Monthly Archives: October 2011

CCRES Aquatic pond plants

Butterhead Lettuce / Boston
Boston Green
Butterhead Lettuce / Boston
Boston Red
European Type Leaf Lettuces
Green Oakleaf
European Type Leaf Lettuces
Red Oakleaf
European Type Leaf Lettuces
Lollo Bionda
European Type Leaf Lettuces
Lollo Rosa
European Type Leaf Lettuces
American Type Leaf Lettuces
Curly lettuce
American Type Leaf Lettuces
Green Romaine COS
American Type Leaf Lettuces
Red Romaine
New Lettuce Types
Greenleaf Salanova
New Lettuce Types
Redleaf Salanova
New Lettuce Types
Mix Grown
Dark Basil
Chinese Cabbage
Cherry Tomatoes
African Violet
Dutch Bulbs
Holiday Cactus
Easter Lily
and many more…
part of

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Practices and guidelines for starting a successful aquaponics operation

CCRES Aquaponics

An informational video about Aquaponics, the practice of combining fish farming and hyrdoponics. The program is an introduction to the recommended practices and guidelines for starting a successful aquaponics operation . The video was supported by Purdue Extension, NOAA, & Sea Grant Illinois-Indiana.
More info at:

part of

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Organic vegetables can be grown highly efficiently in the nutrient rich pond water.

CCRES Aquaponics

Aquaponics is simply the combination of aquaculture
(growing fish in water) and hydroponics (growing plants
in water). Just add water…

A simple idea, borrowed from nature, but with extraordinary results
for modern gardeners:

  • 90% less water used than for a conventional garden.
  • 5 times the plant growth rate of a conventional garden.
  • Fish can be grown for the plate or kept as pets.

How Aquaponics works

It is actually a very simple, and very natural idea – plants and fish
growing symbiotically in a closed system.

  • Fish live in the fishpond/tank.
  • The water from the pond, enriched with fish waste, is used to
    feed plants in separate grow beds.
  • The plants, along with healthy, naturally occurring bacteria,
    clean the water.
  • The water is delivered back to the fish, being oxygenated along
    the way.

Organic vegetables can be grown highly efficiently in the nutrient
rich pond water.

Fish, yabbies, mussels etc can be grown in the closed system
providing a constantly renewable food source – and they are
interesting to watch as well.
No chemicals, no fuss, just fresh fish, herbs and vegetables.


Q: How do aquaponic systems work?
A: There are many types of aquaponic systems, but here are the basics (media-based)
– Fish are grown in tanks or ponds, nutrient rich water from the pond is pumped into grow beds,
– The grow beds are filled with media (gravel or expanded clay) which allow the growth of beneficial bacteria
– Plants grown in the media use the good bacteria in the water which has been converted to nitrate by the bacteria
– Water, now cleaned of nutrients, is drained back into the pond and as grow beds empty, the roots are oxygenated.

Q: What plants can be grown in an aquaponic system?
A: Nearly every plant and herb grown in soil, including fruit trees, have been successfully grown in aquaponic systems across the world, from everyday herbs and veges to cactus and aloe vera, citrus trees, passion fruit and even mushrooms
– pond plants and edible water plants can also be grown in your pond/tank. Note however these will take nutrients away from the grow beds
– most importantly grow what you like to eat.

Q: What type of fish?
A: Silver perch, jade perch, barrumundi and trout are the most common edible fish in Australian aquaponics systems,
– gold fish and koi are popular ornamentals, we recommend a few goldfish (feeder fish) until your system fully cycles
– Yabbies, mussels, shrimp are a great addition.
– you will need to consider your climate when choosing fish and keep a low stock until your system has to properly cycled and built up enough beneficial bacteria , and you are confident in your understanding of aquaponics.
– You don’t have to eat your fish, just make the most of the poo for growing herbs and vegetables.

