How Fast Do Tilapia Grow?

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Last Updated on March 21, 2023

If you’re wondering how fast tilapia grow, we will let you know in this article. Tilapia is one of the most widely farmed fish and you will enjoy raising tilapia be it for business, which is pretty lucrative, or for consumption, or even for ornamental purposes because tilapia is a good-looking fish.

Tilapia are fast-growing fish whether you decide to grow them in a tank, a pond, or a hapa. This is why they are one of the most loved fish to raise in aquaponics or fish culture. Let’s explore how fast tilapia fish grow and some requirements for tilapia’s fast growth rate. So, read on to find out.

Know-How Fast Tilapia Grow

Tilapia start from eggs, and then grow from hatchlings to fingerlings, and then to the adult or harvesting stage. How fast tilapia grow from the hatchling stage to adult or harvest size can take 8 to 9 months or 240 days. However, the fingerlings to adult or harvest size stage can take up to 6 months or 26 weeks.

Most of the time in these 240 days is spent in the hatchling period rather than the grow-out stage. Their fast growth rate is at the hatchling period as they gain more ounces in this stage, thereby giving them accelerated growth. It is for this reason (fast growth rate) they are one of the best fish for aquaponics.

After 8 to 9 months or 240 days, the tilapia growth rate flattens. The rest of the tilapia’s life after this stage will only experience little growth per year. The growth rate can be as low as a few ounces per year.

How Long Does It Take For Tilapia To Grow Into Full Size

Tilapia fish will grow from hatchling to full size around 240 days. At the grown stage, the full size of your tilapia fish should be between 15 to 20 ounces or 450 to 565 grams.

Requirements For Fast Tilapia Growth Rate: Factors To Consider

You get the best growth rate for your tilapia if all growing requirements are met especially at their hatchling stage. Below are the recommended growth rate needed for your tilapia:

  • Clean water and dissolved oxygen: clean or good water quality is one of the most important requirements for the efficient growth of your tilapia fish. Dissolved oxygen increases the survival rate and also food intake so your tilapia can grow adequately. If you’re making use of a pond, atmospheric oxygen and photosynthesis will supply good oxygen for your tilapia to grow. However, if you’re making use of a tank, you will need to provide additional artificial aeration to support your tilapia fish.

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  • Stocking Density: together with good aeration or dissolved oxygen, tilapia fish should be stocked in the right proportion. The fish stocking density should be proportionate to your tank or pond size. This way, there won’t be food or space competition. Failure to maintain the right stocking density can cause depreciation of growth as the fish will compete for space and food.
  • Food: Another requirement for tilapia’s good growth rate is food. Tilapia can feed or survive on varieties of food. However, they are mostly fed with plant-based food as these are more beneficial and will encourage optimal growth. If you’re raising tilapia in a pond, you can feed them with algae. If you’re however raising them in a fish tank, feed them with plant-based, artificial food from any local store, or order some from Amazon.
  • Water Temperature: tilapia are warm-water fish. Therefore, you should ensure their water temperature is in the right range. With the right temperature, tilapia will metabolize adequately, thereby increasing their survival and growth rate. Maintain water temperatures of 75 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature drops below 50 degrees, metabolism slows down which causes survival and growth rate to diminish. Temperatures below 40 degrees will be fatal to your tilapia fish and they will most likely die.

Tilapia Breeds That Are Fast Growing

Among the various tilapia varieties we have, here are the fast-growing breeds you can find:

  • Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus).
  • Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus).
Tilapia Breeds That Are Fast Growing

How Long Does it Take For Blue Tilapia to Grow?

Blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus) is one of the fastest-growing species of tilapia. Because of its fast growth and therefore reproduction rate, it can be invasive in many parts of the world where they do not naturally occur. They can quickly take over, overwhelming natural fish populations.

A blue tilapia provided with ideal growing conditions will grow at a rate of between 2.5 and 3.0 g per day and will reach a harvestable size in about six to nine months. Of course, the harvest size will depend on the size at that you wish to harvest your fish.

How Do You Grow Tilapia at Home?

Tilapia is a very hardy fish species that anyone with a bit of knowledge of growing fish can easily grow at home. There are however certain environmental or water quality conditions that need to be maintained to keep these fish at their optimum growth and health. When growing tilapia at home, you need to try to replicate as close as possible the conditions that they would be exposed to in the wild, in their natural environment.

Some of the most important water quality conditions to maintain when growing tilapia at home include;

  • Temperature

Tilapia are extremely sensitive to temperature. So for them to grow optimally, you need to keep the temperature of the water in which they are kept between 26-30 °C.

  • pH

pH is another important parameter that needs to be carefully monitored when you are growing tilapia at home. The pH of the water should for tilapia be maintained at a range of 6-9. You should use a pH meter to regularly monitor the water pH so you can make the necessary adjustments when needed.

