Sunday, May 19, 2024

How to Start a Tilapia Fish Farm (Tilapia Culture) to Maximize Profits

For starting from zero, it is necessary to have proper knowledge about tilapia culture, the design of ponds or tanks, water, and feed management. Besides, it is necessary to have an adequate pond or tank design. This allows the efficient management of water. 

Your profit on this farming will depend on how well you can water the water quality. The tank where you grow them should have drainage for harvesting and maintenance.

Your farming success will be dependent on aeration and frequent or continuous water exchange.  Moreover, the quality of the feed will allow the fish culture to grow well.

The culture of Tilapia is currently a very profitable farming business. Two types of breeding are the most important: intensive and hyperactive intensive. We discuss the whole process below.

How to Start a Tilapia Fish Farm

Best tilapia species: Tilapia can be discovered in lakes, ponds, marine habitats, watercourses, estuaries, and seafaring conditions. They favor tropic conditions with water temperatures in the 25-30 ºC range. Some varieties can tolerate cold colds down to 8 or 9 ºC.

NameShort DescriptionReason/ Whether
Nile TilapiaThe ancient species from Egypt. After five to seven months at approximately 1-2 pounds.Anywhere,   Water type: Fresh lake water.
Blue TilapiaGain 2-4 pounds in a year.Northern Africa and the Middle East, USA, Part of Asia. Grow in cold temperature also   Water: Fresh and Saltwater
 Mozambique TilapiaCan reach over 2 pounds in a year.Can’t grow in cold or salty water.
AndersoniiThe best-tasting species with a small head. Suitable for cool-water culture.
“Abbassa’ and ‘Akosomb’Hybrid from Nile TilapiaGrow 30% faster.
 Rendalli Largely herbivorousAttractive for the aquaponics industry.
Monosex TilapiaHybrid. Grow very first in the pond twice a year.India, Bangladesh, South Africa, USA
GIFTGift variety has an 80% higher growth rate and a 50% higher survival rate.Across the world

Read Also: Feeding Methods for a Small Tilapia Fish Farm

Everything you need to know to grow tilapia

The primary and advanced things you need to know before starting to harvest are pointed down. Learning about this will help you to be a successful tilapia fish farmer. We try to discuss all the materials you will need to acknowledge. Let’s start by learning the basics.

The tilapia is native to Africa. There are about 100 species of this fish. Among them, a few other species have already been identified as cultivable fish, including the Nile and red tilapia. This is because they can produce more at shorter depth tanks in less time.

Where to Grow tilapia fish?

Grow tilapia fish possible in various conditions, including fish ponds, cages, raceways, and tanks. Residential producers have even started growing them in trash cans.

But if you like to grow tilapia fish for profit, you need a set of ponds or tanks. Depending on your budget, it could vary from 8 to 12 tanks or even more. However, you can have one backyard pond to start growing.

How fast tilapia grows:

It takes about eight months, which is thirty-two to thirty-four weeks, to reach 450-600 grams. Though, organic farming depends on many factors like food, weather, and care.

How to secure the profit:

To secure profit firstly, you have to understand the problems related to these farming methods. This is so important for starting up successful commercial farming. We have some issues on our farm.

The common causes of tilapia farming failures are:-

To many fingerlings: The tilapia fish is very productive in terms of breathing new baby fish. That may create unwanted situations. The female spawns about 200-1000 eggs after every 4-6 weeks. Do you afford that? To feed or grow?

There is a solution to this- Monosex Tilapia Farming Method, which allows us to farm only male tilapias.

Lack of nutrition: Generally, people do not have the proper knowledge of age-based food. We will give you the acceptable guideline on that.

Sell-related Problems: Again, this is a very commonly done mistake that most farmers misunderstood. As with any other fish, tilapia fish have quick growth stage and slow growth stages.

Ensure the quality of water and nutrients:

Water is one of the most important things. As you know, Tilapia can survive in dirty water. You don’t want to produce poisonous fish in your firm. Bacteria, viruses, pathogens, and other infectious organisms are harmful to the human body. So it will be wise to provide fresh water to your pond or tanks.