Q: What fish food?
A: Aquaculture pellets are the most popular fish food,
– worms, black soldier fly larvae, duck weed and algae are more sustainable options but harder grow in large enough quantities

Q: How long until an aquaponic system is productive?
A: Systems take a good month to cycle and for the good bacteria to build up
– Seasol and worm juice can be added to provide the plants with more nutrients
– it can take a couple of months or so for the plants to thrive
– do not add too many fish until the system has cycled properly
– once good bacteria has matured the system will remain highly productive for years to come

Q: Ponds and aquaponics?
A: Ponds can be easily retrofitted to an aquaponic system with the addition of a grow beds.
– ponds must be lined, rather than earthen, as soil will affect the biology
– you don’t need silver perch and other edible fish, as ornamental fish are just as suitable in providing nutrients to the grow beds, grow beds will also keep the pond water clear
– ponds are often subject to sunlight, so make sure there are places for the fish to hide,
– remember ponds plants will take some of the nutrients from the grow beds and regularly check pump flow rate to ensure leaves don’t clog your pump.
– don’t panic if your pond appears green after a lot of sunlight, especially if your grow bed bacteria has not matured

Q: Is aquaponics complicated?
A: Basic systems are easy to use and lower stocking rates are quite safe, with limited instructions
– as you read and become more experienced, and your good bacteria matures you can start increasing fish stocks
– when you become addicted you can incorporate more complicated systems.

Want to know more about aquaponics? buy a book… or refer to these great Australian websites.

Joel Malcom – “Backyard Aquaponics”
www.backyardaquaponics.comJoel was one of the earliest practitioners of aquaponics in Australia, promoting discussion around the world on creating DIY systems.

Joel also sells books, DVD, aquaponic kits and components

Based in Western Australia

Murray Hallam – “Practical Aquaponics”
One of Australia’s leading experts and promoters of aquaponics. Murray’s books DVDs and presentations have inspired the world

Murray sells a wide range of books, DVDs, components and kit systems

Based in Queensland

Shannida Herbert and Matt Herbert Shannida and Matt Herbert – “Aquaponics in Australia”
The #1 best selling book on aquaponics and includes instructions on how to build your own system,
technical aspects of aquaponics are explained in layman’s terms.
great overview of aquaponics on there website

Based in New South Wales

aquaponic solutions Aquaponic Solutions – Dr Wilson Lennard
The leading expert on aquaponics in Australia, he has a PhD in Applied Biology (focussing on aquaponics), and has developed “SYMBIOPONICS™” which scientifically quantifies aquaponics systems.
Dr Wilson specialises in commercial aquaponic systems.
I highly recommend his Backyard System Design Tool, to optimise your backyard system (let us know your results)

Based in Victoria

Would you like to know more about aquaponics or our custom designed systems?
Contact us :

part of

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



Murray Hallam of Practical Aquaponics

Murray Hallam

Dinner Keynote Tales of Aussie Aquaponics. Backyard aquaponics has been exploding in Australia, and Murray has been in the middle of most of it. He will relate some of his favorite stories as an aquapon down under.

Sunday “Morning with Murray” – Murray will hold an informal, question and answer session. Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to get your questions answered by the master himself!

Murray Hallam is probably the most well known face in the world-wide aquaponics movement. He discovered aquaponics in 2006, and immediately put his fiberglass and boat-building skills to work to build and sell aquaponics systems and equipment through Practical Aquaponics in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. He is perhaps best know over here, however, for his outstanding aquaponics video series: Aquaponics Made Easy, Aquaponics Secrets, and the recently released DIY Aquaponics.

Click here to watch Murray in action

Susanne Friend of Friendly Aquaponics

Susanne Friend

Luncheon Keynote – What Aquaponics Can Do For Humanity – According to the FAO, an estimated 40% of the damage humans do to the environment is through our current methods of food-production. We face severe shortages and major depletion in many critical areas: arable land, water. energy, and fertilizers. Frightening food safety issues arise from agri-business corporate giants. Aquaponics is the answer, bringing safe, healthy food production into the hands of everyone, everywhere. How do we decentralize, relocalize, and create the viral spread of self-sufficiency through our day-to-day work as aquapons? Let’s create the vision, together.

