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#202002 02/01/10 11:56 AM
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Anyone on here ever stocked Blues in NC if so what are your results/observations.

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Not in NC, but about the same latitude in Nashville.

Great fish. I've stocked both Mozies and Blues, Blues definitely more cold tolerant. I'd highly recommend as a general supplement, and also as source of late fall fattening for bass and large cats. When they do slow down, the predators have an easy time with them.

Great eagle attractant as well, they've learned to hang around in November to eat the tilapia that are too big for the bass and cats.

Specific questions?

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Thats great to hear, I have decided that tilapia will be the way to go. but i am kinda worried about the blues surviving and making a mess. The pond was frozen over today and my temp read 40 degrees in the shallow end under the ice but It doesn't freeze every year. Takled to a local dealer and said that blues were illigal here and I needed to "use his niles" I am checking into that with wildlife to see .

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Thats great to hear, I have decided that tilapia will be the way to go. but i am kinda worried about the blues surviving and making a mess. The pond was frozen over today and my temp read 40 degrees in the shallow end under the ice but It doesn't freeze every year. Takled to a local dealer and said that blues were illigal here and I needed to "use his niles" I am checking into that with wildlife to see if that is true. Do the Mozies eat algae well for you?

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I wouldn't worry about any tilapia surviving at our latitude as I've lost all of mine, whether "mixed" or blues, by the end of November. I'd check your local regs, however, as fact and logic aren't always the main consideration when it comes to regulation, especially of wildlife.

Stocked at fairly high densities, and especially if not fed, both species have been very helpful in controlling FA, IMHO, but a really complete control also will likely involve aeration, especially in really nutient rich environment.

One other word of advice: When you buy tilapia, whatever the species, specify that you want fish in the 1/2-3/4 lb range. Most sources sell by the pound, and you're much better off with a bunch of midsized fish rather than a lesser number of very large ones, for both breeding and algae eating purposes.

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GOPACK, NC State has done research on Tilapia. NCWRC has recommendations on their use. I have read much of this but determined it wasn't applicable to my pond so pretty much discounted it.
The NCWRC I remember recommended the "Red Tilapia & the Blue Tilapia, one for FA control & the other for slightly larger plant control, can't remember which was which.
Research the NCWRC site & possibly contact Skip Thompson maybe he can direct you where you want to go:

Skip Thompson
Extension Area Specialized Agent - Aquaculture
NC Cooperative Extension - NC State University
P.O. Box 308
Waynesville, NC 28786
828-456-3575
Email: Skip_Thompson@ncsu.edu
WorldWideWeb Site: http://haywood.ces.ncsu.edu/copubs/ag/aqua/trout/045


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Thanks I talked to Skip and he pointed me in the direction of my county agent so I will try him now. I am having trouble opening the pages on the WRC site about tilapia. I have emailed someone there on the legality of the blues and hope to hear something soon.

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http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/nreos/wild/fisheries/weed_mgt/grasscarp/bio_control.html

 Quote:



FISH AS BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS FOR AQUATIC WEEDS
For submersed aquatic weeds, herbivorous (plant-eating) fish are an attractive alternative to herbicides and other temporary methods of weed management. This type of biological control often requires less labor, fewer treatments, and less expense than other methods, and it has good potential for long-term management of aquatic vegetation.


Occasionally, the blue tilapia (Tilapia aurea) has been used to control algae, and the redbelly tilapia (Tilapia zillii) has been used to control aquatic macrophytes (coarser vegetation) in North Carolina. Because tilapia are tropical species and cannot tolerate water temperatures below about 50deg.F, they are unable to survive normal winter temperatures and have limited use for weed control in North Carolina. Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and several variants of this species (for example, Israeli carp) have also been used for weed control. In most situations, these fishes have not been very effective, as they are omnivorous (eat a variety of foods) rather than strictly herbivorous. In cases where they have been effective, most of the control has resulted from their habit of muddying the water while rooting in the pond bottom for food, rather than from the actual consumption of vegetation. The triploid sterile grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)is the primary fish used for the biological control of aquatic vegetation in the United States.


