Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About gavinl

  • Rank
  • Birthday 10/10/1971
  1. You possess saintly patience Gary and I love the tag. Not me ... can't be bothered anymore. I'll drop into your microponics blog if you don't mind and ask you for your advice there. Talk soon mate and all the best:)
  2. Some more basic info on insect nutritional values: [h=1]Nutritional Value of Various Insects per 100 grams[/h] Data collected from The Food Insects Newsletter, July 1996 (Vol. 9, No. 2, ed. by Florence V. Dunkel, Montana State University) and Bugs In the System, by May Berenbaum [TABLE] [TR] [TD]Insect[/TD] [TD]Protein (g)[/TD] [TD]Fat (g)[/TD] [TD]Carbohydrate[/TD] [TD]Calcium (mg)[/TD] [TD]Iron (mg)[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Giant Water Beetle[/TD] [TD]19.8[/TD] [TD]8.3[/TD] [TD]2.1[/TD] [TD]43.5[/TD] [TD]13.6[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Red Ant[/TD] [TD]13.9[/TD] [TD]3.5[/TD] [TD]2.9[/TD] [TD]47.8[/TD] [TD]5.7[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Silk Worm Pupae[/TD] [TD]9.6[/TD] [TD]5.6[/TD] [TD]2.3[/TD] [TD]41.7[/TD] [TD]1.8[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Dung Beetle[/TD] [TD]17.2[/TD] [TD]4.3[/TD] [TD].2[/TD] [TD]30.9[/TD] [TD]7.7[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Cricket[/TD] [TD]12.9[/TD] [TD]5.5[/TD] [TD]5.1[/TD] [TD]75.8[/TD] [TD]9.5[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Grasshopper[/TD] [TD]20.6[/TD] [TD]6.1[/TD] [TD]3.9[/TD] [TD]35.2[/TD] [TD]5.0[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Grasshopper[/TD] [TD]14.3[/TD] [TD]3.3[/TD] [TD]2.2[/TD] [TD]27.5[/TD] [TD]3.0[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]June Beetle[/TD] [TD]13.4[/TD] [TD]1.4[/TD] [TD]2.9[/TD] [TD]22.6[/TD] [TD]6.0[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Caterpillar[/TD] [TD]28.2[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]35.5[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Caterpillar[/TD] [TD]9.7[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]1.9[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Termite[/TD] [TD]14.2[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]35.5[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Weevil[/TD] [TD]6.7[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]13.1[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Beef (Lean Ground)[/TD] [TD]27.4[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]3.5[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Fish (Broiled Cod)[/TD] [TD]28.5[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]N/A[/TD] [TD]1.0[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE]
  3. A little more info on continual dumping of contaminated water: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120425a3.html#.UAae5o7EPdk http://japanfocus.org/-Makiko-Segawa/3752 http://enenews.com/world-leader-in-decommissioning-reactors-there-is-no-technology-which-may-be-directly-applied-at-fukushima
  4. Hi Paul Aquaponics (or integrated agriculture) in my opinion is one area that does not involve much exploitation and has the potential (once fish feed is sorted) to be environmentally sustainable. The only problem area is to do with fishmeal. Exploitation for me in this case is the practice of taking a great deal of resources from one area (from rich developed countries) at the expense of poor, food insecure local people. Most fishmeal comes from the fishing of small pelagic fish off the coasts of Peru and Chile, which not only affects the local wildlife dependant on this food source, but directly causes considerable damage to these communities including increased rates of poverty and food shortages. Commercial aquaculture (not aquaponics) especially those businesses/programmes sponsored through development aid funding in developing nations is extremely exploitive - if you would like more info on this, I can post some research on it...it is quite long, but hopefully an interesting read. It ties in the creation of EEZs, the wild capture fish industries, multilateral/bilateral trade agreements with developed countries to developing nations....and of course the wto. As to radiation... The radioactive water used to cool the fukushima reactors is pretty much being poured straight into the pacific ... untreated. This article alludes to the continual leaking of wastewater from the reactors...still trying to find the articles on the direct flushing of reactors into the ocean...there are many articles about the cooling systems failing on all reactors, which means seawater is pump directly from the sea into the reactors and flushed back out to sea...too many to link though, but if someone is interested, I can provide the links: http://www.accuweather.com/en/outdoor-articles/beach-and-marine/does-radioactive-tuna-mean-fuk/65873 The links in the first couple of posts show projected radiation plumes from the initial release of radioactive water from the tsunami. Although, it doesn't refer to the continual release of untreated water, it does represent a best guess of the ocean