Nile Tilapia – Profile | Diet | Growth | Farming | Aquaculture

nile tilapia
(Last Updated On: )

The Nile tilapia scientific name Oreochromis niloticus is a species of tilapia, a cichlid fish native to the northern half of Africa and Israel, also available in Thailand, India, and Bangladesh. This article will give an overview of farming, fingerlings, diet, growth rate, price, characteristics, and aquaculture.

The Nile tilapia profile

Quite a few launched populations exist outdoors it’s pure vary. Additionally, it is commercially often known as mango fish, nilotica, or boulti.

The primary identifies results in straightforward confusion with one other tilapia traded commercially, the mango tilapia (Sarotherodon galilaeus).


The Nile tilapia reaches as much as 60 cm (24 in) in size and might exceed 5 kg (11 lb). As typical of tilapia, males attain a bigger measurement and develop quicker than females.

Wild, pure kind Nile tilapias are brownish or grayish total, usually with vague banding on their physique, and the tail is vertically striped. When breeding, males grow to be reddish, particularly on their fins.

Though generally confused with the blue tilapia (O. aureus), that species lacks the striped tail pattern, has a pink edge to the dorsal fin (this edge is grey or black in Nile tilapia), and males are bluish total when breeding.

The 2 species may also be separated by meristics. As a result of many tilapia in aquaculture and launched around the globe are selectively bred variants and/or hybrids, it usually will not be potential to establish them utilizing the usual options that can be utilized within the wild, pure varieties.

The nearly unknown O. ismailiaensis has a plain tail however in any other case carefully resembles —and will solely be a variant of— the Nile tilapia.

Regardless, O. ismailiaensis may be extinct, as its solely identified habitat in northeastern Egypt has disappeared, though similar-looking people (maybe the identical) are identified from the neighborhood.

Nile tilapia can dwell for greater than 10 years.

Range and habitat

The Nile tilapia is native to bigger elements of Africa, besides the Maghreb and virtually all of Southern Africa. It’s native to tropical West Africa, the Lake Chad basin and far of the Nile system, together with lakes Tana, Albert, and Edward–George, in addition to lakes Kivu, Tanganyika and Turkana, and the Awash and Omo Rivers. In Israel, it’s native to coastal river basins.

It has been extensively launched elsewhere, each in Africa and different continents, together with tens of nations in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. In these locations it usually turns into extremely invasive, threatening the native ecosystems and species.

Nevertheless, some launched populations traditionally labeled as Nile tilapia both are hybrids or one other species; particularly the Nile tilapia and blue tilapia usually have been confused.

The Nile tilapia might be present in most kinds of freshwater habitats, similar to rivers, streams, canals, lakes, and ponds, and starting from sea stage to an altitude of 1,830 m (6,000 ft).

It additionally happens in brackish water, however, it is unable to outlive long-term in full saltwater.

The species has been recorded at water temperatures between eight and 42 °C (46–108 °F), though usually above 13.5 °C (56.5 °F), and the higher deadly restrict often is at 39–40 °C (102–104 °F).

There are additionally some variations relying on the inhabitants. For instance, these within the northern part of its very survive right down to the coldest temperatures, whereas remoted populations in scorching springs within the Awash basin and at Suguta River usually dwell in waters which can be no less than 32–33 °C (90–91 °F).

Though Nile tilapia can survive right down to comparatively chilly temperatures, breeding usually solely happens when the water reaches 24 °C (75 °F).

Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus


The Nile tilapia is generally a herbivore, however with omnivorous tendencies, particularly when younger.

They principally feed on phytoplankton and algae, and in some populations, different macrophytes are also vital.

Different recorded meal objects are detritus and aquatic insect larvae, together with these mosquitoes, making it a potential software within the struggle towards malaria in Africa.

Nevertheless, when launched outdoors its native vary it usually turns into invasive, threatening extra localized species.

The Nile tilapia usually feeds throughout daytime hours. This means that, just like trout and salmon, it reveals a behavioral response to gentle as the most important issue contributing to feeding exercise.

Because of their quick reproductive charge, nonetheless, overpopulation usually outcomes inside teams of Nile tilapia.

To acquire the mandatory vitamins, nighttime feeding may additionally happen resulting from competitors for meals throughout the daylight.

The latest research discovered proof that, opposite to well-liked perception, measurement dimorphism between the sexes outcomes from differential meals conversion effectivity reasonably than differential quantities of meals consumed.

Therefore, though women and men eat equal quantities of meals, males are inclined to develop bigger resulting from the next effectivity of changing meals to vitality.

Teams of Nile tilapia set up social hierarchies wherein the dominant males have precedence for each food and mating.

