, availability, locally sourced, nutritional, and liked by the fish. For me, rabbit food fits the bill. I don't know the FCR. I do know it's cheaper than any fish food. I can buy it at any feed store at any time. It stores well. It is pure, just compressed grasses and hay. My tilapia prefer it to all other fish food I have tried, including aquamax. They attack it, and they grow very fast and healthy on it. It does NOT create a minimal of solids. It creates a ton of solids, but the solids are quickly consumed by the worms in the media, and you definitely have to design accordingly to evacuate the mulm. I don't run rafts (yet), and I assume one would have to increase maintenance of solids-filter and biofilter. Part of my belief that it is a good food is that it is a blend of vegetation, and thus contains the minerals essential for vegetation in the non-fish half of aquaponics. Fish based fish food, or worse yet, GMO soy and corn based fish food with feathers added, probably doesn't fit the nutrient needs of my plants, and would thus require supplements. There is plenty info on the benefit of rabbit manure to grow plants, and in another thread someone mentioned a test where rabbits where omitted, and plants were grown directly in rabbit food with great results. So, there you have it. I'm currently gathering seaweed to dry and pulverize, hoping to add that to the feed as well, to negate the need for any bottled supplement in AP (fortunately I live by the sea).
I have a small system - for fun, not profit, so I'm not pinching the pennies as tight as a commercial operation. That said, I really like to use angelsplus.com for all of my fish food; here's what I'm feeding the tilapia:
Floating Grower Pellet: A 3mm higher protein pellet that grows young fish fast. Great for pond fish and for cichlids.
Protein Min 42%, Fat Min 6%, Fiber Max 3%, Moisture Max 11%, Ascorbic Acid (Vit. C) Minimum 210 mg/kg
AAnalysis: Wheat, Fish Meal, Maize Gluten Meal, Dehulled Soybean Meal, Hydrolyzed Feather Meal, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Brewers Dried Yeast, Monosodium Phosphate, Fish Oil, Soy Lecithin, Spirulina, Salt, Choline Chloride, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Supplement), Vitamin B12, Vitamin/Mineral supplement, Canthaxanthin, Artificial Color
It's nice that they sell smaller quantites (the smallest package is 1.5 lbs). The 5lb bag was $16.95.
The "best" in my opinion is the happy medium of cost, sustainability, availability, locally sourced, nutritional, and liked by the fish.
For fun I will come up with the best food for you based on your goals: Your crap
happy medium of cost: You were going to throw it away, I guess it cost as much as your food budget
sustainability:great way to reuse your own was
avaiability: Right out your bum, lets say once a day
Localy source: depends on your shopping habits
Fish like it: guaranteed, this was done in parts of Asia for years
Jon I guess we all have are own goals. Mine focus around efficiency, which leads to sustainability in my mind. A high quality complete feed should have almost all the nutrients that you seek. My argument is not that you are doing something wrong, its just not the most efficient way and could lead some not so good at solid management folks the wrong way. I have found that in aquaponics, there are so many ways to skin a cat, and so many agendas being pushed(anti GMO, aquaponics to save the world, ...). My work focus is on commercial profitability, but my commercial influences often poke out in my backyard approaches.
The problem with solids is that eventually you will have to increase filtration, and therefore electrical usage. On a larger scale, there goes your sustainability argument. The more you have to deal with the more overall cost, and effort is required. That is why I personally use highly digestible foods, which by the way still put out 25% solids per unit input.
I also have no issue with GMO, and think a lot of the fear is unjustified. The GMO corn we grew on the farm where I work required no pesticide last year, only one application of round up, and was watered less. I believe you could call that more sustainable that the heirloom variety.
I also wonder how local rabbit food is. Do you have a large rabbit industry in your town?