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Held at the Mon Repos Freshwater Aquaculture Demonstration Farm and Training Centre, Agriculture Road, Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara May 30th to June 3rd 2005
Prepared by: Tejnarine S. Geer, Senior Fisheries Officer, Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Department of Fisheries Kamila Singh, Limnologist/Hydrochemist, Department of Fisheries
Contents I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII. XIV. XV. XVI. XVII. Preliminaries Introduction The Importance of Tilapia in World Aquaculture Site Selection The Aquatic Environment Fertilizing and Development of Natural Food Organisms Biology of Tilapia Selection and Handling of Broodstock Seed Production: Semi Intensive Seed Production: Intensive Transferring and Stocking of Fry and Fingerlings Feeds and Feeding Fish Health and Disease Record Keeping Tilapia Grow-Out Outline of Practicals References 3 6 7 9 10 20 23 26 28 34 39 46 52 57 58 61 62
I. Preliminaries a. Aims of the Course This training course on tilapia seed production is being conducted as part of the FAO Project “TCP/RLA/3003: The introduction of aquaculture and other integrated production management practices to rice farmers”. This project involves the introduction of aquaculture (initially tilapia) into rice fields, as an integral component if integrated pest management. This course therefore aims to offer technical training on tilapia seed production to rice extension personnel, so as to enable them to better support the project activities, and to support the introduction of aquaculture into rice farming systems, beyond the duration of the project.
b. Objectives to be Achieved This training course is designed to achieve the following objectives: - To expose participants to the general concepts relating to aquaculture, such as water quality, feeding and fertilizing To expose participants to tilapia seed production techniques, both semi-intensive and intensive, and to aquaculture of tilapia in general To give participants the opportunity to develop hands-on, practical skills relating to tilapia seed production and tilapia aquaculture in general
c. Strategy for Delivery This course is designed to be implemented over five days, in 30 hours. The training will be conducted utilizing a comprehensive approach, including: theoretical lectures 30% of the allocated time
laboratory sessions, videos and photographic displays, demonstration activities and field practice 70% of the allocated time
d. Capacity of the Mon Repos Station The Mon Repos Freshwater Aquaculture Demonstration Farm and Training Centre was constructed by means of a collaboration among the Government of Guyana, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Phase 1 of the facility was commissioned on July 13th 2001. Since then, the facility has grown steadily, and now contains the following: - One Laboratory/Office Building - Ten (10) Concrete Ponds - Eight (8) Earthen Ponds - Spawning Tank The objectives of the Mon Repos facility are as follows: - To provide training to farmers so as to enable them to practice scientific, sustainable aquaculture - To provide high quality seedstock and broodstock to farmers, to enable them to attain high yields - To perform adaptive research, and to provide the information to farmers, so as to improve the productivity of the sector The station regularly offers training courses on aquaculture. These courses are designed to impart to participants the basic, essential elements so as to enable them to practice scientific, sustainable aquaculture. Participants are exposed to theoretical knowledge, as well as practical exercises, such as pond preparation, fertiliser application, identification of male and female fish, calculation of cost of production and profit and preparation of project proposals. An important part of the training courses involves the presentation to participants, on an ongoing basis, data obtained from research conducted at the facility. In this way, persons are able to benefit from recent local research in aquaculture. The Mon Repos facility produces fingerlings and broodstock of Red Tilapia, Nile Tilapia and Hassar, for sale to farmers, to enable them to commence aquaculture activities. Research is required to generate basic information, which can then be used to evaluate the economics of aquaculture, using particular species and different inputs. When the information is provided to farmers in the correct form, decisions can then be made on important issues, such as what species to rear, how much to stock, what type of feed to use, and what growing period is required. Consequently, the Mon Repos facility is engaged in a continuous research programme. The species presently focused on are Jamaican Red Tilapia, Freshwater Prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii), Hassar (Hoplosternum littorale) and Freshwater Pacu (Colossoma macropomum).
These species been carefully selected, to suit various water parameters, management needs and marketing possibilities. Fingerlings and broodstock of Red Tilapia, Nile Tilapia and Hassar are produced by the station, and are available for sale to farmers, to enable them to commence aquaculture activities.
II. Introduction 15 Minutes a. Definition Aquaculture is defined by the FAO as “The farming of aquatic organisms including fish, mollusks, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Farming implies some sort of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated.” Aquaculture is therefore different from capture fisheries, since: For statistical purposes, aquatic organisms which are harvested by an individual or corporate body which has owned them throughout their rearing period contribute to aquaculture, while aquatic organisms which are exploited by the public as a common property resource, with or without appropriate licenses, are the harvest of fisheries. While the earliest records of aquaculture can be found in the ancient Chinese, Japanese and Egyptian cultures, dating back several thousand years, until quite recently, aquaculture was not adopted as a means of commercial food production. However, with world population increasing at a rapid rate, there has been an increased demand for animal protein. This has in turn created a strain on marine and inland capture fisheries, and has resulted in the collapse of valuable fisheries around the world. Because of this situation, aquaculture production has been increasing, and is now regarded as one of the more reliable means to increase the availability of fisheries products to an ever increasing human population.
b. Overview of Global Aquaculture According to FAO statistics, the contribution of aquaculture to global supplies of fish, crustaceans and molluscs continues to grow, increasing from 3.9 percent of total production by weight in 1970 to 29.9 percent in 2002. In 2003, aquaculture supplied 41.9 million tons out of a total of 132.2 million tons of world fisheries production. This amounted to 31.6% of the total world fisheries production. Aquaculture continues to grow more rapidly than all other animal food-producing sectors. Worldwide, aquaculture has grown at an average rate of 8.9% per year since 1970. During this period, capture fisheries has only grown by 1.2%, while land-based meat production farming systems have grown by 2.8%. The majority of aquaculture is practiced in freshwater (57.7%), followed by mariculture (36.5%), and brackish water culture (5.8%). Production is dominated by Asian countries, particularly China. It is important to note that aquaculture has grown at a more rapid pace in developing countries (10.4% per year) than in developed countries (4% per year).
With the exception of marine shrimp, most of the aquaculture production in developing countries in 2002 comprised omnivorous/herbivorous fish or filter-feeding species. However, 74% of finfish aquaculture in developed countries comprised carnivorous species. The most widely cultured fish are the carps, which are grown in China, India and parts of Europe. Tilapia are widely grown in many tropical countries, and in North America, fish like salmon, trout and channel catfish are cultured. Non-fish species, such as oysters, clams, seaweed, shrimp and eels are also cultured. Aquaculture is also carried out for purposes other than the production of food fish, such as pearl culture and the production of aquarium fish.
III. The Importance of Tilapia in World Aquaculture
“Tilapia” is the generic name of a group of commercially important food fish, belonging to the family Cichlidae, and are endemic to Africa. The name tilapia probably originated from the native African Bechuana word "thiape," meaning fish. The group consists of three aquaculturally important genera: Oreochromis, Sarotherodon and Tilapia. Several characteristics distinguish these three genera, but possibly the most critical relates to reproductive behavior. In all Tilapia species, the fertilized eggs are guarded in the nest by a brood parent. The Sarotherodon and Oreochromis species are mouth brooders. The eggs are fertilized in the nest but the parents immediately pick up the eggs in their mouths and hold them through incubation and for several days after hatching. In the Oreochromis species, only females practice mouth brooding, while in the Sarotherodon species either the male or both male and female brood the eggs. Tilapia have been raised as food for human consumption for a long time. The Nile tilapia (O. niloticus) was one of the first fish species cultured. Illustrations from Egyptian tombs suggest that Nile tilapia were cultured more than 3,000 years ago. Tilapia have been called “Saint Peter’s fish” in reference to biblical passages about the fish fed to the multitudes. During the last half century fish farmers throughout the tropical and semi-tropical world have begun farming tilapia. Today, all commercially important tilapia outside of Africa belong to the genus Oreochromis, and more than 90 percent of all commercially farmed tilapia outside of Africa are Nile tilapia (Oreochromis nilotica), which is favored because of its high growth rate. The red or pink hybrids are favored because of their attractive colour, of which the Jamaican Red is popular.
Less commonly farmed species are Blue tilapia (O. aureus), Mozambique tilapia (O. mossambicus) and the Zanzibar tilapia (O. urolepis hornorum). In 2002, the production of Oreochromis nilotica alone amounted to 1.2 million metric tons, with an approximate value of US$1.3 billion, and tilapia are second only to carps as the most widely farmed freshwater fish in the world. Tilapia are a good fish for warm-water aquaculture. They are more tolerant than most commonly farmed freshwater fish to a range of salinities, high water temperature, low dissolved oxygen, and high ammonia concentrations. They are easily spawned, use a wide variety of natural foods as well as artificial feeds, tolerate poor water quality, and grow rapidly at warm temperatures. These attributes, along with relatively low input costs, have made tilapia the most widely cultured freshwater fish in tropical and subtropical countries. Consumers like tilapia’s firm flesh and mild flavor, so markets have expanded rapidly, most notably in the United States.
