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I am wondering if anyone has stocked tilapia in their ponds and observed any results good or bad. Did you notice any size gain in your fish? Did you notice any difference in the amount of FA or plants growing in your pond? Anything you have observed I would love to hear about. Thanks, John

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John, lots of us have used them as a pretty good tool. They're not a magic bullet but I don't recall any negatives.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

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There are lots of threads here on many aspects of tilapia. Try this list.

http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=dosearch&topic=0&Searchpage=1

Last edited by ewest; 02/08/10 10:08 AM.















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Hmmm... that link isn't taking me anywhere ,but back to this page. Thanks

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JohnK, as Dave Davidson said, Tilapia are not a magic bullet, they are the closest thing to it for ponds though...It is all about your goals for your pond. The most used phrase on this forum is it all depends. It is also the most accurate phrase. I invite you to follow the link in my signature to an ebay listing. I have a rather long winded synopsis that is wriiten to be easily understood and provides a great deal of information as to what tilapia can do and why.

Every pond and every pond owner is different. Tilapia may be a perfect fit for you, they may not.



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I was wondering if tilapia coud be raised in a netted cage in my pond in MI.? I would love to add some to the pond but when the michigan cold comes I would hate to see them floating dead. I would like to raise them for food, I was wondering if in a couple warm months if they would grow big enough to make a meal?

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Pullo -

From hatch to harvest you need anywhere from 6-9 months of growout time. Closer to 6 months time with high protein food, ideal temps and good water quality. More time without those things.

A lot of people I sell to for small backyard systems buy fry or 1 inch fingerlings in the fall or winter, grow them out inside until spring and then cage raise, stock tank raise or release into their ponds (depending on what they are using them for). Buying fry or 1 inch fingerlings saves a ton of money on shipping and the fish themselves are much cheaper. However, some people don't have the time or desire to mess with raising their own out in this fashion, so they buy advanced size fish. Just keep in mind that when you are trying to produce some food fish for yourself at a reasonable cost, you really are best off starting with fry stock.


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So if I were to do this, I would raise them in a tank until the temps are right, then raise them in nets in the pond, then bring them back in in late fall when the temps drop. Might be a pain I guess, anyone try this technique?

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You harvest them in the fall and fill your freezer with them. You could retain a few for breeders if you felt like trying to breed them over the winter.


12 ac pond in NW Missouri. 28' max depth at full pool. Fish Present: LMB, BG, RES, YP, CC, WB, HSB, WE, BCP, WCP, GSH.
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What kind of setup would be needed to keep a couple over winter and raise some young


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weissguy you said 6 to 9 months from fry to frying pan, here in MI. I bet I could possibly obtain 4 months at the most of warm water to raise them, thats if it's warm! (last summer was cool for us so water stayed cooler longer.) So I would have to bring them inside to a set up for them to grow bigger.

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 Originally Posted By: lassig
What kind of setup would be needed to keep a couple over winter and raise some young


I hear they do fine in aquariums and you can even hatch some that way. I have a 330 gallon recirculating aquaculture system that I am using for bluegills this winter that would be more than enough space for a up to 100 pounds of them. Only thing is I would have to warm the water. My water in the system in the basement won't get above 62 F. which isn't warm enough for good bluegill growth either.


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






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Hey cecil baird1 could you send me a picture of your set up? sounds very cool.

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 Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
 Originally Posted By: lassig
What kind of setup would be needed to keep a couple over winter and raise some young


I hear they do fine in aquariums and you can even hatch some that way. I have a 330 gallon recirculating aquaculture system that I am using for bluegills this winter that would be more than enough space for a up to 100 pounds of them. Only thing is I would have to warm the water. My water in the system in the basement won't get above 62 F. which isn't warm enough for good bluegill growth either.


Thanks Cecil, thought so but didn't want to take it for granted. Sounds like a water heater is needed.


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 Originally Posted By: pullo
weissguy you said 6 to 9 months from fry to frying pan, here in MI. I bet I could possibly obtain 4 months at the most of warm water to raise them, thats if it's warm! (last summer was cool for us so water stayed cooler longer.) So I would have to bring them inside to a set up for them to grow bigger.


Rather than trying to finish them indoors in the fall (which would take massive amounts of space, equipment and work), grow out fry indoors beginning in the winter until temps are high enough in the spring to stock them in cages outdoors. You'll be stocking fish that are already 3-4 months old, which means a 4 month outdoor growing season wouldn't be a problem.


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Thanks for the input guys. Rainman i will read your ebay page. Thanks again

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 Originally Posted By: pullo
Hey cecil baird1 could you send me a picture of your set up? sounds very cool.


http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=195136&fpart=1

If you're interested you can get all the info you need by ordering the book Small Scale Aquaculture by Steven VanGorder for about $25.00 or less.

http://www.amazon.com/Small-Scale-Aquaculture-Steven-Gorder/dp/0967773202

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 02/10/10 11:19 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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The pond was in its 2nd season when i stocked them. first year was awful with green crap all over the surface each time i fertilized. that was my reason for stocking.


