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Red Nile Tilapia

The Red Nile Tilapia – also known as Oreochromis Niloticus – is a relatively large cichlid fish. Tilapia in general is the most popular fish species used in aquaponics due to its ability to breed easily, grow fast, and withstand various water conditions. Tilapia is also the most popular fish for home and commercial projects that are intended to raise edible fish. They can feed on algae or any plant-based food, which makes them important in aquaculture. Red Tilapia are wonderful additions to an aquaponics systems as they serve as a natural biological control for many aquatic plant problems.

Adults can reach up to 24 inches in length and up to 9.5 pounds. The Red Nile Tilapia can live for up to nine years. They can tolerate brackish water and survive in temperatures between 55
° and 108°
F. In general, they thrive in warmer temperatures. The Red Nile is an omnivore, feeding on plankton as well as aquatic plants, algae and duckweed. They typically feed during daytime hours. To obtain the necessary nutrients, night feeding may also occur due to competition for food during the daylight hours.

Typical of most fish, the Nile Tilapia reproduces through mass spawning of a brood within a nest made by the male. With the proper environmental conditions, Tilapia can easily reproduce and provide ample fish for home consumption or for grow-out for commercial farms.

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