These species require warmer water whose ideal temperature range is 22.2° – 30°C, and are the most popular, viable, and adaptable. They are easily bred, fast-growing, and not overly cannibalistic if well fed. They grow to plate size in 6 – 9 Months.
These are commonly used in commercial aquaponic systems around the world. In some countries, they may be banned because they can overtake local waterways if careless handling is involved. Tilapia prefers temperatures over 22.2°C. In colder climates with water temperatures below 12.7°C, a water heater may be necessary adding to the cost of breeding. A constant water temperature of around 26.6°C is ideal. They are known to breed quickly (every 4-6 weeks) in the fish tank and grow quickly (about 9 months from fingerling to harvest). Because Tilapia is mainly vegetarian and only partly omnivorous, when well fed they are not cannibalistic, and fish food can be grown for them on site.
Tilapias produce plentiful waste material and therefore nutrients for plants to use. They are one of the easiest fish to care for, tolerate bacteria, and are quite resistant to disease. The wide range of tank conditions they can tolerate helps enormously. They are quite flexible with regard to oxygen levels, water temperature and hardness, pH, and nutrient content. They thrive in the tropics and subtropics but also do well in other climates.
Tilapia is quite neutral to the taste, has a low fish flavour in taste compared to other fish, and when prepared in a variety of ways tastes quite good. This makes them palatable for people who do not prefer fish. Nutritionally, they have high protein content.
Facts at a glance
Plate Size in 6 – 9 Months
Require warmer water, most popular, viable, adaptable, easily bred, fast-growing, not cannibalistic
Ideal Temperature Range: 22.2° – 30°C