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I am involved in the management of a 100 acre lake in East Texas. We have a problem with filamentous algae along the shoreline and are considering stocking tilapia as a control measure. I know the tilapia will be a good addition to the forage base but the algae control is our main interest. Do they really work?

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Yes.

Tilapia are overwhelmingly reported to be very effective at reducing FA in ponds. Reading threads here at the forum, one almost gets the idea that the majority of ponds in Texas now stock Tilapia each year (it's quite likely a majority of the Texas PMs here at the forum do indeed use Tilapia).

Recommended Spring stocking rates for adults run around 5-10 lbs per acre, depending on the severity of the problem and whether or not the pond is fed (pellet-eating Tilapia consuming slightly less FA than fish in unfed ponds).


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Last year I had Tilapia and not a hint of FA. This year I couldn't get any and my pond is full of it. I think grass carp will help keep it down if they don't have much else to eat.


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 Originally Posted By: jdfish
I am involved in the management of a 100 acre lake in East Texas. We have a problem with filamentous algae along the shoreline and are considering stocking tilapia as a control measure. I know the tilapia will be a good addition to the forage base but the algae control is our main interest. Do they really work?


jdfish, the folowing photos are about the best answers I can give you:













N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




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George I did not know you stocked flying fish !!

To late to stock them this year in NE Tex.
















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 Originally Posted By: ewest
George I did not know you stocked flying fish !!






N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




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what is that saying a picture is worth a 1,000 words. It still gets me mad with all of our FA probelms and GA DNR not allowing us to stock them.


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We find that 90% of the folks stocking tilapia for algae control end up back again for tilapia the next year. It's a sign to us that they work most of the time. Stock your tilapia in late April/Early May to avoid possible late frost stress or mortalities. Tilapia stocked at 5-10 lbs/acre must reproduce and recruit high numbers of offspring successfully in order to give you the algae control that you desire, especially if the algae growth is significant and already established by the time tilapia are stocked.

Hope this helps.


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For those who can't stock Tilapia do to regualations or because it is just too cold like up here in NY I would suggest that you try pond die.
We had a terrible problem with FA last year. This year my pond expert at catskill pond, Scott Trava had me use blue/black pond die. Even with the harsh drought we had this year we had no FA at all.

The theory on this is that he die reduces the light penetration enough to disrupt the growth cycle of the FA. For the less than $50 cost of the die per acre of pond size I would recommend you give it a try. I know we will use it again next spring.

It is non toxic and does not stain people or pets that swim in the pond once it is diluted.

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Tuzz, I hope you realize that the dye that blocks sunlight to prevent FA also blocks the energy need for phytoplankton production. Thus you have greatly diminished the production of the base of the food chain. Good and bad in all it seems.


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I have to also say the Tilapia definatly eliminate FA. I put 24 good size Blue Tilapia into the pond basically covered with FA. Maybe it also died, maybe the areation helped to but within 1 week I saw a differnce I would say 3 weeks it was mostly gone.

My surface water was 46 in the morning yesterday, around noon I went looking for them. There still alive.... I saw a few sunning themselves. They got very big some look to be at least 2-3 pounds. I am wondering if the ground water is warm enough to get them threw the winter? I have read Blue Tilapia handle down to 48 degrees. That would be great.


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Joey here in North Texas my tilapia generally die after Thanksgiving.

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I will add that my Tilapia have not made it past the 15th of December the last 2 years. When the water temp gets to 50 degrees it doesn't take long.

Joey, a most of the 6"ers I put in early May are now 16"ers that are pushing 3#s.


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I have used tilipia for algae control in NE Kansas. If you can get them stocked at the right time of year and at around 10 pounds to the surface acre, they work pretty well. They are a no go in Nebraska, but we may be a tad to far north.

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We did some work down in Brazil a couple years ago where we saw ponds wiped clean of vegetation by tilapia. They are pretty amazing.

At the same time, I wonder about the future of centrarchids in southern states that have feral tilapia. They scare me.


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