Here are the observations of the tilapia in my 3/4 acre pond:



i didnt have as much trouble with the green stuff after the tilapia.

the only young tilapia i saw were about 3/4" long, i guess they were being eaten as soon as they were hatched.

they ate pellet fish food like hogs!!

i was able to catch them on artificial jigs which made me worry that they were eating young bg.

my bass are skinny as a rail. didnt see any benefits for the bass, but seemed like the bg were growing super. maybe that was because the bg were eating the young tilapia? or the aquamax pellets.

the big dissapointment for me was that i was told at the end of the year i was going to be able to scoop up all of these slow swimming fish and have a great big fish fry..didnt happen!!! a day or 2 after the water got really cold, we had an exceptionally warm day, the water coming in the upper end was warmer and i was able to net about 6 or 7. the rest sunk and died i guess..since then i have seen a few floating dead.

with all this said, i might do it again if it is convenient for me to get some early in the spring. the only reason i would is because i am afraid that i may have green floating stuff troubles again...


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oh yea, you cant beat the prices of fillets at wal-mart..


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I'm going to up the amount of Tilapia that's stocked in my pond this year. My main goal is to reduce the FA in the pond, secondary goal is provide forage for the LMB. If I'm able to catch some towards the end of the year, all the better. I figure that I'd be spending the same amount of $$ on chemicals, so by having small Tilapia for the LMB to eat I'm $$ ahead as it is.


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Thanks for the input guys.

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Rather than start a new thread, I'll ask here. I stocked 8" HBS and 6" LMB last fall in a 4-5 acre pond that already had CNBG, RES, FHM from last spring. Would stocking Tilapia this spring , and at what size, be very advantageous or should I wait another year to get the most out of the Tilapia? du


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David,

I can't think of a good reason NOT to stock some tilapia this spring, at 10lbs per acre. Your bass should be large enough to take advantage of tilapia offspring. Our mix of 3"-8" mature mozambiques would be a good size to stock. We have Walter servicing the North Tx area now and he could bring you some or meet you with some tilapia boxed up.


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 Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1

If you're interested you can get all the info you need by ordering the book Small Scale Aquaculture by Steven VanGorder for about $25.00 or less.

http://www.amazon.com/Small-Scale-Aquaculture-Steven-Gorder/dp/0967773202


I FINALLY got my copy of the book. Been planning on getting it for about a year now. hehe. Tons of great info in there, though some is a bit dated. It's still worth every bit of the $20 I spent on it, and I've hardly even cracked the cover yet.


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John,

When I learned about using tilapia from this forum a few years ago, I didn't really expect anything, but gave it a try. We have a family run golf course in Franklin,Tn and I knew we were spending huge amounts of money on chemicals to fight algae problems in the ponds.

I was lucky enough to have an International Market in Nashville, which sells live tilapia for 3.49 LB. I bought 10 lbs the first year. In less than 90 days we took an acre pond that you could walk across because of FA to a fishable and pleasant to look at body of water.

Fast forward to last year. My brother contracts out to scuba divers to salvage golf balls. One day last summer my brother relayed this conversation he had with the diver. He said the diver came up after a short while underwater and asked what we were using on the pond. My brother had no clue what he was talking about and said what do you mean. The diver said he had never seen a pond stripped clean of FA like this and thought we had to be using some new powerful chemical.

I got such a kick out of that story because it cost less than 40 bucks for the whole year.

We have a couple of small ponds(1/4 acre or less) on the course also. As an experiment this past year I put in 5 fish (not lbs..fish) in each small pond. Now these are muck filled nasty bodies of water. The Only fish to survive each year are green sunfish (a staggering number)

By the time October rolled around, we had at least 4 identifiable generations of tilapia in the small pond. The most incredible part of our experience was the fact that the tilapia displaced the green sunfish in 1 season. From 5 fish to catching up to 3 lb tilapia in an overcrowded GS pond to me is unbelivable..but that is what happened.

In reference to fishing...Our 1-acre pond is somewhat unique. It sits less than 200 ft from the Harpeth River. We usually get a flood or two a year. I have logged 17 species of fish on rod and reel. I understand from this forum that this is not an ideal setup for good Bass fishing. I think the tilapia have helped. After a few years of 5 lb Bass or smaller, I finally cracked the 6 lb barrier last fall. It might have nothing to do with the Tilapia, however I believe it did.

I was worried the first few years about the die off in the fall and winter. Not anymore. In October-November I told my brother to look for dying tilapia. We have yet to see 1 dead tilapia in four years of use. The thing that got my attention last fall was the animal droppings around the pond. I am talking MOUNDS with fish scales stacked as much as 10" deep. We are fortunate to live in an area with great wildlife variety and believe me..they ate better than I did last fall.


Last edited by Hal Johnson; 03/08/10 05:27 PM.
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