View Full Version : Best Strain of Tilapia..?

01-08-2008, 04:12 PM
Hey all, I have been following the trend toward aquaponics for some time and I am finally in the planning stages of setting up a small operation to "get my feet wet" so's to speak and I am thoroughly confused as to which strain of Tilapia is the best to raise. All help will be greatly appreciated. :?:

01-09-2008, 07:50 PM

To the best of my knowledge and investigation to date, the "Pink" or "Red" varities are the fastest growing and have the best tasting meat. I live in Florida so I know you have to have a permit to posess any Tilapia here, that is other than the Blue strain. The Blues have pretty much saturated the waterways and canals from about Central Florida South and therefore, Florida does not require a permit for them. :D

09-13-2008, 07:46 PM
I breed tilapia, currently as a serious hobby, but I'm planning to eventully make it a buisness.

There are several species and hybrids available. The most common are Nile tilapia, Mossambica Tilapia, and Auria Tilapia. Those are the pure strains. There is also a rare tiliapia called T. hororum that if crossed with the nile or mossambica will produce all male, or nearly all male offspring. Males are more desirable from a meat standpoint as they grow faster and larger. Females expend much of their energy in reproduction and so don't get as large. The offspring also compete with the parents for food and end up being a big drain on the system.

All male fry are the best thing you can get, and hybrids grow faster than pure strains. The problem with hybrids is that you need to buy new ones each time.

You also need to consider the temperature and salinity of your water. Mossambica and their hybrids need warm water and will only produce well at 80 degrees and up to around 95. Niles and Auria are more cold tolerant, and can deal with water in the low 70's.

Niles and Auria are big plant eaters. If you want to use duckweed to feed your fish, they should be your choice.

Red hybrids look good as un-skinned fish, but if you want to eat them yourself, it doesn't matter. The meat is all the same.

If you have cooler water, and want to grow your own food, the nile tilapia is what you should be looking into. If you plant on using commercial feeds and have brackish water the mossambicas hybrids are the best.

09-14-2008, 06:55 AM
Welcome Badflash and thanks for the informative post. Check out this website for some info that might interest you.


and keep up the good work


02-14-2009, 02:30 PM
Actually I work with Mike Sipe and raise his line of fish as well as a couple of my own.

02-14-2009, 07:41 PM
For quite sometime now....I have really wanted to try some of his Mike's stock but since Codi died, I've had no place to raise them....His wife sold the place and the new owners destroyed his house and everything else (whole aquaponices setup) we had worked on for years to create.

I raised tropicals in my younger days....even had some Egyptions and some Black Mozambiques mouth breeders with the white throat, Acaras, Angels and many others including Butterfly Koi....still have a 55 gal reg, a 45 gal tall and a number of 20s but nowhere to set them up currently. However, if all goes well, I will be purchasing a new house soon with a little over 2 acres and maybe I can get something going again. Won't be the same without Codi, but I know he'll be watching and cheering me on.

I hope to hear more from you as our resident expert on Tilapia and when I get ready to buy my fingerlings, I would just as soon get them from you as anyone else I know.... :D

02-14-2009, 09:52 PM
I am not familiar with your history. Mike has has a checkered past. I've only been working with him for under 2 years. I've learned a tremendous amount in that time.

Feel free to ask anything. I'll give what answers I have. I think tilapia are incredibly important to the survival of humans in the next 50 years.

02-15-2009, 06:57 AM
Thanks, but I'm not so concerned with how to care for them as I am at being able to get a strain that produces the most weight in the least amount of time and that I am able to probagate myself (the ability to produce all male offspring but also able to produce females for breeding stock when I need them) rather than continually having to go back to purchase more stock from someone else.

Also, I agree with you entirely....having been raised on a farm by my Grandparents where we produced everything we ate, if push came to shove as you see in some of the disaster movies produced in recent years, the population of this earth would be in drastic trouble trying to figure out how to feed itself especially those persons in large metropolitain areas who are lucky if they can figure out how to grow a flower in a pot.

02-15-2009, 08:01 AM
If you want to breed your own, go with Nile tilapia that have an improved body form (GIFT). If you grow them in cages that deny the females a flat bottom, they can't spawn. This allows the females to grow as large as the males. Periodically, pull out the best shaped and fastest growing fish as brood stock.

Keeping two separate species to produce hybrids is beyond what most people can do. These are large fish when grown, over 15". Keeping enough viable colonies requires lots of room and is not for the casual breeder.

02-16-2009, 07:55 AM
Cages to prevent breeding...fantastic idea and I can see it working like a charm.

02-16-2009, 08:28 AM
You can also put a bottom (AKA large flower pot) and hiding tubes (3-4" PVC pipes) in a cage with 1 male and 5 females. They will breed in the cage. When you get enough fry you can move the cage to another pool. You can also just leave them in the same pool and net out fingerlings when they get big enough to move to cages for grow-out. Green water helps with the fry survival. Juvies are cannibals.

02-20-2009, 10:24 AM

So if a person wanted to get a start of a good strain of Tilapia, would you be able to assist in that respect?

02-20-2009, 01:16 PM
I can help, depending on where you live. Tilapia species are restricted in many states. As an example, in California you can only keep mossambica, and they require a permit.

02-23-2009, 12:47 AM
I've been scouring the Internet for the past couple of hours, and I can't find anyone that sells fingerlings of Tilapia. If I do get into warm water fish, it will probably be Nile and/or Aruea Tilapia. I really don't think I want hybrid, however, if I did, I would probably look into the Chocolate that Mike Sipe has ....... according to his site, they would be the most meat for the buck. Most of the sites I found were either folks that want to sell breeders or farms that want to sell frozen fillets, neither of which will suit my purposes. Got any ideas or links to fish farms that sell fingerlings, preferably in small quantities?

02-23-2009, 10:41 AM
I have a nice strain of niles that are not hybrids. If you buy you want fry, not fingerlings. Fry cost a load less to ship and will be fingerlings in about 3 weeks.

Few people sell small quantities and they gear up for the major fish farmer local to them in the south.

02-23-2009, 10:30 PM
Fry is fine, I'll PM you when I get set up enough to start some in a 10 Gallon, when they get older, I'll move them to a 50 gallon Rubbermaid so they can grow out .... I'll have to save up for a heater now, (I just traded away a heater, because I had no use for it). :lol: :lol:

I'll need to educate myself concerning Tilapia, so I'll be scouring the Internet for that info ;) Thanks

02-23-2009, 11:05 PM
:o Have you looked here?


It's not the ultimate, but it's a start with all the basics. They are really just like any other aquarium fish. :mrgreen:

02-24-2009, 06:39 AM
:o Have you looked here?
They are really just like any other aquarium fish. :mrgreen:

On Steroids maybe :D