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Tilapia Culture Libro

Tilapia Culture Libro

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Libro sobre el cultivo de tilapia. Muy bueno
Libro sobre el cultivo de tilapia. Muy bueno

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Pablo Antonio Pintos Terán on Mar 01, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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In the 1990s, the world rice area was about 148
million ha (Halwart, 1998), about 90% of which
was in Asia. This huge area can be a substantial
source of fish for rural households worldwide.
Therefore, fish culture in rice fields has received
great attention in recent years as a means of sus-
tainablerural development, food security andpov-
erty alleviation in several developing countries,
especially in Asia. China is currently the largest
fish producer from rice fields, with a production
exceeding 377,000 Mt in 1996 from an area of 1.2
million ha, followed by Egypt (Halwart, 1998).
Raising fish in rice fields has many advantages,
including the following:

1. The recycling of nutrients by the fish through
feeding and depositingfaeces in the soil,which can

be used as a fertilizer for rice, reducing the depend-
ence on commercial fertilizers. In this process, the
uptake of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitro-
gen by the rice is usually increased.
2. The increase in rice yields.
3. The increase in revenue from both rice and
fish production.
4. An additional source of protein for rural
households, especially in countries facing a short-
age of captured fish.
5. Aneffectivemethodofinsectpestcontrol(such
as leafhoppers, stem-borers and aphids).
6. An effective method of controlling weeds,
which herbivorous fish consume.

Tilapia culture in rice fields is widely prac-
tised in many Asian countries, and has also gained
considerable momentum in some countries in
Africa and Latin America. Tilapia can be raised in
rice fields in monoculture systems; however, this
approach is not very common. Instead, poly-
culture of tilapia with carp is widely practised in
South-east Asia and Africa (Fig. 4.5). Stocking
densities of target species vary depending on geo-
graphical location, fish sizes and culture objectives
(market size vs fingerling production). The fish can
also be grown with or without fertilization or
supplemental feed, and therefore the yield varies
considerably. Accordingly, the profitability of
tilapia culture in rice fields depends on the inputs
pumped into the system.
A number of research studies have been con-
ducted on monoculture of tilapia in rice fields,
with varying results. Stocking sizes of cultured
fishes appear to play an important role in fish
growth and rice yield. When tilapia was stocked at
7500 fish/ha, at two sizes, small (2.9–3.5 g) and
large (28.2–33 g), the growth rate of small fish
(12.8 g/fish) was better than that of large fish
(33.76 g/fish) (Haroon and Pittman, 1997). In a
78-day culture period, the net yields were 37.2
and −58.3 kg/ha/crop for small and large tilapia,
whereas survival rate was 66%. The low tilapia
growth, survival and yield in that particular study
have been attributed to: (i) slower swimming of the
fish, which were entangled in aquatic macrophytes,
leading to predation by frogs, snakes and birds;
and (ii) lower nutrient ingestion and digestion.
Zooplankton in the ponds made little contribution
to the filter-feeding mechanism of tilapia, and
ontogenetic shifts in tilapiadiets were also minimal
or absent. Similar results of poor survival, growth

and yields of tilapia monocultured in rice fields
have also been reported by other authors (Mang-
Umphan and Arce, 1988; Haroon and Alam,
1992; Sevilleja et al., 1992; Torres et al., 1992).
Because tilapia reach their sexual maturity at
an early age (3–6 months), stocking large tilapia in
a rice field may result in fish reproduction, which
will lead to overpopulation and fish stunting,
because of the increased competition for food and
space. In rice–fish culture, if large tilapia are to be
monocultured, all-male populations are preferable.
All-male culture overcomes the problem of early
spawning, and is likely to improve fish growth and
yield. However, more research is needed along
these lines before any concrete conclusion can be

The polyculture of tilapia in rice fields has
become a common practice in South-east Asia. In
China, for example, the polyculture of Nile tilapia,
common carp, grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)
and crucian carp (Carassius auratus) in rice fields is
very common,productive and profitable. This cul-
ture systemispractisedmainlyinGuangxi,Sichuan
and Hunanprovinces(MingandYi,2004).All-male
Nile tilapia or hybrid tilapia fingerlings (5 cm) are
generally stocked in rice fields, mainly with carp,
at a density of 4500–7500 fish/ha, about 10 days
after transplanting rice seedlings (Y. Yi, Pathum
Thani, Thailand, 2004, personal communication).
The fish depend exclusively on natural food avail-
able in rice fields, and no supplemental feed is
provided. After 100 days of culture, the fish reach
about 150 g on average, yielding about 500–
1100 kg/ha. The fish produced are generally

marketed in local rural markets. Even in countries
such as Vietnam, Bangladesh and India, where
tilapia culture is not very popular, their polyculture
in rice fields has started to gainground. As a result,
polyculture of tilapia with carp in rice fields has
become established extensively in some Bheries of
West Bengal (India) (Natarajan and Aravindan,