IV. Site Selection
Site selection is very important for successful aquaculture. Many areas are deemed unsuitable for specific types of aquaculture, or require too much modification for aquaculture to be economically successful. The following general criteria are to be considered for proper site selection: a. Land: For successful land based aquaculture, the land must have some basic attributes. Steeply sloping land is generally deemed unsuitable for aquaculture. On the other hand, a gentle slope is required to facilitate either irrigation or drainage by gravity. Generally, the slope of the land should be between 1-1.5. b. Water: Water is essential for aquaculture. Whereas the land available can be amended to some extent, water is much more difficult to alter. The site should have easy access to adequate supplies of either fresh or salt water, or both, if required. At the same time, the site should also have access to another water body for drainage and disposal of used water. c. Access to Infrastructure: The site should be serviced by proper roads and communication links, and should have access to electricity. Other important aspects include proximity to processing facilities and technical expertise. d. Market Analysis and Survey: The site should have easy access to the market for the product. This also includes access to roads, waterways for transport, or an airport, if required. A financial analysis of the proposed market should be done. e. Seed Supply: The site should be near the seed supply ideally, to minimize both cost and mortality of seed. However, if seed is to be produced on the farm, then this consideration is minimal. f. Room for Expansion: The site selected should have room for expansion. As the enterprise grows, several other needs may become evident. There may be the need for a hatchery, feed production facility, freezing area, etc. g. Financial Aspects: Ideally, the site selected should have some financial incentives associated with it, e.g., duty free provisions, tax holidays, subsidies, etc. h. Climate: The site should have the required temperature, light availability, rainfall, etc., as required by the species.
V. The Aquatic Environment
There are two major types of factors associated with water, biotic factors and abiotic factors. Biotic factors include all the living things associated with water, such as phytoplankton, zooplankton, worms, insect larvae, snails etc. Abiotic factors are the nonliving factors such as light, temperature, salinity, dissolved gasses such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, and nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates. The water in which the aquaculture species is farmed has a profound effect on the health and growth of the species. The water quality may deteriorate considerably over the culture period due to the addition of nutrients via feeding. The major water quality factors that affect aquaculture animals are; dissolved oxygen, pH, dissolved nutrients and gasses, temperature and plankton. a. Dissolved Oxygen Oxygen is essential to the survival of all animals, and aquacultured animals are no exception. Air contains approximately 21% oxygen, but the amount present in water is quite low, due to the low solubility of oxygen in water. Oxygen becomes less soluble in water as the temperature increases.
Solubility of oxygen in pure water in relation to temperature from saturated air Salinity has a similar effect on oxygen solubility. As salinity increases, oxygen solubility decreases. Oxygen passes from air to water by diffusion, and the amount present in water can be increased by water circulation due to wind, since this exposes more surface water to the atmosphere, thereby increasing the rate of diffusion. In ponds used for aquaculture, the major source of oxygen is photosynthesis by phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are tiny plants that produce the green colour in many fish
ponds. Plants containing the green pigment chlorophyll in the presence of light use carbon dioxide to produce carbohydrate and oxygen: 6CO2 + 6H2O → C6H12O6 + 6O2 Since sunlight is essential for photosynthesis, this activity is carried out only in daylight hours. In the night, the phytoplankton carry out only respiration, a process in which they use up oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. This means that the dissolved oxygen levels are lower in the night, and higher during the day. The lowest levels of oxygen are encountered very early in the morning, just before the sun rises. At this time, the fish farmer should check his ponds, and be prepared to aerate, if necessary.
b. Signs of Oxygen Depletion In Ponds Oxygen depletion (loss) is the single biggest problem that occurs in fish ponds, especially when the stocking rate is high, and the fish are being fed heavily. The following signs indicate that there is not enough oxygen in the pond water: Fish coming to the water surface in an effort to breathe from the thin, better oxygenated surface film - this behavior is called piping Tadpoles gathering at the pond edges Water snails leaving the pond water An odour of rotten egg rising from the water Fish not feeding well or not eating al all
c. Factors leading to oxygen depletion in ponds The following factors may contribute to oxygen loss in ponds: i. Cloudy or Rainy Weather: Several days of cloudy or rainy weather may lead to a phytoplankton die-off, since photosynthesis stops due to lack of sunlight. In addition to oxygen not being produced, the dead phytoplankton will use up oxygen, as they decay. ii. Lack of Nutrients: Nutrients, such as phosphates and nitrates, are essential for the growth of a phytoplankton bloom. If these nutrients are not available, phytoplankton may not be present to produce oxygen by photosynthesis. If the fish are being fed, however, this is rarely a problem, since the feed acts as a source of nutrients. Nutrients may also be added by fertilizing fish ponds. iii. Overstocking: The greater the number of fish in a pond, the greater is the consumption of oxygen as well as the amount of waste products produced. The waste products in turn use up oxygen when they decay. For these reasons, farmers are urged to follow the recommended stocking rates for the particular species of fish or shrimp. iv. Blue-green Phytoplankton Scum: A certain type of phytoplankton, called blue-green algae or Cyanophyceae, may form a dense scum on the surface of the water. This limits photosynthesis to only the top few centimeters, since the scum blocks sunlight from penetrating the water column. This means that oxygen levels will be very high in the surface waters but lacking in deeper waters. These scum are dangerous since they
prevent fish such as tilapia from accessing surface water as they normally do when oxygen levels are too low, which can result in total fish kill. v. Hot Weather: Very hot days with no breeze provide a condition for oxygen depletion. Very warm water, above 32°C (90°F), holds very little oxygen. With no breeze, little or no oxygen is added through circulation. In addition, the culture species is more active, requiring more oxygen. Decay processes are also speeded up, thus using more oxygen.
d. Avoiding and Combating Oxygen Depletion In tropical countries, problems with oxygen depletion occur all year round due to the high temperatures, and the problem is even greater in brackish water, since oxygen is less soluble as salinity increases. By knowing what to look for and what to do, losses can be avoided. i. Check Pond Water Daily: Dissolved oxygen should be checked in ponds at daybreak. In large operations, farmers are advised to purchase a dissolved oxygen meter, which quickly and easily gives an accurate dissolved oxygen reading. For smaller operations, the cost of a meter is prohibitive and farmers are advised to use a Secchi disc to monitor phytoplankton levels, which gives a rough guide as to the oxygen productivity of a pond. A Secchi disc is a round flat surface on which two alternate quarters are painted black and the others white:
A rope or a pole is attached to this instrument, and marked at 10 cm intervals. To take a reading, the disc is lowered into the water until it just disappears. The following table gives a guide to various Secchi disc readings, and their implications:
Secchi Disc Visibility Less than 20 cm 20 to 30 cm 30 to 45 cm 45 to 60 cm More than 60 cm
Comments Pond has too much plankton. There will be problems with low DO. Water should be exchanged to reduce the amount of plankton. Plankton becoming excessive, but the pond is still in good condition. Pond is in good condition. Phytoplankton becoming scarce. Pond should be fertilised. Water is too clear. Pond should be fertilised, using an increased amount.
From this table, it is seen that a desired Secchi disc reading is between 30 to 45 cm. NOTE: Turbidity occurs when the water is muddy. For the Secchi Disc readings to be of use, the transparency should be due to plankton. ii. Check Phytoplankton Blooms: A healthy bloom in ponds is indicated by a green colour, similar to the colour of vegetation. A change in colour from green to brown indicates that the bloom is dying, and is often associated with a sour smell. As mentioned before, blue-green algae often form scums on the surface of ponds, sometimes with bubbles of gas. These can cause fish to suffocate when they surface due to the inevitable low oxygen levels that occur in the lower waters. iii. Adjust Feeding Rates: In ponds with no artificial aeration, feeding rates should be lowered during very hot, still weather; in the event that there is an undesirable plankton bloom; or if the culture species is not eating the ration that they are being fed. If a floating feed is used, it is easy to see if all the feed is being eaten. With a sinking feed, it is advisable to check feed boxes before every feeding. iv. Water Exchange: Whenever the water quality seems to be deteriorating, it is advisable to exchange water in a pond. It is best to always remove water from the bottom of a pond since that is where the water quality is the worst. Clean water is then added to replace the “dead water” that has been removed. Always remove water first, before adding new water to a pond. v. Mechanical Aeration: The quickest method for combating low dissolved oxygen is by using a system to expose a large surface area of water to the air. Commercial aerators are available, some of which use electricity, but may be too expensive for small farmers. A water pump, fitted with a device for spraying water in the air at the discharge end has been found to be effective.
e. pH The pH of a liquid refers to its acidity or alkalinity, and is measured on a scale from 0 to 14. Substances that have a pH below 7 are said to be acidic, while those above 7 are said to be alkaline. A pH of 7 is neutral, that is, neither acidic nor alkaline. Pure water has a pH of 7. 0 1 2 Increasing Acidity 3 4 5 6 7 8 Neutral 9 10 11 12 13 14 Increasing Alkalinity
The pH values of natural waters vary considerably depending on the soil type and the amount of organic matter present. Dark coloured water is often acidic, due to humic acid that is dissolved in it. Water found in regions where a lot of pagasse is present is also acidic. On the other hand, water found in limestone regions may be slightly alkaline. The desirable pH range for freshwater fish culture is between 6.5 and 9.0. Low production occurs below 6.5 and above 9.0. In a fishpond with phytoplankton, the pH fluctuates, increasing during the day and decreasing at night, similar to the change in dissolved oxygen. However these changes are not large enough to cause problems. The acid death point is 4 and the alkaline death point is 11, meaning that fish can die below 4 pH units and above 11 pH units. If a farmer wants to carry out aquaculture in an area where the pH is below 6.5, liming may be done, but this will incur an extra cost, which will have to be considered.
