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New model for commercial aqua culture?  RSS feed

 
                                              
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    Ive been studying aqua culture and related things recently.

    One thing I have come across is the fact that in those large scale commercial fish farms they buy their feed. this is by far their biggest expense measuring in at 60-70 percent of the total according to what Ive seen. Maybe lower in colder regions if its a tilapia farm because then heating can become a big cost.

    there likely lots of work that could be done to lower heating costs in cooler regions, but im thinking of those feeding costs.

    you could grow all of the food on site with a bit more infrastructure, for a fish like tilapia. There are added costs there of course, but many of them one time costs, and the added work would be far less then the 60-70 percent of all expenses as with the current model.

    So with the right design team, and some good study, and good investment someone presumably could produce farmed fish that are cleaner, and healthier and happier (fish prefer live foods, not dead feeds, just watch them you need no studies on that) while also making a much much wider profit margin then the current model.

It would feasibly change the entire market if one person did it right once!!!
 
at least with the types of fish things like that work for, like omnivores or plant eaters. wouldnt be terribly easy with bass or trout or something like that.

 
 
                                              
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  Ive seen lots of these set ups in other countries actually, and more all the time, but Ive not heard of any large scale things like this in the states. We could really benefit from such a thing imo.
 
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I like the idea of raising Black Soldier Fly larvae for fish feed.  Here's a design for a larvae bucket which enables easy harvest without having to handle the maggotshttp://blacksoldierflyblog.com/bsf-bucket-composter-version-2-1/

Using aquaponic grow beds to produce either feed for fish directly or plant material to feed BSF larvae would be a way to filter the water and efficiently recycle the fish "waste."

Of course earthworms can be raised also but are a little more trouble than the BSF larvae.
 
                                              
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   I was thinking of foods like green algae for tilapia. Its the most efficient type of plant at growing as I understand it. It can be a dominate component to a tilapias diet. It can be grown right out of their water as part of the filtering process.

    unless you had  lot of stuff to feed those insects, im not sure collecting scraps would be worth it, when there are on site options. for a homestead that would be great, im just not sure it would scale up to commercial level.(im probably going to buil one for myself though) Of course theres many levels to making money. I just think its interesting that theres such a potential for a wider profit margin in such a big industry, and one that is expected to grow.....
 
Tyler Ludens
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I'm thinking along the lines of a system in which the fish are integrated into a more diverse food-growing operation. 

Example:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV9CCxdkOng
 
                                              
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
I'm thinking along the lines of a system in which the fish are integrated into a more diverse food-growing operation. 

Example:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV9CCxdkOng



That is definitely great!! but they were dealing with large amounts of off site materials.

They also could of focused just on the food for the fish, and the fish, and had many more fish in the system. Not that there is anything wrong with what they were doing, Im just saying they could of produced many more fish. there goal wasnt simply fish though.

Tilapia also eat green water algae, and most tilapia species prefer it greatly to duckweed, its also a bit more efficient.... I was thinking more about cheaper ways to raise meat. we arent likely to have shortages of the rest, fish though are declining fast. fish farming can keep up though.

Im real curious what they did with tomatoes and other land based plants as you often need to add outside inputs for the nutrients it lacks in water systems. Its not really an efficient way to grow tomatoes and many things according to much Ive read. Lots of greens it grows well, but concentrates nitrates even more so then in the soil, and can at times make them actually much less healthy then greens raised in soil. Pulling the nitrates out i their job in such a system. Thats why it seems to me simply growing the food for the fish is much more efficient as water plants are more efficient anyway. the excess plants you can grow, Id personally process into feeds for other animals.


he mentioned their start with 55 gallon drums, and the surface area issue. i found a simple fix for that, for smaller set ups. simply put the barrel on its side, and cut out the side. then its much shallower and has larger surface area.
 
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Just pay attention to labor costs, It's very easy to end up spending an extra 40 hours a week to save an extra $50, a wonderful $1.25 an hour.
 
                                              
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Emerson White wrote:
Just pay attention to labor costs, It's very easy to end up spending an extra 40 hours a week to save an extra $50, a wonderful $1.25 an hour.



We are talking about 60-70 percent of the costs for fish food. In a set up I was envisioning, youd have some greater infrastructure costs. But little added labor costs. Obviously I dont know the exact numbers, but much less added labor then the systems already had as a whole, and those fit into the 30-40 percent of the costs not involving foods.

So with the right investors and vision I do think its more then feasible and would maximize profits.
 
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I just heard a few days ago that 25% of all "seafood" eaten world wide was farmed.
 
                                              
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John Polk wrote:
I just heard a few days ago that 25% of all "seafood" eaten world wide was farmed.



hopefully that percent increases, because the oceans are over fished by anyones standards. I believe we can make it much more affordable though, both with low tech answers, and industrial ones that are much better then the current models.
 
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I heard duck weed is a great feed. It grows very fast and is high in protein.
 
                  
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The guy who created this site http://www.fastonline.org turned me on to aquaponics. In conversation he said his entire operation except power required nothing from the outside. He grows his own fruits and veggies, and fish as well as sells some at markets all through aquaponics. But one thing he did say aside from duckweed and I think hyacinth the only other thing he feeds his tilipia is the only crop(s) he grows in the ground. The problem is I forgot what crop(s) he said he grew. It has been a couple years but he was a nice man full of information and very helpful. He might have the info on his website or I am sure if you e-mail him he would be glad to help.
 
                              
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Tilapia definately eat algae and the nutrition of meat of animal is determined by the food they are fed.  See research on grass-fed beef.  I think there are plenty of people who would be willing to buy farmed fish (direct marketing) that were eating a  high quality feed source like algae and pay premium dollar for it too. (think grass-fed beef)
 
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I agree. FYI there is a commercial aquaculture course along aith a bio mass class going to be held in Oregon soon ( June) ( see www.livingmandala.co for info)
I work with a compnay that is promotiong the combination of sustainable energy, growing food, fish, musrooms and worms all in the same structure. ( see www.bioenergydomes.com)  I think it is the way smaller homesteaders can survive!
 
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The Better World Book Kickstarter (April 2019)
https://permies.com/w/bwb
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