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Very small scale fish farming startup?

 
Sidonie Burton
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I am looking for info on how to begin a very small scale fish production setup... something like perhaps 4 rain barrels, with aeration and a way to provide sustainbly produced fish feed, rather than buying pellets... If anyone has come across info, links or has something similar, please reply...

We hope to set this up in one end of our 10x80 passive solar greenhouse after we move...so it would be indoors in a controlled climate and would need to be compact, so as to work within our space....

TIA
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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The term you are looking for is aquaponics.

Fish waste>nitro fixing bacteria>Nitro for plants>Plants> Fish
or
Fish waste>nitro fixing bacteria>Nitro for plants>Plants>Worms/Insect> Fish
or
Fish waste>nitro fixing bacteria>Nitro for plants>Plants>Animal>Animal water> Algae> Fish
 
Sidonie Burton
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Thanks for the insight, but actually, I dont want to grow an integrated garden/fish-culture set up... I just want to do some very small scale fish farming...and dont want to use pelleted feed. I have seen a fellow in a documentary that ran his chicken run over a small pool to raise his fish... I do wonder if I could use duckweed, as they do in aquaponics, to feed the fish, instead of the pellets... I think we can figure out the water temp, aeration issues... but want to come up with a good feed source.. and also avoid having to clean out the barrels of all the silt that would collect in the bottom from feeding pellets...
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Uhmm

So I am assuming that you dont mind the plant and fish in the same water close loop system.
But you do mind the complicated many buckets/growing medium setup.

Ok so instead of having a seperate elevated Nitrofixing/plant component, we could incorporate it into the water.
We could make a shallow rock/growing medium edge portion of the fish/water area.

Now what plants could we have in there, submerged or with wet feets.
Ceratopteris thalictroides, Hygrophila polysperma, Rotala spp, Glossostigma and Lilaeopsis, Nymphaea (water lily/lotus),
Lemna minor (duckweed), Azolla, Salvinia, Aponogeton.

Fish that will eat algae, tilapia (warm water only 70F)

Bottom of the food chain fish that will eat any type of plants.
Silver dollars, Loaches, headstanders.


You dont want the complicated aquaponics system with elevated grow beds.
You dont want to grow the food pellets/zucchini on land and then bring it over to the fish.
You dont want to have a "dirty" looking fish pond

So are you OK with a natural looking pond with the algae and huge aquatic plants(duckweed) that some might call dirty/nasty.

Fish waste>nitro fixing bacteria>Nitro for plants>Plants> Fish


Are you thinking of a system where the "PLANTS"/tomatoes we are growing are for humans consumption or where we just give the fish all of the plant to eat.
 
Sidonie Burton
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Thanks for all that info..

I dont mind the barrels, actually planned to use them, I just dont want to do the containers for gardening... I have a greenhouse system that I am already using very successfully... so, really just wanted to add a couple barrels of fish to one end of the greenhouse, and have a way to feed them that would either entail things already growing in the barrels, or a feed source that can be produced by myself and then added to the barrels. Do any of the plants you mentioned act as "feed" for the fish? I was under the impression that duckweed was a food source for the fish... is that correct? And, we may well consider piping the water out of the barrels to irrigate the greenhouse, but then would need to add fresh water to the barrels to replace what we remove, and would that influx of fresh water upset the biological balance in the barrels that would impact the fish or the food plants that the fish feed on?

Sorry, but really a novice here, so appreciating your patience with me.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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All the plants I listed above the fish will eat.

I have also heard that they will eat the following blanched veggies:
potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, corn, peas, greens like spinach and kale, and carrots
 
Nancy Sinclaire
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With something as small as 4 barrels you will not need piping. Simply sink a one gallon watering can into the tank once a week or once a day to water plants with. It will not upset the balance of the fish because normally fish keepers are advised to remove and replace with freshwater 10 percent of the water in the tank at various regular intervals. A 55 gallon tank having one gallon of water removed every day and the barrel topped off with one gallon of freshwater sounds about right.

"and also avoid having to clean out the barrels of all the silt that would collect in the bottom from feeding pellets..." If the barrels are up off the ground they would be "cleaned" using a siphon. This could probably be done as infrequently as once a year. The bottom 20% maybe of water would be used to stir up and gather up the bottom gunk. I don't know that it would be "all the silt". I think it would be more the gold a few lucky plants will get.

Are the fish you are growing to eat? It sounds like your greenhouse has unlimited free heat. Some people with fish in their greenhouses do so in order to use the mass of the water to balance out the ups and downs of temperature that nature throws to us. If the electricity goes out due to a blizzard the only thing keeping the more valuable plants in the greenhouse alive may be the heat that is stored with in the water in the 4 barrels. Water in a greenhouse is a temperature insurance policy.
 
Max Kennedy
Posts: 478
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
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As a free feed source try diy bug traps. At night you can collect using solar lights and during the day something sweet/rotting. Insects are abundant and a natural food for fish. Just a matter of how many traps you need.
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2523
Location: FL
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Worms
A vermicomposting set up would work well alongside the fish. High in protein and easy to catch.
 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 333
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I know this is an old post, but I wondered if you tried the barrels and how they worked?
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