Susanne Friend is the founder, owner and director of Friendly Aquaponics, the first commerial aquaponic venture to achieve both food safety and organic certification. Along with husband Tim, Susanne’s passion for aquaponics has transcended into crusading for the dismanteling of the industrialization of our food supply and facilitates this by helping others learn how to be self sustaining by sharing her aquaponic knowledge and experience. Susanne is the mother of four beautiful children and holds degrees in Biology and Chemistry.

Click here to watch a video about Susanne and Friendly Aquaponics

Charlie Price of Aquaponics UK

Charlie PriceAquaponics and Integrated Approaches to Energy, Food & Waste – Charlie Price will inspire us with an insider view of just some of his amazing projects with Aquaponics UK and it’s partnership with Sterling University. From winning the People’s Millions Award for his Moffit CAN “tasty waste” campaign to building the largest urban farm in Europe to designing a greenhouse system to feed the family of four from their wastes for The Future Family prime time documentary series, you will be astounded at how many ways sustainable aquaponics can be applied.

Charlie Price is the founder of Aquaponics UK, a social enterprise organization based at the Institute of Aquaculture in Stirling. Aquaponics UK provides support for the development of ecological farming systems. Charlie became obsessed with fish at the age of 4 and went on to do a degree in freshwater biology, followed by a masters in Aquaculture and then 5 years of PhD research focusing on integrated fish-vegetable systems and the effects of pesticides. However in 2007/2008 he became disillusioned with academia, and focused his time and energy on developing practical solutions and the idea for Aquaponics UK was born. During the last 3 years they have supported a diverse range of projects across the globe, some of which will be discussed further in his presentation.

Click here to watch a video of Charlie’s TEDx talk on Aquaponics – Getting More Out of Less
Click here to see photos of Charlie’s Farm Shop Project

Sylvia Bernstein of The Aquaponic Source

Sylvia BernsteinConference Opening – R&DIY (Research and Do-it-yourself)– The concept of community and open source innovation has been fundamental to the advancement of aquaponics. This conference is really a celebration of that spirit.

Sylvia is the president of The Aquaponic Source and she runs the Aquaponic Gardening Community. She is also the author of “Aquaponic Gardening: A Step by Step Guide to Growing Fish and Vegetables Together” to be released at this conference! Before aquaponics, she was the VP of Marketing and Product Development at AeroGrow International, where she was one of the founding team members.

Click here to read Sylvia’s Aquaponic Gardening Blog

Gina Cavaliero of Green Acre Organics

Gina CavalieroModerator: Future of Aquaponics panel – The catalyst for this conference was a discussion that took place in January of this year on the Aquaponic Gardening Community and centered around a dissertation entitled The Future of Food and Farming. In this panel discussion, Gina will look to industry leaders to help explore the role and potential of aquaponics in the future of food and farming.

Gina Cavaliero is one of the founders and part of the dynamic growing force behind Green Acre Organics, one of the first commercial aquaponic farms in Florida. At Green Acre, Gina manages farm operations, their Green Acre Organics For You! produce club and also their aquaponic training program, where entrepreneurs are taught how to replicate the Green Acre model and operate the Mom and Pop hybridized aquaponic farm. Gina serves as the inaugural Chairman for the Aquaponics Association and is dedicated to the mission of advancing aquaponics for her fellow members and industry. Before becoming an aquaponic farmer, Gina was the owner and managing director of a multi-million dollar construction contracting firm. Now along with farming, she is a certified Natural Hoof Care Practitioner. Gina received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida in Anthropology with a minor in Education.

James Godsil of Sweet Water Organics


James GodsilIndia and Aquaponics Collaboration Possibilities – This discussion will identify opportunities to advance aquaponics in a nation with severe food security challenges and substantial resources that could enable its millions of small farmers and urban citizens to take advantage of the information and support the emerging world aquaponics community of practice has to offer. Internet connectivity seen as first step, followed by vision of on-site world aquapon visits to launch demonstration projects in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and the beautiful regions along the Arabian Sea from Mubai to the southermost cities of the Indian peninsula.