Round nests are constructed predominantly by males via mouth digging to grow to be future spawning websites. These nests usually grow to be websites of intense courtship rituals and parental care.

Like different fish, the Nile tilapia travels virtually completely in faculties. Though males calm down of their crafted nesting zones, females journey between zones to seek out mates, leading to competitors between the males for females.

Like different tilapias, similar to Mozambique tilapia, dominance between the males is established first via non-contact shows similar to lateral show and tail beats. Unsuccessful makes an attempt to reconcile the hierarchy leads to contact preventing inflict accidents.

Nile tilapia has been noticed to change their preventing habits primarily based upon experiences throughout growth.

Thus, expertise in a sure type of agonistic habit leads to differential aggressiveness amongst people.

As soon as the social hierarchy is established inside a bunch, the dominant males take pleasure in the advantages of each elevated entry to meals and an elevated variety of mates.

Nevertheless, social interactions between males within the presence of females lead to greater vitality expenditures as a consequence of courtship shows and sexual competitors.


Typical of most fish, the Nile tilapia reproduces via mass spawning of a brood inside a nest made by the male. In such an association, territoriality and sexual competitors amongst the males result in giant variations in reproductive success for people amongst a bunch.

The genetic consequence of such habits is lowered genetic variability in the long term, as inbreeding is prone to happen amongst totally different generations resulting from differential male reproductive success.

Maybe pushed by reproductive competitors, tilapias reproduce inside a number of months after beginning. The comparatively younger age of sexual maturation inside Nile tilapia results in excessive beginning and turnover charges.

Consequently, the fast reproductive charge of people can even have a damaging influence on progress charge, resulting in the looks of stunted tilapia on account of a discount in somatic progress in favor of sexual maturation.

Female Nile tilapia, within the presence of different females both visually or chemically, exhibit shortened winter spawning intervals.

Though parental funding by a feminine extends the inter-spawning interval, feminine tilapia that abandon their younger to the care of a male achieve this benefit of elevated inter-spawning durations.

One of many potential functions behind this mechanism is to extend the reproductive benefit of females that do not need to look after younger, permitting them extra alternatives to spawn.

Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus

For males, the reproductive benefit goes to the extra dominant males. Research has discovered that males have differential ranges of gonadotropic hormones answerable for spermatogenesis, with dominant males having greater ranges of the hormone.

Thus, a choice has favored bigger sperm manufacturing with extra profitable males. Equally, dominant males have each the perfect territory when it comes to assets and the best entry to mates.

Moreover, visible communication between Nile tilapia mates each stimulates and modulates reproductive habits between companions similar to courtship, spawning frequency, and nest construction.


Tilapia, doubtless the Nile tilapia, was properly often known as meals fish in Historic Egypt and generally featured in their artwork (work and sculptures).

This features a 4000-year-old tomb illustration that reveals them in man-made ponds, doubtless an early type of aquaculture.

In fashionable aquaculture, wild-type Nile tilapia will not be farmed fairly often due to the darkish color of their flesh, which’s undesirable for a lot of clients, and due to the status, the fish has as being trash fish.

Nevertheless, they’re fast-growing and produce good fillets; leucistic (“pink”) breeds that have lighter meat have been developed to counter the patron distaste for darker meat.

Hybrid inventory can also be utilized in aquaculture; Nile × blue tilapia hybrids are often reasonably darkish, however, a light-colored hybrid breed often known as “Rocky Mountain White” tilapia is usually grown resulting from its very gentle flesh and tolerance of low temperatures.

Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus

As meals

The red-hybrid Nile tilapia is understood within the Thai language which means “pomegranate fish” or “ruby fish”. The sort of tilapia may be very well-liked in Thai delicacies the place it’s ready in quite a lot of methods.

Tilapia, usually farmed, is a well-liked and customary grocery store fish in the USA.

In India, Nile Tilapia is probably the most dominant fish in a number of the south Indian reservoirs and out there all year long. O. niloticus grows quicker and reaches larger sizes in a brief span of time.

The littoral areas of Kelavarappalli reservoir are stuffed with nests of Nile Tilapia they usually breed throughout the southwest monsoon (July–September).

The fish primarily feeds on detritus. The zooplankton, phytoplankton, and macrophytes additionally have been recorded often from the intestine of Nile Tilapia.

There’s a heavy demand particularly from native poor folks as this fish is reasonably priced to the bottom revenue group on this space.

Other Recommended Articles


nile tilapia
blue nile tilapia
red nile tilapia
nile tilapia fish
white nile tilapia
nile tilapia for sale
nile bream
nile tilapia scientific name
nile tilapia habitat
nile tilapia oreochromis niloticus
tilapia nile perch
black nile tilapia
tilapia de nil

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *