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Thread: DOG/CAT FOOD?

  1. #1
    Moderator urbanfarmer's Avatar
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    DOG/CAT FOOD?

    So, I was in wally world earlier and I noticed they had a 50 pound bag for $15 of dog food. Aside from the size of the food (which looked like 1/2" roughly), I am wondering if there would be any problems with it? It was 28% protein I believe, and the ingredients looked the same as low-end fish food. Does anyone know if there would be something dangerous that might be in the food as far as the fish or humans eating the fish are concerned?

    I am considering dog food as a cheap supplemental food for Tilapia that are mainly raised on algae, duckweed, worms, and black soldier fly larvae. I have read that Tilapia reach about 3/4 pound size faster on algae than anything else, but after that they grow slower on it; so, my idea was to start feeding the dog/cat food twice a day about 8-12 hours apart at this point.

  2. #2
    Moderator stucco's Avatar
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    Re: DOG/CAT FOOD?

    Supplemental food needs to be given as you would any animal. Each time we feed, we give the cat food first then as the fish are slowing their feeding cycle- we add the duckweed, carrot stem etc. that gives them the opportunity to feed choice on the roughage. We feed our systems 3 times a day average. Cat food seems to have a higher content of fat compared to some feeds. One drawback we have seen has been depending on this fat content, you may get an oil film on the top of the water. This film has not affected our systems at all. However, I would be open to finding a source for a vegetarian based food that is not GMO. What we are using is generally minimal ingredient or sometimes non-grain based cat food (dick vanpatton, taste of the wild, etc)
    Our fish love certain types of leaves- carrot tops are a special treat- tie up so they donít get stuck in the filters/pipes. We have tried SFL, but as a large portion of the diet in whole form it did not work. We even tried making a feed and baking it, but boy was that a horrible smell. The boss wonít let me try her Excaliber dehydrator to make fish food for fear that it will be ruined, but I probably have 5 lbs of frozen sfl that I would love to try and incorporate into some sort of meal.
    Davidscldfl has had great growth with his fish using the Purina- I just canít get past the GMO soy, wheat and corn which I refuse to eat- so I will not feed it to the fish. Jackalope sells the Aquafarms feed on the DIY site which seems to be better than Purina or anything else for that matter, and I have contacted him about his feed, but though they try to use non-gmo sources the soy- a main ingredient- is still gmo because he has a problem sourcing non-gmo. I have contacted several vendors about food sources, but have not been happy with the response, so thus far I settle for the cat food since I feel safe with it. If I could find someone with a peletizer- we would be best friends!! LoL. In any case, I have eaten tilapia all my life and I donít mind it- though I do notice variances in the flavors, my wife doesnít really care for it unless it comes out of our system- the taste is pure, clean and sweet, and the texture is flaky- superb. She swears everything else tastes muddy.
    This winter we have catfish- a first for us. We will see if the feed changes the flavor of a usually dull, musty flavored fish. There are multiple studies which touch on this subject, with a basis for the taste related to bacteria (http://www.uaex.edu/aquaculture2/FSA/FSA9051.htm) or algae blooms in aquaculture.

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    Moderator badflash's Avatar
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    Re: DOG/CAT FOOD?

    Most cat & dog food are too high in fat and protein to be goo for tilapia. You are looking for around 32% protein and 5% fat.

    The gamey or muddy taste is caused by failure to purge the fish. Tilapia need to fast in clear water for at least 5 days before harvest. That gets rid of all the off flavors.
    The best fertilizer is the farmer's shadow

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    Moderator urbanfarmer's Avatar
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    Re: DOG/CAT FOOD?

    So, in other words dog/cat food is SAFE to use as feed, but far from the best option? It is juts so cheap compared to anything labeled as fish feed that I have found... it makes it hard to ignore as an option!

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    Moderator davidstcldfl's Avatar
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    Re: DOG/CAT FOOD?

    Hi Badflash, The 32% protein and 5% fat that you recomend....is that for 'adults' or do you use it for fry and fingerlings too ?
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    Moderator badflash's Avatar
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    Re: DOG/CAT FOOD?

    I'll post a link to a SRAC publication that has researched optimum protein levels for all sizes of tilapia. Fry and fingerlings can use more protein and fat, but above 4" you are wasting money on high protien feed and fat. It ends up fouling the water and making the fish fat. The fat does not give you more meat, so the coversion ratio goes way down.
    The best fertilizer is the farmer's shadow

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    Re: DOG/CAT FOOD?

    i used iams cat food to keep my minnows goin for about 12 weeks...
    the minnows dissappeared shortley after the yp were added to the system

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    Re: DOG/CAT FOOD?

    Ideally we would all feed 100% organic fish food, at least I believe that to be true. But, is it economically feasible? If cat food keeps your fish healthy, and produces enough manure to feed your plants, give it a shot. Is it ideal? No. But then again, neither is Purina, or any other fish food out there. I would suggest though that you are what you eat, and even though there are cat foods out there designed for cats that are organic, that surely does not mean that they are healthy for fish. I think a healthy fish might be more important than an organic fish?

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    Moderator urbanfarmer's Avatar
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    Re: DOG/CAT FOOD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brier
    I think a healthy fish might be more important than an organic fish?
    I think a big and tasty fish is more important than an organic or healthy fish! With that said, I hope to raise my fish organically, and I would imagine they grow best and tastiest when they are healthy.

    But, as far as keeping Tilapia or other fish as PETS, then their happiness and health is of the utmost importance! It might sound cruel, but I don't care much about the happiness of fish I am going to eat... they're death is assured, after all.

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    Re: DOG/CAT FOOD?

    Quote Originally Posted by stucco
    This winter we have catfish- a first for us. We will see if the feed changes the flavor of a usually dull, musty flavored fish. There are multiple studies which touch on this subject, with a basis for the taste related to bacteria (http://www.uaex.edu/aquaculture2/FSA/FSA9051.htm) or algae blooms in aquaculture.

    Where did you get the catfish? I'm in Ocala & haven't been able to find a FL catfish supplier.
    Thanks.

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