D = Decreasing fish production - correction needed X = Reproduction questionable Y = Eggs/fry questionable The pH of water has an effect on the availability of some nutrients and the toxicity of some compounds. For example, ammonia becomes more toxic with increasing pH levels.
f. Dissolved Nutrients and Gasses Many substances are found dissolved in natural waters, and some of these are of particular importance in fishponds. Some, such as phosphate and nitrate, are fertilizers that enable phytoplankton to bloom. Others, such as nitrite, and the gasses ammonia and hydrogen sulphide, are poisonous when present in certain lethal amounts. The levels of these substances increase with increased stocking and feeding rates, but when recommended stocking and feeding rates are followed, and good water quality management is carried out, they are rarely a problem.
g. Temperature Water temperature is an important consideration in aquaculture, since it affects the growth and reproduction of culture species. Fish grow faster when temperatures are warmer. In temperate countries, where there are warm and cold seasons, the growth period for fish is generally limited to the warm months, and reproduction for some species only occurs when the water temperature reaches a certain minimum value. In Guyana, however, water temperatures are warm all year round, and the species grown are not affected by varying temperatures. Growth and reproduction for these tropical species are year-round activities.
h. Plankton Plankton refers to living material that is found floating in water. There are two major types; phytoplankton and zooplankton. Phytoplankton are tiny plants and zooplankton are tiny animals.
1. Phytoplankton As described before, the major function of phytoplankton (also known as algae) is the production of oxygen during photosynthesis, which is used by the farmed fish or shrimp. It is also a natural food source for some fish, e.g. tilapia and some Chinese carps. Phytoplankton can be divided into several groups, including green, blue-green, brown and red algae.
Clorophyceae: These are the green algae, and cause waters to appear olive green in colour. They are the most important group both in terms of oxygen production and as a food source.
Cyanophyceae: These are the blue-green algae and may cause waters to appear blue-green or bright green in colour. They are the most dangerous type of algae to fish and are found when the water is polluted with a lot of organic matter. They form scums as described before and also produce harmful substances.
2. Zooplankton These tiny animals usually feed on phytoplankton and are very important as a food source for the larval stages of most fish and shrimp. There are three major types that are important in aquaculture. - Cladocera: These are a type of crustacean and are commonly called water fleas due to their resemblance to fleas.
Copepoda: These are another type of crustacean and are almost cylindrical in shape. Although some are useful as food, others are parasites on fishes, e.g., Argulus, or Fish Louse, which occurs on tilapia reared in brackish water.
Rotifera: These zooplankton are closely related to a group of animals called flatworms and are very important as a food source for the first larval stage of fish.
VI. Fertilizing and Development of Natural Food Organisms a. Fertilizing
1. What are Fertilizers Fertilizers are natural (organic) or man-made (inorganic) substances that are used in aquaculture to increase the production of the natural food organisms to be eaten by the fish. Fertilizers supply various nutrients in different amounts. Therefore, different fertilizers have different uses, and are to be used in different amounts. 2. What is a Liming Agent A liming agent is a substance, either natural or man-made, that is used to reduce acidity, and therefore increase pH, in a culture system. 3. Reasons for Fertilizing Fertilizers are added to ponds to improve the level of nutrients present in the water. These nutrients assist the growth of plankton, which may be used by the fish. Also, by improving the amount of plankton, fertilizers enable the correct stocking rate to be maintained, since adequate plankton produce oxygen for the fish. 4. Inorganic Fertilizer Inorganic fertilizers are man-made, and usually supply high amounts of one particular nutrient. Examples are Urea and ammonium nitrate, which supply nitrogen, and triple or simple super-phosphate, which supply phosphorus. 5. Organic Fertilizer Organic fertilizers are usually occur naturally, and supply a variety of nutrients in varying amounts. Examples are animal manure, crop residues and compost. 6. Rates Fertilizer rates vary widely, and depend on the species to be grown, the soil and water type. The rates are important to achieve the desired water condition. If the water condition is suitable, then fertilization is not necessary. Fertilizer is added at the beginning of a culture cycle, to get the pond ready for the introduction of the fish. At the Mon Repos Aquaculture Station, cow manure is applied at the rate of 500 pounds per acre of pond surface, per month, and Triple Super Phosphate is applied at the rate of 50 pounds per acre of pond surface, per month. Once the fish are introduced, fertilizer is added to maintain the appropriate water condition, if necessary. 7. Methods of Application Fertilizers should be uniformly applied over the whole pond surface, or distributed in specific places carefully selected to get a uniform distribution by the water current or the waves. In the case of inorganic fertilizers, they may be dissolved in water, which is then broadcast over the pond surface. In the case of organic fertilizer, they may be placed in bags and submerged into the ponds, at
the windward side. Holes should be made in the bag, to allow the nutrients to seep out into the water. b. Development of Natural Food Organisms Natural fish foods present in ponds occur as a mixture of several types of organisms, both plant and animal. As has been stated in “The Aquatic Environment” some of the organisms present in ponds can be microscopic, or they can be larger, such as snails, worms and larger insect larvae. The dead material at the bottom of the ponds (detritus) can also form food for several species of fish. Natural food organisms can be found in various parts of the pond: - near the shore, e.g., rooted plants - suspended in the water (plankton) - associated with the pond bottom (benthos), e.g., worms, snails, etc. - covering the surface of objects in the pond water (aufwuchs) - swimming in the pond water (nekton) e.g., aquatic insects, frogs and fish Natural food organisms are very important for the early development of fry, since they form an important part of their diet. As the nutrients in the yolk sac become depleted, very small fry start to eat natural foods comprising the smallest plankton, such as phytoplankton and rotifers. As their mouth size increases, the fry start to eat larger plankton, such as cladocera and copepods, as well as insect larvae and insect pupae. As the fry grow larger, they begin to eat the same foods as the adults. However, in the case of tilapia, natural food, especially plankton, continue to play an important part in their diet, throughout their life cycle. In order for these organisms to be present in the quantities required by the fry and adult fish, proper fertilization is required. Fertilizers will supply the natural food organisms with the nutrients required for their growth and development. Since living organisms require a variety of nutrients for proper growth and development, both organic and inorganic fertilizers should be applied in ponds. Inorganic fertilizers will supply large quantities of the major nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. The organic manure will supply small quantities of a variety of nutrients, such as copper, zinc, iron, calcium, etc. New ponds, or ponds recently filled with water, take some time to develop natural food. The first natural foods to develop are the smallest plankton, such as phytoplankton. As the ponds age, the zooplankton develop, which feed on the phytoplankton, and smaller zooplankton.
There are several techniques that are available for the culture of individual species of phytoplankton and zooplankton. This is important in those cases where the fry of some fish species require a specific type of natural food for their growth and development. Tilapia fry, however, can survive and grow utilizing a mixture of plankton, which are available in properly fertilized ponds, with the correct transparency.
VII. Biology of Tilapia
a. Physical Characteristics: Tilapia have a very deep, laterally compressed body, with long dorsal fins and an interrupted lateral line. The body color is generally dark, with darker vertical bands down the sides of fry, fingerlings and sometimes adults. Scales are large and often tipped with white; the throat and belly are white. The forward portion of the dorsal fin is heavily spined, and spines are also found in the pelvis and anal fins. There are usually wide vertical bars down the sides of fry, fingerlings, and sometimes adults. The main cultured species of tilapia usually can be distinguished by different banding patterns on the caudal fin. Nile tilapia have strong vertical bands, Blue tilapia have interrupted bands, and Mozambique tilapia have weak or no bands on the caudal fin. Color patterns on the body and fins also may distinguish species. Mature male Nile tilapia have gray or pink pigmentation in the throat region, while Mozambique tilapia have a more yellow coloration. However, coloration is often an unreliable method of distinguishing tilapia species because environment, state of sexual maturity, and food source greatly influence color intensity. The Red tilapia hybrids have become increasingly popular because of their similar appearance to the marine red snapper, which leads to higher market value. b. Reproduction: Tilapia attain sexual maturity at approximately two to three months. However, sexual maturity is a function of age, size and environmental conditions. The Mozambique tilapia reaches sexual maturity at a smaller size and younger age than the Nile and Blue tilapias. When growth is slow, sexual maturity in Nile tilapia is delayed a month or two but Tilapia in ponds may spawn at a weight of about 1 ounce (20 grams). Adult tilapia will breed naturally, once both males and females are present. In males the genital papilla has only one opening (the urinary pore of the urethra) through which both milt (sperm) and urine pass. In females the eggs exit through a separate oviduct and only urine passes through the urinary pore. Examination of the genital opening can therefore be used to determine the sex of tilapia, once a size of approximately 30 gram is reached. The number of eggs per spawning is related to the size of the female. A female of about 100 grams may produce approximately 100 eggs per spawning while larger females can produce as much as 1,500 eggs per spawning. A female weighing about 300 grams can produce about 450 eggs per breeding cycle. Each female can achieve about 6 cycles per year, giving a total of 2,700 eggs per year. In all Oreochromis species the male excavates a nest in the pond bottom
(generally in water shallower than 3 feet) and attracts several females to spawn (release eggs). After a short mating ritual the female spawns in the nest and the male fertilizes the eggs. The female then collects the eggs and incubates them in her mouth until they hatch. The eggs of hybrid tilapia are yellow-brown in colour, egg shaped, and will sink to the bottom when spawned. The eggs vary in size from an average of 2 to 4 mm in diameter, depending on the species and number of spawns. After fertilization, eggs hatch in 2 to 4 days, depending on water temperature. The resulting fry contain a yolk sac, and remain congregated together, at or near the water surface. The fry absorb the yolk sac in 3 to 4 days, before beginning to feed on external foods, such as plankton and detritus. The fry are protected by the female for several days to two weeks. During this time, the female will keep the fry in her mouth in times of danger.
