Aquaponic Gardening

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Hi there,

I am sure that most people already know about this method of composting and fish-food produciton, but I came across this decent video of how to make a DIY Black Soldier Fly composter.  The larvae from these systems consume a huge amount (really huge!) of waste food (including meat) and turn it into:

1.  Much less waste (and a kind of fertiliser liquid gold)

2.  Big fat soldier fly grubs that are about 60% protein and fantastic free fish food.

These systems can be put together really easily and we would recommend that no aquaponics systems would be complete without one of these!  Freeze the grubs and you have a ready made snack for anytime.  Just don't get them mixed up with your mixed rice grains.

Here is the video... quite a funny presenter:

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Comment by Justin on July 1, 2012 at 10:27am

Excellent, thank you for the helpful reply! 

I think I've got it all sorted out now! :)

Thanks again JA!


Comment by Japan Aquaponics - アクアポニックス 日本 on June 30, 2012 at 8:51pm

Hi JP,

You lucky guy!!  Those BSF are priceless!  In answer to your question... do both.  You can definitely freeze them and use them at a later date... just don't mix them up with the rice or you are going to have trouble!

The good news is that the BSF will also compose things that worms simply cannot do... they can go through fish heads, meat... practically anything, and turn it into fat little larvae that have a great fat/protein balance.

Keep some to reproduce - the flies don't bother people and so they aren't a nuisance at all.  You can add a roll of corrugated cardboard to the top of the bin - the flies can go in there and lay their eggs.  Take a piece of corrugated cardboard about 2 inches wide and however long you want, and roll it up to make a circle a couple/few inches in diameter.  Make sure the flies can access the bin, and they may lay their eggs inside the cardboard and then you will get thousands more of these little critters.

There is debate on how much of the fish diet they should make up - some say no more than about 7% of the diet. others say up to 25%.  It is something to do with Chitin I believe (in their outer shell), but please check with others for a better answer on that issue.

Comment by Justin on June 30, 2012 at 6:34pm

I built a "worm bin" to compost my kitchen waste and set it up with some worms from the backyard.  I tossed scraps  in there for a few weeks and then sort of forgot about it for a few days. When I went to put new scraps in I noticed a few little brown caterpillar looking critters so I got online and learned that they are BSF! 

I watched the video (above link) and modified my "worm bin" into a BSF bin! Checked on it today and was pleased to find a handful of BSF larvae in my catch bucket! woo hoo!

Unfortunately my fish aren't big enough to eat them yet so my qeustion is, can i freeze the BSF larvae and feed it to my fish later? or should I just let them go/reproduce?

Comment by Robert C. Wood on January 30, 2012 at 9:35pm

Are the bsf present in north western ontario canada? If they are how do you incurage them to go into your composter?

Comment by George on December 15, 2011 at 7:08am

Well, that link didn't work - try this one

Comment by George on December 15, 2011 at 7:05am

Thanks.  I bought a commercial BSF composter (BioPod).  It's nice to have but this looks perfectly functional at about one fourth the price or less.  I cobbled my first one together from a bucket, piece of garden hose and some other scrap items at no cost and it worked but was small.  It doesn't take much to get started with black soldier flies and chickens and fish love them.  There are some long BSL threads on the boss pond forum and the backyard chicken forum, all started and mostly written by the guy who does the Black Soldier Fly Blog.

Comment by Japan Aquaponics - アクアポニックス 日本 on December 15, 2011 at 5:03am

Here is the video embedded to make it easier to see:

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