Learn about tilapia

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Learn about tilapia

Name of the fish: Tilapia is one of the common names of freshwater fish, and its original home is Africa and China. It should be noted that this type of fish is easy to farm; Because it grows in large quantities and depends for its nutrition on available and inexpensive plant food, in addition to that it can grow in large quantities in the same place.

Length: Tilapia ranges between 6-28 cm in length, and the maximum length it can reach is 60 cm.

Weight: The largest tilapia ever reached is 4.3 kg.

Characteristics of the fish: These fish are characterized by the size of their large body against their small head, in addition to the presence of regular vertical stripes on their back fins. The males are blue-pink, while the females are silver, brown or white.

Average lifespan: The maximum lifespan of tilapia fish is 9 years.

tilapia species

There are different types of tilapia; As they differ from each other in color, shape and size, and there are three main types:

Nile tilapia: It first appeared in ancient Egypt, and it should be noted that it reaches maturity at 5-7 months, in addition to that it can reproduce at low temperatures.

Blue tilapia: This type of fish was named by this name; Because of its blue color, it is also widely spread in the Middle East, North Africa and Florida, and it should be noted that it is able to live in high salinity and fresh water.

Mozambican tilapia: This species is spread in Africa and the United States, and is characterized by its oily color, and can withstand cold water, in addition to its weight may reach more than 0.91 kilograms in one year.

Spotted tilapia: first found in North Queensland waters, sometimes up to 30 cm long, and less cold-tolerant than other fish.

tilapia characteristics

The tilapia fish has a number of characteristics that help it live in water, the most important of which are:

The tilapia has fins that help it swim in the water.

Cichlids have special eyes that help them see in water.

The tilapia has a slippery and streamlined body surface that helps it swim with ease.

original home

The original home of tilapia is fresh and salt water, in Africa, southern India, Sri Lanka, and South and Central America. Tilapia poses a threat to other local fish.

tilapia feeding

The following is a set of points that illustrate the feeding of tilapia:

Tilapia depends for its food on large amounts of natural living organisms; Such as plankton, aquatic invertebrates, fish larvae, and some decomposing organic matter.

The tilapia takes a quantity of water that contains its food from plankton and others, then mucus is secreted through the gills, trapping the plankton inside, then swallowing this nutrient-rich mucus.

Tilapia chew phytoplankton by grinding the plant tissue between its tiny teeth. In addition, its stomach has a pH of 2 and less; This helps in the disintegration of the cell walls of algae or bacteria.

Tilapia's diet is digested in the intestine.

tilapia health

Most common diseases

If the water temperatures in which tilapia live are appropriate and within the acceptable limit, tilapia can resist viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases, but there are some diseases that may affect it, including:

Streptococcus bacteria: infects fish and leads to bleeding, lethargy, loss of appetite, and enlargement of the kidneys, liver and abdomen.

Aeromonas: a bacterial disease of fish due to crowding; Which leads to loss of appetite, and bleeding in the eyes, nostrils, abdomen and internal muscles, is treated with antibiotics.

Trichodina: a parasitic disease that affects small fish and causes death; As it leads to an increase in breathing speed and slow movement, as well as attacking the gills, fish infected with this disease cannot obtain dissolved oxygen or get rid of carbon dioxide, and it is eliminated by formalin.

Iris virus: a viral disease that affects the outer skin of fish, as it is similar to the iris, and causes the death of a large number of fish, and was first observed in the United States of America.

Keeping tilapia healthy

For the best care of tilapia, infected fish are usually isolated, in addition to sterilizing the area as much as possible by:

Recognize how the virus or disease got into the fish, and think of a way to prevent it from getting infected again.

Constant sterilization of the area through which the fish are transferred from one tank to another.

Maintain a healthy and saturated food for fish, so that they can resist diseases.

Avoid placing tilapia fish in large quantities in small tanks, because its presence in abundance increases the chance of disease.

Giving appropriate vaccinations to reduce symptoms of diseases.

More information about tilapia

tilapia breeding

Here are some points about the reproduction of tilapia:

Almost all species of tilapia reproduce in the same way. The male prepares the nest by digging a nest at the bottom of a pond or lake in which the eggs will be fertilized.

The male mates with several females, the female lays two to four eggs, and then the male fertilizes these eggs.

The female carries these eggs in the oral cavity until they hatch, and sometimes the young tilapia remain inside the mother fish's mouth until she nurses.

The sexual maturity of tilapia depends on the size and age of the fish, as well as the environmental conditions in which they live.

Males grow twice as fast as females in tilapia.

Males have one opening through which urine and liquid exit, while in females urine exits from the urinary openings, and eggs exit from the oviduct.

Techniques tilapia adaptation

Here are some points that illustrate the ways tilapia adapt to its surroundings:

Tilapia can adapt to the high salinity of the water.

Tilapia can tolerate low levels of oxygen, which may be less than 0.3 mg/L, which is less than other fish can tolerate.

The breeding of tilapia is best if the water temperature ranges between 20-26 degrees Celsius.

A suitable water pH for tilapia is between 5-10.

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