Got this link from bearridgeproject,
Ever thought about growing your own tilapia? What about a hydroponic system along with your tilapia farm? Well, this site shows you how to breed, grow and generally raise tilapia.
This is something I have been interested in, but couldn’t find a good source for the fish themselves, these people sell breeder colonies, one male and six females. They seem to really care about what they are doing, I think it’s because they are not a huge corporation, they are a still small enough to care about their business, their customers and their tilapia.
I’m also starting to farm with tilapia here in south africa now, atleast its warm and they are indiginous to my area, so I dont have a problem with getting a breeding pair. I just dont know what the difference is between male and female and how many to put together in tank and also what to feed them, I know they eat about anything, but what would be ideal to feed them, and also! do I feed them on a day by day basis?
Tilapia are very easy to raise, they are tolerant of heat (up to and over 100 degrees farenheit in some species) but not very tolerant of cold (will generally die below 50 degrees farenheit) they can be raised in water that is so high in organic nutrient matter that no other fish can survive, and in some cities on the west coast they are actually used in sewage treatment ponds to remove some of the solids. these fish are the most hardy fish i have ever come across and i have yet to kill ONE of them, just keep a lid on the tank as they like to jump. these fish also are very tolerant of low dissolved oxygen, and will eat just about anything. their growth rate is 1.5 to 1 ratio or better (1.5 lb of food to 1 lb of growth) and at that rate you can have an edible size fish in around 6 months if conditions are ideal. these fish have drawn alot of controversy, but have overcome alot of limitations that other fish have as far as raising them. these fish ARE LEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES IF INSIDE AN AQUARIUM. this is commonly misunderstood by newcomers to the hobby. Tilapia is actually of the cichlid family, which are sold as aquarium fish mostly, and in some places you can acutally buy tilapia at an aquarium fish store! broodstock need not be expensive”breeding pairs” either, once these fish reach a length of 3 inches or so, you can’t STOP THEM from breeding even if you want to, they will breed in any water they can survive in, even saltwater near the strength of seawater!! these fish are “mouth brooders” and carry their eggs in their mouths through the incubation period and even after the fry hatch, until the yolk sacs have been absorbed for protection. so the long and short of it is, if you can provide a tank with heated water (around 80-85 degrees farenheit is ideal) and some aeration and food, you CAN grow tilapia. these things are easier than goldfish. broodstock is available online places such as EBAY, just search live tilapia. most outfits will ship to you overnight mail. I also have a BUNCH of oreochromis areus (blue tilapia) that are pure strain, and right now about an inch long. if anyone is looking for some, just email me. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks Frank, it can be scary for people to try something new, it makes things much easier when someone else who has actually done it says it’s not difficult to do, comparing it to growing goldfish is great, I think most everyone has had a goldfish or two in their lifetime. Thanks for the brood-stock offer as well.
My biggest problem would be keeping them warm enough during the winter, we are off-grid, live in the high desert on a mountain side, the days are pleasant enough, but the winter nights get pretty cold. I have considered doing a whole greenhouse, talapia (in a black plastic tank), using the fish water to fertilize the plants or even do a hydroponic thing with the fish water… with a big enough water tank using black plastic, the water should stay warm enough overnight to keep the fish alive, perhaps even using a cover to keep in the heat. I’m just thinking, scheming, planning… :)
I guess it would be better to say that I would have to be relatively sure that I wouldn’t kill the fish before they were edible to start something like this, and “brave” enough to invest the money necessary for the whole operation, even with that kind of failure as a possibility. I have more experience with land-based animals, (though not as food) so it would take more “courage” on my part to undertake this kind of project.
I like knowing different possiblities, however, and more knowledge leads to more options. Thanks again for the information!
Wow, I used to visit that site, had lost track of it, thanks for the reminder!
I was thinking about that, and I was thinking about how to get some fish for breeding stock, maybe I could get some live fish from one of the asian markets, I know they love talapia, and have it fresh and alive, that may be a good source…
I don’t know why anyone would need to be brave to raise fish? It’s no different from raising any other animals (for food), in fact probably easier in a lot of ways. I’m glad you enjoyed the link, it was good info, better than any other site I have visited to date.
I don’t know if I would be brave enough to try this, but it looks like an excellent protein source, which can be difficult to come by (at least in terms of variety) when it comes to storage. “Live storage” would definitely be an asset in difficult times. Thanks for including the link for more info!
Be aware that this requires permits (of course!) in the great state of Texas. Tilapia are an exotic species, and there are strict controls to prevent their release into natural habitat. And if you do get permitted, you WILL be visited, and inspected, FREQUENTLY by TPWD. And I am willing to bet that the permitting process is a royal, expensive, pain in the……..
Good stuff. Have you checked out Kurt Saxon’s riff on catfish in a barrel? Auburn U. in AL has an aquaculture program in which they will sell tilapia from their fish farms. Don’t know if they sell live fish, but a lot of the poorer (middle class) people buy the crop for food.