Culture of herbivorous tilapias

Tilapias are opportunistic, omnivorous feeders but the species of interest to culturists fall into two groups with respect to feeding preference: the herbivorous, macrophyte-feeders (Tilapia rendalli and T. zillii) and the microphagous Oreochromis spp. Information on the former is confusing, partly because of the use of stocks of poor or questionable quality for experimental work. Herbivorous tilapias are theoretically attractive for low cost aquaculture. Questions remain regarding the choice of species but in general T. rendalli is preferred to T. zillii. There may be limitations to using large volumes of vegetation at high feed conversion ratios and herbivorous tilapias have not been adequately assessed for culture performance on pelleted diets based on plant protein sources. The implications of introductions of herbivorous tilapias are discussed.


Pullin, R.S.V. (1984)
ICLARM contribution 184