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LWJ: I'd stock bluegill now with the shad, then next Spring stock your largemouth. Wait a year then use the tilapia once the bass get large enough to consume most of the ones that spawn. You won't believe how much spawn the tilapia put out and how much the bass like to eat them. They are a great forage fish for summer / fall bass. They fight well, especially if you fish them on 4 lb. line like you would bluegill. I don't think they fight lb. per lb. as hard as bluegill - but neither do bass..bluegill are amazing fighters..but don't compare to tilapia as far as a food fish.

Meadowlark: I stock my tilapia when the water reaches 75 degrees, so that they are planted after the largemouth spawn and also so that when I put them in they start spawning immediately. I stock 1/2 lb. tilapia as this is what is most readily available and also I would think most (guess 80%)they survive long enough to get a spawn off. They are pretty slow and stupid when they are stocked and move around in big schools with bass following them for the first day or so, until they learn that bass mean danger. With 3,000 lbs. / approx. 6,000 individuals stocked, I also have enough in the water on stocking for some safety in their numbers for better survival.

I have really seen my bluegill population soar this year. I did plant bluegill heavy last year and again this winter, but tend to believe that the tilapia are helping take the pressure off the bluegill.

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This is the link to the list of food items of tilapia Moss. from FishBase. Note that it does list some bony fishes including gams. and fish eggs and larvae. Mostly it lists inverts., plankton , etc. The list for blue tilapia also lists a bony fish but again mostly plant and zooplankton.

http://www.fishbase.org/TrophicEco/...enus=Oreochromis&species=mossambicus

https://www.fishbase.de/TrophicEco/...enus=Oreochromis&species=mossambicus

Last edited by ewest; 12/03/20 03:43 PM.















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Originally Posted by DaveB
I stocked tilapia at a rate of 10 lb. / acre two years ago in May and last year stocked at 50 lb./acre. I found very little results and not much spawning with 10 lbs., but a tremendous benefit with 50 lb. / acre. Spawning tilapia were everywhere and bass were right with them crashing on their spawn. My bass RW sky rocketed on bass over 15" from before tilapia at 89% - 105% to now all 120% - 135%. We are seeing and catching the fattest bass we have ever seen - and across the board on bass sizes.

This is a really old thread but this seems pertinent to anyone utilizing TP as forage source. We should keep in mind that the production of TP forage depends to a significant degree on the weight of females (total weight) introduced. Although one might presume that the sex is mixed 50/50 this is generally not the case. Generally, males dominate because they grow faster and there is enough cannibalism during the fry rearing stage to reduce female numbers relative to males. Compound this with Male weights that are 2 times as great as females (twice the weight correlates with only 25% increased length) and the 10 lbs/acres one is stocking may only be 3.3 lbs of females and that is IF the sex ratio is 50% females. In a case where females are 40% of the stocked number, the weight of females would only be 2 lbs/acre.

It is even possible, particularly if one has a small pond, that his stocking of TP is entirely comprised of males and no reproduction occurs at all.

Increasing the stocking weight will typically increase the weight of females. The weight of females is important because the number of eggs per spawn is highly correlated with weight. In depends in part on the species but generally is >2000 and <4000 eggs per lb female per spawn. Given only a small percentage survive the first month when they are 1" in length the production of significant numbers of prey depends on having enough weight of females.

Last edited by jpsdad; 12/03/20 11:55 AM.

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Anyone with interest , current or future , should read the following link (aquaculture link). Fascinating basic stuff.

For example "... Under
good growing conditions in ponds,
the Mozambique tilapia may reach
sexual maturity in as little as 3
months of age, when they seldom
weigh more than 2 to 4 ounces (60
to 100 grams). "

In all Oreochromis species the male
excavates a nest in the pond bottom
(generally in water shallower than 3
feet) and mates with several females.
After a short mating ritual the
female spawns in the nest (about
two to four eggs per gram of brood
female), the male fertilizes the eggs,
and she then holds and incubates the
eggs in her mouth (buccal cavity)
until they hatch. Fry remain in the
female’s mouth through yolk sac
absorption and often seek refuge in
her mouth for several days after they
begin to feed.
.

This increases tilapia survival enormously through the first days -( a survival adaptation) .

"Under good growth conditions,
1-gram fish are cultured in nursery
ponds to 1 to 2 ounces (20 to 40
grams) in 5 to 8 weeks and then
restocked into growout ponds. In
monosex growout ponds under
good temperature regimes, males
generally reach a weight of 1/2
pound (200 + grams) in 3 to 4
months,
1 pound (400 + grams) in
5 to 6 months,"


https://srac.tamu.edu/fact-sheets/serve/53
















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Originally Posted by ewest
Anyone with interest , current or future , should read the following link (aquaculture link). Fascinating basic stuff.

