Aquaculture – Tilapia Farming and Aquaponics

Tilapia are really easy to farm, and very tasty to eat.


Our Tilapia pond is about 12000 litres in size, and underneath a poly tunnel. Tilapia need water temperatures above 20 degrees to be productive, and preferably closer to 30 degrees. Below 10 degrees they die, hence the need for the poly tunnel. In winter we get frost and the temperature can drop below zero, but the tunnel keeps the temperture above 15 degrees throughout the winter.

The fish pond has another benefit which is to provide thermal mass inside the tunnel, so the seedlings don’t freeze overnight. Win win!

tun Once the tunnel was established and the fish happily swimming in the pond, I decided to create an aquaponics system to help with the oxygenation and filtration of the water. I must point out that this is not a closed water system. The water is used for irrigation and stock watering, and the the level is kept up using a float valve.

I found some plastic trays that had been cut from an oval water tank that failed QC, set up the bell siphons using 110mm PVC pipe with end caps, and then filled with gravel. A fountain pump pumps the water up into the beds, and it discharges directly back into the pond.


I have planted rhubarb, tomatoes, basil lemon grass and strawberries for a start, and once some algal goop builds up in the bed, I’ll introduce some worms to eat that.