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#15970 11/14/06 09:36 PM
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I am really having a blast with this forum. Many years ago we used to raise the Tilapia in our fish tanks as a hobbyist. Tilapia if I remember correctly are a mouth brooder. They lay the eggs...the male fertilizes and the female carries the eggs in her mouth until they are of decent size fry. I remember the fry being so big that the mother fish had her gills poked out to expand her mouth. Here in Illinois it would not be smart for us to add them to our ponds since we have such a limited season to keep them alive. The pond owner would not know that this was going on because the female does obviously not eat while she is carrying her young.


Bullheads and Carp are the devil~
#15971 11/15/06 09:17 AM
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Illinois Longhorn,

Tilapia are a great pond fish. I'm not so sure about "Here in Illinois it would not be smart for us to add them to our ponds since we have such a limited season to keep them alive"

I'd like to maybe suggest some thoughts on the matter. When making a decision ask yourself...how much do I spend in time and money controlling FA each year? How much would it be worth to me to not use chemicals and still have an algae free pond? How much value would I place on a fish that can outproduce any other fish in terms of forage for predators in your pond(that's at optimum temps)? How much would it be worth to me to substantially increase my BG and/or other forage fish? How much value would you place on being able to have one of the absolutely healthest, best tasting fish fresh right from your pond?

Yes, the season is limited...more so for you than me, but if I was in your country, no question about it, I would stock them if even for only three months..but that's just me...and I believe Tilapia are the best pond management tool available to us today.

How long, during a typical year, are your water temps above 60 degrees?

p.s. let me add the above thoughts are the result of my experience and do not necessarily apply in general. Have to make that disclaimer or be jumped on. ;\)

#15972 11/15/06 09:40 AM
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This past year was a rare one...I would estimate that we had approx. 4 months of 60 degree or more water temps. I suppose it would not hurt to have them, however I do not think that any of the local suppliers carry them.


Bullheads and Carp are the devil~
#15973 11/15/06 09:44 AM
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Do the math...I did and it was shocking...but don't post it here or your sanity might be questioned. ;\) \:D

In four months, they can generate a staggering amount of forage. Also, I'm obviously not a weather expert, but we do seem to be in a general trend toward warmer winters. Maybe four months isn't a fluke?

#15974 11/15/06 09:16 PM
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I will totally agree with ML on this one. I have never seen so many BG of different sizes(multiple spawns) than this year. I have stocked Tilapia just during the last 2 years. They have made me a believer!


20 acres of trees & 3/4 acre pond.

"Home of the future Texas state HSB record for Private ponds"
#15975 11/16/06 08:23 AM
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BarO,

I've been wondering if there is a correlation between stocking Tilapia in a heavy predator based pond and increased top end size of the CNBG.

Have you seen your largest size CNBG increase since you started Tilapia? I definitely have...whereas I was routinely catching 10 inch CNBG, now we often catch 11 inch and even 12 CNBG and one that went at least 13 inches(had to guess on this one as it caught me without any measuring devices but it was the largest BG I have ever seen).

I've also commented on the cummulative effect of Tilapia in the past but just recently have been wondering about this possible correlation between continuing use of Tilapia and increased top end CNBG size. Your thoughts?

p.s. there is some rationale to this possible correlation, IMO....large, adult CNBG feed primarily on small minnows, in my ponds. Tilapia produce tons of small minnows. Seems possible there might be a correlation.

#15976 11/16/06 12:05 PM
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ML,
There has to be a correlation between the two. It is hard to put a finger on when I am not sure when the CNBG seem to top-out lengthwise. My BG have been in the pond 5 years......at what age do they "max out"?

My pond is the healthiest it has ever been. Coincidence....I think not.


20 acres of trees & 3/4 acre pond.

"Home of the future Texas state HSB record for Private ponds"
#15977 11/22/06 04:45 PM
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Has anyone ever tried to warm their pond using an outdoor wood burning furnace? Around here they are the popular choice for cheap heat. The furnace is made to heat water and pump it into the house, so it should be easy enough to route it into the pond instead. This might not be enough for Michigan winters, but in Texas you might get enough heat to prevent a die off.

http://www.centralboiler.com/

#15978 11/22/06 11:24 PM
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Tilapia are great, but don't over exaggerate their reproduction numbers and they die around 52 degrees. In existing ponds you need to stock 10 lbs. per acre to succeed, after the water temps are safely in the 60’s. If you have the opportunity, threadfin shad appear to be just as beneficial in my pond…plus, they they spawn earlier and don’t expire until it 10 degrees cooler. With that being said, I will restock tilapia annually, but it’s not cheap…threadfins could save you $100’s, they don’t always die, and reduce blue green algae as well...both species combined create phenominal growth for LMB, HSB, & CC from my experience. The best part about Tilapia is that they don't overload the biomass...each Fall, the dying fish are devoured by the predators who need the rich protein to overwinter. I'm convinced that the leading edge pond owner will have many stories & photos to share in the near future. A die off is beneficial for Tilapia due to their size...not so for the threadfin. What a combination !

#15979 11/23/06 06:46 AM
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So you buy some Tilapia, place them in the pond....What keeps predators from wiping them out in an existing pond? Does one need special structure/cover?

#15980 11/23/06 09:26 AM
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You need to get larger Tilapia than predators usually feed on. Last 2 years, I have put in 5-8" Tilapia with the majority(70%+) making it to the winter die-off. Use the same philosophy as if you were adding BG or HSB to an existing pond.

Good luck


20 acres of trees & 3/4 acre pond.

"Home of the future Texas state HSB record for Private ponds"
#15981 11/27/06 08:41 PM
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It also helps to stock your tilapia as late as May, as the water temps at that time promote better tilapia survival rates and quick spawns. Be careful...however, because they sell quick and you don't want to miss the boat.


It's ALL about the fish!
#15982 11/29/06 09:19 AM
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My new 4 acre pond has never been stocked, when should I introduce Talapia?

My plan is to put Fathead Minnows in sometime in late February, then CNBG and CC. Bass will be added around June, but that could chang based on the advice I get closer to that timeframe.

Will the fish benifit from Talapia this first year or would I be better waiting a year until they are larger?

I haven't heard of Threadfins before. What do they do that the Talapia and fatheads don't?

Thanks,
Eddie


Lake Marabou http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=139488&fpart=1

It's not how many ideas you have, but how many you make happen.

3/4 and 4 acre ponds.
#15983 11/29/06 10:34 AM
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I think the benefits of tilapia would be to an extent wasted during the first year bass are stocked - the LMB will be small and can chow down on FHM. Also, you are less likely to have large concentrations of algae (for the tilapia to eat/that would be unsightly) in a brand new pond.

I know TFS are much more likely to NOT be eliminated by predation than FHM (it's a virtual certainty that the FHM will be gone in a year or two), and that they will survive lower water temps than the tilapia (IIRC 42 deg for TFS vs. 55 deg for tilapia). I have gotten the impression that a population of TFS can be much harder to establish than tilapia.


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