Is Tilapia Aquaculture a viable Business? As far as raising fish to sell, Tilapia was the fifth most important fish to fish farming. There was 1,505,804 metric tons of Tilapia fish produced in the year 2000. Why you may ask is that significant?
Tilapias are farmed due to their large size as well as their rapid growth, and because of the taste and texture of their meat. So with rapid growth and a customer base that is worldwide, need I say more? Tilapia is actually group of different species commonly called Tilapia. They are known colloquially as tilapia.
To be bred in captivity though, you might need some help to get started. First,
- They are a large fish
- Outdoor fish farms need to be located in temperate zones.
- It can be expensive to keep the water warm to tropical temperatures depending upon where you are located.
- There is a lot of competition
- The tanks and equipment to start and run a successful large scale operation can be prohibitive to most farmers.
Unlike other crops that may be grown though, Tilapia Aquaculture is world renowned. China is currently the largest grower, while Egypt is right behind them. But tilapia breed easily in captivity and they adapt easily to a wide variety of water conditions. So depending upon the exact species of Tilapia Aquaculture that you start, you do have choices for the fish that you grow. Choose wisely and you will do well as a fish farm growing tilapia.
One of the biggest expenses to get started could possibly be the learning curve to become successful in Tilapia Aquaculture. It has been around since 1997, but has only recently become better known throughout the world. There are some real good benefits from raising Tilapia though:
- They are large fish
- They grow quickly
- They eat about anything to stay alive and grow.
- They are high in protein
- They reproduce at a very high rate
- They have become well known as a quality fish product
What is the best thing to feed in an tilapia aquaculture environment then? Again, they will eat just about anything. They became known as the Poo Fish after an episode of Dirty Jobs where the tilapia were used to clean up the manure form striped bass. However, they do eat a wide variety of things.
- Commercial farms will feed their fish pellets of grain, soybeans and other food products
- Wild tilapia eat vegetation, algae
- Compost (decaying organic matter)
- Small fish
- And yes, fish poo
- Anything that they can get in their mouth that is edible.
- They can be vegetarian and like algae
- Duck weed which is a good source of protein. The duckweed uses the fish manure for food, and provides food for the fish.
Hopefully you can see from the overall view of tilapia aquaculture why it is a viable business choice.
Is it for you? I do not know, but I do know that if you want to succeed, you need to get some help. The more you know, the fewer challenges that you will encounter. You can start small and see if it something that you would like to pursue.
I have seen fish tanks placed in greenhouses to help keep the temperature in an acceptable range for the plants using the large water mass of a fish tank. Why not use the fish poo to feed your plants? That would be aquaponics, and that is a discussion we will continue in another article.
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