Tilapia has been part of human consumption for over 3000 years, but it is only lately that their true potential for breeding became apparent. Tilapia is a generic name that includes over 100 different fish breeds. They are one of the easiest and most effective fish species to breed with, and this makes them the perfect choice for the backyard breeder.
Tilapias have a few capabilities that make them tremendously effective for home breeding. Among these are
- Omnivorous. Tilapia can eat almost anything, from dead leave matter to organic debris at the bottom of the pool. They also have gill rakers, tiny combs located on their gills that allow them to filter minute organisms from the water passing over their gills. It has been shown that Tilapia fish are able to digest over 60% of mud passing through their digestive system. Food and vegetable waste from the house can be fed to the fish. This can be more effective use of food wastes than making compost.
- Disease resistant. Tilapia is some of the most disease resistant fish around. For the beginner of hobbyist they make the perfect choice, since a lot of diseases that kill other fish have no effect on the Tilapia. Beginners can focus on breeding the fish, not keeping them alive.
- Fast breeding. Tilapia can breed at an exceptional rate. They breed so fast that some of the bigger fish farms use techniques like hormonal treatments to assure mainly males are born. Under the correct conditions, a single breeding pair can spawn between 200 and 500 fingerlings a month. If the water is kept at the right temperature and quality these fish breed continuously. Tilapia fish brood their young inside their mouth and this keeps the survival rate very high. Most home breeders will quickly learn that Tilapia will breed far more than they can consume themselves, leaving an excellent opportunity for making some extra money.
Creating a small Tilapia fish farm at home has several great advantages:
- Firstly, you can easily and cheaply provide an excellent meat source to your family’s diet. Tilapia fish provides a very high quality food which is rich in protein and amino acids, but low in fat.
- Secondly, as already hinted above, it provides an excellent opportunity for a second income. Tilapia fish can be sold as fingerlings to others who wants to start their own fish farm, or as eating fish when they are big enough. Some farmers even sell or use waste from the fish tank or pond as fertilizer.
- Thirdly, it will cost you less to farm these fish than buying fish on a daily basis. Adding more fish to your diet is a healthy option, but it can be very good for your bank balance.
It is very easy to start your very own Tilapia fish farm at home. A small and simple breeding system can be setup in your home, adding to the enjoyment of the whole process. Lots of information is available on the internet on how to start your very own Tilapia fish farm.