Blue Tilapia (Oreochromis aureus) are native to Africa and the Middle East. In the Southern United States, blue tilapia thrive in freshwater and have been found in ponds, lakes, impoundments and reservoirs. Adults can grow as large as 18 to 21" and achieve weights of 4 to 10 pounds. However, the average adult blue tilapia weights between 2 and 3 pounds.
Blue tilapia thrive and reproduce in water temperatures ranging from 68º F to 72º F and can be stocked in a pond or lake once water temperatures reach 60º F. Broods range in size from 200 to 1,500 eggs per female. The fish are mouth brooders and a great deal of parental care is given to the young. The male guards the nesting territory, while the female tends the eggs, larvae and fry until they are old enough to survive on their own. Blue tilapia are capable of spawning at 4" and will spawn every 18 to 21 days in ideal water temperatures.
Blue tilapia do not directly compete with existing fish populations, due to their herbivorous feeding habits. The blue tilapia primarily feed on duckweed, watermeal, nuisance rooted aquatic vegetation, several different forms of filamentous algae, blue-green algae and chara. In fact, they also feed on the same commercial fish food consumed by bluegill, hybrid bluegill and channel catfish. Blue tilapia tolerate water temperatures as low as 45º F, providing a natural alternative for aquatic vegetation control until late fall. They are an excellent alternative in ponds with chemically resistant types of watermeal or continuous water flow, which make chemical applications impractical.
In ponds that have recently experienced fish kills or are newly stocked, 2-4" fish are recommended at the rate of 250 fish per acre. In established fisheries, stocking 4-6" fish at the rate of 200 fish per acre is recommended. Stocking larger fish reduces predation and allows for immediate reproduction. The demand for these fish is extremely high and the supply is limited. Orders will be filled on a first come, first served basis.
Please Note: Blue tilapia are only available in early June. Place an order by April 15th to ensure delivery.
2-4" $1.99 each
4-6" $4.25 each
6-8" $22.00 / lb.