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PostPosted: Oct 6th, '17, 03:42 
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I'm not some monster commercial system, just growing them myself indoors in 75g tanks. Temp is a bit lower than the 'optimum growing temp' so the 240 days till harvest with x-y-z factors is out the window. I just want to know weight or length (with or with out tail in measurement) is a suitable harvesting size for blue tilapia? I have various sizes the smallest is less than 1/2 the size of the largest.

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PostPosted: Oct 10th, '17, 21:02 
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I guess it depends on what 'plate' size you prefer.
If you're wanting a bigger fish, wait longer.
From what I've seen with my fish there is a rule of diminishing returns on food intake vs weight put on by the fish once they reach a certain age.
I'm sure someone here can enlighten you as to what that size/age is.

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PostPosted: Oct 11th, '17, 05:59 
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From what I've read the 240 day growth period is because after that the feed conversion slows down, so they will gain weight slower after that so it will cost you more to raise them. I've harvested about 75 of my 120ish blue tilapia that I'm raising right now. I did not keep track of how old they are, my time table is based on my water temp in my unheated system inside my unheated greenhouse... I need to have them all harvested before the water temps hit 47 degrees, but also I want the tank to move my catfish in to, so I am probably harvesting them a little early but they eat less thus also grow slower as temps drop so again waste of money...

The largest I've harvested so far have been 10 inches total length which are about 9 ounces. They make pretty nice filets, then I've harvested some that are only 3 inches, and I've fed some that were even smaller to my chickens. I'm sure they are capable of growing larger but again I'm limited on time due to colder weather.

I put my bigger filets in a bag for baking, my smaller filets I bag for frying, so it doesn't really matter to me what size they are, but next year I will do a better job and grade them a couple times and only keep the fast growers.

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PostPosted: Oct 11th, '17, 18:14 
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Thanks Rob, that's exactly the advice I think they were after!
Did you find that the 3inch fish tasted any better or worse than the big ones? Like how lambs taste better than sheep or whatever...

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PostPosted: Oct 11th, '17, 18:34 
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no, tilapia is a very mild fish with very little flavor IMO... that is why it's so popular (in the US anyways... because even the people who don't like fish don't mind it being so mild that they can get the benefits of eating fish without the strong fishy flavor). It takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it in. The bigger ones we bake the fillets on top of lemon slices bed with herb seasonsings on top, so they just taste like lemony herbs, the smaller ones we toss fillets in flour and spices then fry them up, so they taste like fried breaded herbs.

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PostPosted: Oct 11th, '17, 18:48 
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I was looking at my breeders last night which are my original Tilapia that I think I bought in December last year so they are 10-11 months old now. I have not measured them, but there is definitely one male in there that is a monster. He is probably getting closer to 12" (but I have them on more of a restricted diet than the ones in the greenhouse since I am not trying to raise them to eat in one season). Then I have some females in there which are still in the 3-4" range and don't seem like they've grown at all this summer.

Once I harvest the rest of the tilapia in the greenhouse I will move my catfish from my small IBC in to my large IBC, then move my bluegills from inside the house in my 75 gal tank out to the small IBC, then I can empty the 75 gal and move the desk it is sitting on so I can rebuild a smaller shelf in my fish room to set up my fry/fingerling tanks again, but I will also split the 10 fish in my breeder tank in to at least two breeding colonies (keeping 1 male per colony and however many females I have... if I have at least 4 females I'll split them in two groups of two with 1 male each, although I'd prefer groups of 3 or more to reduce aggression towards any one female... I don't think I have 6 females... maybe I'll try and grab some females and a big male out of what is left in the greenhouse to make my second breeding colony (they say not to breed babies with parents, but breeding babies with siblings is OK... I can't tell who was the parents so I don't want to combine them with my original breeders and new breeders). Then the other males that are in my 55 gal breeders tank will get eaten too.

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