currents, in particular the northern pacific. This article seems to sum up a few loose ends mainly from an American perspective: http://www.vcreporter.com/cms/story/detail/a_radioactive_nightmare/9886/ Although most of the fishmeal comes from fish harvested around the chilean and peruvian coasts, the north pacific is also used for collection of various species. Additionally, the northern and southern hemispheres are not mutually exclusive and thus a bleeding effect comes into play in the Peru Current when El Nino occurs i.e.. the cold water coming up the south american coasts slows down and the northern warmer southern waters move into this area (i would still really appreciate someone with knowledge on ocean currents giving their opinion on this, as this is not my field). Additionally, just because the fish are caught off the peruvian/chilean coasts does not mean that they have spent their whole lives there - there are big nursery grounds for fish used in fishmeal around the american west coast as well. This link shows the mass deaths of small pelagic fish...usually used in fishmeal or on the dinner table: http://enenews.com/massive-fish-kill-outside-tokyo-in-chiba-the-sight-is-somewhat-apocalyptic-almost-looks-like-a-carpet-of-sardines-photos Krill harvesting for fishmeal is another big worry..... I am guessing that krill harvesting occurs in very cold water, so perhaps in the Southern or arctic oceans. Krill being the bottom of the food chain with a relatively quick reproductive cycle would probably show the highest amount of mutations - once again someone with knowledge of radiation .... please give advice. The chemical pollution from the tsunami also will affect the health of fish, as all the household and industrial chemicals used in factories and houses from North East Japan are slowly making their way across the pacific - they are finding chemicals (some still in their plastic containers but showing signs of degradation) on the gulf islands in Canada....very sad. Australian fishfeed (last time I checked...it took a bit of asking:)) mostly originates from chile/peru. If concerned, at the very least I would be asking my source where their fish food originates from, as beside the exploitive and environmental concerns related to fishmeal, many aquaponic practitioners are very concerned with health. ps: John the frog feeding on insect example was great. Where I come from there are huge moths that would feed a fish easily. I tried to look into the nutritional breakdown of insects a few years ago, but become frustrated with my poor sourcing ability. Additionally, the difference in feeding patterns of various fish i.e. top, middle or bottom feeders in conjunction with pellet dispersion rates became a bit technical for me. I reckon Gary's suggestion about mimicking nature in regards to type of food source and I suppose feeding habit, is a very good one. Maybe an aquaculture shop can invest in mining head lights for us all, so we can buy them at high cost to sit around on hot nights getting bitten by mossies...hehehe. If I can string up a mosquito net, I might do this in the wet season... This is the paltry amount of info I managed to collate: LIVE TERMITES provide about 350 calories per 100 Grams. With 23% protein, 28% fat and 44% water per gram they constitute good eats. (http://www.survival.com/bug.htm) Bogong moths (Agrotis infusa) contain 20% protein, 50% fat (dry weight basis), energy content of nearly 2000 kilojoules, and are particularly high in zinc. Bardi grubs are a very good protein source. When fed to fish, 1.8 kg of bardis convert to 1.0 kg of fish. Brand et al (1983) conducted proximate and mineral analyses on the plague locust, C. terminifera, and reported the following values: water 67.2%, protein 25.0%, fat 2.0%, carbohydrate, trace, fiber 10.4%, ash 2.0%; minerals (mg/100 g edible portion): Na 101, K 239, Mg 37, Fe 4.0, Zn 9.2, Cu 2.2. Energy was calculated as 499 kJ/100 g edible portion. Nutritional Value of Various Insects per 100 gramsData collected from The Food Insects Newsletter, July 1996 (Vol. 9, No. 2, ed. by Florence V. Dunkel, Montana State University) and Bugs In the System, by May Berenbaum
  5. Regarding fish and chicken food, I think it might be possible to look at using insects (including soldier fly larvae) for protein in conjunction with left over veggies - omnivorous fish would definitely seem the way to go. Up north in the wet, there are a lot of insects ...sometimes too many...which perhaps could be harvested for fish food and maybe processed into pellet form and used all year round (might need to do something with the exoskeleton though...not sure how easy it is for fish to metabolise a lot of chitin) - as long as it didn't impact o native fauna. Some of the moths are huge and would be a good feed. The crabmeal sounds good ... great to reuse - especially a waste product into a useable resource. As long as the crabs aren't caught around the bering sea...which from radiation plume projections, would seem to be in a bad spot. Maybe 'deadliest catch' will become a little more deadly.
