How long does it take for tilapia to grow to full size
One of the reason why tilapia are great fish for aquaponics is their fast growth rate. But how long does it take to grow tilapia in aquaponics and for them to grow to full size? Let’s take a look…
How long does it take to grow tilapia in aquaponics in 15 seconds…
How long it takes to grow tilapia in aquaponics from fingerling to harvest size is roughly 26 weeks or six months. But the length of time to grow tilapia from hatchlings to harvest size is around 34 weeks or 240 days. This fast growth rate of tilapia is what makes them one of the best fish for aquaponics, as they have a period of accelerated growth which begins from the moment they hatch.
How long does it take to grow tilapia in aquaponics?
Tilapia are one of the best fish to keep in an aquaponics system. The two main reasons for this are firstly they are easy to keep and almost impossible to kill (unless you’re killing them for the dinner table!).
The second reason why tilapia are great fish for aquaponics systems is that they grow fast when compared to other fish. For example, pan-sized trout of between 280-400 grams are harvested after 12-18 months.
How long does it take for tilapia to grow to full size?
For tilapia to grow from hatchlings to harvest size is around 240 days (34 weeks). Tilapia begin their fast growth rate right from when they hatch. At 34 weeks or in 240 days the size of your tilapia will be around 450-567 grams (16-20 ounces).
Considering that Safefood say that one serving of fish is 100 grams (3.52 ounces) per person, tilapia of the size they are at 34 weeks is large enough for two persons to have a meal.
What’s the best size to buy tilapia for aquaponics
As you build confidence in aquaponics and once you’ve grown some tilapia to full size, there’s no reason why you can’t breed them yourself. However, at the outset you’ll need to buy your fish. The best size to buy is when the tilapia are at fingerling size, which is between 19-63.5mm (3/4-2 1/2 inches) in length.
Fingerlings of this size will costs around $1 each to buy. At this stage these fingerlings will be around 30 grams (1.05 ounces) in weight. From this age and weight it will take around 26 weeks or six months to grow to full size for them to be harvested.
How much food is needed to grow tilapia?
One of the other great things about aquaponics is the conversion ratio of feed to meat produced. When you consider that to produce beef from a cow, the conversion ratio is something like 20:1.
However, for tilapia the conversion ratio is somewhere between 1.5:1 to 1.8:1 depending on the growth cycle. But this ratio is taken using pellet feed rather than extruded weeds. This makes them much better for the planet than cattle breeding.
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