Sunday, April 26, 2015

How to Feed Tilapia

If your tilapia are free swimming in a lake as ours were I would like to tell you how we fed them. In future posts I will tell you about the other ways of rearing tilapia such as in tanks, cages. Here though this is specifically about feeding in a closed lake.

Begin by weighing out the correct amount of tilapia food. Depending on the age, as determined from the feeding chart. This can be done with a simple kitchen scale. Correct food amounts are important for two reasons.

1. you don't want to underfeed them. This would of course would slow down the growth of your fish.

2. If you overfeed them, the food and money will be wasted. This not only causes problems to your budget but also your lake.

We found simply standing at the edge and throwing it in worked best for us. We found using an old ice cream tub worked well. We tended to spread the food in a wide arc to ensure the food covered a wide area. You will notice the fish, will be waiting for you to arrive. They know their feeding times.

As they come to the surface it is encouraging to see them eagerly eating. It is also a good opportunity to see the speed at which they are growing.

There are companies which make devices which catapult the feed into the lake. We didn't find this to be necessary however if you have a large lake or more fish, this could be an option for you.

One thing to keep in mind is you may get other animals eating your fish food when you feed your fish. We had geese at the time and they stormed in to help themselves to the floating fish food. As much as I liked having geese, this behavior wasn't acceptable and in the end we sold them.

When we moved to rearing our fish in cages, we found moor hens would help themselves to the food. This proved more difficult to control. One of the topics I will be discussing in future posts is the wildlife which you may see and the pros and cons of them.

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