Aquaponic Fish Food
The chief input to your Aquaponic system is the feed. Having surveyed a great amount of research, I no longer believe that typical pet store goldfish food is going to provide enough nutrition beyond what your fish requires, to then also leave requisite trace minerals for your plants.
However, I do believe we can get there creatively, at low cost (both dollar and energy).
Currently, I mix it up a good amount:
- Some leafy greens from the grow beds
- Duckweed: % TBD
- Pending (see below): up to 25% BSFL
- And, I do use GMO-free, Organic Aquaponic-specific formulation with 34% protein.
Here's what the nutrition/ingredients look like on that.
Among the ongoing experiments related to Aquaponics is specifically how to craft an entirely self-sufficient supply of fish feed, which, as I stated, is the primary input to the system.
- Duckweed -- grows quite easily in your Aquaponic system (although does so at the expense of nitrates).
- Can be used to feed fish good, living, fresh greens, which is just plain healthy for them.
- Haven't yet seen studies around to what extent this can supplement good fish diet.
- Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) -- extremely easy, nearly self-contained constant production of protein.
- Studies show that up to 25% of the diet of many fish can be replaced with BSFL without sacrificing growth speed, protein quality, or waste production (Zhang et al., 2014a and Zhang et al., 2014b)
- Earthworms are a natural candidate for fish.
- Smaller pinhead crickets can be fed to fish, good protein, healthy fat.