How To Feed Your Tilapia – by John Musser

Tilapia Feed We Currently Offer

The two types of floating pellets that we offer make it easy to visually manage feedings, providing less waste and improved water quality.


1.   Aquamax 4000 – A small floating pellet:

This small floating pellet is excellent for providing all the needs for breeding Tilapia fish or developing to juvenile stage.  When you grow them out, use the larger pellet.  At AESL we have bred tens of thousands of fish and developed excellent breeder colonies with this fine pellet. If you are breeding fish, keep them on this smaller pellet!

Dense 4000 Grower
Tilapia (omnivore) Food

For Tilapia larger than 2.8 ox (80 grams)
3/16″ floating pellet
36% protein, 5% fat, 5% fiber

For smaller fish the pellet can be slightly cracked or powered. Be careful with powder, it can clog up systems quickly!


2.   Aquamax 2000 – A large floating pellet:

An important thing to remember is to feed your fish a high protein feed the first three months and then you can put them on growout feed. This is all purpose feed that will bring your fish to maturity as soon as possible.

2000 is an omnivore food with plant based protein, especially great for Tilapia.


Other sizes are available but these two have suited our needs at the farm and help keep things simple.


How to Feed Your Tilapia Fish

Many people fail right here with Tilapia fish. You need to remember that these fish are grazers, like cows, but eat at first like lions. The sign of healthy fish is when you first feed them they make the water white with splashing and eating.

1.  When you feed your fish always test with smaller amounts first in the various tanks, then give your normal amount, otherwise you will waste expensive feed. Some tanks may need cleaning, more air, or the heater is broken. Tilapia do not eat much in colder weather.

2.  Offer short feeding times. I feed my fish in over 20 tanks one by one and then go back in 10 to 15 minutes for a second small feeding. If pellets are uneaten, net them out and toss into a compost pile. I can’t state how important this is. When food is left to sink to the bottom it can: cause your aquaponics system to go rancid; gum up your pumps, forcing you to clean your tanks more often; and upset the biological balance of your water. Also the uneaten food will turn into ammonia which is toxic to your fish.

3.  Have a designated person or charts for feeding fish. People love to feed fish but they can feed them to sickness or death or turn your beautiful aquaponics system sour. Have a check list which indicates the last time the fish have been fed. Keep fish food from the general public to just throw in. Put up a sign if need be that reads,  “Please don’t feed the fish!”

4.  Remember, all fish aren’t fed the same. Breeder fish need  3-4 small meals a day when in glass tanks. Depending upon the system you have, grow out fish can be fed five times a day to reach maturity faster. Make sure you have a good bio filter to handle larger fish densities.

5.  Watch your fish after feeding. Once I had over 2000 baby fry in a glass tank. One day they ate very well, but two hours later half of them were dead. The already maxed out tank could not handle any more ammonia that was released after eating. Any tanks with large numbers of fish should have consistent water quality tests.

6.  Store feed out of direct sunlight. Keep your feed in a cool, dry place. Too much moisture will cause it to mold. The container from AESL is perfect and contains absorbent crystals to help keep it dry.

7.  Don’t keep your feed for long periods of time. Detrimental bacterial can grow on the feed and make your aquaponics setup go rancid or invite undesired content into your fish habitat. Keep your food as fresh as you can. Remember if you are a repeat customer of AESL your price will go down after the third order, plus you have free shipping!

If you need larger amounts such as a five gallon bucket, we will give discounts.


We will match most prices! If you have one and can show us where it is online, we will do our best to give you the best deal possible!


Most AESL orders are mailed within 24 hours or less! If you have an emergency please just let us know.