Aquaponic Gardening

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Making your own feed


Making your own feed

For those in terested in making their own fish food.

Members: 249
Latest Activity: Jun 22, 2018

Making my own fish food.

 The reason I started making my own feed was because I wanted to know and control what my fish eat and lower that portion of my overhead.


There are several factors when dealing with making your own feed. Sometimes it is not cost effective for a business to make its own feeds, while some hobbyists will go to any extreme as long as they get results. I classify myself in the second category.


The first factor is to find the diet requirements for the particular species of fish you grow. Try to find out what they eat in the wild, when and how often. Are they plant eaters or carnivores? What is the protein content ratio?


The second thing I look at is maturity. What stage of maturity are these particular fish going through?


And the third question I ask is what season is the feed for?


To make things less artificial and more natural, I also ask what their natural environment is like. What do they like and dislike.


I started out many years ago raising Fancy Guppies and Siamese Fighting fish and supplemented their flake diet with mosquito larva I raised in a tank on the side. Live food always seems to perk them up so I have continued this practice to this day. Today I have a 10 x 20 “bug shed” attached to one of the greenhouses, raising crickets, red wigglers, meal worms, mosquito larva, grubs and black solider fly larva for my chickens and fish as both live and pelleted feed.


To be as sustainable as possible, I do not use wild or farm raised fish to feed my fish. The only way my fish get fed is through recycling of waste from another process. For example: By using aquaponics, I produce about three times more bio matter compared to field/ bed (dirt) raised crops. I divide this into four groups. One goes to compost, another to feed livestock, the third pile is for the insects and lastly a pile to make feed.


I try to follow natures lead and prescribe to her patterns so I use grains more sparingly as a direct feed and instead feed it to the insects that naturally consume them.


So the next thing to consider is what portion of what. After you figure what you want in the feed it is a simple matter to grind you ingredients with a food processor until you have a fine powder. Next is to choose what you want to use as a binder. I use a combination of seaweed and blue-green algae as my binder along with starches that come naturally.


Today I use a commercial bio-matter press to produce my pellets but you can do the same thing in a smaller scale with a spaghetti press.


I hope this interest some of you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I’ll try to respond in a reasonable fashion.



Discussion Forum

mosquito fish as feeders

Started by Aaron Hardiman Apr 7, 2015. 0 Replies

anyone raise any feeder fish?Here is an abstract to a paper that fed mosquito fish to barramundi with positive results.  Ive read mosquito fish are maybe the easiest fish to breed and require very…Continue

Brine Shrimp, Fairy Shrip

Started by Bob Campbell. Last reply by Michael Garver Jr. Mar 26, 2015. 7 Replies

I'm wondering if anyone has tried to raise brine shrimp for fish food. I found  this paper   which seems to have…Continue

Tags: Shrip, Fairy, Shrimp, Brine

thanks for the most usefull info source ive found yet :)

Started by larry poe May 30, 2014. 0 Replies

love the info and ideas from this group. already found lots of useful stuff for not only my AP but for the rest of the farm as well.Continue

Is it possible to reproduce Duckweed along with Tilapia in an IBC tank? Goal - Lowering ammonia & oxygination with DuckWeed, while avoiding over feeding.

Started by Irvin Carrero. Last reply by TCLynx Mar 4, 2014. 27 Replies

I could not make the duckweed proliferate in my Tilapia tank. They would not give it a chance to thrive if it was placed in their tank. This made me ask myself: What would happen if I added an…Continue

Tags: IBC, tank., Tilapia, a, proliferation

Comment Wall


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Comment by Austin Hsu on August 13, 2012 at 8:03pm

The facility we are planning is for maximum self-dependency. The plan is to have as low a variable cost structure as possible. As such, we're currently looking to establish an internal eco-system with spirulina, daphnia or gammarus, supplemented with duckweed and/or BSF larva. We plan to use the spirulina to feed both the fish and the daphnia/gammarus with minimal processing, and circulate ammonia-rich water from the fish tanks to the spirulina and duckweed. I think the main challenge is to balance the different optimal environmental factors for pH levels, temperatures, and nutrient requirements.

Comment by Dave & Yvonne Story on August 13, 2012 at 7:33am

Good to know about the soy bean.

I am growing flaxseed now, as well as amaranth, morenga, chia, and chaya. I have used egg yoke as a supplement, but I over feed my fish and the egg yoke was not good for the water. 

Comment by Carey Ma on August 13, 2012 at 6:53am

Yes Austin, I have tried a lot of formulations but it all depends on raw materials available in your area. What is in your neighborhood? What bio "waste" is available for free or cheep? Do you have rooftop? What kind of capitol are you playing with? How sustainable do you plan to be? How many levels? What kind of building is it? Is it steal and glass or brick? All these factors and more determine if it is economically sustainable. I believe that if you can prove you grow real food, there are more than enough customers that will drive to you to buy your products. I build my farm around my restaurant and CSA members. I never have to gamble or resort to cutting my price so I can jump the big box's hoops. If you build it right and grow it true...they will come!

A Dave S: Sorry dude, I try to stay away from grains as much as possible esp corn and soy. It's just too unnatural. There are so many ways one can use converted bio-waste as an input that feeding then grain just doesn't make sense to me. You see, grains, though full of energy are empty. What I try to do when growing/ raising food is to build the Omega3 level as high as I can in their feed and balance it out with more natural/ absorb-able forms of proteins and fat and everything else seems to balance out automatically.

Are the materials raw or processed? What kind of wildlife can they support?But that's just me. As you know I'm a little out of straight AP and more onto the bigger picture.

@ TC: As usual, you are right on the spot. What would this site do without you?


Comment by TCLynx on August 11, 2012 at 4:57am

do some research into the flax seed since I believe raw it will block the uptake of certain things.  I've not found any research into using it to feed fish but I have read about using it to supplement chicken feed.

Soy is used heavily in most commercial fish feeds.  It needs processing since raw soy isn't really good to use.  Drawback I see is most Soy available in this country for use as feed is genetically engineered.  You would probably have to grow your own from Organic seed if you want to avoid that issue.

Comment by Bob Campbell on August 10, 2012 at 11:58pm

I've been mixing a raw egg with spirulina.  I then dry it.  When I rub it off the bowl it creates flakes which I feed to my fry.  Both the egg and the spirulina are high in protein, and the fry seem to like it.  But I have not done a cost comparison to spirulina flakes which are readily available and hold up better in the water.

Comment by Dave & Yvonne Story on August 10, 2012 at 10:21pm

I am thinking of making my own mix. anybody use flaxseed and soybean?

Comment by TCLynx on August 10, 2012 at 8:29pm

I've known of people trying moringa.  And there are plenty of algae that are good food for fish.

Comment by Austin Hsu on August 10, 2012 at 1:57pm

Has anyone experimented with other types of vegetative feed other than duckweed? Maybe a plant with more...desirable properties?

Comment by Carey Ma on May 26, 2012 at 2:19am

OK Bob, I'll try to come up with something this weekend.


Comment by Bob Campbell on May 16, 2012 at 10:26pm

@Carey - I thought I posted a pic of my filter but can't seem to find it

This is of interest to me but I have found it difficult to follow what you have described.  I would appreciate some pictures and further description of the process and your setup.    


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