Discussion in 'LED and other Lighting' started by Ken Beck, Mar 24, 2017.
You've just outlined my own research approach lol
All kidding aside, I really think this has serious possibilities for my own water cooled lighting.
It puts the heat generated to good use along with the light, putting this setup at the top of the heap for aquaponic efficiency; best in class lighting spectrum AND efficiency, plus putting the heat right where the fish need it most? Brilliant!
I realize that you may not be able to sell the fish commercially, but I can still eat them!
This approach could make aquaponics under a solid roof commercially viable, as long as selling the fish is legal. And with proper controls, why shouldn't it be?
I hope he's growing weed and not telling us.
Im positive one of the next ones will be growing weed...just not here. I have a couple requests from ppl i know who want to do it. Second system will be another plant growing one inside probably all veggies, and the 3rd is going to someone who i guarantee will be using it for weed lol.
Even the pleco grew very fast. He had a head start though because he was 5" when i got him. He's now about a foot long. Havent been paying attention to him much though because im not eating him lol.
Tank heater is just sitting in the tank still as like a backup or i might have it do night time heat when the lights are off. The temp drops from almost 78.6° down to 72.6 i believe was the lowest point before the lights came back on. They've moved the radiator forward so they can use it as a hiding spot. Its hard to tell but they are about 5" long. The biggest 4 are a quarter lb each. Smallest ones are females.
So brass tacks question here,
How many pounds of fish (would be dog/cat food for my imaginary situation) could one expect on a monthly basis from a 200 gallon tank and how many pounds of fish food does it take? Certainly there are other components I am missing here but realistically looking at the financial ones. If I get a pet food production possibility I may get to move my garden from the garage to the basement.
Well if you use an ibc tote which is 275gallons (very highly recommend). You can have 75 fish that are 1 lb in weight. Ive heard of ratios as much as 1lb per 2 gallons but it needs to be a well established system with A LOT of high nutrient consumption plants like tomato plants or ironically weed lol. The fish also vary in growing rates. Females seem to grow at half the rate of males so if you can get an all male breed of tilapia which there are a few, that would be the way to go. I have blue tilapia which are about medium growth rate. About 6-9months to 1-2lbs. They are the most cold hearty fish of the tilapia and can survive down to 48°f but i never let the tank go under 68°. They get pretty lethargic down below 70°f. 80°+ is where they grow much faster. Another breed that grows faster is white nile tilapia(aka rocky mountain white) which can go down to 50°f and get to 1-2lbs in as little as 4-6months. Ideally if you can stage the fish just right and mix the food with varying sizes you can have many more fish in the tote and can harvest with white niles as much as 30lbs of fish a month using just 1 tank. Realistically you would be looking at more like 10-20lbs a month.still pretty good for a high protein food for pets and people alike. They fillet easy and 40+% of their weight is boneless fillets.
All studies shown have the fish at about 2/3 food to weight ratio. 2lbs gained per 3lbs of food so if that helps in calculating the cost for the fish. I haven't personally measured the food intake vs growth because i only weigh the largest tilapia to keep track of his growth so weighing the food would be a meaningless measurement without weighing all the fish every time i do weights. But i have seen growth as high as 26% weight gain in just a week and that is just for the blue tilapia i have.
If you had multiple grow setups (let's say 2 for argument sake) you could stagger the lighting on/off times to keep a single tank a constant temperature. With some simple lighting controllers (and maybe a little more h/w, like an external radiator to remove extra heat) you could account for day and night external temps. Automate everything!
2/3 is at least a conceptual target. On growth rate was the 26% at the EOL, or does it spike, then decline? Also guessing this would depend on the population demographic, and harvesting strategy.
Would rotating tanks or doing a "pump and treat recycle" be a way to do more of a fish farm / fertilizer plant? Or is there a necesity to maitian a consistent extraction of nutrients via hydroponics. Guessing if focus is placed on poundage of fish generated there would be a surplus of waste in my situation (imaginary).
Yes that would work nice. Especially since more grow beds are needed per tank of fish. I only have 23 fish and its already more nutrients than a 4x3ft grow bed takes. If i did do that it would be really good to have a ramp up and ramp down of each one during overlapping times. Definitely something that would require a raspberry pi or Arduino
Waste can accumulate but if the fish to water ratio is low enough it tends to get dissolved in the flood and drain of the grow bed. I need a testing kit for nitrates above 300ppm to actually see how the fish respond to high nutrient levels in the water. mine only has up to 180ppm and anything above is just a guess. But they are very hardy fish and should handle high nutrient levels. I looked up toxicity levels for nitrates and it takes sky high levels of like 2000-4000ppm to even affect tilapia. But most plants wouldn't like it though. The best way to put it is that you need a good balance of bacterial surface area to convert ammonia to nitrate and enough plants to keep the nutrients in check to have more fish. Each lb of fish needs a couple lbs of plant. So you will always have more plants than fish.
Also the fish growth isnt constant due to a couple variables, things like water temperature, feeding amounts and times are not always the same when i feed them. This will be changed when i finally get the automatic feeder put in. But the fluctuations in temperature will be the same for awhile. If the water hits 80+ again they should grow faster. Last time i had water that warm it took 2-300w heaters in the tank.
Population really shouldn't affect growth much as they like to school close together almost all the time. I think the only time they need space is for breeding.
The fish are most certainly saleable. Its easy to keep them organically grown if you wanted to. Ive considered using a soldier fly compost bin to make larvae that the fish eat and the other half of their diet as duckweed which can be grown in a separate tank with the fishwater flowing through it. No cost for the fish food and they are considered completely organically grown. As would be whatever plants you grow In the system.
The local regulatory environment prohibits this at the moment, from what I'm told.
I'm very interested in this, it seems you've solved a few hurdles I've been concerned about, such as water temperatures.
About breeding the fish; separate tanks or what would be required? Not having to buy more fry every few months would be very convenient, sustainable- and cheap.
Im sure laws are different for every state and locality. Some states wont even allow tilapia as they breed like crazy and can take over waterways like asian carp do. Mostly warm states have those restrictions though.
They are mouth brooders. Any open areas with a good flat bottom and little water movement they will naturally breed in. Female puts eggs down, male fertilizes eggs, then the female picks up the eggs and keeps it in her mouth. Best way to know when they are breeding is if the female isnt eating when food goes in the tank. You can separate a male and a female, preferably the biggest ones out of the group and have them in a separate 20-40gallon tank to breed. They do about 100-300 at a time when they breed. Usually it is more than you will be need so you will have to sell the extra fingerlings or figure out something to do with them unless your system is big enough for all of them.
I'm not sure how many of the laws are federal, and how many might be state controlled. I did learn some interesting things from that visit to the commercial basil grower. He did not cut his basil, just rinsed off the roots and sold the plants whole, that way he was selling a living "plant" and not "food" -- even though it was sold through grocery stores. Doing that put him in a category with very little regulation. I don't remember the details, but there was something similar with the fish, like if you could find a restaurant that would buy them live (transported in tanks, I assume), then most of the regulations are side-stepped because the laws deal with "food handling and processing". If its alive, its not food yet, still just a fish. (Sorry, that's probably veering off topic...)
Not off topic at all, that's actually very relevant- and fresh live fish deliveries to restaurants in Colorado would likely generate quite a bit of interest!
I'm trying to build more of a healthy diet for myself and replacing beef and pork with fish figures prominently in that goal.
Anyone have recipes for tilapia bacon?
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