Tilapia Fish Farm

Earth ponds and Cages

Tilapia Fish Farming & Marketing

By Uri Ben Israel an Aquaqulture expert

By choosing this method your aim is to establish a fish farm capable of growing and marketing any amount of tilapia per year. It will enable you to grow tilapia fish in earth ponds utilizing the unique advantages in that selected area.

Why Tilapia? and why in Africa?

First and foremost, tilapia is amongst the most favourable fish worldwide. The demand for Tilapia is rapidly exceeding supply which is why the price remains high. Another important advantage is the reproduction and production ability of the tilapia species. West Africa has extremely ideal conditions for raising

The increasing demand encourages many growers to enter into tilapia production worldwide. Tilapia belongs to the Cichid family of fishes. It is one of the major groups of food fish around the world, especially in the tropical semi tropical areas. Tilapia has been called “Saint Peter’s fish” in reference to biblical passages about the fish fed to the multitudes. Tilapia due to the quantity and quality of the water and due to optimal weather conditions all year round. Tilapia will die if left in unheated ponds in the winters of most of North America. Because tilapia is a native African fish, it has a relatively strong resistance to diseases and therefor ideal for the earth pond or cages rearing system proposed in this project.

Fry Production Process In Tilalpia Fish Farming

Here is an example for a system of Broodstock and sex reversal: Three groups of broodstock (parents) 1000 females + 400 males which will produce 2.500.000 fry per year.

Breeding stock enter the production cycle of 14 days in the spawning ponds. After 14 days the fry are separated from their parents and transferred to the sex reversal ponds.

Why Sex reversal?

  • By producing 100% males we prevent the fish from reproduction. It is essential to control the number of fish in each pond.

  • Tilapia male is faster growing by 30-40% then Tilapia female.

The process of sex reversal is accomplished by providing high quality feed with a male hormone supplement (testosterone) which changes the fry to 98% male. Duration of treatment: 25-30 days.

The “Hormone supplement” – It is come with portions of 10 kg of high quality fish feed (45% protein) mix with 0.6 gram of a male hormone (testosterone).  To mix the hormone with the feed, we use 4 liter of alcohol which spread the very little hormone on the feed. Eventually the alcohol is evaporated and disappear.

Nursery: The fry after sex reversal are transferred into nursery ponds in two stages until they reach 50 grams.

Stage A — size of 1 gram – 20 gram in 50 days in a density of 200.000/Hact.

Stage B — size of 20 gram – 50 gram in 25 days in a density of 100.000/Hact.

Stage C — Size of 50 gram – 250 gram in 65 days in density of 30000/Hact.

Stage D — size of 250 gram – 500 gram in 60 days in a density of 20000 – 25000/Hact.

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Tilapia fish farming Cages

About cage farming tilapia

Raising fish in cages is a successful system used in many parts of the world.  It has replaced the traditional fish-growing method of earth ponds.  Its advantages are well recognized and it is widely spread all over the globe.  The first and most important advantage is the unlimited amount of water surrounding the cages. This unlimited water supply provides vast amounts of oxygen and running water, which is necessary for productive fish farming. In addition to that, the financial investment in such a system is much lower. This system of cages is simpler in daily operation in comparison to any other commonly used method of growing fish.

Site Selection and Placement of Cages

Large bodies of water tend to be better suited for cage culture than small ponds, because the water quality is generally more stable and less affected by fish waste. Exceptions are entropic waters rich in nutrients and organic matter. Small (1 to 5 acres) ponds can be used for cage culture, but provisions for water exchange or emergency aeration may be required. Cages should be placed where water currents are greatest, usually to the windward side. Calm, stagnant areas should be avoided. However, areas with rough water and strong currents also present problems.

Cages may be moored individually or linked in groups to piers, rafts, or lines of heavy rope suspended across the water surface. At least 5 meters should separate each cage to optimize water quality. The cage floor should be a minimum of 4 meters above the bottom substrate, where waste accumulates and oxygen levels may be depressed. However, greater depths promote rapid growth and reduce the possibility of parasitism and disease.


The optimum fingerling size for stocking in final grow out cages is determined by the length of the growing season and the desired market size. The shorter the growing season, the larger the fingerlings must be at stocking. The use of male populations, which grow at 30-40% the rate of female populations, will result in larger fish, greater production and a reduction during the grow-out period.

Recommended stocking rate of tilapia fingerlings depends on cage volume, desired harvest size and production level, and the length of the culture period.

Water exchange is less frequent in large cages, and therefore the stocking rate must be reduced accordingly to fish size.

In tropical or subtropical regions with a year-round growing season, a staggered production system could be used to facilitate marketing by ensuring regular harvests, e.g., weekly, biweekly, or monthly. The exact strategy will depend on the number of cages available and the total production potential of the body of water.

Growing fish in Cages system

Daily Operation

The cage system is serviced by a number of floating elements. The work between the cages is performed using motorboats. The use of motorboats serves several purposes: stocking fish into the cages, harvesting fish from the cages, extracting fish to the processing plant, transferring fish between the cages, feeding the fish and a vast number of other activities requiring movement between cages and shore. In addition, the motorboat is used to move the whole cage to the shore for harvesting, restocking or net preparation.