Adult fish are known to live six to eight years, but some fish eleven to twelve years of age have been reported.
c. Management of Reproduction: As has been noted, tilapia breed readily. They also reach sexual maturity at an early age, in many cases well before market size is attained. These two factors combine to cause overcrowding in production ponds which are stocked with both male and female fish. The resulting overcrowding 24
and competition for food results in stunted tilapia, which fetch less low market prices. In order to solve this problem, all-male culture, or male monosex culture, is performed. Males are preferable because they grow approximately twice as fast as females, since they do not have to devote resources to egg production. There are several methods which can be used to achieve all male culture. These are: i. Manually separating the sexes based on visual examination of the genital papilla of juvenile fish (hand-sexing), and discarding the females ii. Hybridizing between two selected species that produce all-male offspring (for example, Nile or Mozambique females crossed with Blue or Zanzibar males) iii. Feeding a male hormone-treated feed to newly hatched fry for 3 to 4 weeks to produce reproductively functional males (hormonal sex reversal) iv. Use of “Super-male” (YY) male technology
VIII. Selection and Handling of Broodstock 30 Minutes a. Selection of Broodstock: The broodstock are adult tilapia which will be used to produce the fry and subsequently, fingerlings and adult fish, for market. The broodstock will also contribute to the production of the next generation of breeding stock, to sustain the aquaculture enterprise. Therefore, care and attention must be applied in the selection of the broodstock, both male and female. Broodstock should be selected that have the general characteristics required of the offspring. Larger, faster growing adults with good body conformity (thickness) and the required colouration should be selected for breeding. They should also be healthy, free from physical deformities, well fed and in good condition. Broodstock (both males and females) should be approximately 300 grams, since this size will permit easy handling, and at the same time, produce adequate fry. In order to obtain healthier offspring, it is important that inbreeding be avoided. Males and females that are closely related should not be used together for breeding, since this will result in inbred offspring that may be weaker, and have a low growth rate. Therefore, it is advisable to source one half of the broodstock, either the males or the females, from outside the farm, when it is time to replace them. Broodstock should be well cared for and kept in water of optimum quality. They should be held separately (males and females in different ponds), and only brought together when seed production is required. They should also be held at a low stocking rate (1 fish for every 4 square feet), to reduce stress, since this will lead to higher seed production. Broodstock should be replaced at least once every two years, to ensure that the optimum seed production is achieved. b. Handling of Broodstock: Broodstock should be handled carefully and transported rapidly, so as to reduce stress, and therefore maintained in optimum condition for seed production. In capturing broodstock, ensure that the fish are never gilled, but rather, only physically restrained by the net. This means that the mesh size of the fishing gear used must be small enough not to allow the head of the fish to pass through. Below are some guidelines for mesh sizes as relates to fish weights, which if used correctly, allow capture, but prevent gilling.
Broodstock may be captured and transported individually, using the following method:
Tilapia broodstock are not very large when compared with other species. Therefore, it is possible to always transport them in containers containing water. Water for fish transport should be clean, and well water or rainwater should be used. Pond or canal water should not be used, if possible, since it will deteriorate faster, stressing the fish. Room temperature water can be used. However, adding a small amount of ice, to reduce water temperature, will aid in the survival of the fish.
IX. Seed Production: Semi-Intensive 90 Minutes a. Introduction The semi-intensive method of tilapia seed production is characterized mainly by the following: - Utilization of a medium level of technology - Utilization of earthen ponds for breeding, fry production and fingerling production - Dependence on natural food for early fry rearing - Production of mixed sex fingerlings In this system, male and female broodstock are placed into a suitably prepared breeding pond, where reproduction takes place. The resulting fry are then transferred to fingerling rearing ponds, for growing to fingerling size. The broodstock are then removed from the breeding pond, and returned to broodstock holding ponds. Since this system uses earthen ponds, a section of this topic is devoted to construction of earthen ponds.
b. Earthen Pond Construction i. Basic Principles All ponds should be individual units. This means that each pond should have an individual inlet and outlet, so as to provide for individual irrigation or drainage of each pond. All ponds should be constructed with a slope towards the outlet, so as to facilitate drainage. Usually, there should be a difference of 30 cm in depth from the inlet to the outlet. The sides of a pond should be sloped, usually about 30 degrees, so as to prevent the sides caving in. The more clay the soil contains, the steeper the possible slope that may be used. Ponds should be constructed to take advantage of gravity for either irrigation, drainage, or if possible, both. All ponds should contain an inlet, for irrigation, an outlet, for drainage, and an overflow, to remove excess water in a controlled manner. All water entering ponds should be filtered, so as to prevent other unwanted species from entering the pond. All water leaving the ponds should be filtered, so as to prevent the cultured species from escaping. For breeding and fingerling production, ponds of 1,000 square feet are usually adequate.
ii. Pond Inlets Inlets can be made of 3-inch or 4-inch PVC pipe. When placing the inlet, ensure that: - It is at the shallow end of the pond - Its bottom level is low enough so that water flows in from the irrigation canal, and ideally, that it is at least 10 cm above the maximum level of the water in the pond - It is horizontal, with no slope - It has a filter, to prevent unwanted fish from entering the pond iii. Pond Outlets Outlets can also be made of 3-inch or 4-inch PVC pipe. Outlets are required to keep water at a suitable level in the pond, and to allow for the complete draining of the pond and harvesting of the fish whenever necessary. An outlet should ensure that - The amount of time necessary to drain the pond completely is reasonable - There is no loss of fish during the draining period - Any reasonable excess of water is carried away - The outlet can be reasonably cleaned and serviced 29
c. Water Requirement It is recommended that breeding and fry rearing take place in freshwater, since salinity reduces the survival of fry. Therefore, the breeding pond and fingerling ponds should contain clean, unpolluted freshwater, ideally with 0 ppt salinity. The pH should be between 6.5 and 9.0. d. Pond Preparation Preparations for both the breeding and fingerling ponds are the same. The pond should be completely drained, and the bottom allowed to dry until it cracks, to ensure that all unwanted fish are killed. Drying the pond also allows for the decomposition of substances which can be harmful to the fish. After the pond has been properly dried, water should then be allowed to enter the pond through the filtered inlet, to a depth of 6 inches (15 cm). Organic fertilizer (cow or sheep manure) should then be broadcast into the pond, at the rate of 500 lbs/acre. Triple Super Phosphate should then be dissolved in water, and applied to the pond, at the rate of 50 pounds/acre. When the pond water starts to become green, the water level should then be raised to 3.5 to 4 feet. When the transparency reaches 20-30 cm, the fish can then be stocked, since this level of transparency will ensure that enough natural food is available for the young fry. If the transparency is below 20 cm, some water should be let out of the pond through the outlet, and fresh water should then be added to replace the water removed. This should be repeated as necessary, until the transparency range of 20-30 cm is attained.
e. Stocking and Management of Brooders Brood fish should be captured and transported to the breeding pond, using the previously stated guidelines. Brood fish should be stocked at a ratio of one male to every three females, and should be stocked at a rate of one fish for every 6 square feet. When in the breeding pond, brood fish should be fed at a rate of 5% of their body weight per day, or if this is found to be excessive, then they should be fed ad lib. Once stocked, the broodfish should not be recaptured or otherwise disturbed, until it is time to remove them from the pond. Any disturbance will interrupt the breeding, and result in a reduction in the number of fry produced. If 300 gram females are stocked, then approximately 450 fry per female should be produced. Broodfish should remain in the pond for a maximum of four weeks, but can be removed and returned to holding ponds before this time, if enough fry have been produced. If at the end of four weeks adequate fry have not been produced, the broodfish should be removed, and all fry and fingerlings remaining in the breeding pond should be transferred to fingerling ponds. A new set of brooders should then be placed in the breeding pond, to complete the fry production. f. Fry and Fingerling Production The first fry should appear around ten to fourteen days after the brooders have been stocked. The fry will be more easily visible during the early morning and early evening, swimming in a cluster. Each cluster of fry is usually the offspring of a single female. The fry should be caught using a hand net with a very fine mesh size, and counted, before being transferred to a suitably prepared fingerling pond. Counting of fry may be done by using a milk scoop, or a similar container whose capacity has been previously determined, as shown below:
The stocking rate for fry in the fingerling pond is 1 fish for every square foot of pond surface. This will allow enough natural food to be available for the growth of the fry, while maximizing the use of available space. A high protein supplemental feed (28 to 30% protein) should be made available to the fry about seven days after stocking. Rice Bran can be used as well, but care must be taken to ensure that the pond contains adequate plankton. Fry will gradually move from consuming natural food only, to consuming the supplementary feed as well as some natural food. Feeding should be done twice per day (9 am and 4 pm). The feed should be placed in a feed box or feeding tray (diagram), submerged about 6 inches below the water surface. One feed box or tray for every 500 square feet of pond surface is adequate. Before feeding, the feed box or tray must be examined, to determine if any feed is remaining. If feed is remaining, then the feed box or tray should be removed from the pond, washed out thoroughly, and then replaced in the pond. Feed should still be provided, but in a lesser quantity. Fry and fingerlings should be fed ad lib at this stage, until they attain 20 grams, to ensure proper growth. When the fry become fingerlings, at about 20 grams, they can then be fed at 5% of their biomass per day. At approximately 30-35 grams, it is possible to hand sex the fingerlings. At this size, they can be safely stocked into grow-out ponds. Using this method, an 85% survival rate in the fingerling pond can be achieved.
g. Pond Management The water level in the pond must be kept constant. Therefore, water should be added to replace loss by seepage or evaporation. The transparency of the pond is very important, and should not be allowed to fall below or rise above the 20-30 cm range. If the transparency falls below the range, water exchange must be done. If the transparency rises above the range, then more organic and inorganic fertilizer must be added, until the transparency returns to within the normal range. Fish should not be overfed, since this can cause the water in the pond to become polluted, and result in an unhealthy environment for the fish. Feed boxes must be taken out of the pond once per week, cleaned and left to dry in the sun, to disinfect them. Ponds should only be fertilized if there is a need to do so, and should only be done on sunny days. All water entering and leaving the pond must be filtered. All weeds growing in the pond, and along the banks trailing into the water must be removed, so as to keep the pond environment healthy. h. Advantages and Disadvantages This method has the advantages of low technology, less inputs, and relative ease of management, resulting in cheaper fingerlings. However, this method produces mixed sex fingerlings, which must be hand-sexed if all male culture is required. Also, some fry are left in the breeding pond, since it is not possible to remove all of them using hand nets. They can be removed as soon as the brooders have been removed, counted and placed in a fingerling pond. Or, they can be left in the breeding pond, where they can be raised to fingerling size, and then utilized.
X. Seed Production: Intensive
a. Introduction The intensive method of tilapia seed production is characterized mainly by the following: - Utilization of a high level of technology - Utilization of a specially constructed hatchery for breeding, fry production and fingerling production - Preference for concrete tanks, due to space requirements and management considerations - Very little or no dependence on natural food for early fry rearing - Production of both mixed sex and all male fingerlings In this intensive system, artificial aeration is provided to ponds and tanks, enabling the fish to be stocked at much higher densities when compared with the semi-intensive system. Frequent water exchange is required, in order for the tank environment to be able to support the stocked biomass. Natural food is either absent entirely, or present in such small amounts as to be insignificant. Consequently, nutritionally complete feeds, usually in the form of floating pellets, are used, to achieve the required production. Fertilization of ponds and tanks is usually absent as well. Due to the intensity of the culture, and the control over most of the aspects of the rearing process, it is possible to produce either mixed sex fry, or all male fry. However, given the level of investment required, this system is usually utilized for the production of all male fry for use in commercial grow-out operations. Using this system, male and female broodstock are placed into a spawning tank, where reproduction takes place. The resulting fry are then transferred to fry tanks for special management purposes, where they are held for some time, before being transferred to fingerling rearing ponds or tanks, for growing to fingerling size. b. Hatchery Design and Construction i. General Factors: The hatchery should be located below the water source, to facilitate irrigation by gravity, and sufficient pressure without pumping. Consideration should be given to automatic feeding, and mechanized transport of fish within the facility, to reduce labour costs. ii. Specific Factors: The main buildings in a hatchery facility are an office for record keeping, the hatchery building itself, a repair and servicing area, a storage area, and a laboratory for conducing water analyses. The hatchery building should contain the spawning tanks and fry tanks. The fingerling tanks and broodstock holding tanks can be located outside the building.
c. Water Requirement Due to the intensity of the culture system, water quality is very important, and plays a significant part in the success or failure of a hatchery. Physical and chemical characteristics of the water such as suspended solids, temperature, dissolved gases, pH and mineral content need to be carefully considered. The water supply should consist of clean, unpolluted freshwater, ideally with 0 ppt salinity. The pH should be between 6.5 and 9.0. The concentration of the following gasses should be considered: - Oxygen 5 parts per million or more - Carbon Dioxide 10 parts per million or less - Hydrogen sulfide 0.1 part per billion or less - Hydrogen cyanide 10 parts per billion or less Turbidity should be less than 2,000 parts per million, and hardness within the range of 120 to 400 parts per million.
d. Stocking and Management of Brooders Brood fish should be captured and transported to the spawning tank, using the previously stated guidelines. Brood fish should be stocked at a ratio of one male to every three females, and should be stocked at a rate of one fish for every 2 square feet, if aeration is being provided. When in the spawning tank, brood fish should be fed at a rate of 5% of their body weight per day, or if this is found to be excessive, then they should be fed ad lib. Once stocked, the broodfish should not be recaptured or otherwise disturbed, until it is time to remove them from the spawning tank. Any disturbance will interrupt the breeding, and result in a reduction in the number of fry produced. If 300 gram females are stocked, then approximately 450 fry per female should be produced. Broodfish should remain in the spawning tank for a maximum of four weeks, but can be removed and returned to holding ponds before this time, if enough fry have been produced. In the intensive system, fry production is an ongoing process. Therefore, at the end of the four-week period, the broodfish are removed from the spawning tank, and replaced by another batch of brooders. Broodstock are usually rested for 4-6 weeks, before being returned to the spawning tanks to continue fingerling production.
e. Fry Production The first fry should appear in the spawning tank around ten to fourteen days after the brooders are stocked. Due to aeration activities, fry may be more difficult to observe, but are usually found clustered at the edges and corners of the tank. The fry can be caught using a hand net with a very fine mesh size, or they can be removed using a siphon. They are then counted, before being transferred to fry tanks. Fry are usually captured and transferred to the fry tank within the first three days, while their yolk sacs are still visible, to permit hormonal sex reversal. There are several methods for counting fry, such as the volumetric method. However, counting can be done easily using the method displayed previously. The stocking rate for fry in the fry tank varies, since aeration makes very high stocking densities possible. Fry may also be stocked volumetrically, rather than by surface area. In very intensive systems, it is possible to stock as many as 100 fry per liter of water. As the fry get older, the stocking density should be reduced. For example, fry weighing 0.02 grams (yolk sac fry) to 1.0 grams should be stocked at 8,000 per square meter; fry weighing 1-5 grams should be stocked at 3,200/square meter. Complete feeds are used in these systems, containing all the nutrients required for fry growth and development, with as much as 45% protein. Due to their small stomach size, fry are unable to consume a large amount of feed at any one feed, and must therefore be fed frequently. They may be fed as many as 6 times per day in the first 28 days, and less frequently as they become older. After approximately 28 days in the fry tanks, fry are usually transferred out of the hatchery. At this stage, fry weigh approximately 5 grams, and may be sold, if that is the business of the hatchery. Or, if the hatchery is producing fry for use on the farm, the fry are transferred to fingerling tanks.
A: Rounded hand net for working with fingerlings; B: Squared hand net for catching fry. C: Sleeve hand net for handling breeders.
f. Fingerling Rearing: The stocking rate in the fingerling tanks is lower than in the fry tanks. Fry weighing 5-20 grams may be stocked at 1,600 per square meter; fry weighing 20-50 grams may be stocked at 1,000 per square meter. The feed used at this stage should contain approximately 35% protein. Fingerlings may be kept in the fingerling tanks until they reach about 50 grams, or 60 days old, at which time most of the mortality would have occurred. The fingerlings may then sold if that is the business of the hatchery, or stocked into grow-out ponds on the farm.
g. Hormonal Sex Reversal When tilapia are hatched, they are genetically determined as male or female. However, at the time of hatching, they are physically indeterminate, i.e. they do not possess sex organs. It is therefore possible, in the early stages of fry development, to influence the development of the sex organs by hormonal intervention. If fry are exposed to an excess of male hormone in this early stage, male sex organs will develop, irregardless of the genetic composition of the fry. Similarly, if fry are exposed to an excess of female hormone in the early stages of fry development, female sex organs will develop, irregardless of the genetic composition of the fry. As has been stated previously, males are preferred for rearing. Therefore, the process of hormonal sex reversal, for the production of all male tilapia, is as follows. i. Preparation of Hormone: The most commonly used hormone for hormonal sex reversal of tilapia is 17 alpha-methyl testosterone, applied to fry in their feed, at a rate of 60 milligrams of hormone per kilogram of feed. The feed containing the recommended amount of hormone can be prepared according to the following procedure: Dilute 3g of hormone in 1000ml of 95% ethanol and store this stock solution at 4°C. Add 20 ml of stock solution to 210ml of 90% ethanol and then spray over one kilogram of feed. Spray the feed in a covered mixer and mix thoroughly for 20 minutes. Spread the feed in a 5cm deep layer on a table inside a shaded enclosed area, at 26°C for 12 hours, to evaporate the solvent. Seal the feed in plastic zip-loc bags and place in a freezer at -2 °C.
ii. Treatment of Fry: For the hormone to be effective, fry need to be exposed to the feed containing the hormone as soon as they start to feed on external food sources. Therefore, fry need to be captured while their yolk sac is still visible, since this indicates that they have not commenced feeding on external food sources. Fry should then be placed in a fry tank, at a suitable stocking rate, and be fed the hormone laced feed four times per day, for 28 days. iii. Results: At the end of this period, approximately 95% of the fry will be male. It is possible to obtain a higher percentage of males by increasing the frequency of feedings, and the length of time the fry are exposed to the hormone laced feed.
h. “Supermale” Technology Another method of obtaining all-male tilapia is by the use of the “Supermale” technology. It is possible to obtain male tilapia which will produce all male offspring when bred to a normal female. These “Supermales” can be obtained from specialized suppliers, but are quite expensive. The Supermale has two “Y” chromosomes, instead of having one “X” and one “Y” chromosome, as in a normal male tilapia. This means that all the offspring of a Supermale tilapia and a normal female tilapia will contain a “Y” chromosome and an “X” chromosome, and therefore will be male. Once obtained, this technology is simpler to implement on the farm, and uses no hormones.
