Feeding your aquaponics fish is one of your daily tasks when running an Aquaponics system. It is vital for the fish and in turn essential for the production of plant nutrients. In this article we’ll talk about the what, when and how to feed your fish. We’ll also talk about using auto-feeders for the ones among you who like to automate life!
Most fish are not picky on feeding schedule; indeed in the wild there is no such thing as regular feeding. They will adjust their metabolisms and growth rates according to food availability. So if you want to grow fish quickly, simply feed them often. However, be careful with crowding because a population density which is too high will make the fish labile to disease outbreaks. With regards to the actual amounts of feed per feeding session, you should give them as much feed as they can eat within five minutes.
Many automatic feeders are available, differing in complexity and price. However, you can get simple cheap ones which will do the job just fine. You should set the feeding times at once or twice daily, possibly more if you want to grow fish quickly and have a low stocking density. Using an automatic feeder does not mean that you can stop checking on you system daily, because if you do, you won’t know if anything goes wrong with the system.
With regards to the actual feed, most people opt for commercial feed, which is an excellent choice. Commercial fee is either of the omnivorous or carnivorous type and these will differ in their quantities of protein. Check with your local fisheries department for the most suitable one for the particular fish species you are growing; though most fish thrive well on both. Feed also comes in different pellet sizes – you should get the small ones for young fish and larger ones as the fish grow bigger.
Many Aquaponics farmers grow their own fish feed to drastically cut costs. The most commonly grown of such feeds is duckweed, a fast growing plant that is rich in protein. You can grow this in a separate tank or pond. To provide more protein, you can also grow worms and black soldier fly larvae. You can also feed your fish some garden scraps. For example, most omnivorous fish will enjoy bland-tasting plants and vegetable, such as lettuce. Be careful that the plant-food you give to the fish is not covered in pesticides or other harmful chemicals.
To learn more about how to take care of your Aquaponics fish and plants, check out Aquaponics 4 You