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Is it possible to reproduce Duckweed along with Tilapia in an IBC tank? Goal - Lowering ammonia & oxygination with DuckWeed, while avoiding over feeding.

I could not make the duckweed proliferate in my Tilapia tank. They would not give it a chance to thrive if it was placed in their tank. This made me ask myself: What would happen if I added an abundance of duckweed in my Tilapia tank?, Would they feed on it endlessly until their deaths? Would there be enough surface area in my IBC tank for the Duck Weed to thrive along with  110 Tilapia?

I also heard that I may need a larger surface area to enable more Duckweed growth perhaps implying a shallow Tilapia tank or having less Tilapia per gallon? It sounds to me that the only way to have a constant supply of Duckweed for Tilapia may be in conditions of a shaded shallow pond with a low or moderate population of Tilapia.

My aim is to make the Duckweed lower the ammonia and oxygenate the fish, and so far I may have achieved this to a a degree by keeping the Tilapia from reaching the Duckweed yet sharing the same water. Possible benefits are:

  • It may even bring down you electricity costs because you can use smaller pumps to oxygenate and clean the water.
  • It could be a passive way to keep the fish alive if you lose your electric power.

I know Tilapia, given a choice, like to vary their diet; but I just don’t know if they would stop eating the Duckweed after a certain point. My guess is that they would search for something else to feed on after they get their fill on the Duckweed; and they would not overfeed to death. But it’s just a guess I really do not know. Has anyone tried to reproduce Duckweed in a Tilapia tank that could help answer my questions?


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Replies to This Discussion

I would recommend keeping the 5 full grown ones as your breeders if you happen to have 1 male and 4 female in there (however I'm not sure a 55 gallon tank is really big enough for that.)

The 55 gallon aquarium isn't big enough for 25 breeders!!!!

Just because they had that many babies, doesn't mean you want to try to keep and grow them all out.

If you have a power out or if something goes wrong with your pumping or aeration as the fish are growing and the water is warm, you could easily loose ALL your fish in a couple hours.

Yes the 5 grown ones have been my breeders so far, 1 male 4 females. The 25 are what I call my Ferel Fish since they just appeared in the IBC with the big fish. I don't think they are big enough yet for breeding. Would the adult (1+ lbs. fish) be better for breeding? They definitely produce big numbers. I still need to figure the sex of the smaller fish.

As I no longer grow tilapia anymore and only had luck really breeding many of them when I threw some into the larger duckweed tank, I don't consider myself an expert in tilapia breeding in any way.  That said, I would expect the more mature fish will be your better breeders as they are already proven.


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