Frequently Asked Questions
Here we answer frequently asked questions about Tilapia farming and system design. This page is constantly updated as time permits and as new frequent questions come up. For more information on tilapia farming, please visit our guides section. Here we get into the details of tilapia farming, system design, and tilapia selection.
Home Aquaculture or Aquaponics
1) How many Tilapia can I fit in my XX Gallon tank?
The problem with this question is that the answer is not simple. There are allot of variables that have a significant affect on how many tilapia you can keep in your tank. What it comes down to is how many lbs of fish your filtration system can handle, how much time you want to spend maintaining the tank and how much room the fish have to swim. I assume you are growing these fish to eat, so a healthy, good tasting fish should be your first priority. Other variables like water temperature, makeup water quality, your feeding habits, and tank dimensions also play a role in stocking density. I have had clients tell me other suppliers say they can keep 1 fish per gallon of water. This is foolish and an attempt to take as much of your money as possible. I can assure you that you will end up with allot of dead fish and a lost investment if you follow these recommendations.
Almost every client I speak with want’s more fish then their system can handle. Although I would like to sell you as many fish as possible, my conscience will not allow me to do so unless you fully understand what you are getting into. I suggest beginners stock their tanks at 1 fish, eventually will be one pound, per 4-5 gallons. Only calculate the volume in the tank the fish are actually swimming in. The extra water volume in aquaponic systems does not count when calculating stocking density. If you have a basic tank and filtration system, your fingerlings will hardly stress your system. But as they grow, they will push your filtration to it’s limit. You should harvest your fish around 1 lb or slightly larger. If you have excellent filtration, good tank cleaning habits, good feed control, and a tank with lot’s of surface volume and great aeration, you can push this to 1 lb per 3.5 gallons of water.
2) How do I treat my water if it has Chlorine or Chloramines?
Typically water treatment facilities use Chlorine or Chloramine to treat their water. These chemicals are strong oxidizing agents and are highly toxic to fish. Exposure to even low levels of chlorine can cause serious damage to the gills of fish. Chlorine is easy to treat as it is an unstable chemical. Chloramine on the other hand is not as easy to get rid of. We have a test kit in our store that can test if you have Chlorine or Chloramine.
Chlorine treatment is usually as easy as putting your water in a container, add 10mg per gallon of Vitamin C and roll it with an air-stone in sunlight for around 24 hours. Most of the time this will dissipate all of the Chlorine making the water Chlorine safe for the fish. Test the water to be sure.
Chloramine is Chlorine bonded with Ammonia. This chemical bond make Chloramine more stable and harder to treat. Rolling your water in sun will not destroy Chloramine.
Toxic concentrations of Chlorine or Chloramine
- 0.006 mg/L or ppm will kill fry within around 2 days
- 0.01 mg/L or ppm will cause stress in Tilapia. They will survive but they will not be happy with you 🙂
- 0.25 mg/L or ppm is where they will be in danger of death
- 0.37 mg/L or ppm will cause death
If you need to treat Chlorine and Chloramine you have a few options.
Filtration. This is our preferred method. In our Aquaponics system and our Hatchery we use a 1 micron sediment filter (to protect the carbon blocks) and two 1 micron carbon block to remove Chlorine, Chloramine, and reduce VOC’s. This system does not introduce any chemicals that will hurt the fish. It is also a natural way to treat out these chemicals, leaving water that is pure and good for food fish. We use these filters white auto top off in our aquaponics system and auto water change systems in our aquaculture and hatchery system to make our system maintenance easier. We sell pre-made filter systems in our store with and without simple auto top off equipment. We also sell replacement filters for these systems.
AuuaLife Complete chemical treatment. This product is the safest chemical product on the market to use with food fish. It is FDA approved for use in Food Based Aquaculture systems. It will treat Chlorine and Chloramine. It relieves stress, prevent disease, replaces slime coat and promotes healing without clogging gills. It also detoxifies Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and Heavy metals. We sell this product in our store. Al little goes a long way making it the cheapest option for most. It is still a chemical and some of our clients prefer not to use it. For that reason we sell our filtration systems.