Tilapia Fish Farming

A great business opportunity for people looking to breed with fishTilapia Fish Farming

Before Starting Tilapia Fish Farming

 

Starting Tilapia Fish Farming

When setting up a tilapia fish farm, the following important things should be considered first. The most important thing is to consider where you are planning to start your fish farm. You should consider factors like the climate (especially the changes during winter), access to water and the legislation and laws of the country or state you live in. In America, some states require a permit before you can start farming tilapia fish, while others do not. You should do your homework first. Also, if you want to farm tilapia full-time you must determine how many tilapia fish farms are in your area. There are some very big tilapia farmers out there and you will struggle trying to compete with them. There are areas where there are almost no tilapia fish farms, so creating a profitable market will not be that difficult. If you only plan on doing this small scale, perhaps providing in your own needs and selling a few for an extra income, then there is no reason not to consider this.

Water Temperature

The biggest problem with farming tilapias is that they are tropical fish. They need warmer water to thrive and breed successfully. Tilapias are quite hardy fish and can survive a wide range of water temperatures. The ideal temperature is between 82-86 degrees F (28-30 degrees C). Water temperatures below this will have a negative impact on growth and breeding rates. For most new farmers this will not be a major problem. When water temperatures fall below 86 degrees F (20 degrees C), you will see a very large drop in growth rate.  If you live in an area where winter temperatures can cause water to drop below 55 degrees F (13 degrees C) the fish will start dying. The solution is to buy a water heater to heat the water of the tank or pond, but this can become an expensive option if you have a big pond. Some parts of the world have the perfect climate to allow tilapia fish farming without the need for heated water.

Managing breeding in your Fish

Another important consideration is how the breeding should be managed. If only one aquarium of pond is used, the quick breeding rate of the tilapia will cause problems. Adult females can produce up to 100 fry (little fish) per week, but it can take up to 8 months before the fish is market ready. Hundreds of little fish per week will compete with the adult fish for food and space. Some breeders overcome this by breeding male tilapia only with the help of hormones. This is not an easy option for most small-scale farmers since it is expensive and restricted in some countries. Building a few breeding cages, and keeping them overstocked with fish has shown to decrease their breeding rates. But this is detrimental to the growth and health of the tilapias.   Searching for more help on how to handle this problem before you start farming tilapias, should help you bypass many headaches

Tilapia Fish Farming Needs Effective Filtering

Also, you must have an very effective filtering system in your ponds or aquariums. Although tilapia fish are extremely strong and resistant to many different diseases and bacteria, they are still prone to become sick and die if the setup is not correct. Oxygen levels should be kept high, and most home farmers simply have a barrel, or other container, poised above the pond to create a nice waterfall feature. Pumping water into the barrel and letting it overflow into the pond creates a nice and effective aeration system.

Managing breeding in your Tilapia Fish Farm

The biggest headache for a small scale farmer is handling the extreme breeding rate of these fish. Tilapia can start breeding three months before being big enough to eat or sell. Tilapia females carry their fry in their mouths for the first few days. This gives tilapia a very high survival rate. At 100 small fry per week, one breeding pair can produce an extra 1000 little fish in these 3 months. In most farms the problem is getting the animals to breed. With tilapia the problem will be handling the breeding so that you are not flooded with too many fish. Too many fish will cause health problems very quickly.

Tilapia fish farming has great potential, but just be sure to do your homework before starting.