Growth of Mixed-Sex Young-of-the-year Blue Tilapia (Tilapia aurea) in Polyculture with Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)

Young-of-the-year mixed-sex blue tilapia (Tilapia aurea) averaging 6.1 g were stocked on 30 June 1982, at a rate of 5,000/ha in 3 O.l-ha ponds containing 10,000 channel catfish/ha. Male and female tilapia were not significantly different in weight after 55 days, averaging 111.6 g and 106.4 g respectively. After 118 days, males were significantly larger than females, averaging 248.9 g vs 211.3 g for the females. Male growth during this period averaged 2.06 glday vs 1.72 glday for the females. The tilapia ranged in weight from 164 g to 351 g at harvest on 17 November. Average tilapia production was 1,020 kg/ha, with an average survival of 91.7%. Total production, including catfish, averaged 3,971 kg/ha, with an average food conversion rate of 1.4: 1. Less than 10 kg/ha of tilapia offspring were recovered from 1 pond and none were present in the other replicates when the ponds were harvested. The major constraints to commercial tilapia production in the southern United States appear to be the seasonal production and harvesting problems.

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