Tilapia can be raised in ponds, cages, and tanks. The pond and cage techniques are useful when water supplies are readily available. Tank culture offers a good alternative for raising tilapia in areas where land and water sources are limited. Tilapia can often be grown intensively in tanks because you can control environmental parameters, feeding, and water quality. Tank culture can be capital intensive, so you will need to do a careful careful evaluation of the economics to see if this technique makes sense in your location.
Here is a quick summary of the major advantages and disadvantages of tank culture.
|Water quality can be controlled|
|Reduced water needs, especially if using a recirculating system|
|Intensive culture supports high production on small land parcels|
|High degree of control over environmental parameters (e.g., DO, pH, water temp., waste)|
|Stocking in high density disrupts normal breeding patterns and supports high growth rates|
|Fish feeding and harvesting are less labor intensive|
|Disease treatment is easier|
|No or limited natural food available, so fish must be feed a complete diet|
|Higher costs to maintain water pumps and aeration|
|Filtration in recirculating systems is expensive and requires maintenance|
|Backup systems are required to sustain fish if power is disrupted|
|Higher culture densities can increase fish stress and disease|
|Any water discharge must be controlled|
Opposing Flows Technology has developed a tank system for intensive cultivation of aquaculture species, including tilapia. To review the economics of their modular system see http://aquaculturetanks.net/tilapia/