Many variables, including fish species and
sizes, stocking densities, culture inputs (such as
inorganic fertilizer, manure and supplemental feed),
season, rice vegetative phase and rice reproductive
and ripening phase, affect the growth and yield of
cultured tilapia. Accordingly, the net production
and profitability of tilapiaculture in rice fields vary
strongly from one geographical region to another
and even from one season to another in the same
region. In Vietnam, for example, Nile tilapia were
successfully raised with silver barb and common
carp in rice fields at a total density of 20,000
fish/ha, in different combinations of sizes and
stocking densities, for 149 days (Rothuis et al.,
1998). Small tilapia (1.8 g) were stocked at 6600,
5400, 3400 and 1400 fish/ha, while silver barb
was stocked at 0, 4000, 10,000 and 16,000 fish/ha,
whereas common carp was stocked at 13,400,
10,600, 6600 and 2600. Large tilapia (28.8 g), silver
barb and common carp were stocked at 3800,
4500 and 0 fish/ha. Tilapia survival was about
64%,and the growth was inversely correlated with
initial stocking density. The best growth of tilapia
(89 g) was achieved at 1400 tilapia, 16,000 large
silver barb (80 g) and 2600 common carp/ha.
The good growth of tilapia was attributed to the


Chapter 4

Fig.4.5. Raising tilapia and carp in rice field in Egypt (photo provided by the General Authority for Fisher-
ies Resources Development, Egypt).

Semi-intensive Culture


availabilityof natural food at the low stocking den-
sity and the synergistic effect of cultured species,
where the digested plants contained in the excreta
of silver barb may have been utilized by tilapia.
The use of fertilizer and/or supplemental
feed in rice–fish culture is disputable, and not fully
understood. Some researchers found that the
growth and yield of Nile tilapia raised in rice fields
were low and were not affected by the source of
fertilizer (organic or inorganic) (Mang-Umphan
and Arce, 1988). Vromant et al. (2002) also found
that the growth and yield of Nile tilapia raised in a
polyculturesystemwithJavabarb,Barbodes gonionotus,
and common carp in rice fields were significantly
improved when supplemental fertilizer and artifi-
cial feed were provided. However, growth, yield
and survival values were still low compared to those
of Java barb. The authors concluded that Nile
tilapia are not well suited for culture in rice fields.
In contrast, Dela Cruz and Lopez (1980)
reported that the culture of Nile tilapia in rice
fields supplemented with feed and fertilizer in the
Philippines was profitable. About 480 kg of Nile
tilapia and 222 kg of common carp/ha were pro-
duced from rice fields stocked with 10,000 fish/ha
and supplemented with feed and fertilizer. The
application of fertilizer increases primary produc-
tivity in the fields, and in turn enhances food con-
sumption by the fish. Similarpositive effects of rice
fertilization on tilapia growth and yield have been
reported by Sevilleja et al. (1992).

Once again, it is clear from the above studies
investigate the potential of these fish as a candidate
for this system. More research is also needed on
whether fertilization, supplemental feeding or a
combination of both wouldbe more biologically and
economically appropriate. More information should
also be gathered on fish and crustacean species that
are commonly cultured with tilapia in rice fields in
order to adopt the most suitable species that occupy
different trophic niches from those of tilapia. The
growth and yield of tilapia raised in rice fields are
summarized in Table 4.4.
One of the crucial factors that the rice–fish
farmer should be aware of is the time at which the
fish must be stocked in rice fields. The frequent
fertilization of the rice fields after transplantation
and the low plant density at this early stage, which
allows high light penetration of the water,enhances
plankton productivity. Progressive growth of the
rice is accompanied by progressive shading, low
nutrient availability and decreased primary pro-
ductivity. Accordingly, the average daily food con-
sumption by cultured fish is expected to be higher
during the rice vegetative phase (early stage) than
during the rest of the cropping season. Therefore,
it is essential that the farmer stocks his tilapia as
early as possible after rice transplantation.
Along with the additional fish crop obtained
fromrice fields,rice yield can be increased up to 20%

Culture system

Initial wt

Final wt

Net yield

(days) Reference





65 Torres et al. (1992)





78 Haroon and Pittman (1997)





78 Haroon and Pittman (1997)





75 Mang-Umphan and Arce





149 Rothuis et al. (1998)





149 Rothuis et al. (1998)




102 Chapman and Fernando




120 Vromant et al. (2002)


5 cm



100 Ming and Yi (2004)

*Net yield is negative because of the high fish mortality.

Table 4.4. The growth and yield of Nile tilapia raised in rice fields.

(Lightfoot et al., 1992). Tilapia culture and rice
farming are also complementary systems, since the
fish can feed on rice pests and play a significant
role in integrated pest management (Halwart,
1998). The fish have also been reported to control
case-worms, Nymphula depunctalis (Vromant et al.,
1998). The saving of pesticide cost and earning
from fish sales have been reported to increase the
net income from rice–fish farming by 7–65%,
compared to rice monoculture (Halwart, 1998).

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