7 Steps to Tilapia Farming Step 1: Decide Your Goals and Objectives
Have you ever thought about growing your own tilapia fish in your backyard or farm for fun, food, fertilizer or profit?
If you answered yes, then tilapia farming may just be the thing for you! The first step you need to take is to decide your goals and objectives.
The culture of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) can be traced to ancient Egyptian times. Depictions found in a tomb over 4000 years ago showed the fish held in ornamental ponds. Nile tilapia from Japan were introduced to Thailand in 1965, and from Thailand they were sent to the Philippines. Nile tilapia from Cote d’Ivoire were introduced to Brazil in 1971, and from Brazil they were sent to the United States in 1974. In 1978, Nile tilapia were introduced to China, which leads the world in tilapia production.
Tilapia are among the easiest and most profitable fish to farm due to their omnivorous diet, mode of reproduction (the fry do not pass through a planktonic phase), tolerance of high stocking density, and rapid growth. In some regions the fish can be raised in rice fields at planting time and grow to edible size (12–15 cm, 5–6 inches) when the rice is ready for harvest. Unlike salmon, which rely on high-protein feeds based on fish or meat, commercially imported tilapia species eat a vegetable or cereal-based diet.
Over the years, the popularity of tilapia has grown steadily, leading most people to call it the true chicken of the sea. This branding is true to its words because they are very easy to farm and are relatively low maintenance. There are over 100 breeds of Tilapia that you can farm, and each fish can grow up to 2 pounds in less than a year.
Tilapia is a favorite meal in many households and is in high demand both for home consumption and restaurants. The great need is for US citizens to learn this incredible food and profit making opportunity.
Tilapia is considered the best fish for farming in backyard ponds. Even in restricted communities, people have started to grow the fish as a food source.
We use tilapia in our aquaponic systems, along with vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, Swiss chard and lettuce. In such a system, the vegetables always use the organic wastes from tilapia for growth, something that not only helps in purifying the water but also builds a sustainable food chain.
We also breed them in several locations in various tanks; we even have a tilapia laboratory/barn to develop enhanced breeds. It’s fun, very interesting, rewarding and profitable.
Just the waste of Tilapia put our entire farm on the global map.
It’s important to take a quick inventory of your desires and readiness for Tilapia farming!
What are your goals and objectives? Do you want to grow fish for fun, retail or just to feed your family?
If it is for retail purposes, are you going to sell your fish at the local farmers’ market? I encourage you to quickly invest in a small scale tilapia farm before investing in a large scale commercial farm. Learn the ropes first, and then do what you want! You will save time and money and you will always use the equipment you already bought.
We are not a commercial farm for selling fillets. We sell more for aquaponics and broodstock. We harvest the large fish for our personal use and make a lot of fertilizer.
I will deal with all the above in our Tilapia breeding webinar and instructional training course. I will share a little of our journey and how we, my wife and I, have raised Tilapia for many years. I can’t imagine not having them. My very first goals were to feed my family and train orphanage children and villages how to do the same. Tilapia farming at home has allowed us to do that.
Well it went way beyond this and continues to grow. These fish are a real source of open doors for us! I have had the privilege of entertaining the most prominent men of our day at our farm. Today we use tilapia for much more than food. We use the water for aquaponics, the waste water for compost teas and fish mulch, the food for meals, soups, chowders, and the remains for fish emulsion.On Thursday September 5th at 7:00 pm CT we are hosting the live training webinar called “Tilapia Breeding & Fry Care for Fun, Food, Fertilizer and Profit!” soon. You won’t find anything as simple, well-illustrated and straightforward that will get you up and going as a tilapia breeder right away.
Click this link to find out more and register – http://bit.ly/TilapiaWebinarInfo
Founder of Aquaponics and Earth