XI. Transferring and Stocking of Fry and Fingerlings 30 Minutes a. Capturing Fish It is important to be able to obtain fry and fingerlings from their natural environment, in an efficient manner, so as to minimize stress and injury. Fishing gear commonly used in hatcheries and on aquaculture facilities in general, tend to have very small mesh sizes. This is to ensure that fish are not gilled, or physically harmed, during capture and handling. Rather, the fish should be physically restrained, to make handling easier. This is necessary since the fry and fingerlings will usually be handled several times before they are ready for market. If they are not handled with care during the various stages of the culture cycle, mortality will result, which will reduce the profit margin. The most commonly used fishing gear for fry and fingerlings are hand nets of various sizes. They have long and very small mesh sizes, and can even be made of some types of cloth.
b. Transporting Fish The development and expansion of aquaculture has made it necessary to transport live fish from one place to another, for various reasons. This movement of fish may be within the farm, between farms in the neighbourhood, or even between countries or continents. Live fish transported may be broodstock, for use in breeding operations; fry and fingerlings, for use in grow-out culture; or market sized fish, which are required to be alive for specific markets, for example in Asia. Fish should be able to be transported at any growth stage in their life, in such conditions so that they do not suffer lethal stress, while at the same time being economical. It is possible to transport fishes and have total survival, using large amounts of space and water. However, this may not be economical. There must be a balance between transporting as many fish as possible, using as little water and space as possible. As fish are placed for long periods in the same small amount of water for transport, the water quality starts to deteriorate. Dissolved oxygen content is reduced, carbon dioxide content increases, and other toxic compounds such as ammonia and nitrite increase. An easy way of overcoming this problem is to change the water frequently during transport. However, this may not be possible at all times. Therefore, there are some simple rules and devices, which enable fish survival during transport.
i. Preparation of Fish Before Transport Fish for transport should be captured and held in a separate area 24 hours before being transported. This will reduce the stress during transport, since the fish will be easily recaptured. The fish will also become accustomed to a new environment outside of the pond. Fish should not be fed for 24 hours before transport. This will enable them to empty their intestines before being transported, so that they do not foul the water during transport. It is also possible to use certain chemicals (sedatives) to reduce fish metabolic rate during transport. These chemicals are applied to the water before transport. However, these chemicals are expensive, and some of them are not safe to use with food fish.
ii. Water Quality for Transport Water being used to transport fish should have the following qualities: - Water should be cool, so fish and bacteria will be less active, thus reducing DO consumption and production of ammonia/carbon dioxide. Ice should be used, to reduce the water temperature to 15-20 degrees Celsius. The pH should be about 7 to 7.5.
It should be free from mud or suspended solids, to reduce stress to the fish gills, to reduce bacteria in organic solids, and to reduce risk of low oxygen levels caused by decomposition of organic material. It should be free of harmful chemicals, such as hydrogen sulphide, dissolved iron, pesticides and various pollutants.
Therefore, well water or rainwater should be used. Pond or canal water should be avoided, will deteriorate faster, stressing the fish.
iii. Stocking Rate for Transport The amount of fish that can be safely transported in a fixed volume of water depends on the species, the size of the fish, and whether or not aeration is supplied. Some species are very susceptible to poor water quality, and these should be transported using a low stocking rate. Others, such as tilapia, are more tolerant to poor water conditions, and can therefore be transported using a higher stocking rate. Larger fish require will occupy more space and utilize more oxygen. Therefore, they have to be transported using a lower stocking rate than smaller fish. If aeration is supplied, this greatly increases the amount of fish that can be transported. This is discussed in more detail in the following section.
iv. Methods of Transport A simple and efficient way of transporting small amounts of fish, without continuous aeration, is by the use of a plastic bag containing approximately 20 litres of water and 20 litres of pure oxygen, as illustrated below:
This system may be used to transport tilapia fry and fingerlings. The plastic bags should be protected during transport, by placing them in a cardboard or wooden box, or in a canvas bag. This has the added advantage of keeping the bags cool, and reducing the fish activity due to the darkness, thereby reducing oxygen consumption. Broodstock can also be transported using this system, but only a maximum of three 300g fish should be placed in each bag. The plastic bag may be doubled, to minimize leakage through the seams. Using this system, the following amounts of fish can be transported:
Guidelines for the transport of Warm-water fish Juveniles in sealed plastic bags filled with 20 l water and at least 20 l oxygen1 (loading capacities as number of fish per bag)
Another way of transporting fish is by the use of rigid containers. Containers are usually metal or plastic, and are fitted with a portable aeration device. These containers have proven to be very efficient and reliable for transporting fish locally. This system is more efficient for transporting large fish, when compared with the plastic bag, but less efficient for transporting smaller fish.
c. Stocking Fishes When the transported fish reach their destination, the fish inside the container should be gradually acclimatized to the quality of the water where they are to be stocked. Temperature and chemical characteristics may be very different from those of the transport water, especially if the transportation time was relatively long. Therefore, the fish must be acclimatized to the water conditions into which they are to be stocked. If plastic bags were used for transport, the sealed bags should be floated in the receiving water, for at least 15 to 30 minutes to allow the water in the bag to attain the same temperature as the water outside the bag. Failure to this may cause thermal shock to the fish, and may cause death. The bags should then be opened, and some of the receiving water added, so as to accustom the fish to the new water. Finally, the opening of the bag should be lowered into the receiving water, and the fish should be allowed to swim out, or should be slowly emptied out into the receiving water.
Stocking of Transported Fish If containers were used, then some of the receiving water should be slowly added to the container, to equalise the temperature. At the end of 15 minutes, the water in the container should have approximately the same temperature as the water into which the fish will be placed. Only then should the fish be removed from the container and placed into the new water.
XII. Feeds and Feeding 60 Minutes a. Tilapia Feeding Characteristics Tilapia are capable of ingesting feed material from the surface, middle and bottom of the pond. However, fry and fingerlings feed mostly on the surface and in the middle layer of the pond. Tilapia ingest a wide variety of natural food organisms, including plankton, some aquatic macrophytes, planktonic and benthic aquatic invertebrates, larval fish, detritus, and decomposing organic matter. With heavy supplemental feeding, natural food organisms typically account for 30 to 50 percent of tilapia growth. This is relatively high, compared with other species. Tilapia are sometimes classified as filter feeders because they can efficiently harvest plankton from the water. The gills of tilapia secrete mucus that traps plankton. The plankton-rich mucus, or bolus, is then swallowed. Digestion and assimilation of plant material occurs along the length of the intestine (usually at least six times the total length of the fish). Two mechanisms help tilapia digest filamentous and planktonic algae and succulent higher plants: physical grinding of plant tissues between two pharyngeal plates of fine teeth a stomach pH below 2, which ruptures the cell walls of algae and bacteria.
Generally speaking, tilapia use natural food so efficiently that the nutritional value of the natural food supply in ponds is important, even for commercial operations that feed fish intensively. Very careful attention should be paid to fish feeds and feeding. In semi-intensive systems, feed usually accounts for 60-75% of the total running costs of a fish crop. If tilapia are fed properly, then they will be less susceptible to disease. Appropriate use of a good feed will improve growth rates, reduce crop time, and result in larger fish. b. Types of Feed There are three types of food used in fishponds: - Natural food - Supplementary feeds - Complete feeds. i. Natural food: This is found naturally in the pond. It may include detritus, bacteria, plankton, worms, insects, snails, aquatic plants and fish. Their abundance greatly depends on water quality. Liming and fertilization, in particular organic fertilization, can help to provide a good supply of natural food for the fish. Natural food is very important in the extensive system of aquaculture.
ii. Supplementary feeds: These are feeds that are regularly distributed to the fish in the pond, and which contain many, but not all, the nutrients required for growth. . They usually consist of cheap materials locally available such as terrestrial plants, kitchen wastes or agricultural byproducts. Supplementary feeds are important in the semi-intensive system of aquaculture. iii. Complete feeds: These are feeds that are regularly distributed to the fish in the pond. They are made from a mixture of carefully selected ingredients to provide all the nutrients necessary for the fish to grow well. They must be made in a form which the fish find easy to eat and digest. These feeds are quite difficult to make on the farm and are usually quite expensive to buy. Complete feeds are important in the intensive system of aquaculture.
c. On-Farm Feed Formulation and Manufacturing Feed is the largest cost in semi-intensive aquaculture, usually comprising more than 50%. Therefore, any savings on feed will amount to significant savings, which will increase the farmer’s profit. One way of reducing feed costs is to manufacture feed on the farm, using locally available ingredients. i. Feed Formulation The formulation of feed on a farm depend on several factors, such as the market value, nutrient requirements and natural feeding habits of the species being reared, and the financial resources of the farmer. Tilapia fry and fingerlings, and to a lesser extent, adults, are able to utilize natural food found in well-fertilized ponds, to contribute to their nutritional requirements. For tilapia, the feed ingredients used should be low cost, since Tilapia have a medium market price. The ingredients can also be mainly of plant origin, since Tilapia are able to digest plant proteins relatively efficiently, and convert these plant proteins to fish flesh. Ingredients such as rice ban, wheat middling, copra meal, soy meal and wheat flour can be used to make a good supplementary feed. In feed formulation, it is important to ensure that the ingredients used will result in a feed with the required amount of the main nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and lipids), so as to provide proper nutrition for the fish. ii. Feed Manufacture Ingredients used should be dried, for better handling and ease of storage. All ingredients should also be ground to a fine particle size, for ease of mixing. Ingredients should be weighed out, according to the recommended amounts, and placed in separate containers.