  6. This articles are also worth a gander. Still trying to find the scientific articles on continual release of untreated radioactive wastewater. http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120424p2g00m0dm036000c.html http://enenews.com/japan-resident-news-blackout-of-massive-protest-this-is-not-normal-what-is-happening-in-japan-video http://enenews.com/reuters-cesium-remains-dispersed-throughout-water-column-from-the-surface-to-the-ocean-floor http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2012/05/tepco-900000-terabecquerels-iodine.html This one is related to air pollution. The biggest worry however is the burning of nuclear waste as normal waste (Japan incinerates its waste products) and the dispersal of the debris waste to many Japanese cities....some as far as 1000 kms. Basically, radiation is in most of Japan now....very sad.
  7. Hi Gary This article might also be of interest: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/3/034004/article The main problem with the study however is the assumption of a one-off release of radiated water into the pacific. I will try to find some more articles about the continual flow of radioactive water onto the ocean. The spread of the radiation does not paint a pretty picture - alaskan crab is definitely off the menu.
  8. Hi Gary:) Looking into fishmeal production is a bit too eye-opening when using it as the main source of fish food in aquaponics or chicken/pig feed - not many people will feel real good about it. Fishmeal for me is an interesting subject when talking to people in aquaponics as it usually highlights the reasons people choose to be aquaponic practitioners i.e. environmental, self-sufficiency, health or a combination. It's unfortunately, a nasty exploitive industry that is unsustainable and environmentally destructive. I've included a bit from my study below if interested. I suppose one very small positive of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima is that Australian industries will hopefully invest in sustainable, local fishmeal production (ie. using head, bones from trawlers/processing plants - bycatch is a whole other kettle of fish....sorry couldn't help myself:)) as the chemical (debris) and nuclear pollution (http://www.spiegel.de/images/image-191816-galleryV9-nhjp.gif ; http://www.zamg.ac.at/pict/aktuell/20110315_fuku_Cs-137-glob_12.gif http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/16/science/plume-graphic.html?ref=science) from Japan, will impact the small fish caught for fishmeal - including those from Chile and Peru where most fish is caught for fishmeal processing. The radiation plume caused by untreated cooling water from Fukushima's nuclear reactors, has not diminished (http://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/after-tour-of-fukushima-nuclear-power-station-wyden-says-situation-worse-than-reported) since the tsunami - actually it seems to be totally unregulated and unreported in mainstream media. At least most media sources now show the plume, even if they trivialise the actual danger and amount of nuclear pollution. Usually, the Southern Hemisphere is protected by ocean currents (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/453262/Peru-Current and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Current). El Nino however can cause disruptions in the Humboldt (Peru) current (http://geography.about.com/od/physicalgeography/a/oceancurrents.htm http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/southamerica/saving-the-humboldt-current-ecosystem.xml), which intern can affect the normal upwelling of nutrients that phytoplankton and plankton enjoy so much (http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/glossary/elnino/elnino.shtml http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/elnino.asp). I am definitely not an expert in ocean currents (hopefully someone who is can clarify this), but it would seem that the two hemispheres (air and water) are not as mutually exclusive as commonly represented. In any case, the pollution from Fukushima will have long reaching effects on all marine life and subsequently on humans, so an ethically sound, environmentally sustainable (not economically sustainable) local fishmeal industry would be a big step in the right direction for health, self-sufficiency and environmental protection. The sharp end of the stick is that I have a problem with using fishmeal, so hydroponics (although not perfect) is a better choice for me at the moment….but I will look into the source and harvesting of minerals used before getting too high on that horse.. Even if aquaponic practitioners aren't too concerned about the environment or the negative effect that fishmeal production has on people from developing nations, the health concerns are worth investigating. I'll stop there, before getting into gmo vaccines and other nasties commonly used in the aquaculture industry … personally, I would be very careful about eating any farmed seafood from anywhere….lol….have more on gmo if interested too. Just my 20c worth….feels like old times, eh? _________________________________________ Aquaculture: fishmeal Although aquaculture has been positioned in many contexts as