To get a good crop of marketable fish it’s necessary to stock the pond with the correct number of fingerlings. Stocking too few fish may result in fast growth and large fish but this isn’t an economical use of the pond. However, stocking too many fish will result in slow growth and a large number of very small fish.
- For all-male (monosex) culture of tilapia for the market, stock fish of 20-40 g size in properly prepared ponds at a density of 1-2 fish per m2.
- If only mixed-sex tilapia are available to you, stock them as you would all-male fingerlings (i.e. at 1-2 fish per m2), but stock catfish fingerlings along with them. For every 1000 tilapia fingerlings stocked you should stock 50-100 catfish fingerlings (5-10% by number).
- At the time of stocking, the tilapia fingerlings should be four times bigger than the catfish fingerlings so that they cannot be eaten by the catfish. Later the catfish will help control the tilapia population by consuming small tilapia that begin to appear when the tilapia you originally stocked reach spawning age (about 3 months).
- If you plan to rear tilapia fry to fingerling size, either for further stocking or for hand sexing, stock 1-3g fry in properly prepared nursery ponds at 10 fry per m2.