The costs of feeding tilapia accounts for about 60% of the total production cost of raising tilapia on the fish farm … so no doubt anything that could reduce the cost of feeding tilapia is a matter of concern to most fish farmers out there
The cost of tilapia fish feed especially in developing countries is one of the factors that has severely restricted the development of tilapia fish farming as a business and local fish farmers are always on the lookout to try and find alternative ways to save on the cost of feeding their fish especially the supplementary fish feed.
There are 2 basic ways of feeding in raising tilapia and these feeding methods can help you to reduce the cost of feeding tilapia fish if that is what you farm and also help you generate more income from raising tilapia fish.
What are this methods that can possibly help you reduce the cost of raising tilapia?
The are two suggested ways through which feeding costs can be reduced in raising tilapia and they are as follows:
- Delayed Feeding Method and
- Alternate Feeding Method
Delayed Feeding Method:
Delayed feeding is one method that can be used in raising tilapia from the lowest stage to the most advanced stage.
At the initial stage, organic fertilizers may be added to a pond before fingerlings are raised at compositions including 5.6kg of phosphorus and 28kg of Nitrogen per acre of pond.
The fertilization of ponds will help generate algae formation which fingerlings can feed on before the beginning of supplemental feeding.
Experts suggests that supplemental feed can be given to tilapia fishes from between 45-70 days of raising tilapia and such supplemental feeds can still remain part of raising tilapia till around 150 days of raising tilapia.
It is believed that the delayed feeding method can reduce the total costs of feeding tilapia fish by as much as 90% within the first 45 days of raising tilapia fingerlings and fries and that …
costs up to 45-60% may be saved through delayed feeding by 150 days after the beginning of raising Tilapia.
The delayed feeding method does not only save costs of feeding and production costs while raising tilapia, it is also believed that delayed feeding method can help make young tilapia fishes adjust to organic feeding at their earliest stages of growth.
Some species of tilapia which are allergic to some form of commercial feeding can also be helped overcome such problems by delaying the introduction of commercial feeds to them.
Alternate Feeding Method
The Alternate feeding method in Tilapia raising involves the feeding of tilapia fishes with commercial supplementary feeds every other day.
The Alternate feed method involves skipping at least 1 day of supplemental feeding. It means your tilapia fishes are allowed to feed on the natural foods available in their ponds.
The view from experts is that the alternate feeding method can help reduce costs of feeding tilapia fishes without reducing the output of tilapia production at the end of a production season ( when fishes are ready for harvest and the market).
It is believed that there is not much weight difference in weight between tilapia fishes that were raised with commercial feed all through and those that were raised with alternate feeding methods.
The costs of raising tilapia through alternate feeding method can be much more than the delayed feeding method because tilapia fishes have been found to consume more under alternate feeding than in delayed feeding, aside this delayed feeding has also helped fishes to adjust much better to feeding systems than alternate feeding.
Regardless of the kind of feeding system used in raising tilapia (alternate or delayed) it is very important to seek professional advice in order to prevent any form of disorders that may arise from introducing commercial supplemenatry feeds to young tilapia fishes just after they have been subjected to delayed feeding.
Growing algae and other plants while raising tilapia is very economical in so many ways, aside using such plants, planktons and other minor sea insects could be raised so that tilapia fishes can both feed on algae and insects to get the ideal balanced nutrients they need for their growth and development even before commercial feeds are introduced .