Mixing should be done using clean implements (e.g. a spade), on a flat, clean surface, in the shade. The two ingredients in the smallest amounts should be evenly mixed together first. The ingredient in the next smallest quantity should then be added to this mixture. Finally, the previously mixed ingredients should be mixed evenly with the ingredients in the largest amounts. This will enable thorough mixing of all the ingredients. A small amount of water should then be added to the mixture, to help in bind the feed together. This damp “dough-like” mixture can then be pelleted by extruding it using a simple hand mill. The extruded pellets should then be dried in the shade, before feeding to fish. For fry, the size of the feed particles is important, as indicated below. The dried pellets may have to be ground to a suitable size before being presented to the fry.
Recommended Sizes of Feed Particles (mm) iii. Locally Formulated Farm-Made Feeds The following feeds have been formulated and used locally: Feed No.1 Ingredients Soya Meal Shrimp Dust Rice Bran Copra Meal Flour
Percentage Protein 43 30 9 20 12 40 20 10 20 10
Percentage Protein Included 17.2 6 0.9 4 1.2 29.3
Feed No.2 Ingredients Soya Meal Copra Meal Rice Bran Flour
Percentage Protein 43 20 9 12 50 30 10 10
Percentage Protein Included 21.5 6 0.9 1.2 29.6
Feed No.3 Ingredients Soya Meal Copra Meal Wheat Middling Rice Bran Flour
Percentage Protein 43 20 11 9 12 50 20 10 10 10
Percentage Protein Included 21.5 4 1.1 0.9 1.2 28.7
d. Reasons for Feeding Fish Fish should be fed for the following reasons: - Natural foods may not be enough to give the required growth rate - More fish may need to be stocked in the pond than the natural food will support - Larger fish may be required, in a short amount of time - It may be uneconomical to rely on natural food There are several occasions on which it is advantageous or even compulsory to stop feeding the fish: When the water temperature is too low or too high When dissolved oxygen content is low On the day you manure is applied to the pond If a disease epidemic appears in the pond
e. Types of Artificial Feeds There are several types of artificial feeds: - Mash (powder) - Cakes - Pellets (sinking and floating) - Green Feeds
f. Methods of Applying Artificial Feeds There are several methods of artificial feeding: - Broadcasting: feed is evenly distributed over the surface of the water - Hand-feeding: feed is distributed by hand, in specific parts of the rearing area - Automated (Demand) Feeder: feed is released by way of a trigger mechanism which is activated by the fish - Select Feeding: feed is distributed using a boat, etc., at specific parts of the rearing area - Feeding Trays: feed is placed in trays, which may be submerged or floating - Feeding Frames: feed is placed in floating frames, which prevent floating feeds from dispersing
g. Advantages and Disadvantages of Artificial Feeds There are several advantages of artificial feeds: - When properly made, they can provide the correct balance of nutrients needed - They are usually easily available to the farmer - The cultured species usually grows very quickly - They are easily stored for relatively long periods There are several disadvantages of artificial feeds: - They are usually expensive - Unsuitable for some species - May pollute the water - May lead to allergic reactions if not properly made - May lead to pathogen virulence - May be lacking in completeness
h. Feeding Rates The feeding rate describes the amount of feed that is applied to a particular area, over a period of time. Different fish species are grown using different feeding rates. Feeding rates are usually given to farmers in the form of a chart, showing the amount of feed to be applied each day. Sometimes, feeding is done according to the weight of the fish At other times, fish are fed as much as they can eat. This is called ad lib feeding.
Feeding Rates Based Upon Biomass
i. Basic Feeding Principles The following are some basic feeding principles: - Underfeeding leads to a loss in fish productivity, while overfeeding is uneconomical, and also leads to poor water quality and production losses - The feed conversion ratio (FCR) is very important. It can range from 1.45:1 to 50:1 - More feed is required in warm water than in cooler water
XIII. Fish Health and Disease 30 Minutes a. Significance of Disease: It is important to ensure that fish grown on aquaculture farms are healthy and free from disease. Around the world, disease has caused the collapse of several important aquaculture enterprises, such as the shrimp industries in China and Ecuador. Fish diseases may cause severe losses on fish farms through: - Reduced fish growth and production - Increased feeding cost caused by lack of appetite and waste of uneaten feed - Increased vulnerability to predation - Increased susceptibility to low water quality - Death of fish. b. Behaviour and Characteristics of Healthy Fish i. Reflexes The following four reflex actions indicate healthy fish: Escape reflex: Fishes are usually not easy to catch. They escape at any minor shadow or movement in or near the water. If the fish is slow to escape, then it is probably sick. Fight reflex: When a fish is caught, it tries to defend itself by vigorous movements of the tail and fins. If the fish rests quietly and makes little attempt to escape, it is probably sick. Tail Reflex: The tail of a healthy, captured fish remains strongly arched or exhibits a rapid back and forth movement. A fish which does not move its tail in this manner, or allows the tail to hang flaccidly, is probably sick. Eye Reflex: A healthy fish, when captured and lying on its side, turns its eye so as to keep it in the position it would normally be if the fish was upright. If the fish keeps it eye pointing upward while lying on its side, then it is probably sick.
ii. External Characteristics of Healthy Fish Bright, wet and normally pigmented skin Flat and firm scales Red, wet gills which are covered with a slight layer of mucous Firm and elastic muscles Anus closed and normally coloured Clear, transparent and slightly protruded eyes Characteristic fish-like smell No nodules, parasites or ulcerated on the skin No excessive mucus
iii. Internal Characteristics of Healthy Fish Generally speaking, no fluid, gas or parasites should be evident inside the fish.
c. Types of Fish Diseases The three main causes of fish diseases are: - Attack by disease organisms - Improper feeding; - Stress through extreme or toxic condition; Consequently, fish diseases are grouped as follows: Infectious and invasive diseases Nutritional diseases Environmental diseases i. Infectious Diseases: Infectious diseases are caused by external or internal invasion of the fish body by disease causing organisms. Bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites like protozoa are the most common agents of infectious diseases. Rapid death of many fish is usually a sign of an infectious disease. ii. Nutritional Diseases: Nutritional diseases are caused by too much or too little of a particular nutrient, and are usually indicative of improper feeding practices. Excessive feeding, or feed that contains too much fat cause the following problems: - Obesity with fatty deposits on internal organs, especially on the liver - Water retention in tissues due to kidney failure - Problems with the gills extracting oxygen from water The other group of important nutritional diseases is related to the lack of vitamins and minerals in the diet. The lack of vitamins and minerals can cause a variety of problems, such as reduced growth rate, gill corrosion, eye opacity, skin problems, fluid retention, etc. These nutritional problems are due mostly to improperly balanced feed, as well as feed degradation caused by feed being stored for too long a period before use. iii. Environmental Diseases: Strictly speaking, environmental diseases are not really diseases. Rather, they are related to unsuitable conditions in the environment in which fish live. They are usually grouped into four classes:
Asphyxia: This is due to low dissolved oxygen level in the water, and usually occurs in the early morning. Traumatisms: The traumatisms are skin lesions caused by poor handling in capturing, stocking or general handling. This may lead to other disease conditions, such as infections. Bubble Illness: This usually occurs in fry and small fishes. It results from too rapid transfer of fish from one water condition to another. Poisoning: Poisoning is due to the presence of harmful substances in the water. These may be pesticides, oil, household waste, etc. It is important to keep the pond and its surroundings clean to avoid this problem.
d. Fish Defence Against Infection i. Mucus: Mucus (slime layer) is the first physical barrier that inhibits entry of disease organisms from the environment into the fish. It is also a chemical barrier, containing enzymes and antibodies that can kill invading disease organisms. ii. Scales and Skin: Scales and skin function as a physical barrier that protects the fish. These are injured most commonly by handling, rough surfaces of tanks or cages and by fighting caused by overcrowding or reproductive behavior. Parasite infestations can also result in damage to gills, skin, fins, and loss of scales. iii. Inflammation: Inflammation is a natural immune response by the cells to a foreign protein, such as bacterium, virus, parasite, fungus, or toxin. Inflammation is characterized by swelling, redness, and loss of function. It is a protective response, an attempt by the body to wall off and destroy the invader. iv. Antibodies: Unlike inflammation and other nonspecific forms of protection, antibodies are compounds formed by the body to fight specific foreign proteins or organisms. The first exposure results in the formation of antibodies by the fish that will help protect it from future infection by the same organism.
