Tilapias are tropical fish and will not survive temperature much below 12°C, therefore, their culture is limited to tropical and subtropical regions or temperature-controlled environments in temperate regions. They are endemic to Africa, but are presently found in most warm regions of the world. They are a popular fish for culture in the tropics and areas where supplemental feeds are cost restrictive because of their efficient use of natural aquatic foods, fast growth, propensity to consume a variety of supplemental feeds, herbivorous nature, resistance to diseases and handling, ease of reproduction in capacity, and tolerance to wide ranges of environmental conditions. Some of the cultured species have been shown to survive dissolved oxygen concentrations of 0.1 mg/L and tolerate unionized ammonia concentrations of 2.4 mg/L. Although indigenous to fresh water, tilapias are euryhaline and able to grow well in saline water if properly acclimated. However, their activity and feeding become reduced below 20°C and feeding stops around 16°C.


Soybean Meal Fish Meal Natural Food Nile Tilapia Channel Catfish 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Lovell
    • 1
  1. 1.Auburn UniversityAuburnUSA

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