Blue Tilapia Fish

All About Blue Tilapia Fish

Tilapia Farming - Blue Tilapia Fish

Blue Tilapia Fish

The Blue tilapia fish (Oreochromis aureus ) is also known as the Israeli tilapia where it is believed to originate from.

The Blue tilapia fish (Oreochromis aureus) is a cold tolerant species that can live in both freshwater and brackish water.

Thanks to these favorable characteristics of the blue tilapia fish it has become a popular species among fish farmers world wide and especially in regions where cold tolerance is of imperative importance.

The blue tilapia fish is not only grown for the food market; it is also frequently sold as bait.

The Blue Tilapia fish is an appreciate food fish and a common fish species that is used in aquacultures world wide.

The blue tilapia fish breeds at a smaller size and earlier age than Nile tilapia (2-3 months vs. 5-6 months) and ...

is more tolerant of high salinity and low temperature conditions than many other species of tilapia.

Various hybrids of blue tilapia and other tilapia species tend to be intermediate in tolerance of low temperature and high salinity.

Habitat & Geographical Range Of The Tilapia Blue Fish

The Blue tilapia fish lives in both freshwater and brackish environments, but it is most common in freshwater.

The blue tilapia fish can adapt to many different types of habitats and occurs in open water as well as in densely grown environments. It lives in lakes, streams, ponds and impoundments.

It can tolerate a water temperature up to 41 degrees C (106 degrees F).

A minimum temperature of 20-22 degrees C (68-72 degrees F) appears to be necessary for reproduction to occur.


Physical Appearance Of the Tilapia Blue fish


tilapia aquaculture farming - blue tilapia fish

The caudal fin of the Blue tilapia has broad bright red or pink distal margin.

During the breeding period, the head of the blue tilapia fish male will change into a bright metallic blue shade and the fish will also display a vermilion coloration on the edge of its dorsal fin and an intense pink coloration on the margin of its caudal fin.

A breeding female blue tilapia fish will develop a pale orange color on the edges of its dorsal and caudal fins.


Behavior of the Blue Tilapia Fish

Blue tilapia fish tend to move around in schools and can be very territorial.


What Does Blue Tilapia Fish Feed On?

Like other tilapia fishes, the young Blue tilapia fish tend to eat a varied diet while adult blue tilapia fish tend to be fairly strict herbivores.

Adult blue tilapia fish feed chiefly on phytoplankton and epiphytic algae, combined with zooplankton once in a while.


Blue Tilapia Fish And Reproduction

The Blue tilapia  requires a minimum temperature of 20-22 degrees C (68-72 degrees F) to breed.

The occurrence of tilapia breeding is influenced mainly by water temperature where breeding activity will ensue at temperatures around and exceeding 22°C; below this temperature, the breeding process is inhibited.

In practice, according to the geographical zone, a period of non-breeding or low reproductive activity will probably occur (even in tropical zones) due to the incidence of low cyclical temperatures (winter)

Just like many other African cichlids, the Blue tilapia is a maternal mouthbrooder.

Spawning occurs naturally when the female arrives at the stage of maturity...

Female Blue tilapias will usually reach sexual maturity when they are around 10 cm long (almost 4 inches), but reports of smaller females with ripe ovaries do exist.  

The blue tilapia male fish will build a nest and defend the territory. If its displays are not enough to scare off intruders, it can engage in mouth fighting.

During spawning, the female blue tilapia fish after a brief session of courting will release her eggs in the nest that is built by the male.

The female lays the eggs in the nest where external fertilisation by the male ensues. The female then incubates the fertilised eggs in her mouth.

The fry develop during this period of buccal incubation until the complete re-absorption of the yolk sac of the fry and, often, even later.

As mentioned above, Blue tilapia seems to require a minimum temperature of 20-22 degrees C (68-72 degrees F) to breed. The species can reproduce both in fresh and brackish waters.


Blue Tilapia Fish Can be an invasive species if not well looked after

Blue tilapia that is introduced to non-native waters can become a problematic invasive species.

Compared to many other tropical fish species, blue tilapia is fairly cold resistant and can therefore survive even in cold temperate environments.

Studies indicate that the blue tilaapia fish is more cold tolerant in waters with low salinity (5 ppt) than in freshwater.



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  1. Papius Dias Mugarura Tibihika says

    Thank for the wonderful message about blue tilapia (Oreochrmis aureus). I happen to be in Uganda (South western Highlands) with cool temperatures where I am an Aquaculture researcher. Among the fish species we do culture include Nile tilapia, however it has failed to reach the market required size for some time mainly because of low temperatures here. Right now we are planning to import Blue tilapia because it seems to tolerate low temperatures and as I see this literature it also seems to reach maturity at 10cm (female) which is also discouraging.Could you please respond to these simple questions?
    1.In a period of six months while for example in a pond and feeding well, what is the average weight of Blue tilapia for economic benefits?
    2.Which country can be the appropriate supplier of Blue tilapia to our country, Uganda? we are so much interested in this fish!
    Thank you!

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