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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: Dec 18, 2020

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 Stuart Polkinghorne on February 18, 2013 at 4:36pm

Hi guys, just a quick question.. has anyone ever used pigeon pea meal in their fish feed? and would like to know if there is anything in it that is not good for fish.

TCL very true about small pellet mills. we are about to buy one to make fish food with.. Its about the weight of the rollers and pressure they give the pellets..

Pigeon Pea, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,436 kJ (343 kcal)
Carbohydrates 63 g
Sugars 0
Dietary fiber 15 g
Fat 1 g
Protein 22 g
Water 10.6 g
Vitamin A equiv. 18.6 μg (2%)
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.6 mg (52%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.2 mg (17%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 3.0 mg (20%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 1.3 mg (26%)
Vitamin B6 0.3 mg (23%)
Folate (vit. B9) 456 μg (114%)
Vitamin C 0 mg (0%)
Vitamin E 0 mg (0%)
Vitamin K 0 μg (0%)
Calcium 130 mg (13%)
Iron 5.2 mg (40%)
Magnesium 183 mg (52%)
Phosphorus 367 mg (52%)
Potassium 1392 mg (30%)
Zinc 2.8 mg (29%)
Comment by Jon Parr on February 3, 2013 at 10:31am

Mmmm, you're making my mouth water. Thanks for the data. I need to take a lesson in organization from you. I'll have to look up Modesto Milling, thanks for the tip.

Vlad Jovanovic is coming all the way from Serbia to my place here in Santa Cruz, CA, to teach aquaponics and permaculture classes with me Feb 15th through the 20th. I hope you can come visit. I even have a class on worms, BSFL, and homemade food for our farm animals. Details at 

Comment by TC Keenan on February 3, 2013 at 10:07am

@ Jon Parr: Jon, I also commend you on your blending of rabbits, chickens & fish into an ecologically sound urban agricultural system!  My aquaponics system start-up here in Sacramento is on hold until Spring (awaiting best time for bio-filtration growth & avoiding need deal with rains -- which unfortunately don't seem to be happening of late!). However, I have been working with my kids and local 4-H group to get our backyard chicken & rabbit projects going, and using vermi-composting to help tie together. We've had excellent results on both (eggs & meat -- as we're dedicated omnivores!), and thought I'd share some stats we had on the rabbits. Our CA doe gave us 7 bunnies from our NZ buck. I weighed 3 at 9 weeks, and dressed them for dinner (no coat & tie, but ribs & backbone were at the table). Three rabbits weighed 11# live (3.67#/ea) & 6# dressed (about a 55% to the table %, which jives with most literature I've found on meat rabbits). This included about 1# in liver, which I was initially cooking for our dogs, but instead shared half between myself, my 11yo son & my sister-in-law who showed up just as they finished sauteing. The liver was VERY delicious -- much more delicate than beef or pork -- and because we use only organic rabbit pellets & locally sourced foods (willow branches & rose hips a now in season, and great for keeping bunny sniffles & colds at bay! ). Modesto Milling has a wide range of organic feeds, and worth the drive (altho' I'm hoping to coordinate a byers' club in Sacto to split the cost of a pallet delivered). Because we are doing these (fish, feather & fur) as 4-H projects, we will be trying to collect more detailed records, to help know what our (purchased) feed conversion ratio is. We're also getting in a biopod (Karl of CompostMania gave us an R&D discount), and your posting was the final umph that helped my wife cut loose the needed finances.

We have been exploring for some time how to maximize sustainability here, so TRULY appreciate this wonderful forum (THANKS, Carey!). As I ramp up the aquaponics in the Spring, and we wrap up County & State Fair 4-H projects, I'll try to post more of our data.

I must add in closing that we enjoyed a wonderful BBQ rabbit & carrots seasoned with rosemary last night, and are about to enjoy huevos rancheros and Irish Fried Potatoes this morning, which should count as making one's own feed, no?!?

Comment by Bob Terrell on January 27, 2013 at 8:55am


Comment by TCLynx on January 27, 2013 at 8:53am

Hand cranked grinders work fine to grind pellets down to meal.  It is a little trickier to turn meal into a pellet.

Comment by NTS on January 24, 2013 at 8:29pm

Thank you, I will give the spaghetti and coffee a try. somebody needs to make and sell hand cranked pellet mills. 

Comment by Bob Terrell on January 24, 2013 at 8:28pm

yes, but it works

Comment by TCLynx on January 24, 2013 at 8:15pm

I've used hand cranked grinders of all kinds.  A bit different than a pellet mill though.

Comment by Bob Terrell on January 22, 2013 at 9:52pm

I use an old time coffee grinder, works fine

Comment by TCLynx on January 22, 2013 at 6:18pm

Pellet mills are not an abundant product on their own, I fear a version small enough to be hand cranked is fairly unlikely.


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