e. Preventing diseases through good management The following points are important, and should be carefully followed: Ensure good water quality: sufficient supply, with adequate dissolved oxygen concentration and free of pollution Keep the pond environment healthy, e.g., control pond silt, control unwanted plants Keep a healthy balance of phytoplankton and zooplankton and exchange water if needed. If necessary, use mechanical aeration. Disinfect the pond regularly, using simple methods such as allowing the pond to dry after each crop. Keep the fish in good condition, e.g., control stocking density, by placing only the recommended amount of fish in each pond. Keep different sizes or sexes separate if necessary to control fighting. Wounds can become inflamed, leading to disease problems. Ensure good food supply. Make certain that the feed is not spoilt or deteriorated. Handle the fish properly, especially during harvesting and sorting/grading. Use fishing gear with mesh size appropriate to the size of fish. Care for your fish during storage and transport. Prevent the entry of disease organisms from outside the farm, by controlling wild fish by using filters and screens. Regularly remove them from canals and ponds. Disinfect all fish stocks imported from outside as eggs, juveniles or adults. If a disease breaks out on the farm, remove dead or dying fish from the ponds as quickly as possible, at least daily. Disinfect fishing gear regularly, by soaking in bleach. A simple disinfecting bath for fish can be made using common salt in a 3% solution for 5 minutes
f. Tilapia Diseases Tilapia are more resistant to viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases than other commonly cultured fish, especially at optimum temperatures for growth. Lymphocystis, columnaris, whirling disease, and hemorrhagic septicemia may cause high mortality, but these problems occur most frequently at water temperatures below 68 o F. “Ich” caused by the protozoan Ichthyopthirius multifiliis, can cause serious losses of fry and juveniles in intensive re-circulating systems, but is extremely rare in semi-intensive systems. External protozoans such as Trichodina and Epistylis also may reach epidemic densities on stressed fry in intensive culture. In recent years the bacterial infection Steptococcus inae has caused heavy losses, primarily in re-circulating and intensive flow-through systems. Life Cycle of Ichthyopthirius multifiliis
XIV. Record Keeping
By keeping accurate records, one can determine the number of fry and fingerlings produced, the level of success of a particular system, and the degree of profit. Records also allow comparisons to be made between and among various crops, so as to find out if progress is being made, and if improvements are continuing. Record keeping does not have to be a complicated business. Once a few basic factors are recorded, many conclusions can be derived. The most important ones to be noted are presented below. a. Stocking Data: This refers to the type of size of fish in a particular rearing structure, how much has been placed into the rearing structure, and what date they were placed into the pond. b. Feeding Data: This refers to the type of feed supplied to the fish, and the amount of feed supplied on a daily basis. c. Sampling Data: At fixed times during the culture cycle, fish should be caught, weighed and returned to the pond, so as to observe how fast they are growing, and to observe the general health of the fish. d. Mortality Data: This refers to the amount of dead fish, and the weight of the dead fish. e. Harvest Data: This refers to the total amount of fish harvested and the individual weight of each fish. f. Marketing Data: This refers to the amount of fish sold, the quantities sold to each buyer, and the price charged. From the data taken above, the following can be determined: a. Culture time b. Survival percentage c. Growth rate d. Feed Conversion Ration (FCR). e. Cost of Production f. Profit
XV. Tilapia Grow-Out
a. Pond Construction Ponds for tilapia rearing should be constructed in a place where there the soil has at least 35% clay, to prevent water loss by seepage. The pond should be near an adequate supply of either fresh or brackish water, and in a place where water can be easily put into it, and taken out of it. The water used in the ponds should have a pH of between 6.5 and 9.0, since acidity reduces growth rate in tilapia. A pond depth of at least 5 ft (1.4m) is required to hold 3.5 ft (1.1m) of water at the inlet side and 4.5 ft (1.4 m) of water at the outlet side. The sides of the pond should slope at a 30-degree angle, and the bottom graded towards the outlet, to allow for drainage.
b. Stocking Rate In the production ponds, tilapias are stocked at 1 fish for every 3 square feet, or 3 fish per square meter.
c. Fertilizing For freshwater ponds, the following rate is recommended: - 500 pounds cow manure per acre per month - 50 pounds TSP per acre per month
d. Feeding If sinking pellet feed is used, a feed box is required. This feed box can be constructed of wood, and should be 3 feet long, 2 feet wide and 6 inches deep. It should be suspended 612 inches below the water surface. Each pond must have at least two feed boxes, and about 8 feed boxes are required per acre of pond surface. The recommended feeding rate in a growout pond is usually at 5% of the body weight of the fish per day. Feed should be placed in the feed box, and feeding should be done two times daily. The first feeding should be done between 8:00 hrs and 9:00 hrs, and the second between 15:00 hrs and 18:00 hrs.
e. Pond Management The water level in the pond must be kept constant. Therefore, water should be added to replace that lost by seepage or evaporation. Fish should not be overfed, since this can cause the water in the pond to become polluted, and result in an unhealthy environment for the fish.
Feed boxes must be taken out of the pond once per week, cleaned and left to dry in the sun, to disinfect them. Ponds should only be fertilized if there is a need to do so. Fertilizing should only be done on sunny days. All water entering and leaving the pond must be filtered.
f. Growth rate The growth rate obtained depends on the feed used, and whether or not only males are grown, or both males and females are grown in the same pond. If tilapias are fed rice bran, a size of 8 ounces (227 g) can be achieved after 6 months. If Broiler Starter is used, then a size of 8 –12 ounces (341g) can be achieved after 5 months. If Tilapia floating pellet is used, a size of 1 pound (454 g) can be achieved after 6 months.
g. Record keeping Records must be kept on all aspects of production. These records include the amount of money spent, the type and quantity of feed used, and other important aspects of pond management. This is to enable farmers to calculate their profit, at the end of a crop.
h. Local Information Based on trials conducted at the Mon Repos Freshwater Aquaculture Demonstration Farm and Training Centre, the following data has been obtained with respect to the culture of Red Tilapia in ponds. All the trials were conducted with hand sexed male tilapia. i. Tilapia Grower Feed, Sinking Pellet (28% protein, locally produced) After 6 months in the growing pond (total seven months), 93% survival was obtained. The average weight was 255g (9 oz), and 70% of the population was over 227 g (8 oz), while 7% was over 340 g (12 oz). The FCR was 2.14:1 Cost of Feed: $23 per pound Selling Price for Fish: $120 per pound ii. Tilapia Floating Pellet (33% protein, imported from Trinidad) After 5 months in the growing pond (total six and one half months), 78% survival was obtained. The average weight was 374 g (13.2 oz). The amount of fish over 454 g (one pound) was 22%. The FCR was 1.82:1 Cost of Feed: $35 per pound Selling Price for Fish: $120 per pound
iii. Tilapia Grower Feed, Sinking Pellet (35% protein, locally produced) After 4 months in the growing pond (total five months), the average weight was 274.8 g (9.7 oz). Survival percentage was 80%. The FCR was 2.2:1 Cost of Feed: $26 per pound Selling Price for Fish: $120 per pound
iv. Tilapia Floating Pellet (33% protein, imported from Trinidad) After 6 months in the growing pond (total seven and one half months), the survival percentage was 98.2%. The average weight was 512.7 g (18.1 oz), with 72% of the fish over one pound. The FCR was 1.81:1 Cost of Feed: $35 per pound Selling Price for Fish: $120 per pound v. Tilapia Grower Feed, Sinking Pellet (35% protein, locally produced) After 6 months in the growing pond (total seven and one half months), the survival percentage was 80%. The average weight was 403.5 g (14.2 oz), with 35% of the fish over one pound. The FCR was 2.53:1 Cost of Feed: $26 per pound Selling Price for Fish: $120 per pound
XVI: Outline of Practicals 1. Observing and outlining the elements of properly constructed ponds: Layout, water flow, inlets, outlets, overflow, filtering devices, etc. 2. Observation of Pond Water Quality Parameters: a. pH, dissolved oxygen, Secchi Disc readings b. Fertilizing of ponds with organic and inorganic fertilizers 3. Microscope Work: a. Observation of pond water to identify phytoplankton and zooplankton b. Observation of yolk-sac fry 4. Broodstock: Identification of male and female, correct handling procedures, fish dissection, healthy characteristics 5. Fry and Fingerling: Handling and transportation, transferring and stocking
XVII: References 1. Avault, J.W. 1998. Fundamentals of Aquaculture. 2. Chapman, F. 2000. Culture of Hybrid Tilapia: A Reference Profile. University of Florida. Circular 1051. 3. FAO Training Series. Simple Methods for Aquaculture. Pond Construction for Freshwater Fish Culture. 20/1: Building Earthen Ponds. 4. FAO Training Series. Simple Methods for Aquaculture. Management for Freshwater Fish Culture. 21/1: Ponds and Water Practices 5. FAO Training Series. Simple Methods for Aquaculture. Management for Freshwater Fish Culture. 21/2: Fish Stocks and Farm Management. 6. Farm-Made Aquafeeds. 1995. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 343. 7. Fonticiella, D; Monteagudo, A. 2000. Manual on Basic Aquaculture. 8. Geer, T. and Singh, K. Annual Report of the Mon Repos Freshwater Aquaculture Demonstration Farm and Training Centre. 2001-2003. 9. Geer, T. and Singh, K. Annual Report of the Mon Repos Freshwater Aquaculture Demonstration Farm and Training Centre. 2004. 10. National Development Strategy for Guyana (Shared Development through a Participatory Economy), Chapter 13 – Fisheries Policy, 1997-2002. Ministry of Finance, Government of Guyana. 11. Piper, R.; McElwain, I. et al. 1998. Fish Hatchery Management. 12. Popma, Thomas; Masser, M. 1999. Tilapia Life History and Biology. Southern Regional Aquaculture Centre. Pub. No.283. 13. Rakocy, J.; McGinty, A. 1989. Pond Culture of Tilapia. Southern Regional Aquaculture Centre. Pub. No. 280. 14. Rakocy, J. 1989. Tank Culture of Tilapia. Southern Regional Aquaculture Centre. Pub. No. 282. 15. State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture. 2004. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 16. Van Gorder, S.D. 2000. Small Scale Aquaculture.
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