Stocking and harvesting fish can also be done by using special fish tanks on the service boats that contain water with oxygen, which comes from a special bottle of oxygen. The extraction of the fish is done part by hand and part by mean of a special device for the extraction of fish called the Archimedes Screw (Fish Elevator).

At a central point in the lake a wharf will be located to serve the cages by the boats. The wharf will be the main service point which will concentrate all cage related matters such as loading and unloading of food sacks, fuel station, repair and maintenance of the cages, exit point for the divers and a place to tie up the boats at night, and to leave extra floating technical elements.

From time to time, when the cages are emptied of fish, the nets will be transported to shore and washed in a specially designated facility. The fish farm will be serviced by a number of divers whose role will be to watch for damage to the cages, repair the nets in case of tears caused by predators or by any other causes.

Elevator for fish harvesting

Total production

Total production in cages increases as the stocking rate is increased. However, there is a density at which tilapia become too crowded and water quality within the cage deteriorates to a point that causes a decline in growth rates.  In cages, production should be limited to 30 -50 kg per cubic meter. Tilapia continues to grow above these levels at gradually decreasing rates, but they convert feed poorly, and the risk of loss due to oxygen depletion or disease is greater. For maximum turnover of marketable fish, it is best to limit production to levels that do not depress growth. The total number of cages that can be deployed in a lake and therefore total fish production, is primarily a function of maximum allowable feeding rate for all cages in that body of water. The total feed input is related to number and size of fish in the cages (the biomass) and is limited by surface area of the pond.

Cages advantages and disadvantages

Some advantages are:

  • Flexibility of management

  • Ease and low cost of harvesting

  • Close observation of fish feeding response and health

  • Ease and economical treatment of parasites and diseases

  • Relatively low capital investment compared to ponds and raceways

Some disadvantages are:

  • Risk of loss from poaching or damage to cages from predators or storms

  • Less tolerance of fish to poor water quality

  • Dependence on nutritionally-complete diets

Mooring System Diagram

Leveling turned over – This may occur when anaerobic material flows up from the bottom of the lake, increasing toxic chemicals and lost of oxygen in the water.

  • The cage has three main parts. The outer part which floats on the water surface is made from 2-3 HDPE tubes. The diameter of the tubes is 250mm and they compose the upper floating base (as seen in the pictures) to which the fish growing net is tied.

  •  The second component is the net, where the fish are kept and grown. The net is completely submerged under water in a depth as determined by the farm’s requirements.

  • The third component is the mooring system located at the bottom of the lake which anchors the cage system to the designated location above water surface. The mooring system is anchored to the bottom with heavy anchors (as illustrated below). Out of this anchoring system are a number of cables protrude which connect to the cages and thus anchor the cage so that it cannot move. This system is designed to withstand strong winds and large waves. A number of mooring systems will be placed in several locations in the lake. Each of the systems will carry 24 cages. Each system will be named so it will be characterized and identified by the farm’s computer.

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Ghana “Crystal Fish” Tilapia Farm


Tilapia Fish Farm in Africa

Commissioned by Riverside Ltd. (Ghana) to carry out a feasibility study for a large Tilapia and Catfish fish farms, cage farms and earth pond farms including planning, designing and implementing the fish farms as well as a processing plant, hatchery, feed production plant and laboratory. ​

Advising and expanding the production of “Crystal Fish” Tilapia Farm. Owned by a local investor. During this period of time the growth rate in the cage farm located in the Volta Lake was significantly improved and local production of Tilapia fingerlings was started both for the farm itself and for sale to neighboring fish farms.​

Feasibility study was carried out for Tilapia and Cat fish farms in the Ashanti region. The business plan evaluated and designed two alternatives: earth pond production or cage production. Feasibility and technical study was carried out for Tilapia cages farm on the Volta Lake.

Crystal lake- Tilapia cages fish farm – improving fingerlings and market’s fish production

  • Brazil Fish Farm
  • Fish Farming in Nigeria
  • Fish farm in Jamaica
  • Togo fish farm survey
  • Ecuador fish farming
  • Vietnams fish farm survey

Get More Information on This Project >>

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Tilapia, Tilapia fish farming Sea Bass/Bream/ Carps Fish


Tilapia, Catfish, Carps, Sea Bass , Sea bream

Concrete Tilapia Ponds
Concrete Tilapia Pond


We are a fish farm consultant company. If you are involved in an aqua-farming operation or thinking to start a new fish farming venture, welcome home. Alphalapia has an experienced professional team to provide solutions to almost any needs in the fish industry. Research and analysis of your market will be the foundations for our decision because you need to know everything from cultivation to production.​ Alphalapia will strive to maximize your profits while never forgetting environmental and social hazards. Our goal at Alphalapia is to help sustain fish supply against the rising global demand for quality fish and seafood. Alphalapia analyses each initiative according to its business needs, focusing on market approach, production efficiency, and environmental sustainability.

