Monday, February 27, 2017

Blue Tilapia pond stocking


Do you want to clear up a pond choked with algae?  Do you want significantly bigger bass, catfish, and bluegill?  You can accomplish both goals by stocking with adult blue tilapia broodstock in early spring.

When you stock a pond with adult blue tilapia broodstock in the spring, they'll reproduce throughout the summer and fall.  Blue Tilapia females spawn every 6 weeks or so, producing waves of fry that feed aggressively on algae over the summer, clearing up your pond and providing increased forage for your game fish. In the late fall, when temperatures dip, blue tilapia become sluggish and eventually die when water temps drop below the upper 40's, thereby providing your game fish with lots of easy food to fatten up on heading into winter. So in essence, stocking with blue tilapia will clear up your pond and convert unwanted algae biomass into game fish biomass.

I cannot recommend blue tilapia enough as a tool for pond management. I think it is well worth the time of any interested person to google around and research the topic for themselves. Tilapia pond stocking is taking off as an effective biological method of pond management, replacing chemical-based methods. The price of using blue tilapia often comes out similar to the price of using chemicals, but the other wonderful benefits of using blue tilapia strongly tip the scales in its favor.

Why stock pure blue tilapia instead of other kinds of tilapia? First, blue tilapia are significantly more cold hardy: they can survive down into the upper 40's, whereas other types of tilapia die off in the mid/upper 50's. This means that you can put them in sooner and they'll stay alive longer, giving you an extra couple months of growth, production, and performance from blues that other types of tilapia cannot provide. Second, blue tilapia are better filter feeders than other kinds of tilapia. As adult blue tilapia swim around, algae in the water sticks to mucus in their throats, which they then swallow. This allows adult blue tilapia to get significant nutrition directly from the water column (digesting the algae and the bacteria growing on the algae) while further cleaning the water for you.

Recommended stocking rates and dates

If your pond is already stocked with game fish, we strongly recommend stocking blue tilapia at a rate of 60-80 lbs/acre for algae control and to provide forage for your game fish.  When we first started researching the use of blue tilapia as algae control in Kansas ponds, it was common to see a recommended stocking rate of 40 lbs/acre.  According to our own experience, though, that rate only holds for ponds that lack game fish, and is insufficient for most ponds.  (Part of the problem is that the algae seems to be getting a larger and larger headstart each spring, most likely because our winters have been getting increasingly mild.) 

Blue Tilapia are stocked when ponds have a significant amount of water that is consistently over 60F, which is usually around May 1st in Kansas, depending on the weather.

How To Order
If you are interested in ordering blue tilapia for the upcoming 2018 season, then email us at greenfingardens@gmail.com to discuss and reserve your order.  You won't pay until next spring, but by committing early you can get your spot in line and receive a 20% 'early bird' discount.

Delivery is available and is charged separately based on pounds and distance.  If you need your fish delivered, you can determine the cost by looking through the 2nd table below to find the rate that matches your poundage and approximate distance from our farm (we're near Manhattan, KS).


Quantity (lbs)Price/lbTotal
10$12.00$120
20$12.00$240
30$12.00$360
40$12.00$480
50$12.00$600
60$11.00$660
70$11.00$770
80$11.00$880
90$11.00$990
100$11.00$1,100
120$10.00$1,200
150$10.00$1,500
200$10.00$2,000
250$10.00$2,500
300$10.00$3,000
350$9.00$3,150
400$9.00$3,600

Distance from ManhattanDelivery Charge per load (up to 150 lbs per load)
under 50 miles$75
50-99 miles$100
100-149 miles$150
150-199 miles$200
200-250 miles$250