Aquaponic Gardening

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I read somewhere that tilapia prefer deeper water 30 inches or more.  If i plan on using stock tanks that are 24 inches deep, (only 20 inches or so deep when filled with water) would that hinder raising tilapia somehow? i do plan on getting a tank cover to prevent the fish from jumping out.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Many people raise tilapia without problems in stocktanks.
They are doing fine in my tank that is on 24 inches deep. You may want to put shade cloth over your tank if it's in direct sunlight to help them feel more secure and to keep them from jumping.

You should be fine. Consider the size and number of fish, then observe them. If they're healthy and growing, no need to change.

Our breeders are in 24" high tanks, with 18-20" of water depth. They're happy campers and breeding well. The're 7-9" in length at this point, and they aren't overcrowded.

I agree with Chi, you'll need to watch for jumping.


Stock tanks are on the shallow side for growing out food fish but if you are talking backyard scale, you should be just fine with it for fish like tilapia and I'm now growing some blue gill in such tanks and doing well so far with the 300 gallon stock tank with blue gill.


I did have some issues with the channel catfish in the 300 gallon stock tank so definitely prefer a deeper tank for them to make sure I can keep their water depth at least 24 inches deep.

My Tilapia have been in "24 deep stock tanks since they were see thru fry. They are approching 1 1/2 lbs now in under a year. Not sure , but they probably do prefer water "30 or deeper, but I dont think they have been stunted or harmed in any way. Only had one jump from the tank and thats because I was chasing him down with a net...and yes, they can jump an incredible distance. Those are 5 gallon buckets in the trough for scale (no pun intended).

David, I always heard that the tilapia will eat goldfish, but it looks like you have them together.  What's been your experience with that? We have some that either need a new home or need to join the tilapia.
When I first got tilapia I recieved 10 fish 2-4" long, and put them in a 20 gallon glass aquarium with gravel, leaving about 12" of water at most. Within two weeks, they were breeding, and produced about a thousand fry before I moved them to a 50 gallon tank, were they are still baby making machines. Currently, all are being raised in less than than 24", most in only 16", no problems. I don't use screen, and have only lost 4 fish to jumping, out of thousands. Still, screening is a good idea.

I never had any problem with the tilapia trying to eat the goldies. I put the tilapia in when they were much smaller than the goldfish and the GF almost immediately started after the tilapia fry. Had to quickly distract them with some flake food. They never bothered each other again......Funny, but my tilapia have never reproduced a single fish as in what I was reading above from Jon....I wonder why????

Temperature plays a huge role in tilapia re-production.  Mine never did the dirty in the indoor aquarium that was probably 73 F but as soon as the outdoor tank temp was up around 86 F they would be trying and if I gave them access to any sort of bottom surface (even a dropped plumbing fitting in the floating cage) they would manage to breed.
Hmmmm....they were outside all summer when the water temp was from 79 to 89 most of the time, with lots of cover in the way of bucket and what not..... and nothing. I think the odds are to great for them to be all one sex fish. There are 17 of's a mystery. Everything I'm reading says they will over run you tank if you let them.
Hum, don't know.

Thanks for the replies. One thing that comes to mind is perhaps you did recieve all the same sex fish. You probably already have, but if not you might want to check with your supplier. Maybe they were treated with hormones and sex reversed so now they are all males?  Maybe some candlelight and soft music :)


On a side note: how did you cut such good looking holes in a 5 gallon bucket? I have a similar idea to cut a mortar box in half, flip it upside down and put it in the tank as a cave for my catfish.


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