Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Taking TCLynx's lead, I also thought this group might want to discuss feed.  What are you using?  If commercial, what kind?  If not, how are you growing it?  Are you using a combo of the two?  This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart (I wrote a blog post recently about what a drag it is not to be able to find a sustainable commercial feed!).

I have used 3 products over the past year.  First, I used trout chow by Ranchway Feed, mainly because my buddy John and I got trout from a local hatchery at the same time and split a 50 lb bag.  Then I ordered more feed from our Feed store here and they ordered the wrong thing and I ended up with AquaMax Pond 2000, which has Huge pellets (the NY Times article image of the tilapia with the giant ball floating in front of him was eying a Pond 2000 pellet).  Work ok for my larger (8 - 12") tilapia, but the little guys can't get their mouths around it.  Now I'm using AquaMax Grower 4000, which is finally what I probably should be using most of the time.  The fish seem to love it.  

Purina has a nice chart to show what feed should be used for Tilapia at each stage of growth - http://www.aquamaxfishfeed.com/tilapia_chart.html

I also throw most plant waste into the tanks, and when lettuce we buy starts getting slimy I feed that to the fish as well.  I'm going to keep experimenting with what stuff that is headed for the compost heap can be used to feed the fish.

I want to start a duckweed bin this summer.

OK, anyone else?

Sylvia

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Replies to This Discussion

I've been using the Aquamax Dense 4000 feed for both tilapia and catfish.
You can go to the purina web site and search for purina dealers near you. Then call them up and ask about getting whichever feed you feel appropriate. Most feed stores won't regularly stock the fish feed (and you don't want them to since you want fresh feed) but if you find out their ordering schedule, just call em up and ask em to put a bag of the Aquamax feed on the next truck from purina and you should be in good shape.
One note though. I know Tractor supply has become a purina dealer but they use a central warehousing system and they only stock what they regularly stock and you can't get them to order special fish feed, at least not here I can't.
I feed a food made by RANGEN Inc They are from Idaho. I live in Hawaii and we have a lot of tilipia and asian catfish farmers here. This is what they feed. It is a floatable feed with 35 % protein. I feed one tank of tilipia duckweed also. They love it. I was told it would mess up the systems and the fish would only eat it if they were starving. I give it to them as desert after they eat and they love it. I just have another small tank with guppies in it and I grow duckweed in that. Not a lot at this time but if I find that they all love it I will grow more. We get our commercial weed at a Land of Lakes feed store.
Aloha Raychel
I've used duckweed in my system and I'm not cursing myself. However, I'm running flood and drain gravel beds. I suppose if I was using a bio-filter and raft beds the situation would be different. I can totally see how duckweed would be an issue with filtration when removing solids. With gravel beds, well I guess the worms must eat the duckweed.
We fertilize our tanks and feed duckweed. In reference to the problems with filtration, we only give the tilapia as much duckweed as they can eat in five minutes, that way there is no excess to clog the system.
Aloha from Kauai!
I grow my own azola for my fish and chickens and they love it...The only one feed I've tried is aquamax for cat fish and tilapia, my friend uses silver cup and she loves it (very expensive), I might try another brand when I'm finish with the one I have, my fish will eat just about any veggies I throw in the tank and the golden tilapia a just got are so frigging picky they don't even like the aquamax, they were raised on silver cup...Hah!. Either eat the aquamax or starve.
Here is a link from Purina to find your local source for Aquamax.
http://aquamax.purinamills.com/

Question for the group.

My wife and I are juicers and we produce a lot of vegetable and fruit pulp. Can we feed this back to the fish? Do we need to supplement this with a commercial feed?

If you find the fish aren't interested in the food in this form, it would be perfect to feed to compost worms in a bin and then feed them to the fish.

Are their no concerns about introducing the commercial foods into an otherwise organic ecosystem? I've been struggling with this for a while now. I know there is an organic fish food on the market now but at $50 for 20lbs + shipping that's not an option for me and my 200 tilapia. I'd like to raise soldier larve, meal worms and duckweed but I'm not sure I can produce enough fast enough for them when they get bigger and will have to suppliment them with commercial feed. What will adding the pesticides and manufactured fertilizers contained in the fish food do to my fish and plants and them my family when we eat them?

Yes Kenyon, these are concerns.  And most of us would like to get away from commercial fish feeds but as you say, most of us can't really afford $50 for 20 lb of feed, heck, most of us are not too keen on $20 for 50lb of feed for the normal commercial feed.  But how to formulate and grow your own fish feed?  It is no small feet to grow enough feed for your food. 

  

I'm raising meal worms in a quantity I hope will keep up with 200 hungry tilapia. I'm also investigating shallow pools piped into a second (smaller) aquaponic system that will only grow duckweed and possibly a second type of fast growing water plant. At night I am uncovering my tank for bugs to fall in. I'll be buying a bug light/zapper and hang it over the tank soon. Anything I can do to keep it as natural as possible. I found a local source of chilated minerals and liquid seaweed that's cheaper than what I've found online +shipping. I'm looking at soldier fly larvae too but I think mealworms will do better. The fish will also get any garden scraps that they can eat that are not given to the mealworms. Will this not work?

 

Is there something else I should consider?

They will also be getting the leftover pulp from juicing (as mentioned above by Dan Ponton above) for a rounded balanced diet as are the mealworms. The fish seemd to go crazy eating it when I tried it. There aren't getting anything right now because my ammonia and nitrites are too high.

Kenyon James Hopkins said:

  

I'm raising meal worms in a quantity I hope will keep up with 200 hungry tilapia. I'm also investigating shallow pools piped into a second (smaller) aquaponic system that will only grow duckweed and possibly a second type of fast growing water plant. At night I am uncovering my tank for bugs to fall in. I'll be buying a bug light/zapper and hang it over the tank soon. Anything I can do to keep it as natural as possible. I found a local source of chilated minerals and liquid seaweed that's cheaper than what I've found online +shipping. I'm looking at soldier fly larvae too but I think mealworms will do better. The fish will also get any garden scraps that they can eat that are not given to the mealworms. Will this not work?

 

Is there something else I should consider?

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