View Full Version : Making your own fish food

03-13-2012, 09:16 PM
Hey Guys,

My brother and I are on a mission to make our own fish food this year. Have any of you done this? If so, what is your recipe?

We were thinking of milling the ingredients and then trying to bake the stuff. Any DiY pelletizers?

We are growing some food like corn, beans and peas. We have access to a ton of spent brewers grains each week. We are breeding mealworms and red wigglers. We were also planning on using some asomite, rock dust and hydrolzed molasses. Would a combination of this stuff work?

03-14-2012, 04:56 AM
Where do you buy your azomite?

I believe you are going to like it. I think if you add some whole wheat flour to it, might be okay too.
I think I add some wheat grass to it too.

03-14-2012, 06:36 AM
Hey Guys,

My brother and I are on a mission to make our own fish food this year. Have any of you done this? If so, what is your recipe?

We were thinking of milling the ingredients and then trying to bake the stuff. Any DiY pelletizers?

We are growing some food like corn, beans and peas. We have access to a ton of spent brewers grains each week. We are breeding mealworms and red wigglers. We were also planning on using some asomite, rock dust and hydrolzed molasses. Would a combination of this stuff work?

Lot's of people use unflavored gelatin as a binder for the ground up ingredients (no need to bake this way). You can keep refrigerated and cut into small cubes for feeding. I'm planning on trying this with macerated BSF larvae and duckweed as ingredients.

03-14-2012, 06:43 AM
Interesting! I juice on a regular basis and always end up with a tone of macerated vegetable matter. My worms have been getting the majority of this but I may now have to reconsider my use of this stuff.

03-14-2012, 07:55 AM

I get my Azomite from my work, Garden Planet in Paonia. It is an amazing little garden/soil shop, we have all sorts of soil amendments and soil building materials.

I will try and take some pictures of what we do and get this little DIY party rollin. :lol:

03-14-2012, 12:06 PM
Outstanding idea.

And I ordered a 44 lbs bag of azomite. I read about it and found out it is good for so many different things. I wounder if any one has tried to take some as a dietery supplement?!?!

I think I will try this; I think this might work :
Mixing whole wheat flour, ground corn or corn meal, crushed oatmeal, maybe some grounded chia seeds and then some brown sugar or molasses. Mix all with some water, make something like bread dough and bake for a little. Or as it was mentioned above, just let it sit in refrigerator.
Then crumble it according to the size of fish into the fish tank.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I will also add some azomite to it.

03-14-2012, 12:56 PM
are you also using a commercial pellet?

03-14-2012, 01:21 PM
The system I am building is not ready for fish yet.
I have been reading about commercial fish foods, specially those for Tilapia.

When I was a kid, we used to go fishing and put a little dough ball on our fishing hook and catch fish. We caught almost everything with it. So, I was thinking Tilapia being mostly vegetarian, if I mix some other stuff with dough it might work and at least I know there is no chemicals and preservatives in it.

03-14-2012, 02:39 PM
Sounds great Mrowsh you should post a picture of your masterpiece when it is complete.

I also have not acquired my fish yet but I have purchased 40 lbs of food from the premium fish food company out of KS. But with shipping the price is unsustainable for us, so we are going to try and make our own food and feed that exclusively after the 40lbs are gone.

Let the food making begin!!! :mrgreen:

03-19-2012, 07:05 AM
I have been making and adjusting my own fish diets for years. You have to keep in mind what % you want/need. Are you feeding for growth, breeding, color, etc? I would strongly encourage adding a dillouhted garlic extract this is to encourage fish to eat it, and hard to feed fish. And a stabilized vitamin C or citric acid. It doesn't take much of either. But has profound results.
I use dry baby cerial as a binder, and then freeze. Gelatin works well, but can make melty oozy stuff behind or maybe I used too much gelatin and not enough of the other stuff.
I use spinach, a variety of other leafy greans, worms, shrimp, etc.
I have even tried using dog food, and live pinkies.
Grow out rations and breeder rations require higher protein than finisher and maintenace ration. I haven't had much luck with extruding or pelletizing. Look into small hammer mill if that's the direction you want to go. Freezing is cheaper though.

03-22-2012, 06:55 AM
Good information foodchain.

Have you tried to use fresh garlic and blend everything in a blender?
I think a Colanders can be used to squize the dough consistancy fish food through it in order to pelletizing it.

03-22-2012, 07:16 AM
Too much water in my experience to do it that way. Also, concentrations of vitamins, filler, etc will be inconsistant that way. Freezing it makes it float more too. My Tilapia eat more from the surface than anywhere else. But the cats eat from the bottom only coming to the surface when there's a big feeding frenzy. I think the comotion brings them up.

03-27-2012, 05:58 AM
foodchain, where di you buy your Tilapia from?
Did they reproduce yet?