the fish food protein replacement to capture fisheries, aquaculture’s dependence on fishmeal originating from capture fisheries, means that an expansion ceiling exists that at present, can not be overcome. As Bengsten (2003, p. 7) notes, “it appears that partial or complete replacement of fish meal in the formulation of diets for some species will be necessary or desirable if the industry hopes to grow to the degree necessary." The commercialisation of aquaculture incorporates industrial farming techniques based on intensive feeding regimes. In order to maximise profits, large numbers of fish are grown in relatively small areas. A substantial and reliable fishmeal supply is vital to commercial aquaculture programmes to maintain optimum stocking rates. The supply of wild captured fish used in the production of fishmeal is under threat at current levels of global aquaculture (in conjunction with the large amount of fish meal used in livestock feed) does not allow for the expansion needed in aquaculture to fulfill the predicted shortfall of fish protein from overfished and exploited wild fish stocks. As Naylor et al. (2007) state, “recently, however the aquaculture industry, as well as environmental groups, have questioned whether the projected growth of the industry over the next 30 years is possible in the light of fish meal availability even in the best of times†(Bengtson, 2003, p. 7). Due to fishmeal accounting for the highest production cost in commercial aquaculture operations (Naylor et al., 2000, p. 1022) and the unsustainability of using wild captured fish as its major component, alternatives to pellet fishmeal have been researched, including live feed such as artemia, rotifers, algae, zooplankton and copepods during the larvae stage (Bengtson, 2003). No complete alternative to formulated fishmeal at the larvae stage has however been found due to: the technical and economic bottlenecks of larviculture; the level of difficulty in sustaining live fish culture fish feed; and, the ease and convenience of using pelleted diets with preferred commercial species (Bengtson, 2003, p. 13). Most common commercial fish species (salmon and trout) are categorised as precocial larvae and have fully developed fins and a mature digestive system (after the yolk sac is exhausted) (Bengtson, 2003), which allows them to ingest and digest formulated diets as first food. Similarly, the most valuable commercial species (shrimp) have larvae that can also grow well on formulated feeds. Attempts have also been made to substitute fish protein with a higher level of vegetable protein in fishmeal during fingerling and other growth stages. Trials however have shown that many commercial carnivorous fish species cannot metabolise vegetable proteins efficiently, due to inappropriate amino-acid balance and poor protein digestibility (Naylor et al., 2000, p. 1022), leading to reduced heath and growth rates. Fishmeal production is a globalised industry that accounts for a substantial percentage of total global fish capture. As Naylor identifies, “between 1986 and 1997, 4 of the top 5, and 8 of the top 20 capture species were used in feed production for the aquaculture and livestock industries. According to the FAO (1999, p. 64), the majority of the fish used in fishmeal originates from the coasts of Chile and Peru (Thilsted and Roos, 1999, p. 64). The main species used include anchoveta, Chilean jack mackeral, Atlantic herring, chub mackeral, Japanese anchovy, round sardinella, Atlantic mackeral and European anchovy (Naylor et al., 2000). Unlike extensive, self-sufficient integrated aquaculture which normally utilises local inputs to feed omnivorous, indigenous fish species that have beneficial low feed conversion efficiencies (Naylor et al., 2000), commercial aquaculture is constrained by market forces in regard to the fish species grown. The main commercial species are carnivorous with poor feed conversion efficiencies sometimes requiring 2.5 - 5 times as much fish biomass as feed produced (Naylor et al., 2000, p. 1018). In an attempt to reduce costs and secure local fishmeal alternatives, some commercial aquaculture programmes have started the practice of using local, small pelagic fish in local fishmeal production sites (Ahmed, 1999, p. 46). Proponents of this practice have highlighted the socioeconomic benefits to local communities regarding the creation of manufacturing jobs in fishmeal production sites and the positive environmental advantages of reducing their reliance on global fishmeal supplies. Protagonists to these intensive aquaculture businesses have however highlighted the environmental damage created through the destruction of local fish supplies and breeding sites (Ahmed, 1999; Folke and Kautsky, 1992), in conjunction with the detrimental impacts on the food security of local poor people dependent on these fish to provide necessary micro-nutrients and animal proteins in their diet (Naylor et al., 2000, p. 1020). This dichotomy highlights the ongoing struggle between the two clashing ideologies present in aquaculture programmes in developing nations – the maximisation of profit versus the maximisation of food security for poor people (Kent, 1997, pp. 398-399).
