Tilapia Fish Farming Complete Guide A to Z
This proposed farm will begin with semi-intensive fish farming techniques, which require water drilling and locally available essential equipment for inland fish farming. The employer can consider the option of a well of tubes and aerators powered by solar energy (for intensive agriculture) according to his criteria, the cost of which varies according to the choice on the country of origin of the system, the coverage area, and the water table.
The farm will produce GIFT Mono-sex tilapia (genetically enhanced cultivated tilapia), which is one of the strains of Nile Tilapia and was successfully introduced in Pakistan. It is a resistant fish and the population density of this species is several times higher than conventional carp, that is, without aeration, 6,000 of Tilapia can be stored per acre compared to conventional carp that have a density of 600-1,200 per acre. It has the ability to gain weight of 600-900 grams in 08 months. This project will produce an average weight of 800 grams per fish in 08 months. It is reported that the optimum temperature for tilapia culture is 20-30 Cº or more. The ideal DO2 level for tilapia culture is 4-5 mg / l. Free CO2 is another factor that negatively affects food consumption and, therefore, the growth of fish. But, Nile tilapia can tolerate a CO2 concentration greater than 20 mg / l and is unlikely to have an adverse effect on fish in intensive farming systems unless the concentration of free CO2 reaches 100 mg / l.
The total production time will be 08 months with the following stages:
Procurement of Fingerlings
The project will acquire Tilapia GIFT Mono-sex (genetically enhanced cultivated Tilapia), with a dry weight of 0.2 grams. This world-famous species, in particular, has also been successfully introduced in Pakistan. This resistant fish has a high population density and even without aeration, 6,000-7,000 of tilapia can be stored per acre compared to conventional tents that have a density of 600-1,200 per acre. Although fry can be imported, the local hatchery is now also available.
Immediately after the acquisition, the fish will be stored in the Nursery pond. A one-acre farm pond will initially be used as a nursery pond and after the fry gain 50 grams, they will move to grow in ponds and the nursery pond will function as one of the growing ponds. This is the stage where mortality is highest. In the case of tilapia, best practices are even reported with a mortality of 11-16%, but on average the total mortality is 20-25%. The main reasons for mortality are stress due to transport and disease. In addition to these, mortality may also be due to population density above the maximum level depending on the type of farm. 1% of fish loss is also reported due to fish predators.
Growing In Ponds or (Semi-Intensive Mono-culture Pond)
The fry will remain in the growth ponds until they gain more than 600 grams. With the feeding of soybean-based paddles, the average weight is 800 grams and in terms of total weight / biological mass of the fish sold will be 18 tons in the first year.
The fish will be harvested through nets based on rupees for every 40 Kg delivered to the collection work. The rate varies according to the practices of the region. The fish is packaged conventionally in polypropylene bags, but now farmers and progressive merchants pack it in polystyrene boxes to improve quality during transport and handling.
The product can be sold throughout the country, especially in areas that have a taste for freshwater fish. These include the non-coastal areas of Balochistan, Inner Sind, Punjab, and KP. The Punjab market is well established for Tilapia (Gujranwala and Rawalpindi offer higher prices). Large stores in major cities such as Hyper Star, Makro, and Metro, etc. They can be big customers as long as their quantity and quality requirements are met.
Investment Required for Semi-Intensive Tilapia Aquaculture in Pakistan
An investment of approximately Rs. 3 million are required to install a semi-intensive tilapia farm in Pakistan. All figures in this financial model have been calculated for an installed capacity of 30 tons/year with an initial capacity utilization of 24 tons/year reaching a maximum of 27 tons in the second year. A detailed financial model has been developed to analyze the commercial viability of tilapia aquaculture. Several assumptions related to costs and income, together with the results of the analysis, are described in the pre-feasibility study of tilapia fish farming in Pakistan by SMEDA.