03-27-2012, 06:37 AM
Yup, been reproducing a long time. I have been selectively breeding/culling for an orange/red Tilapia. They are easier to see in the water, easier to count orange fry than grey ones, and are cooler looking when I pull them out.
Seems though that I always end up with all white ones in there too. Must be some kind of recessive gene. Either way I expect in a few more generations they won't be around much.

I am starting to work on breeding for an increase in brood size and colder tolerance. I have mine down to 40-50's degree air temp now before ill effects start showing.
Yes I know they aren't supposed to tolerate that. But for the last month my Tilapia have been in the outdoor ponds here in TX and we are getting a couple nights in the 40's and to date I have lost only two of them.
First I thought the pond was insulating and not losing heat fast enough to have serious effect on them, but then I went back and checked water depths, lots of surface area, and deepest point is 3ft on the deep end, and 6 inches on the shallow. I don't believe its deep enough to hold enough heat long enough to make much difference. I just replaced the pumps on it, and at over 2500 gallons per hour it circulates/turns over the water fairly well.
I will probably add another waterfall this year, but that's down the list.

03-27-2012, 06:42 AM
I run the first water fall through a man made bog system of assorted water plants, water lillies, etc, then over another waterfall and into the main pool. Roughly 2,000 gallons in the main pool. The skimmers take care of leaves, etc from the Pecan trees. And in the main pool I have more water lillies...though the Koi keep them trimmed. And the catfish are eagerly cruising the bottom.
Water is then pumped from main pool again as needed for the AP system.
I use gutters with a fair amount of success, and the usual blue barrel 1/2's for the deeper beds.

03-30-2012, 02:10 PM
My tilapia wintering tanks get water into the mid to low 50's for a few days at a time. The fish stop eating. I havent lost any but my hypothesis is that they can tolerate the low temperatrues for a limited amount of time.. Here in north texas we dont really have a sustained winter. it's just a few days of cold front then it's back up to 60 degrees.


04-06-2012, 10:05 AM
This makes sense, that's how other species work. So then the million dollar question becomes....what controls the amount of time they can tolerate it? If we know that the better the condition they are in to tolerate this stress...it seems though that condition can't be the only concern. How do you MAKE the fish tolerate more? Other than just breeding the stronger more tolerant lines....this works but is slow for my tastes.

04-25-2012, 01:04 PM
My fish food seams to be working all right. It has been 7 days now that I got my fingerlings, and as of this morning when I fed them, they have grown at least twice as much. They are just some eating machines now!

04-25-2012, 01:33 PM
Has anyone had success using a pasta machine to make fish food noodles, then when dry, just break to small pellets? I have it in mind to do this as I too want to make my own food. I hate the thought of adding preseritive to my AP system.

04-26-2012, 08:15 AM
A pasta machine is an extruder. Same thing, different name.

04-26-2012, 08:20 AM
you'll know if your fishfood is working if you get good growth from both fish and veggies!

10-07-2014, 11:24 PM
Here's the machine you need for pelletization:
http://www.csbellco.com/grist-mill-la-m ... ckages.asp (http://www.csbellco.com/grist-mill-la-milpa-packages.asp)

We're looking to get one for this and other purposes (including poi making).

Overall, are any of you able to make 100% of your fish feed without dipping into a purchased product as an input as part of your ration mix?

10-11-2014, 10:31 AM
I use Azomite in my garden. Heard about it on youtube. Searched online to buy it, but shipping was outrageous. Found it at a nursery, under $30 for about 50 lbs. and that included their shipping costs. I'll be following this topic, as sooner or later, some more refined recipes are bound to show up including ingredients and quantities. I am curious about using spent brewing grains. I used to brew and when the grain was done with the sparge process, there was no sugars or taste to the clear water coming from the sparge tun. Is this used as strictly a filler to make volume? :roll: Thanks all! aquaally

03-28-2018, 01:06 PM
A friend of mine rents a cabin next to a river for vacation time not far from where I live. We get to catch up a bit. His sons love fishing and after a few hours fishing had caught nothing. Dad called them over added a stiff shot whiskey to the dough and curry powder mix. The whiskey seemed to work, was a good thing the boys were taught catch and release. Loads of fish were caught and released that day. I am not proposing adding whiskey to the fish food was merely saying.

04-08-2019, 12:07 PM
Have you tried fairy shrimp? They are very cheap, and also reproduce very fast. Their egg will (mostly) not hatch unless completely dried, and re-wet. This means they wont populate the fish tanks. There are some rare exceptions where they do lay "wet eggs" but its not enough to compete with hungry fish. I can get 1000 eggs for less than $10 online. Once your first colony takes off, in about 30 days you can harvest more than 1000 eggs. They sink to the bottom, so just drain the container and swish out the bottom to get the eggs. Dry, repeat.

Its been feeding my minnow for less than a year now, with no horrible issues that I can spot.