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Cecil

Tilapia for algae control

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Just curious if folks down under use tilapia for filamentous algae control (we call it pond scum) in their outdoor impoundments. It's been used in the southern parts of our country (USA) as a non chemical way to control nuisance algae and is catching on further north. They also provide forage for a popular species here largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). In fact one of our contributors (Rainman) is capitalizing on that use by distributing tilapia. Right Rex? Kellenw also sells talapia here in the U.S. and I'm sure there are others here.

Further north in more temperate climes, even though they expire in water under 10 C. they can simply be replanted next year when water temps are optimum again. In a sense that is good as there is no danger of them overpopulating. And people like Rainman appreciate the perpetual market. :D

What are your experiences with the species in your area?

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Hi Cecil,

Tilapia is regarded as an invasive species in most parts of Australia.

It can cost you $150,000 to have them in your possession......see here.

I believe that they are already in some Far North Queensland waterways....see here.

Gary

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It makes sense since most parts of your continent have the temperatures to sustain them (unless I'm wrong) and they could muscle out the natives as they are quite a tenacious species.

In most of our country (USA) temps get cold enough in the winter to kill them. Even the extreme southern parts of the country occasionally get some freakish cold weather.

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It is a pitty. An almost perfect fish for the backyard. We need more easily breed eating fish.

And they tolerate low oxygen and high ammonia better than most of our fish species. They just can't take cold temperatures.

On another note I made the mistake of saying how good they were at reducing algae on a fishing website here. Next thing I know I was berated with, "We don't need no more exotic fish here!" I told they wouldn't be a problem in the northern third of the U.S. as they coudn't survive the winters, and I was referring to private ponds anyway. It didn't matter and soon some pathoglogical liar came on and said they had survived under the ice at the university he had attended and studied fisheries at. Of course that was totally false, and when I asked him what university he attended and who his prof was I got nothing. Needless to say I decided to avoid the thread. :rolleyes::D

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On another note I made the mistake of saying how good they were at reducing algae on a fishing website here. Next thing I know I was berated with, "We don't need no more exotic fish here!" I told they wouldn't be a problem in the northern third of the U.S. as they coudn't survive the winters, and I was referring to private ponds anyway. It didn't matter and soon some pathoglogical liar came on and said they had survived under the ice at the university he had attended and studied fisheries at. Of course that was totally false, and when I asked him what university he attended and who his prof was I got nothing. Needless to say I decided to avoid the thread. :rolleyes::D

Been there, experienced that as well... on more than one fishing site. It is hard to have a civil conversation with a lot of those folks unfortunately... even though I have really tried.

The same people that will attack a person wanting to stock tilapia that present ZERO establishment risk in a private pond are many of the same people who dump their minnow buckets, leech boxes and crayfish buckets in the lake when they are done fishing, thinking there's nothing wrong with THAT. I've seen bluegill, stickleback, sucker, bullhead, carp, goldfish, yellow perch, gambusia and others in fathead minnow tanks at bait shops. I'm amazed they even allow live crayfish sales at bait shops anymore. Bait releases have caused all sorts of issues with crayfish populations. Bait buckets are banned at my pond because of these highly overlooked/ignored issues in fact.

Also, they are often the same people that can't even identify a zebra mussel or eurasian milfoil, or understand how easy it is to transfer that stuff from one body of water to the next.

It's laughable.

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It would be funny if it wasn't so sad. Many anglers are really ignorant. I love the ones that pat themselves on the back for releasing everything. They think because the fish swims off it will be fine. Of course those of us that raise fish know that's not necessarily the case, as stress can be cumulative and a fish can croak several days after the stress event.

As a fish taxidermist I get calls from lake residents wanting to know if they can mount a big musky (Esox masquinongy) that has washed up on their beach. Probably fish someone patted themselves on the back for releasing. :rolleyes: Typically the lake residents don't have a fishing license so they can't possess it, or the fish is so putrid I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

Edited by Cecil (see edit history)

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Hi Cecil,

Tilapia is regarded as an invasive species in most parts of Australia.

It can cost you $150,000 to have them in your possession......see here.

I believe that they are already in some Far North Queensland waterways....see here.

Gary

Hehe not in WA, do fish shops sell em?