James Godsil is the co-founder of Sweet Water Organics, Inc. and the Sweet Water Foundation, vice-president of SWO and president of SWF respectively. His was a board member of Growing Power from 2005-2010. He was a doctoral candidate Political Economics and a National Science Foundation and Fulbright Fellow. He is the founder of the Milwaukee Renaissance On Line Magazine, the founder and President of the Community Roofing & Restoration since 1975 and the Milwaukee Entrepreneur of the Year 2010. He was recently part of the State Department American Speakers Program for India regarding Innovations in Urban Agriculture and Aquaponics.

Hans Geissler of Morning Star Fishermen

Hans Christian Geissler Aquaponics on a Mission – “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day teach him to raise fish and vegetables and the whole community eats” Join Hans as he discusses aquaponic approaches for mission work abroad.

Hans Christian Geissler was born in war torn Germany In 1941. His personal struggles with hunger set a coarse for his life. Hans served in the French foreign Legion in Africa before coming to America where he started several successful business. Hans designed and manufactured thousands of sailboats and competed in sailing regatta around the world. In 1993 Hans founded Morning Star Fishermen a humanitarian organization designed to train others how to experience life with a sustainable food supply.

Tim Mann of Friendly Aquaponics

Tim MannHow to Set Up a Mini Fish Hatchery – Every aquapon that enjoys the protein source, the fish, from their system must deal with the inevitable dilemna of how to replace what has been harvested. Learn tips on how to have successful hatchings and insure that you can keep your stock going and growing!

Tim Mann is the technology side of the higly successful Friendly Aquaponics commercial operation. With a background in both architecture and boat building, Tim who at 17, sailed away from home in a boat he made with his own hands and earnings, value engineered the current UVI system to transform it into what is now the efficient Friendly AP raft system. Tim continues to do extensive research and development to further improve DWC technology and is also engaged in a Biogas project that will power part of the farms electical needs. Along with Jiu Jitsu, Tim enjoys making swords and knives, jazz drumming, surfing, and sailing.

Aleece Landis (TCLynx) of AquaponicLynx

TCLynxHow to Plumb it all together. Hooking up or modifying your systems from simple to mixed, tips and tricks to keep everything flowing properly.

Aleece Landis, more commonly known as the hands on aquaponic expert TCLynx, has been enthralled with Aquaponics since 2007. TC learned much of her aquaponic know how engaging in all kinds of forums and online communities and now is one of the “go-to” people on many sites. Aside from helping all levels of aquaponic enthusiasts,TCLynx also devotes her time to duckaponics, permaculture and her Helping Families Grow Food project for her company, Aquaponic Lynx, LLC.

Ann Forsthofel Former Director of the Portland, Oregon Farmers Market

Ann ForsthoefelFarmers Markets From an Insiders View Tips for optimizing your sales at a farmers market. How to best display, pricing concepts, and promotion.

Ann Forsthoefel’s varied work experience has given her deep roots in her life’s passion – the development of local, sustainable food systems. In 1998 Ann was Executive Director of Naropa University’s Hedgerow Sustainable Education Center in Boulder, CO where she developed educational, business and community outreach at the 20-acre offsite campus. From there, she joined, Colorado-based AeroGrow International, a start up that developed the AeroGarden. Relocating to Portland, Oregon she served as the Executive Director of Portland Farmers Market under her leadership it was recognized as one of the best markets in the world. She currently creating her first aquaponics commercial business and transforming the town into one of the most resilient food cultures in the nation. Ann holds a MA in Sustainable Leadership from Antioch University McGregor in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She also is a certified Permaculturist and has received a Certificate for Coaching for Authentic Leadership from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.

Rob Torcellini of Bigelow Brook Farms

Rob Torcellini

Greenhouses and Automation (or “How to Pimp-out Your Greenhouse and Make it Totally Wicked”) – Rob will discuss the up’s and down’s of growing within the confines of a greenhouse and measures taken to maximize plant yields. He will also cover some automation and monitoring solutions to help minimize the labor needed for greenhouse growing.

Rob Torcellini owns and operates Bigelow Brook Farm, LLC which is an active farm as well as a technology consulting and design company focusing on controls and automation in agricultural and light-industrial industries. Bigelow Brook Farm also produces expanded shale, a lightweight growing media that is used in the hydroponic and aquaponic markets. He is also the Director of Information Technology for Iwaki America, Inc. which manufactures industrial-grade metering & magnetic drive pumps and commercial controllers.

Click here to see a video of Rob’s greenhouse that has had almost 165,000 views!

Raychel Watkins of HappyPonics Farm

Raychel WatkinsMy Life with the WWOOFers – Raychel will talk about what they are, what they do, what they have to put up with, what you have to put up with. She will explain how they can be a great experience and a great asset if you are a commercial farm.

Raychel is a semi-retired Medical Laboratory Scientist in Hawaii who has been into aquaponics for about 3 years. For ten months of that time she has been helped on her 1.79 acres by WWOOFers (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, formerly known as: Willing Workers on Organic Farms). She has a Masters in Biology from University of Nebraska at Omaha

Click here to see a video shot at Raychel’s incredible property

Molly Stanek of Imagine Aquaponics

Molly StanekInsect Control in Aquaponic Systems – Growing food in aquaponics systems requires going beyond the organic standards when it comes to insect control. Learn how to prevent, identify and manage insect damage in your indoor or outdoor system. Vivid macro insect photography and video will show the lifecycle of the most commonly encountered pests as well as beneficial predatory bugs. Prevention and treatment strategies will be outlined, including specific product recommendations and reviews.

With an educational background in biological sciences, education, and ceramic and fiber arts, Molly enjoys online and print research, macro insect photography and growing organic produce to share with her pet house rabbits. Formerly of Sweet Water Organics, she is currently developing sustainable and innovative food production solutions as partner in Imagine Aquaponics.

Jesse Hull of Imagine Aquaponics

Jesse HullLighting for Aquaponic Systems – This presentation will discuss the use of solar & artificial lighting by referencing past, current, & innovative methods. A focus will be held on the efficient use of energy by detailing plant-specific requirements, proper selection & positioning of lighting components, and implementations such as automated movers, air/water cooling, and heat transfer systems.

Jesse Hull possesses nearly 20 years experience in integrating hydro-organics, bio-filtration, horticultural lighting, and energy recycling into healthy sustainable food production systems. As former Horticultural/ R&D Director of Sweet Water Organics and current partner of Imagine Aquaponics, Jesse is working to establish commercial facilities in strategic areas through a continued focus on urban farm and aquaponic design consultation.

Meg Stout of 365Aquaponics

Meg Stout

Build an Aquaponics Greenhouse in an Afternoon PLUS New and Improved Bell Siphon Design! – Meg will demonstrate construction of an aquaponics system incorporating her innovations and a 8.5×11 greenhouse, showing how a family/school/organization can put together a locally-sourced, wheelchair-accessible system in an afternoon with minimal tools, time, and fuss. She will also demonstrate her new design for a rock solid, whisper quiet bell siphon. You won’t want to miss this!

An auction will be held during dinner for the resulting system….proceeds will go to the Aquaponics Association. (click here to read more)

Meg Stout is a Navy physicist specializing in hydrodynamics and acoustics. Meg has used that background to develop a version of the bell siphon that is exceptionally quiet and robust. She blogs about aquaponics at

Laura Kleiss and Joe Rocco of Disney, Inc.

Laura KleissA review of Living with the Land Aquaponic System – We will be giving a in depth review of the Aquaponic system installed in the boat ride, Living with the Land, greenhouses at Epcot, Walt Disney World. This will include information on crop selection, yield, filtration, and water quality.

Based at The Land pavilion in Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, Laura Kleiss is a horticulturist specializing in greenhouse operations. Laura’s passion and skill have led her to discover, build, and improve upon a number of hydroponic growing techniques and systems, including the aquaponics system which she will address as part of her presentation. Laura also manages the professional internship program for the Agricultural Sciences department alongside communicating key agricultural messages daily to guests from around the world. Joe Rocco is an aquarist from Disney who also manages the system.

