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Metallidog

Farming fish to feed the farmed fish

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I've been reading recipes on the internet on how to make fish food. All the recipes include fish. Also, all of them are store bought fish. Does anyone grow feeder fish for their bigger fish? I've read in a few places that almost half of all ocean fishing goes to fisheries. I'd like to grow my own fish food eventually. That includes fish that goes into the fish food too. I'm not sure if it's feasible or not.

Hooked on Aquaponics

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Raising feeder fish to feed to other fish is unlikely to work out for you. It's been tried many times, but amongst a host of reasons why it doesn't work well, it requires a massive amount of space. In order to be as close to sustainable as possible, you'll need to look into raising a more herbivorous fish like carp or tilapia. Texas cichlids (Rio Grande cichlids) might also be a reasonable selection for you.

Edited by kellenw (see edit history)

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I've thought about that, but I'd say it would mostly be a supplement feedstock to your fish. Might be easier to raise some type of bug instead of fish. Red worms popular with vermicomposting, or black soldier fly larva are two popular ones. I only have 9 goldfish, but they love grasshoppers. I found a mating pair of grasshoppers tonight and tossed them into the tank. Before I even took a step back, the goldies where tearing into the bugs. They've gotten big off of those bugs too.

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Hi Josh,

I think that worms, bugs and larvae (and other tiny aquatic organisms) show considerable promise as protein sources for freshwater fish.

I've fed BSF larvae to fish but there are issues with feeding too many of them......they are 35% fat (which translates into fish fat) and their exoskeletons tend to add to the solids load that the system has to deal with.

Ordinary fly larvae are much less of an issue in this respect......and they seem to be easy and quick to grow.

I'd also like to experiment with growing small aquatic organisms (like water fleas, etc).

Gary

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Josh,

As Gary mentioned, BSF are a great supplemental food. If you were considering Tilapia, I would suggest trying your hand at making your own alfalfa, bsf, soy, peas, eggs, flaxseed and duckweed mix. If you had access to large amounts of chara and/or filamentous algae, I would add those too. A pellet machine would be wonderful, but they are quite expensive. An alternative to pelleting the food would be to dry it in thin sheets.

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Thanks for the ideas. I can grow all the ingredients I need eventually in my garden. I've decided to use the fishery that's nearby to go fishing for my protein :) for $10 I can keep 5 fish that I catch. I could do that too I suppose on a boat on a lake, but I'm all but guaranteed to get my fish at the fishery. We'll see how it goes.

Hooked on Aquaponics

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Hi Metallidog,

Remember that, depending on the species you plan to keep, it's not just about fish meat protein. Duckweed, for example, is a high protein aquatic plant that is consumed by some species. In fact, some fish farmers have allegedly developed diets containing a high percentage of duckweed.

Certain species of algae have also been mooted as ingredients for some fish diets.

Getting back to a comment you made in your original post about almost half of the wild catch going to aquaculture rations......a substantial (and growing) source of fish biomass for aquaculture rations now comes from krill.

Gary

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