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Lights Attract Insects + Fish Eat Insects = Using Lights to Attract Nocturnal Fish Food?

Collin Vickers


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 103
Location: San Angelo, Texas
Greetings Permies,

Everyone knows that night-time lights attract nocturnal insects, and that some fish species eat flying insects.

Is there some way that we could employ this peculiarity of insects to provide fish with additional high-protien, low-cost food?

My theory is that strings of solar-powered Christmas lights, or solar-powered path lighting, etc, all commonly available, could be juxtaposed with a fish pond in such a way that the fish could gain access to large concentrations.

Here are some examples:

http://www.amazon.com/Solar-Powered-White-Christmas-Lights/dp/B000S0RYEW

http://www.amazon.com/Garden-Creations-JB5629-Solar-Powered-Accent/dp/B002X8X8UG/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1343811547&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=solar+powered+path+lights

Strings of lights can be draped over bodies of water, suspended from tree branches or posts on the shore, hanging perhaps 18-24" over the surface.

Around shallows, path lighting can be inserted, perhaps mounted on a longer stake.

Any thoughts on this?
Tim Crowhurst


Joined: Jun 18, 2012
Posts: 45
Location: Bedford, England: zone 8/AHS 2
    
    1
Very good idea.

I'd put them closer to the water's surface, perhaps taped to bamboo poles laid across the pond. I'd also put netting over the whole thing so that nocturnal predators can't get to your fish; otherwise the lights may attract them.
David Matt


Joined: Jun 29, 2011
Posts: 10
Hang a bug zapper over the pond during the evening/night (there are solar powered ones). Just make sure it doesn't fall in a hurt the fish.
Devon Olsen


Joined: Nov 28, 2011
Posts: 997
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
    
    6
how about growing bioluminescent fungi?
only one species is edible and isnt supposed to taste too good, but it glows at night and not during the day, the spores also glow and would likely float with the breeze, attracting insects from even further away than their normal sight range....

to make the water glow, maybe a submersible tank for the mushrooms that will sink and still maintain a tube above water for gas exchange and spore release....

and you dont have to run a cord or pay for expensive solar panels


Current Cheyenne, WY project
"Do you Hugel?" T-shirts and other products
Collin Vickers


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 103
Location: San Angelo, Texas
That's a unique idea, but just to clarify, the solar supply for the lights are already built in - a string costs around $20, and $15 for the path lighting.
Devon Olsen


Joined: Nov 28, 2011
Posts: 997
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
    
    6
well if you already have the powerline in place it certainly seems easier to plug and go... but i hold to that my idea seems much cooler:p
Andrew Kay


Joined: Apr 25, 2012
Posts: 31
Devon there's no powerline involved.

Colin: i had the same idea re: solar lights to attract insects and put it in my final plan for a recently completed PDC. Once council approve my planning permit i can dig the ponds and see how it goes. Please report back with your results.
Collin Vickers


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 103
Location: San Angelo, Texas
I hope it works out Andrew! Unfortunately, I don't have a good pond to test it out on.

I got the idea from watching bats divebomb around a fairly remote security light where the car is kept. I'm not aware of of any standard livestock critters that are nocturnal, apart from fish, and truth be told, I don't really know if they feed at night or not.

Supposing it doesn't work, might there be a way to trap the insects and feed them to fish or poultry the following morning? If we consider this option, bait scents and other things can be used. A potential downside is actually attracting additional pest insects to a garden, which sometimes happens with distracter species in companion planting,
Andrew Kay


Joined: Apr 25, 2012
Posts: 31
Collin Vickers wrote:I don't really know if they feed at night or not.


Nor do I, but I do remember watching fish feed at sunset as a child. I'll adjust the light sensor circuit to turn on at dusk rather than waiting for night, should merely be a matter of adjusting the series resistance alongside the photocell (LDR) or putting in a different LDR, of which I have a variety on hand.
Devon Olsen


Joined: Nov 28, 2011
Posts: 997
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
    
    6
it illegal in my state to do this but i know when i was a kid in another state we sould sometimes shine a light on the water when fishing to attract fish and would catch a lot more, so im assuming htey do eat at night as well as day, but it is also gonna depend on what fish youre going for, catfish and carp should at least feed at night though...

and i knew you meant just solar powered lights or whatever/ie no "cord" i was just refferri9ng to electricity in general, but your idea is definatly more practical and easy to set up, plus its gonna work every day, whereas the bio-luminescent fungi would only really glow if their bio-luminescent parts where showing at the time... i just thought mine would make a cooler pic thats all:p
Collin Vickers


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 103
Location: San Angelo, Texas
Maybe we can market the bio-luminescent fungi as the new pet rock.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Here's a bug trap my husband made for the aquaponics:



It's made from a small white bucket painted black on the outside with slits around the top (what used to be the bottom) and a solar walkway light stuck in a hole cut in the top, floating in a piece of packing styrofoam. We don't know for certain it works, just theory.


Idle dreamer

Collin Vickers


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 103
Location: San Angelo, Texas
That looks awesome Tyler, have y'all tried baiting it with anything? Maybe a small scrap of inedible protein or an apple core, or something?
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Thanks! Baiting is an excellent idea but I'm not sure what would work with night-flying insects like moths.....we're thinking the light is the bait. But for day-flying insects some kind of bait might be good.
 
 
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