  9. Thanks Gary:) I like their nutrients and their fair price - $50 is a whole year's worth for me. I hope they still provide them to the public. gav
  10. Hey Gary:) Really good to hear from you too mate. Unfortunately, had to move quickly from Japan after the nuclear damage - very sad business. Have relocated back up north (around Mackay) and am enjoying it. Was doing a bit of study in integrated agriculture in developing nations, but it ended up impossible to find a supervisor who wasn't a reductionist and in the pocket of the wto....so am having an extended break from it. The good news is more time for a new hydro system lol ...pretty much a DWC. The last one we planned worked great. This one is just bigger and a simplified version. Thanks for the info on the hydro water. I will dilute the unused hydro water and put tit on my soon-to-be fruit trees and cayenne peppers. Talks more soon. PS: I know you like reading...if you want some extra reading material, let me know and I'll send the articles...there are a few. In all honesty, I reckon you have covered the stuff anyway, it will just be in specific regions. I was particularly interested in fishmeal and the mess that will unfold with the nuclear pollution of the fish stocks predominantly used for fishmeal. I reckon it's time for a local producer to come on the scene...quickly...especially a concern for those using fishmeal in aquaponics.
  11. Hi Pugo:) Thanks for the reply mate. It's nice to hear that AP is your secret ingredient. I could be wrong, but I think AP water is more 'balanced' in regards to it's nutrient mix than hydro waste water - definitely not an expert though mate. I am hoping that I can also find some plants that will enjoy the waste water - especially vegetables or fruit trees.
  12. Hi:) Sorry if this is reopening a closed thread. I'm not sure if you prefer to diy for cost or knowledge reasons i.e. know what is going into your food. If for costs (and a good overall no-nonsense formula), I used to get my hydro nutrient mix from boxsell: http://www.boxsellhydroponics.com.au/AboutUs.html It's not advertised on their website and it's been a while, so hopefully they still provide the product, as I am just about to embark on a new system and will need some. Last time I purchased from them it cost $45 for a powder mix that made 20L of both Part A and B solution. With their solution, the Part A and B are added at the same time (about 3 minutes after each other once thoroughly mixed), rather than at different stages of the plant's life. I have found that their mixture worked very well with herbs, lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes (all at slightly different EC levels) and seem to go along way. Hope this helps gav:)
  13. Hello all:) I always feel wasteful when draining hydro water after 7-14 days. I've found larger water/nutrient reservoirs able to handle longer periods of time before needing a change, however it still feels incredibly wasteful just to drain out the used hydro water on my grass. I was hoping someone might have some suggestions on how to reuse the this 'waste' water and what plants might enjoy the extra nutrients - from experience, natives seem a bad choice. I would like to grow citrus and guava trees, extra cayenne peppers and australian garlic. Just wondering if some of these plants might like the hydro waste water. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks and all the best gav:)
  14. Thanks heaps Gary - as usual, very informative mate. I will look into your suggestions, especially the DWC system.
  15. Nice one Gary:) Thanks mate...that is an excellent site...strange how long can be spent looking at plastic containers - my wife thinks I'm a bit strange when I get excited about crates. Thanks also for the link to the flood and drain system, but at $490 I reckon I'll give it a swerve. I would really like to hear more about the F & D plumbing fittings...I've seen some advertised on hydro pages, but they look too short and don't provide enough info. That would save a huge amount of labour and guarantee standardisation. Do you reckon they could be used with the right plastic crate? Also wondering if you reckon any of the crates that have food safe and UV protection would be okay for an outdoor hydro setup - or at least on a verandah? Last big question....and I know at times controversial...what is the minimum depth of medium (clay balls) needed to grow good sized tomato plants eg Roma toms? I would like a bit of room on top of the minimum amount for some media to prevent algae growth as well. As this is hydro rather than aquaponics, it hopefully won't stir up a hornet's nest. Thanks heaps mate...I reckon a sub-$100 system that can grow a few tom plants or a fair few lettuce and herbs is doable with your suggestions and product links. gav
  • Create New...