Tilapia Farming is one of the easiest and most popular among all aquaculture systems fish farming in United States last years. Tilapia fish farming became famous as profitable system too and it’s called “aquatic chicken” because of its rapid growth, high stocking density, and low cost feeding.
Tialpia farms can be found in many shapes starting from the fish hatcheries to the fresh water farms, tilapia fish farming tanks, and growing tilapia in the rice farms.
Tilapia Farming History
The scientific name of Nile Tilapia is: Oreochromis Niloticus. The fish is native in Egypt; (river Nile), and according to information from a tomb of 4000 years ago, was held in ponds. Ancient Egyptians were so fond of Tilapia that even gave to it its own hieroglyph, the K1 according to the most common Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Ancient Greeks, also appreciated Tilapia a lot, and is believed that Aristotle named it as Tilapia Niloticus (fish of the Nile), in 300 BC.
Tilapia came to the United States of America in 1974, and went to China in 1978. China is the biggest producer worldwide from 1992 to present.
Aquaponics Tilapia Farming
In the aquaculture tanks of aquaponics you can find koi fish, trout, catfish farming which can be in any home aquaponics and Tilapia is the most preferable aquaponics fish to farm in an aquaponics systems environment and this is because a number of factors taken into account. Lets take a close look now to some of these factors.
Tilapia is a warm water fish, that means it needs a temperature higher than 25 degrees C, while the ideal will be from 28 to 30 degrees C. If the temperature is less than 20 C, the fish will not grow as desired and will be vulnerable to diseases. In places with cold, tilapia can be the fish choice for the summer months since it will be ready to harvest in short time, otherwise some heater near the tank has to be used.
Lets examine a tank of 1000 Lt. Initially we place 100 fingerlings of tilapia that weigh 1 kilo and this will give us the ratio 1Kg/1000 Lt, within the next four months the fish will reach the 40 Kg in total that means the ratio then will be 40 Kg/1000 Lt. This number use it as a maximum if you are an experienced aquaponics farmer, but don’t get so close to it if you are a beginner. The stocking density in our case is higher comparing with other fish species, because tilapia is a fish gifted with hard nature.
Tilapia are very easy to breed, actually when they reach reproduction maturity (around five to six months) they can breed and spawn every four to six weeks! If you leave your system to follow the reproduction rhythm of tilapia, soon it will be overcrowded, that gives you two options to choose from in order to keep your tank under control:
A) Buy only male fingerlings to put in your tank when you will built the initial set-up of your system
B) Separate the mixed fish following the guideline 1 male and 5 females in smaller tanks when the breeding season occurs.
Like that the fry will have the best care away from the rest fish of your tank. If you decide to go on with mixed sex tilapia population- but you want to avoid having fry around- harvest the fish before their reproduction cycle begins when the fish will be 4 months.
Water quality conditions:
Tilapia is a hard nature fish and can put up with poor water conditions, thus is ideal for aquaponics beginners who will have to deal with water quality issues. The pH parameter is of the most important and has to be monitored carefully. Tilapia prefers a pH between 7 and 8, that means the fish stands on the alkaline level of the scale. Do not ignore the plants because they grow better in a little acidic environment, try to keep the pH at 7 it is ideal for both tilapia and plants. Keep an eye on the chlorine’ s level, to be at the safe side the chlorine has to be less than 1 mg/l.
Tilapia is an omnivorous fish, which means can eat anything, though they really love algae and duckweed. When you go to purchase the feed for your tilapia make sure you will buy an organic one, because whatever you put in your tank, it will end up inside your plants roots after little time. Follow the instructions of the fish feed, take under consideration the size of your tilapia and do not over feed it, remember that tilapia, and most of the fish can live without any food at least for 2 weeks.
Tilapia Farming Supplies
Visit our aquaponics supplies shop, so you can find a lot of fish farming equipment or go to the nearst aquaculture supplies shop in your area to find live tilapia for sale
Tilapia for healthy diet
Tilapia is a really good protein source for the human body. It is ideal choice for low fat diet and for all the people who want food with low calories, carbohydrates and sodium. Consuming tilapia supplies your body with some very important micro-nutrients as: phosphorus, niacin, selenium, vitamin B12, and potassium. Tilapia has a white soft meat with mild taste and can be cooked in many ways, and match with many ingredients if we wish so. A simple but really tasty way to prepare our tilapia is to bake it with some lemon, garlic and olive oil.
Tilapia is is a worthwhile investment to decide for your aquaponics system, if you are a beginner it is also the most wise and secure choice. Farmers who have farmed tilapia before for sure are satisfied and will farm it again, due to the easy growing of the fish, its resistance in adversities, and last but not least due to its unique flavor.