California fish farm
Fish Farm in California

We offer our customers a comprehensive range of our consulting services for Tilapia fish farming, Carp, Sea bream, Sea bass, Shrimp and all other sea fisheries in states and dependent territories in Africa such as:

Angola, Chad, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Togo and more…

Find Fish Farming Information

tilapia Fish Farm in Africa
Tilapia Fish Farm in Africa


Because of the global nature of our business, we have a large range of services. here is a glossary of places, species, and techniques that we have experience with:

Tilapia fish farm example in Africa, tilapia fishtilapia farming, tilapia pond, farm tilapia, male tilapia, aquaculture, Nile tilapia, home tilapia, fish farm cages farming, female tilapia, fish, farmed fish, tilapia culturetilapia fingerlingsMozambique tilapia, fingerlings, farmed tilapia, pond, tilapia recipes, blue tilapia

Contact Us >>

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Vietnam Survay

Vietnams fish farm survey


From April to June 2010 we conducted a survey and designed in Vietnam.

We wrote a business plan for a local investment bank.

The project was for and on behalf of Green 2,000 Ltd of Israel,

one of the leading agricultural firms in the country.

The business plan combined a vertical integration farm, from brood stock,

 to an Indoor system to cages and to final processed quality fish products.

A total of 8000 ton of Tilapia fish annually production

 Ghana Fish Farm

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Togo Fish Market & fish farming

Togo search for a new Tilapia and catfish farm location.
On behalf of a local investor, a search for a suitable Tilapia
and Catfish farm location and a pre-feasibility study were carried out.
The farm combined earth ponds and cages in the “Zio” river
  • The fish market in Togo depends on offshore catch and imports from other countries. The daily catch arrives at the fish market in Lome, purchased by the ” fish mammies” who clean and distribute the fish to shops and end customers.

  • Most fish are sold fresh, but some are dried, smoked or salted.

    The local distribution suffers from below-standard sanitary conditions and a lack of cold storage facilities, thus reducing product shelf-life to a minimum.

  • Some import companies operating in Togo purchase fish worldwide, import and distribute throughout the country. These firms keep refrigeration facilities and cold Lorries, which enable continued distribution to markets.

    Imported Tilapia fish

    During our visit, we did not see and were not informed of any aquaculture farming in the country.

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Jamaica Fish farming

Alphalapia by Uri Ben Israel was planning and constructing a Red & Gray Tilapia fish farm – called “AQUALAPIA”.The annual production of the farm was 4,000 tons of Tilapia fish. Most of the products went to the Us market. Aqualapia were the first in the world to sell tilapia fish fillet in United States markets.

Later on, Mr. Ben Israel managed the farm for three years; the farm employed more than 120 workers.

The AQUALAPIA farm performs vertical integration business activities:



  • Produces Tilapia and Carp fingerlings for internal production and the external market.

  • Grows red Tilapia fish for the local fresh and processed fish markets.

  • Processing plant produces quality fillet for the local market and for export.

  • Marketing and distribution of the farm products is done by the farm  management and its marketing team.

JAMAICA – Aqualapia (146 earth ponds of Tilapia fish)

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Ethiopia Fish Farm Consulting

After a short visit and study on the State of Ethiopia have reached these conclusions…

  • The supply from traditional capture fisheries is lagging behind the demand of the growing fish consumption in Ethiopia. This offers opportunities for Aquaculture businesses to play a role in improving fish production and expanding the fish markets opportunities. Much land is suitable for aquaculture in Ethiopia and for most systems (earthen ponds, concrete ponds, cages in lakes and more).

  • The only option for a fast development of aquaculture in Ethiopia

    Aquaculture needs certain basic resources and inputs, such as feeds,

    Fingerlings, suitable land and water, markets research.

    For the development of aquaculture in Ethiopia, the establishment of a few Intensive fish farms is crucial.

  • There are opportunities for two specific business models:

    1. Large scale intensive commercial fish production;

    2. Semi-intensive small-scale commercial fish production

    3. Good consultancy and know how.

    Farming of tilapia and Catfish could be a viable business proposition under certain Circumstances

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Nigeria Fish Farming

Fish farming in Nigeria

  • Feasibility study for 500 ton Tilapia fish farm, undertaken for private investors in the Yola Region that included planning and designing the necessary production facilities.
  • Agrivision Corp. (The Aquaculture Division) of Nigeria – A feasibility study was carried out for two large Tilapia and Catfish farms. The project included a processing plant, hatchery, feed production plant and laboratory. Cultivation methods included cages and earth ponds for raising fish.

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Brazil FIsh Farming

We visited Tilapia cage farms in the San Francisco River (Brazil) as a guest of the “Codevasf” company and the regional Ministry of Agriculture. At their request, we created a detailed report written about local methodology and ways to improve production. These Tilapia cage farms were in the San-Francisco River in Brazil which is the second longest river in Brazil.

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