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: 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


You need to be a member of Making your own feed to add comments!

Comment by NTS on January 21, 2013 at 4:13pm


I guess it does not exists

Comment by Robert Rowe on January 19, 2013 at 8:32am

RE: Hand cranked (Manual) Pellet feed mill

you might try a spaghetti extruder and cut the noodles with a knife as they come out.

Comment by NTS on January 19, 2013 at 7:26am

Does anyone know of a hand cranked (manual) pellet feed mill?

Comment by TCLynx on October 25, 2012 at 7:23am

Ron, it will depend on the type of fish and how old they are when you introduce the different feed and what else you add to make it appealing to them.

Keep in mind, something thought of as High protein for chickens is very different than high protein for fish.  Chicken feed is what maybe 16-19% for layer feed higher for chick grower.  I think the lowest protein commercial fish feed out there is normally like 32% protein and the grower or fry feed for tilapia is often like 50% protein and they are omnivores.

Quite a lot of work can go into formulating a good balanced fish feed for tank culture and most people doing aquaponics also want good balanced fertilizer for their plants as well.  So you want a feed that is good for growing out fish flesh relatively fast and those feeds are generally also pretty good for providing what the plants need as well.  Stray too far from that and growth may suffer.

Many people do supplement their fish feeds with home grown things, just don't expect to get the fast growth of fish or plants if you are feeding your fish just on lettuce scraps and the occasional blended up "lawn weed".  Fish in tank culture need a well balanced diet provided to them since they are not able to go out and forage in a natural pond for the more natural feeds and in tank culture we usually have them stocked far more densely than they would be in a natural pond.

Comment by Ron on October 25, 2012 at 12:24am

  Being new to aquaponics,im trying to figure out many things.I feed my chickens purslane,its high in omega 3,s and it grows like weeds.Could something like this be put in a blender and fed to fish?Oh the puslane is one of the many things my spoiled chicks get. One other thing thats high in protein is Romaine lettuce.

Comment by Two Jay on September 24, 2012 at 6:55am

I know some are using them in vermiponics, but not sure about aqauponics.  Keep us posted.

Comment by TCLynx on September 22, 2012 at 5:39pm

He means rabbit food pellets (not the bunny berries that come out the other end of the rabbit that some people would call rabbit pellets.)

Comment by Bob Vento on September 22, 2012 at 7:57am

I have been using rabbit food pellets. It is actually Timothy Grass in pellet form and my tilapia seem to like it, because I have heard no complaints.

The only drawback I see, is not to feed too much or you will end up with uneaten mush in the bottom of your tank. When this happens I vacuum out the bottom and strain out the debris and return the debris free water to the tank.

Is anyone else using rabbit pellets as fish food?


Comment by Carey Ma on August 26, 2012 at 1:30am

I agree. Bob has the right idea.Austin, I would strongly suggest doing a smaller system before you get too ambitious. One usually doesn't get many chances to blow big money.The difference between a hero and a flop is in their readyness. Flops don't usually get a second chance.

Comment by Bob Campbell on August 13, 2012 at 9:19pm

I think the main challenge is to balance the different optimal environmental factors for pH levels, temperatures, and nutrient requirements.

Nothing wrong with independent systems.  Waste water proportioned from one can be used for the next system without blowing the chemistry out too far out of wack.


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