31 May, 2010

Intensive Culture of Tilapia in Tanks II. Hatchery & Nursery Operations

The business of raising Tilapia does not involve growing the fingerlings to marketable size alone. Another profit center in this enterprise that can even be more profitable is the hatchery and nursery operations. The higher profitability of these operations relies on the fact that the feed input is much less than the grow-out operations. Furthermore, in terms of the turn-over rates, the hatchery operations takes only about a week while the nursery operation takes about one month as compared to the four to five months it will take before the marketable sized fish is sold.

Similar to the grow-out culture, the hatchery and nursery of tilapia in tanks offers a solution to increased production at a limited space as compared to the traditional pond and cage culture systems. It also minimizes the risk of crop loss due to typhoons and inundation. Furthermore, intensification of culture means less exploitation of the area and more effective management and controlled operation. It is envisioned that it is only through the tank system that aquaculture can be “industrialized” by providing better control and predictable production levels.

24 May, 2010

Intensive Culture of Tilapia in Tanks I. Grow-out Culture- Tank Design & Operations)

Many are interested in the culture of Tilapia in tanks because of the advantages it offers: first,  less space is needed, second,  better management control, third, less labor is needed, fourth, better quality of fish produced, and fifth, less risk of loss of stocks due to typhoons and flooding.

Its only disadvantage is- it is more expensive to construct and because no natural food can be produced, feeding will depend entirely on commercial feeds.  Encouraged by these reasons, many have actually ventured into this business but failed because of lack of information on the system requirements.  The design of the tank system together with the life support system is crucial to the operations and will determine the success or failure of this business.

20 May, 2010


The culture of natural food for the hatchery of marine fishes is well established. The protocol for the culture of phytoplankton like Chaetoceros and Skeletonema for the larval rearing of tiger and white shrimps and the culture of the rotifer as first food for most marine fishes like milkfish, seabass, snappers, groupers and siganids have been an integral part of their hatchery operations. Feeding the newly hatched shrimps and fish larvae with these natural food have been shown to be the only method necessary to achieve good survival rates of the shrimp postlarvae and fish fry.

It cannot be said however, that the same is true for freshwater fishes. At present, no commercial freshwater fish hatchery in the country cultures natural food. The reason perhaps is because tilapia, the most popular cultured freshwater fish in the Philippines can be successfully larval reared using commercial fry feed due to the big size of its hatchlings. On the other hand, other fishes like carps, aquarium fishes and even catfishes are stocked directly to nursery ponds a few days after hatching. With this method, it is considered fortunate to have recovery rates of 20% because on the average, only about 0-5% can be achieved.

17 May, 2010

Pangasius: Its Time Has Come!

Many people may still be unfamiliar with the fish called Pangasius. However, chances are, if you are fond of ordering fish fillet in restaurants, you must have tasted the fish. This is because according to a local trader, the Philippines imports from Vietnam some 15 containers containing 14 tons each of Pangasius fish fillet every month. These are distributed mostly to restaurants. Some restaurants list the fish in their menu as “Basa” or “Pangasius fish fillet” while some simply call it “fish fillet” and when asked what fish it is, the waiters usually say, “perhaps it’s lapu-lapu”.

12 May, 2010


Since the introduction of the Nile Tilapia in the Philippines by the Central Luzon State University in the 1970’s and the popularization of its cage culture in Laguna Lake by the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Station in Binangonan, Rizal in 1979, the culture and production of Tilapia has progressed in leaps and bounds. Its culture has expanded not only in fish scarce areas like the upland provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela but also in areas where marine fishes abounds like Bicol and some provinces in Mindanao. Today, Tilapia is cultured in all regions of the country in ponds, tanks, cages and pens in freshwater, brackishwater and marine waters.

Reducing Feed Cost in the Culture of Pangasius

Many Asian countries have become interested in the culture of Pangasius. This is due to Vietnam’s success in penetrating the world export market for this fish. At present, Vietnam has reportedly exported over 1 million tons, with major exports to Russia, Europe, Asia and the USA.

Back in the early ‘90’s, Pangasius is relatively unknown to many Asian countries. Today, besides Vietnam who supplies around 89% to the world market, China, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia, India, Bangladesh and the Philippines have started producing either for their own consumption of the fish or for export.