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you should have seen the looks i got at the bait shop when i brought in 15 tilapia to be cleaned!

i was all smiles though, and most of the people thought it was pretty neat that i could raise them in my basement - i got 10lbs of skinless fillets from them, they started off as 1" in july 2012

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quick question, what do you o for filament algae. im sick of it...

If it's a pond your choices are various copper compounds like Cutrine Plus granular, or Green Clean Pro, or Phycomycin if you can't use tilapia.

http://www.killlakeweeds.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=dsp_products&product_ID=49&gclid=CPS9kpbeubkCFUJlMgodiiAA0Q

http://www.lakerestoration.com/p-58-greenclean.aspx?gclid=CMOnpbjeubkCFTFgMgodwGQApQ

http://www.aquaticbiologists.com/aquatic-chemicals/algaecides/phycomycin

That said if it's a pond you need to limit any nutrients coming in like phosphorus and if practical remove the FA when it floats to the surface. It's on the way out when it floats to the surface and will decay and feed the new FA growing on the bottom.

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you should have seen the looks i got at the bait shop when i brought in 15 tilapia to be cleaned!

i was all smiles though, and most of the people thought it was pretty neat that i could raise them in my basement - i got 10lbs of skinless fillets from them, they started off as 1" in july 2012

Why did you bring in the tilapia to be cleaned in the bait store?

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If it's a pond your choices are various copper compounds like Cutrine Plus granular, or Green Clean Pro, or Phycomycin if you can't use tilapia.

http://www.killlakeweeds.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=dsp_products&product_ID=49&gclid=CPS9kpbeubkCFUJlMgodiiAA0Q

http://www.lakerestoration.com/p-58-greenclean.aspx?gclid=CMOnpbjeubkCFTFgMgodwGQApQ

http://www.aquaticbiologists.com/aquatic-chemicals/algaecides/phycomycin

That said if it's a pond you need to limit any nutrients coming in like phosphorus and if practical remove the FA when it floats to the surface. It's on the way out when it floats to the surface and will decay and feed the new FA growing on the bottom.

will it by any chance harm the plants?

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In a pond they shouldn't as they are contact herbicides as in granular. Therefore keep them off tbe plants and you should be o.k.

Be sure to put the herbicide on the growing FA vs. the stuff thst is floating.

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Like Cecil said, in a pond, copper based treatments are generally fine as long as used correctly. They are commonly used and have been for years.

Copper based treatments should be avoided in an AP system however. Not good for your plants or fish in this case.

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Like Cecil said, in a pond, copper based treatments are generally fine as long as used correctly. They are commonly used and have been for years.

Copper based treatments should be avoided in an AP system however. Not good for your plants or fish in this case.

thanks for the info guys. looks like im back to pulling it out by hand then :)

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after spending all day working on the ap system, then another hour trying to catch the fish, i was too tired..

the bait store does regular business cleaning fish for folks coming in off the lake.. cost for cleaning was 1.50/lb (cleaned) so it was only $15 to have someone do it for me

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after spending all day working on the ap system, then another hour trying to catch the fish, i was too tired..

the bait store does regular business cleaning fish for folks coming in off the lake.. cost for cleaning was 1.50/lb (cleaned) so it was only $15 to have someone do it for me

 

 

Lazy.... hehehehe....

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if you think that's lazy..the next tilapia i catch out of the pool is getting fried whole! (gutted and scaled first of course)

 

I actually like that method of cleaning a lot, but when I do that, I prefer to also scale them, remove the fins (except the tail... it's yummy) and the head.  You get a lot more meat out of your fish in comparison to typical fillets.

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Will I have any taste issues with my talpia when I harvest them if I don't purge them? I don't really have a tank for purging.

 

I tend to purge them, but I've done purged and unpurged... and never really noticed much difference.  Honestly, I'm not really sure why I bother to do it.  Personally, I think brining with just a little bit of lime or lemon juice added to the brine mix does more than purging.  I do that with all the fish I clean, whether "farmed" or "wild caught".

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1tbsp (tablespoon) salt

1/2 tsp (teaspoon) lemon or lime juice

1 cup water

Make enough to fully submerge fillets in. I prefer using a plastic bag instead of a bowl since you need much less brine for coverage. Other ingredients can be added to this brine base to give flavor to your fish. Keep fish refrigerated during brining. Brining time can be from 10 minutes to several hours depending on preference. I usually do an hour or so.

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