Franz Schreier of EBF GmbH, Germany

Franz SchreierThe Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse – The Next Generation of an Integrated Food and Energy Systems (IFES) – Franz will start with the “what” and “why” of Integrated Food and Energy Systems, then move on to discuss the important role of aquaponics in these systems. He will reveal a revolutionary new greenhouse design construct, talk about a greenhouse film with exceptional properties and new concepts in photovoltaics for greenhouses. He will also discuss fluorescent pigmented films and sulphur plasma lighting. You won’t want to miss this incredible peak into the future of aquaponic growing!

Franz Schreier is a Physicist in Germany with long-term experience in Energy Management for business entities and communities. He sold his well going consulting business a year ago and is now within the methamorphose from a physicist to an Aquaponic Gardener. He is developing Integrated Food and Energy Systems with the aim to support the paradigm change in the world’s future Food and Energy supply. He is showing his Solar Aquaponic Greenhouse at the conference the first time to the public and would appreciate to exchange experiences, knowledge and business ideas with the Aquaponic Gardening Community.

Myles Harston of AquaRanch

Myles HarstonTips for Profitable Commercial Aquaponic Growing – Myles will be sharing what he has learned from his 26 years in commercial aquaponics and aquaculture. He will be especially focused on his experience in how to make a commercial aquaponics venture successful and profitable.

Myles is the founder of AquaRanch, the first commercial aquaponics farm to grow tilapia from spawn to fillet and organic produce from seed to retail. Myles has been involved in aquaculture since 1985 and aquaponics since before it was even called aquaponics.

Melissa Rasmussen

Melissa RassmussenAquaponics and Transition – Our world is in a shift between eras, from systems of scarcity, separation, and limitless growth, to abundance, relatedness, and sustenance in our living. Aquaponics can be a key piece in this transition. From backyards to prisons to living cities, aquaponics can help reweave our communities and refuel our lives.

Melissa Rasmussen is a globetrotting aquapon, spreading lessons learned in San Francisco, Costa Rica, Hawai’i, and Ghana everywhere she goes. Her passion is aquaponics from a permaculture mindset, most specifically urban and deep rural design. She’s fresh from the small village of Ekrawfo in Ghana, where she’s the social liason and farm designer for a massive project in permaculture, aquaponics, and agroforestry. In this age of increasingly unreliable megafarming and fossil-fuel transportation, she believes fiercely in the power of local, fresh, organic food, grown everywhere, to ease people’s lives through the transition.

More info at :

Please do not hesitate to contact CCRES AQUAPONICS and become our AQUAPONICS FRIENDS.

We thank you in advance for any information you can provide.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,




Tilapia Fish

One of the oldest examples of tilapia farming is a bas-relief found in a 4,000 year old Egyptian tomb depicting tilapias held in ponds. The Nile tilapia was called ?n.t by the Ancient Egyptians the fish was of such great importance to them that it was given its own hieroglyph.

The hieroglyph is now number K1 on Gardiner’s Sign List, a list of common Egyptian hieroglyphs compiled by British Egyptologist Sir Alan Gardiner. When used as a logogram, this hieroglyph represented a Nile tilapia. When used as a determinative (ideogram), it could signify not only Nile tilapia, but flathead mullets as well. Just like the Nile tilapias, flathead mullets were important food fishes in Ancient Egypt.

Tilapia is a large genus in the cichlid family (Cichlidae). It used to be even larger, but quite a few species have now been moved from Tilapia to other genera in the cichlid family, primarily the genera Oreochromis and Sarotherodon. For historical reasons, these moved species are still commonly referred to as tilapia fish in everyday speech. The genus Tilapia, as well as closely related genera like Oreochromis and Sarotherodon, belongs to the tribe Tilapiini in the subfamily Pseudocrenilabrinae.

Tilapia is a popular food fish and many species can easily be cultivated in ponds. It has been an important source of protein Africa and the Levant for thousands of years and the Ancient Egyptians cultivated tilapia in ponds along the Nile. The fish even has its very own hieroglyph.

Today, tilapia is a popular food fish all over the world and it is also kept in aquariums. Two of the most popular species among aquarists are Zebra tilapia / Tiger tilapia (Tilapia buttikoferi) and Spotted Tilapia (Tilapia mariae). When it comes to tilapia farming, species such as Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) are appreciated since they grow fast and refrain from breeding until they are comparatively old.

The Blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus) is also commonly cultivated by farmers since it is one of the most cold tolerant species of tilapia. Wami tilapia (Oreochromis urolepis hornorum) is a good choice for farmers that wish to utilize brackish environments since it is salt tolerant.

The traditional way of farming tilapia is in ponds where the fish can make use of naturally occurring food. In many parts of the world, farm animals such as chicken and pigs are raised in conjunction with the fish ponds since their manure can be used to make the pond richer in tilapia food. During the 20th century, two new methods for farming tilapia developed: tank farming and cage farming. All three types of farming come with their own pros and cons which you can read more about on this site.

In order to make tilapia fish more suitable for farming and more attractive on the food market, many different hybrids and strains have been developed by tilapia breeders. Today, you can for instance purchase red tilapia fish in the grocery store and farmers can avoid uncontrolled tilapia reproduction in their growing units by purchasing all-male batches of fry. Interestingly enough, hybridization between certain species and certain strains leads to a really skewed sex ratio in tilapia.

Since tilapia is such a popular food fish it has been introduced to many different parts of the world and is now found in the wild on all continents except Antarctica. Sometimes it has been deliberately introduced as food fish to lakes and other bodies of water, sometimes fish have managed to escape from fish farms. Tilapia has also been introduced in order to combat mosquitoes and aquatic weeds. Since many tilapia species are highly adaptable it is easy for them to thrive in their new homes and tilapia have become a problematic invasive species in several countries

Tilapia has been raised as food for human consumption for a long time; tilapia farming is believed to have originated some 2,500 years ago. Tilapias have also been transplanted to many countries outside their native range and are now farmed worldwide. In the United States, commercial culture of tilapia is concentrated in Arizona, California, and Florida. It is not clear, however, what species of tilapia are under cultivation. A collection of hybrid stocks currently constitute the bulk of the commercial production. The hybrids under cultivation are female mouth-brooders and believed to have originated from genetic crosses of predominantly blue tilapia (O. aureus) and ancillary O. niloticus, O. mossambicus, and O. hornorum species. Two popular hybrids are the Florida red, a species cross between O. aureus and O. mossambicus, and the hybrid between the O. aureus and O. niloticus tilapias. The aurea strain is principally used because of its tolerance to cold water temperatures.

Tilapia are known for their ability to sexually mature at a small size, around 8-10 cm (3-4 in.) in body length, and a young age (sometimes when 2-3 months old). Adult fish are known to live six to eight years, but some fish eleven to twelve years of age have been reported. In temperate regions, the spawning season of tilapia usually begins during the spring months when water temperatures rise, and spawning continues throughout the year as long as water temperatures are above 22°C (72°F).

As mentioned above, tilapia have an elaborate breeding behavior and are substrate nest builders. In most cases, males establish and aggressively defend territories. Nests are built in the form of shallow pits in the pond bottom, and are used for courting and spawning. After the female releases her eggs and fertilization takes place, most parent tilapia will pick up the eggs from the nest, incubate, and protect their young in their mouths (mouth brooders). A few species will leave the eggs on the spawning substrate and incubate the embryos by fanning water through them with their fins.

Depending on age, body size, and mode of egg incubation, female tilapia has a large variation in the number of eggs they produced. Blue female tilapia are reported to lay around 9-10 eggs per gram of body weight (around 4,500 eggs/pound). The eggs of hybrid tilapia are yellow-brown in color; egg shaped, and will sink to the bottom when spawned. The eggs vary in size from an average of 2 to 4 mm (0.08-0.16 in.) in diameter, depending on the species and number of spawns.

After fertilization, eggs hatch in 2 to 4 days, depending on water temperature. Newly-hatched embryos absorb their yolks in 3 to 4 days. The free-swimming young are then protected by their parents for several days. In mouth-brooding tilapias, incubation, hatching, and care of the young may last a period of about three weeks. After yolk absorption, young tilapias actively feed on a varied diet, such as plankton and detritus.
More info at:

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,