Submitted to: Tilapias: Culture, Nutrition, and Feeding
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: November 12, 2003
Publication Date: September 27, 2006
Citation: Green, B.W., Duke III, C. 2006. Pond production of tilapia. Pages 253-288 in C. Lim, C. Webster (Eds.),Tilapias: Biology, Culture, and Nutrition. Food Products Press. Binghamton, NY.
Interpretive Summary: Not required.
Tilapia culture began in the first half of the 20th century at the subsistence level encouraged by colonials on the African continent. By the 1970s, Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, was considered the best growing of the tilapias being cultured, and was used by the United Nations, non-governmental organizations and governmental aid agencies in the world-wide war on poverty. Tilapias are resistant to poor water quality and disease, as well as able to convert a wide range of foodstuffs into protein. It was these attributes that made tilapia attractive to fish farmers at the commercial level. Now tilapia is raised in a wide variety of scenarios. Far more are raised for sale than are raised by developing-country families, and what was once considered the poor man's fish has become a commodity of great value.
Tilapia grow-out ponds are stocked with either mixed-sex or monosex (male) fingerlings. Mixed-sex tilapia fingerlings continue to be stocked in ponds that receive little to no fertilizer or supplemental feed input. Intensified tilapia aquaculture, where substantial applications of fertilizer and/or feed are made, depends primarily on stocking of monosex, especially sex reversed, fingerlings into grow-out ponds.
Species selection, earthen versus lined ponds, production strategies including pond fertilization and fish feeding, pond dissolved oxygen, and pond management are discussed in this chapter.