Tilapia is an omnivorous animal because it will eat diets of both animal and plant origin.
Compared to other fish species tilapia breeds easily, ease of cultivation and it can grow in ponds or tanks if water at optimal levels of warmth is maintained.
Tilapia farming can be done in brackish or salt water and also in pond or cage systems.
Experience has shown that farmers prefer to keep only male tilapia in the grow out stage because it’s efficient and grow bigger and are more time and energy while female tilapia waste energy and doesn’t grow fast.
The five productive factors that must be considered to be successful in tilapia farming:
- Source for good fingerlings and fish feed Sourcing fingerlings from a reputable hatchery and using of good fish feed give farmers the best results. Tilapia is highly prolific, so it breeds easily and this usually lead to overcrowding leading to stunted growth due to competition for food and space. Farmers are advised to cultivate male fingerlings grows almost twice as fast as females. so stock more males.
- Good Spacing spacing can make or mar the success of achieving efficient weight gain in tilapia farming. The recommended rate is five fingerlings in a pond per metre squared and all thing being equal fingerlings will reach maturity in six to eight months.
- The pond site
The pond site should soil type that has a good retention ability and ability to supply fresh water. It must be at at least 0.7 metreswater.
The pond should not be sited in an area prone to flood in order to prevent dirty water from entering the pond and and pond should be in a slopy area to make draining easier.Water optimal temperature required for a tilapia pond is between 25 – 35 degrees Celsius, in order to achieve this farmers can line up pond with black plastic wrap to retain heat.
The pond should be located in an area with sufficient sunlight to stimulate algae growth.
- Water Source
Fish pond must have access to a consistent source of clean water like boreholes, well, rivers, streams, lakes or water dams.
Good quality water is important for fish production. Water must be clean to keep the water fresh and reduce incidences of disease
- Good Management and Biosecurity
Farmers must manage their stocks and environment properly. It’s important to control predators,parasites and diseases Tilapia ponds must be fed with good quality feed at all times and filled with clean water to control parasites and diseases.
The farm environment should be clean of bushes,use a wire net fence around and over the pond, and the inlet and outlet pipes must be properly covered to prevent predators from accessing the pond. Cover your inlets and outlets to keep out predators and insects.
Farmers who want to do tilapia farming profitably must adhere strictly to doing it efficiently, it’s also imperatthe to consult an experienced vet or expert if there’s a need to use medication.