Tilapia needs a temperature between 82 and 86 degrees fahrenheit or 28-30 Celsius. A tropical temperature with fairly warm waters is ideal. In cold seasons, you need a water heater.
A female tilapia can produce 100 little ones in a week. Having one cage for your tilapia may cause competition for food and space, which affects growth.
After eight months, your female tilapia fish is capable of producing 100 fingerlings per week and 1,000 fingerlings in three months. But too much tilapia is not healthy for the other fish.
Most of the fish die because of insufficient oxygen. Using filters helps to avail the fish with the right amount of oxygen. But sometimes, because of harsh weather, it can affect fish cages in lake areas and that cause severe deaths.
Fish need the right amount of nutrients and minerals. In natural water bodies like lakes and rivers, these are created naturally. However, in constructed ponds, the farmer has to create them by, for example, regularly dropping the feeds there.
Benefits of Integrating fish farming with crops
In many developed countries such as Israel, there is a direct or indirect linkage of all activities on a given farm. In countries such as Thailand and Vietnam, aquaculture is integrated with rice farming.
Crops grown in an integrated fish farm include cabbage, soyabeans, yams, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, maize, wheat and rice. Such innovations can be easily adopted by Ugandan fish farmers to maximise benefits.
- The water from the ponds can be used to irrigate crops. On top of eating the vegetables, some of the green fodder that is planted near the ponds can be used to fertilise the ponds. The vegetable material is first fermented before being applied to the pond. Composting is done by covering fodder under the shade.
- The soil around the pond is fertile. Alternatively, you can use the ponds themselves to grow vegetables in between stocking of fish. This period is called fallowing. Such crops may include beans, rice and maize. Yields from such pond-grown crops have been much higher than in ordinary gardens. You can also grow paddy rice in the ponds. You stock the ponds when the rice fields are flooded and harvest the fish when the fields are drained. But because of the short period, fish that should be stocked must be at least 40 grammes.
- Fruits and flowers can also be grown either on the pond dykes or in the gardens surrounding the ponds. Such crops take advantage of the pond water, which is used to irrigate them and can also benefit from the nutrients in the mud at the bottom that can be dredged and spread on the gardens.