Tilapia for Pond Management
Three years ago we introduced using Blue Tilapia in your pond to help consume algae and certain submerged rooted plants. Two years later we can say that our tilapia experiment was a great success. We stocked tilapia in over 300 ponds during the 2011 season. Over 85% of the tilapia survey respondents chose to use the tilapia again in 2012! Most respondents found that a majority of the filamentous algae was controlled very well and many of the typical types of submerged pond weeds were also minimized. As we had figured, the amount of tilapia stocked per acre directly affected how well they worked in each pond situation. Our stocking estimates were very close in 2010 but we slightly amended them to allow for even better results in 2011.
Blue Tilapia are the most cold tolerant species of all of the Tilapia. They can survive water temperatures down to 45 degrees. This is very important as it allows them to be viable for an additional several months in our latitude. This means more time for consumption of vegetation! This also means the Tilapia will not overpopulate as they will die off in late October to early November.
Tilapia will eat many of the common types of filamentous algae, blue green algae, rooted plants and even twigs and other organic debris. They are very efficient consumers. When stocked at the appropriate rates into your pond, the Tilapia can be very effective at dramatically reducing seasonal plant material. They are not problematic for swimmers in the pond like some other types of panfish!
The bonus benefit of using the Blue Tilapia in your pond is the fact that you can harvest the largest ones with some effort before the fall die off. Tilapia are excellent table fare. Think of them like a very large panfish. They can achieve weights of up to 2# by the end of the season. Tilapia fillets are sold at most grocery stores and served in many restaurants in our area.
GROW MORE FISH, GROW LARGER FISH!
Hate using chemicals? Tilapia will minimize the need for chemical control of algae and most submerged plants and can even minimize duckweed and watermeal. The reduction in algae and overgrown plants reduces the nightly buildup of carbon dioxide and helps reduce large swings and stabilize both the dissolved oxygen (DO) and PH levels. Blue Tilapia offspring and adults are huge consumers of bacteria and readily consume the bottom muck and detritus it grows on. This helps to decrease both the amount oxygen consumed and the toxins released by the decay process. Feeding? Tilapias produce a vast amount of natural forage! This reduces pressure on all other forage fish. Typical predator/prey fish that don’t consume the tilapia directly will benefit by eating more freely. The real feast begins in the fall when tilapia become lethargic. Every size predator in the pond will gorge itself on the easy prey just in time for winter. Blue Tilapia do NOT directly compete with other fish for food in the ecosystem, they enhance their survival, size, and numbers.
Water quality and dissolved oxygen levels in ponds and lakes are dramatically and rapidly improved by adding tilapia. This is due to the tilapia eating vast quantities of muck and detritus in the pond that would otherwise add ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and many other toxins to the water. Also by eating this detritus, far less oxygen is consumed that would normally be used in the decay process. The tilapia do not intentionally consume the detritus, they eat it to get the bacteria growing on the decaying matter. Their love for the bacteria ensures fresh colonies of beneficial aerobic bacteria on your pond bottom to speed the breakdown of muck even further.
Tilapia are the safest, surest, and most cost effective way to rid your pond of the unhealthy blue-green algae, chara and unsightly filamentous algae as well as, duckweed, watermeal, milfoil and many, many more undesirable pond weeds. In lakes and ponds, Tilapia are an incredibly effective, chemical free way to rid minimize choking weeds and unsightly string algae that make fishing and swimming almost impossible and certainly less enjoyable. As a bonus, Tilapia are unmatched for providing huge numbers of offspring which provide a highly nutritious forage, or prey fish, for Large Mouth Bass, Blue Gill, Yellow Perch and other predator fish species. In short, Tilapia eat plant life for nourishment that other fish simply CAN'T and would otherwise go to waste. Tilapia provide your Sport fish with MORE nutrition at less expense than ANY other method! They also move more nutrients up the animal side of the food chain rapidly. It is a win-win solution!
Call 419-669-4084 for more information on how to utilize Blue Tilapia in your particular pond situation. Call soon to preorder for the 2014 season as we expect to have limited supplies available due to the overwhelming response by pond owners!