What’s about nutrients: General Food Cart for Tilapia. Divide the total amount of food needed with serving time. Make sure you don’t waste any feed.

Assumed-size of fishAmount of Feed per day /per fishApproximate Time after stokingTimes a Day
5-40 g1g1-2 month3-4
40-100g2-3g2-3 month3-4
100-400g3-4 g/fish3-5 month3
400+4-5 g/fish5 months +3

Read Also: Guide on How to Raise Tilapia Fishes for Profits

Tilapia Culture Pond Design [Make circular Container]

Tilapia fish pond

In an ideal farm model, you require eight circular ponds/tanks. In the cultivation systems, there are two types of aeration. These are vertical and horizontal. The first sheer creation goes from the bottom to the surface. This type of aeration gives to us by an apparatus. That is aquaculture called blower — this system is used in the first stages of cultivation.

Since you see the fish until they weigh 45 grams, this stage can store 180 to 200 tilapia fishes per cubic water meter. And, It is representing 14 to 16 thousand tilapia fishes per pound. This weight will require two additional tanks to the first one. In the second stage, between 85 and 100 animals are handled per cubic meter. This is where the horizontal aeration type is required.

Note: Circular tank pond is recommended, not essential.

Divide the container for better production:

For commercial cultivation, this is essential to ensure the fastest growth of Tilapia. If you have eight containers, with four of them, you could have a constant, uninterrupted production. So you can be steering profits approximately every month.

So, start with half of the pond/tank, then another month start another half in another, and so on. If you tried to increase the number of ponds, Still, it is in multiples of four.

In the Tilapia farming system, the fish depends entirely on feed. In this system, you do not need external aeration systems. Only an efficient water exchange when required.

The crucial point is that any of the two farming systems. It is essential to have a monosexual tilapia. Therefore, there is an unwanted reproduction. Since Tilapia is very early, and after two months, they begin to reproduce and could leave the producer far from profitability.

Standard tilapia fish tank / pond size:

Now, a pond should be 20 by 40 meters. The standard size is 800 square meters. The depth that we are going to have is 1 meter, 20 centimeters. It represents 960 cubic meters of water.


If we handled ten Tilapia per cubic meter, 9600 fish would be stored in this pond. The most important when growing tilapia fish is the balanced feed. It is estimated that 1.7 kilograms of food would give to harvest a kilogram of meat.

It is essential to know the ideal weight of harvested Tilapia is 500-600 grams. In the standard pond, we estimate to produce 4800 kg. That means a total of 9600 Tilapia which are 4800-5500 kilograms of product.

Note: The adult tilapia fish weight is between 1kg-4 kg. To achieve adulthood requires 2-3 yr naturally.   

Commercial Farm Setup

Initial Tank size for fly – 16 m x 3 m x 0.75 m.

The Final Tank size: Circular culture tanks 12 to 30 feet and 4 to 5 feet in dept. For others, the length to width to depth ratio should be 30:3:1.

Number of tanks – 4

Covered by fine hanging mesh.

Water PH Level

The pH level needs to be favorable for fish farming. If the pH level of the water is 8.5-9.0, it is convenient for fish farming.

If the pH is higher than 9.5, it is inconvenient for fish farming because free carbon dioxide is not available in this condition, so initial production can’t take place. On the other hand, a pH less than 7.5 is not good for fish farming as it reduces the appetite of the fish and reduces growth.

Dissolved Oxygen

There are different gases dissolved in water. Oxygen is the most important of them. Oxygen in water comes from the air and through the photosynthesis of the vegetable panton. The amount of oxygen for fish farming should be more than 3.0 ppm.

Carbon dioxide

If the amount of carbon dioxide in the water is high, the amount of oxygen will be less and hydrogen sulfide and other toxic gases are formed at the bottom. Without it, if the carbon-di-oxide in the water is high (20 ppm) the water becomes acidic.

Read Also: Broccoli Farming 101: Tips and Techniques for a Thriving Crop


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with over 12 years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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