For many people this could be the making or breaking of a profitable tilapia business. The cost of your electricity is something which needs to be taken into consideration before embarking into the fish business.
The electricity usage would come from a few different avenues.
- heating of water
- water pumps
- security lighting
The aeration, if you are using, can be costly and this would have to be weighed off against the increase in the number of fish you can rear with using it. Some people we know only used their aeration systems over night. We used ours 24/7.
The heating of the water is something you may have to consider depending on where you live. This isn't always necessary as tilapia are hardy fish and can take temperatures as low as 45ºF (7ºC). Although that means your fish might survive it doesn't mean they will thrive. Remember you are in this business to make money and that means you want to spend as little as possible to make maximum profit. If your fish are using their energy (provided by the food you are feeding them) to keep warm, they aren't using those calories to grow.
Water which is naturally warmed by the sun is best for your pocket.
This is one of the reasons why Brazil, where I live, is perfect for raising tilapia, we never have to heat the water.
In saying that, if we were pumping straight out of the ground into tanks, it is cooler and would affect production and profitability.
That brings me to the next item on the list. If you are moving water from one lake to another or continually adding fresh water you will be using some sort of pump. There are many types available. To know which is best for your set up, it is worth speaking to an adviser who sells them. They will be able to tell you the volume of water each pump can move through the various pipes. This is also dependent on the depth of your well.
Security lighting around your farm is necessary. You have a valuable and easily removable crop and lights are necessary. There is also the added benefit that these lights attract insects which fall into the water. An additional ( and free) protein source for your fish.