For example "... Under
good growing conditions in ponds,
the Mozambique tilapia may reach
sexual maturity in as little as 3
months of age, when they seldom
weigh more than 2 to 4 ounces (60
to 100 grams). "

This could be rephrased as :

Quote
"... Under
good growing conditions in ponds,
the Mozambique tilapia may reach
sexual maturity in as little as 3
months of age, when they seldom
longer than 4.5 to 5.5 inches ...

MOZ TP are unique among the commonly used TP in this way. They produce a reproducing generation. What is more the onset of sexual maturity slows their growth right at or just before the optimum prey lengths for trophy bass

Quote
"Under good growth conditions,
1-gram fish are cultured in nursery
ponds to 1 to 2 ounces (20 to 40
grams) in 5 to 8 weeks and then
restocked into growout ponds. In
monosex growout ponds under
good temperature regimes, males
generally reach a weight of 1/2
pound (200 + grams) in 3 to 4
months, 1 pound (400 + grams) in
5 to 6 months,"

These aren't MOZ TP. They are Nile and Blues will approach this. This way too big to be forage and large bass trying to swallow them could die. The MOZ TP are superior forage. They are more fecund too. Much better than Nile and Blues IMO.

Last edited by jpsdad; 12/03/20 10:39 PM.

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What with the recent cold snap, has anybody had a tilapia die-off?


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Keep an eye out for Eagles and Osprey along with otters when the Tp start slowing down and swimming at the surface. They seem to show up at my place around this time of year.


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Originally Posted by anthropic
What with the recent cold snap, has anybody had a tilapia die-off?


HaHaHa, ours happened in late October.


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Anybody have any idea where to find Mozambique tilapia in the SC, east Georgia area this spring? My normal fish guy said his are "Blue Nile" tilapia. I'm guessing a hybrid. I'd be more comfortable with the less cold tolerant tilapia.

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The blue tilapia hybrids do not tolerate as cold of water as the pure blue tilapia. If your pond ever gets any ice cover the blue hybrids will definitely not survive your winter conditions. All you have to do is periodically as in every two weeks this winter check your pond water temperature this winter. If it drops below 48F the hybrid blues are dead. Checking periodically all winter gives you a good idea how much lower the water temperature gets this winter. I am predicting your pond water will be in the 39-40F range as its low temperature. Report back and give us your low water temp measurement. We will see how far I miss the 'mark'.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 12/05/20 03:21 PM.

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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
The blue tilapia hybrids do not tolerate as cold of water as the pure blue tilapia. If your pond ever gets any ice cover the blue hybrids will definitely not survive your winter conditions. All you have to do is periodically as in every two weeks this winter check your pond water temperature this winter. If it drops below 48F the hybrid blues are dead. Checking periodically all winter gives you a good idea how much lower the water temperature gets this winter. I am predicting your pond water will be in the 39-40F range as its low temperature. Report back and give us your low water temp measurement. We will see how far I miss the 'mark'.

Will do. It was around 64 degrees last week but this cold snap we've had must have dropped it down a bit. I haven't checked it since. [EDIT] Checked it after cold snap and it's down to 55 degrees.

My other concern with his fish are he said they will average 5 to a pound. How many do you think I should put in to keep them from being an expensive snack?

Last edited by crimsondave; 12/06/20 07:51 PM.
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crimson dave,

5 to a pound is ~5.5". Some think that LMB don't become interested in prey until they 25% the length the LMB or longer. On the other hand, data accumulated from many state DOWs suggest that the mean length by frequency is 18% the length of LMB. These data are collected from the stomachs of LMB during sampling. The first standard deviation (68.2% of prey samples) lies between 1/6 and 1/5 the length of the LMB. Two standard deviations (95.4%) lie between 1/10 and 1/4 the length of LMB. The weight of the 4.6% remaining prey samples is concentrated in prey larger than 25% the length of the LMB. So there isn't a lot probability, according to these extensive statistics, that LMB smaller than 22" will be eating them. But a 22" incher could and might if 4" prey were in short supply or if the TP were in a weakened condition when released. It would be helpful to acclimate them for a day or two OR ... just to be sure possibly grow them to 6 or 7 inches in a cage or behind a blocking net before releasing to the pond. Few of your fish will target the stockers if prey of the most appropriate sizes are available and smaller than the stockers.

With regard to cold hardiness, I think it is worth testing the MOZ which is less cold hardy. It's offspring are capable of reproducing at 3 months age. Also, they are the most fecund and generally produce around 4000 eggs per pound of females. The season may only be a couple of weeks shorter (in terms of spawning) for them than Niles and/or blues. It depends on your focus, but if its forage that your are after, you should try the MOZ if you can obtain them.

Last edited by jpsdad; 12/05/20 09:08 PM.

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