http://www.weedscience.ncsu.edu/aquaticweeds/ag-438.pdf
 Quote:
Tilapia. The tilapia are tropical species that
can suppress growth of aquatic vegetation
(such as filamentous algae) when stocked at
high rates (300 per acre). Two species of
tilapia have been considered for weed control.
The blue tilapia (T. aurea) feeds entirely
on algae (both planktonic and filamentous)
but does not readily consume submersed macrophyte
vegetation. The redbelly tilapia (T.
zilli) feeds primarily on submersed macrophytes
rather than algae. However, both species
reproduce rapidly and consume both the
vegetation and the small animals living in the
vegetation that are important food sources
for desirable fish populations. Therefore, use
of the tilapia may have unwanted environmental
consequences. Tilapia cannot survive
normal winter water temperatures in North
Carolina, however. This is a benefit from an
environmental standpoint, but annual restocking
is necessary unless a warm water supply
(such as thermal spring or power plant cooling
reservoir) is available as a refuge in
which the fish can overwinter.
Fish also may be seined in the fall before
the onset of cold weather and either harvested
for food or maintained indoors for restocking
during the next growing season. The loss of
fish in the fall when water temperatures are
too cool for survival may require the removal
and burial of large numbers of dead fish at the
end of each season. Usually, they will be
consumed by bass or predatory birds before
they die.


Last edited by Ric Swaim; 02/01/10 05:10 PM.

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Rainman and Weissguy are the two gentlemen that are experts on the use of Tilapia. I hope they chime in. Rainman sells and hauls Blue Tilapia while Weissguy carries I think Nile Tilapia.

Gentlemen?

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 02/01/10 11:50 PM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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I am curious if there is much of a difference between the two species of tilapia? Does one do one thing better than the other or are they about the same?


Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.
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 Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
I am curious if there is much of a difference between the two species of tilapia? Does one do one thing better than the other or are they about the same?


Yes but there seems to be some controversy on that. If Rex gets on here he'll tell you he doesn't always agree with the literature. I believe Rex believes his blues will chow down on whatever is available whether it be algae or macrophytes.

From what I've read I might have better luck with the consumption of my Chara with Red Tilapia.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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I really don't know. I have zero experience with tilapia. Just what I have read about them. Would be interesting to take two nearly identical ponds next to each other with a mess of duck weed, FA and other weeds growing in them and let blues go in one, and niles go in the other and see which species did the best job at eating the mess up.


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 Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
I really don't know. I have zero experience with tilapia. Just what I have read about them. Would be interesting to take two nearly identical ponds next to each other with a mess of duck weed, FA and other weeds growing in them and let blues go in one, and niles go in the other and see which species did the best job at eating the mess up.


Same here. No experience either. I'm not sure if I want to plant them in any of my ponds or not. I want them for algae and possibly Chara control but I don't want them competing with my bluegills and perch for invertebrates. I pellet feed but I do know my fish also eat natural food.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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CJ:

That's a good thought. My other neighbors pond gets covered with DW during the summer. There are no fish in it due to it drying up on occasion. It's maybe 30' x 50' and a couple feet deep at most. I'll ask him if I can throw a couple of Blues in there and see what happens.


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If it was legal in VA, I'd stock some tilapia... Makes no sense why it isn't legal, at least by permit since unless they're living in a nuclear plant cooling pond, they aren't going to survive a VA winter...


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 Originally Posted By: CJBS2003
If it was legal in VA, I'd stock some tilapia... Makes no sense why it isn't legal, at least by permit since unless they're living in a nuclear plant cooling pond, they aren't going to survive a VA winter...


Sadly some laws don't have to make sense to be on the books. You run into any absurd laws on the books in your police work?


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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Yeah, my personal favorite:

You can legally open carry a firearm into a bar that serve alcohol in VA. However, if you have a concealed carry permit, you cannot conceal carry a firearm into a bar that serves alcohol. Now that makes a lot of sense! If anything, I'd rather have the guy who had to pass the background check and got his CC permit carry the firearm in the bar. Not any old Joe slinging his pistol in the open on his hip. HAHA I am about as pro gun as they come but that just don't make sense to me...


Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.
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LOL@this thread.

You're right Cecil, Far too many "studies", and way too much of the literature on tilapia is simply BS, and you don't need to look very hard to see it. \:\( What will tilapia consume? From what customers have said, and what I have observed, dang near anything it can, if it gets hungry enough, including each other. IIRC, someone here tossed in an FA covered piece of cedar branch. They weren't surprised when a few minutes late all the FA was gone, but were more than surprised a week later to discover the branch had been eaten (perhaps they will chime in). Unfortunately, some of the best results seen, and some pretty dang funny stories can't be disclosed. It could cause...uhhh....issues \:\( \:o

Hopefully, at the end of this years stockings, there will be some hard, provable, data on what they can, can't, will, and won't do in a VERY wide range of observations. It's still in the very early stage, but I believe there are up to 100 ponds being set aside for this currently and hopefully it will all come to fruition.

