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I'll be getting ready to order my fish in a few weeks.  I'm terrified of introducing a disease, parasite, etc.  to my system so have been only checking out USDA inspected facilities.
 
Is there a reason why most choose only one type of tilapia for their system i.e. Blue Tilapia.
 
White Brook Tilapia Farm offer a "Hatchery Choice" of fingerlings for .89 each and you get a mixture of different types (Blue, White Brook, Hawaiian Gold, Red Nile, and Mozambique).
 
 
 
Has anyone tried a mixture like this?  Is there a down side?
 
 
 
Your thoughts?

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Greetings. Just a brief comment.
From my experience folks choose one type of fish is for uniformity of performance. Comparatively consistent growth rates and responses to environmental conditions makes it much easier to do the numbers. One upside to a mixed population of fish is that you get to see how the various genotypes respond your system. The downside is that as they will respond differently their relative performances will be all over the place. Finally are these all males or mixed sex? If mixed sex, then your offspring could be anything because they are all capable of interbreeding. Conversely you could now start your own hatchery and no longer have to worry about importing your stock and all the risks and costs associated with that task.

The different strains can have different growth rates, which as I will mention later, can be a big problem. Also If you plan on taking advantage of the lower temperature tolerances of the nile and blue tilapia, I'd steer clear of the mix. if you plan on keeping your system heated at all times, go for it.

You will most likely receive a mix of sizes too, make sure you separate the big ones from the little guys. My shipment from White brook (single species) had fish ranging from 1/2"-1" I didn't have an effective way to separate them. The biggest of them grew very quickly, and my smallest guys kept disappearing. Despite feeding 4x per day I lost probably 40% due to predation. I now have some which are approaching 4" and the smallest survivors (now separated) are barely 1".

Bobby, I don't think there is a down side other than.....breeding will be all...... Hybrid.....  They become a hines fifty-seven fish.  We also tried the Mozambique, we didn't care for them, very fragile.......  We raise the White Nile and the Blues seperately in different tanks and keep their blood lines pure as possible.  The Blues when needing medical attention needs a special medicine to heal them and will tolerate a lower temperature 10-degrees compared to the whites, where the whites use Aquarium salt, you can't use salt for the Blues....it will kill them.  We are finding out that the Whites breed alot faster than the Blues.  We also want you....the customer to come and see the fish before ordering them.  We have found that the shipping is quite expensive overnight.  We have never had any compliants of sick.....fish.   All have made their trips to their new home fine and doing fine.  You don't have to have USDA certified, unless you just need peace of mind.  The price is right for the mixed fish but again...they are mixed........that is why you are getting them for 89 cents each.  You will pay shipping of at least $50.00 and up to get them to your door.  Hopefully they will arrive within 24 hours.  Most of the time (3) it was past 24 hours and we were on pins and needles awaiting their arrival. Serenity springs Aquaponics  Randy

Thanks guys for your input.  I really appreciate it.   At what size are you able to tell the different strains apart?  I was thinking of separating them by strain and then seeing which ones did the best in my system. 

It doesn't matter where I get them, I'm going to have to pay shipping no matter what.  There aren't a lot of Tilapia breeders (that I know of) in South Carolina. 

Fishy, I do plan on heating my system.  It's a pain and an expense I'd rather not have but we really don't like the texture nor the muddy flavor of catfish.  I may try a few just to see if perhaps I've had bad catfish to eat in the past.

I like the idea of never having to purchase Tilapia again.  The gift that keeps on giving...

Randy, you mentioned that Blues need a special medicine when ill. Are you talking about one kind or specific to an occurrence. I have used salt for my blues and it actually helped them. The ppm was low. I basically filled the palm of my hand and added to 125 gallons. I gave another of the same 2 days later. I left them for about a week and then changed about 20 gallons of water out without salt addition. I am slowly going to ween them off of the salt again but it did seem to help as I had dying fish do to accidental chemical poisoning from my hands. I'm pretty sure it was bleach. In the following week from salt addition, I actually had 5 females that laid eggs and are currently holding.

randy proctor said:

Bobby, I don't think there is a down side other than.....breeding will be all...... Hybrid.....  They become a hines fifty-seven fish.  We also tried the Mozambique, we didn't care for them, very fragile.......  We raise the White Nile and the Blues seperately in different tanks and keep their blood lines pure as possible.  The Blues when needing medical attention needs a special medicine to heal them and will tolerate a lower temperature 10-degrees compared to the whites, where the whites use Aquarium salt, you can't use salt for the Blues....it will kill them.  We are finding out that the Whites breed alot faster than the Blues.  We also want you....the customer to come and see the fish before ordering them.  We have found that the shipping is quite expensive overnight.  We have never had any compliants of sick.....fish.   All have made their trips to their new home fine and doing fine.  You don't have to have USDA certified, unless you just need peace of mind.  The price is right for the mixed fish but again...they are mixed........that is why you are getting them for 89 cents each.  You will pay shipping of at least $50.00 and up to get them to your door.  Hopefully they will arrive within 24 hours.  Most of the time (3) it was past 24 hours and we were on pins and needles awaiting their arrival. Serenity springs Aquaponics  Randy

Just a note.

1. Though some may disagree, IMHOP it is extremely difficult to find a pure bred tilapia in the United States. Nearly 100% are mixed with something.  

2. Regarding tilapia and salt. Tilapia are euryhaline fish. That means they can live in fresh or salt water. In fact, Mozambique and maybe wami tilapia live and breed quite happily in seawater. Blues & niles are not quite so salt tolerant but nearly so. 

i bought white tilipa from white brook farm they arrived on time and i have not lost any of them. i have had them a little more then two mounths and they are growing like crazy. they are in 2 100gallon tanks and a 60 gallon aquarium

Agreed. The original strain of Blues that came to the US is over 40 years old. They stay fairly pure for quite a while is the way I understand it. But I think you are right about the being mixed with something.



Dr. George B. Brooks, Jr. said:

Just a note.

1. Though some may disagree, IMHOP it is extremely difficult to find a pure bred tilapia in the United States. Nearly 100% are mixed with something.  

2. Regarding tilapia and salt. Tilapia are euryhaline fish. That means they can live in fresh or salt water. In fact, Mozambique and maybe wami tilapia live and breed quite happily in seawater. Blues & niles are not quite so salt tolerant but nearly so. 


Good to know Mark. I have talked to a few people that have ordered from there with success. How were the shipping rates?
MARK EMMONS said:

i bought white tilipa from white brook farm they arrived on time and i have not lost any of them. i have had them a little more then two mounths and they are growing like crazy. they are in 2 100gallon tanks and a 60 gallon aquarium

more then the fish, ithought about driving up there its about a 5 hour drive from where i live in oklahoma.it was about 69 dollas for shipping.

Harlyn Mall said:


Good to know Mark. I have talked to a few people that have ordered from there with success. How were the shipping rates?
MARK EMMONS said:

i bought white tilipa from white brook farm they arrived on time and i have not lost any of them. i have had them a little more then two mounths and they are growing like crazy. they are in 2 100gallon tanks and a 60 gallon aquarium

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