Please forgive me for being a little vague, even a bit glib this time. IIRC, about one or two years ago, there was a pretty humorous thread that Dr. Frankenbruce and AaronM participated in, describing some Tilapia antics and attributes. ewest, can ya help a guy out? ;\)

Last edited by Rainman; 02/02/10 09:05 AM. Reason: worn down sourcing 10K tilapia---NOT blues
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From what I have found I think I can get the Blues with a permit and a possible inspection of my pond by wildlife to make sure they couldn't get into any other bodies of water. But I am still waiting to hear it from the horses mouth.
Ok if I couldn't get the blues would the niles be a viable option, how do they compare?

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GOPACK it's darn near impossible to get permitted in open waters in restricted states.....Fish fry can swim for miles in a quarter inch or less of water during a moderate-to heavy rain event.

There are some differences in ages before becoming sexually mature and also in primary diets between the 3 most common Tilapia, Nile, Blue, and Mozambique, but they are usually negligible. The main difference is cold tolerance. Niles, Moz, and hybrids of any of the T's will die anywhere from 52-58 degrees. Pure blues die at 45-48 degrees. Blues also become lethargic at a better time for being eaten and then turned into more lipids in the fish just before winter hits, especially for LMB. The temps that blues become lethargic nearly coincides with when LMB metabolisms have slowed considerably, but the feeding urge is still pretty high.

Just a cursory description.

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CJ, I have no experience with Tilapia but NCState has done extensive reasearch. I copied this quote from my above post:
 Quote:
The blue tilapia (T. aurea) feeds entirely
on algae (both planktonic and filamentous)
but does not readily consume submersed macrophyte
vegetation. The redbelly tilapia (T.
zilli) feeds primarily on submersed macrophytes
rather than algae.



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I have some Spotted Tilapia (T. Mariae) in an aquarium. They look a lot like Redbelly tilapia. They seem pretty bottom oriented. Im almost tempted to dump a bucket of pond muck in and see what happens, haha. Fortunately I don't have any duckweed or FA to test.

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 Originally Posted By: Ric Swaim
CJ, I have no experience with Tilapia but NCState has done extensive reasearch. I copied this quote from my above post:
 Quote:
The blue tilapia (T. aurea) feeds entirely
on algae (both planktonic and filamentous)
but does not readily consume submersed macrophyte
vegetation. The redbelly tilapia (T.
zilli) feeds primarily on submersed macrophytes
rather than algae.



Ric, these are the types of study "statements of fact" that really tick me off at the researchers. Saying Blue tilapia only consume algae is as false as it can be. I can't say the researchers observed them eating anything else, but they should highlight how the study was don and what was observed. My tilapia in aquariums are fed pellets, they eat them voraciously---they will not TOUCH algae in my tanks unless I stop feeding the pellets.
A study done at UC-Davis on T. Zilli and T Rendalli came to a conclusion that these observed tilapia would not consume any plants needing controlled in the Imperial Valley Irrigation Canals. The Researchers said they fish would not and CAN not consume the specific plants needing control and suggested other fish be tried.... Fast forward several weeks to when T. Zilli and T. Rendalli were ACTUALLY put into the Canals and the researchers had a damn hard time trying to explain why the tilapia not ONLY consumed the plants the study said they can't, they eradicated some of them....The OTHER problem with the researches CONCLUSIVE results, the tilapia had none of the matter in their digestive systems that the researchers concluded was what their main diet was....Go figure.


BTW. I have tried to find this study and the link no longer works and all links I have found return to the dead link.


My point is that TOO much research is pawned off as blanket facts for all situations and any evidence to the contrary is false. I don't doubt the accuracy or observations stated in 99.9% of these studies, but I want to smack them upside the head when they CONCLUDE that their observations will hold true in all situations---That is arrogance beyond belief.

Last edited by Rainman; 02/03/10 09:32 AM.
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Found this interesting from a NC power & light ( now progress energy) lake in NC
"The data indicate that the blue tilapia is an opportunistic feeder that will successfully utilize whatever food source is available. "
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a908429717&db=all

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Nice find, thats awesome.

That must be Lake Julian near Asheville. I actually thought thats what this thread was going to be about based on the title. I have to check that place out when it warms up and the Blues would be more active.

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