  • Ammonia

Ammonia is one of the most dangerous toxins to fish in the water. This parameter is closely related to pH. To ensure that your fish remain in great condition, have an efficient filtration system and maintain your ammonia levels under 2.4 mg/L at all times.

  • Dissolved oxygen

Tilapia, like most fish, need oxygen to breathe in the water. Make sure that this is provided through the addition of artificial aeration or having constantly running water that will oxygenate. Maintain your tilapia tank oxygen levels at a range of 5-7 mg/L. You can do regular monitoring through the use of a dissolved oxygen meter.

These are some of the important water quality parameters to keep monitoring while growing tilapia at home. On top of that, just make sure that water stays clean and that your fish are fed regularly, at the right amount and your tilapia will be happy.

How Do You Raise Tilapia in a Small Pond?

Raising tilapia in a small pond should not be a problem, provided you keep them at the right stocking density. So what is stoking density? Stocking density is defined as the density of fish in a rearing system at any time. The ideal density to keep your tilapia in a small pond is 450 – 500 g of fish per square meter. Maintaining these stocking densities in a small pond will allow you to grow your tilapia to grow well.

How Do You Catch Big Tilapia?

If you have ever been fishing, you will know that to catch fish you need bait to attract them. The same applies when catching tilapia in a pond. Tilapia are omnivorous fish, meaning that they feed on both plant and animal matter. this gives you more options on what to use as bait. 

You can use bread, peas, corn, earthworms, or even artificial lures that resemble small fish. Use these on a fishing rod to catch your big tilapia.

Another option is to use a light tackle on a spinning reel with some hooks.

How Big is a Blue Tilapia?

How big a blue tilapia is depended on its age. Adult blue tilapia reach weights of between 2 and 6 pounds and lengths of 10-18 inches. These sizes can only be reached by the fish if it is provided with ideal growing conditions such as good water quality and a good and efficient feed and feeding schedule.

What is The Biggest Tilapia Ever Caught?

According to this article published on News Channel 5 Nashville, the biggest tilapia ever caught was caught by Barry Parker in Old Hickory Lake. This fish weighed 6 pounds 5.5 ounces and was a length of 22.5 inches.

How do Big Do Red Tilapia get?

Red tilapia grown in the best conditions can reach a maximum weight of 9.5 lb and a maximum length of 15 inches.


Tilapia is one of the best fish to raise in aquaponics because of its rapid growth rate. The fastest-growing tilapia breeds are the Nile and Mozambique tilapia.

Tilapia experienced the fastest growth rate around the hatchling period. Therefore, if you want to enjoy a faster or bigger growth rate, you should follow our recommended requirements mentioned above.

We do hope you have learned one or two things from this article. If you would like to learn more about tilapia, there are other related articles on tilapia for you to learn more.


How fast do tilapia multiply?

The growth rate of Tilapia is around 2.0 inches per week (depending on the size) for juvenile fish, and 3.0 inches per month for adult fish. If you are buying fish to keep for your aquarium, you should buy the smallest size that will fit comfortably into your tank.

Tilapia like to eat a variety of foods, but the most important thing is that it eats live food. It does not like dry or dead food, and it also does not like frozen food. Tilapia require live food because they have small stomachs. You can give them frozen food once a week, but do not feed it to them more than once a week.

What makes tilapia grow faster?

If you’re looking for a fish to grow as quickly as possible, tilapia is the way to go.Tilapia have a large appetite and will eat more than most other fish. They can grow up to eight inches long and weigh up to three pounds. They also have an active metabolism that helps them grow fast.

The most common varieties of tilapia are: White Tilapia – These are the most common variety of tilapia and are generally the smallest. They can reach up to four inches long and weigh between one and two pounds. White tilapia are also the easiest to breed. Pink Tilapia – These are sometimes called rose tilapia or “Ruby” tilapia.They have red pigment in their skin and they are slightly larger than white tilapia. Black Tilapia – These are also known as tiger tilapia and have a dark-colored flesh. They are usually the largest variety of tilapia. They can grow up to six inches long and weigh up to three pounds.  Tilapia are a low maintenance species and require little more than a shallow water bath. They do like to be kept in water with a pH of 2.5 –3.5 and a temperature of 74°F – 77°F. They also enjoy being kept in a slightly acidic environment.

How big does a tilapia get?

Tilapia can grow up to 2.5 feet ( 3.8m) in length, and weigh as much as 30 pounds (13kg). The average size of a male tilapia is around two inches, and a female is about one inch.

The largest adult male is about 3-4 pounds, but most are smaller than half that weight.

There are also a few larger females, but they are rare. How do they eat? Tilapias are omnivores that eat small invertebrates, plants, and algae.

How much space do tilapia need?

Aquaculture is the farming of fish, shellfish or other aquatic organisms. Tilapia is one of the most popular fish in aquaculture, especially in Asia and Africa. It has been farmed for over a thousand years. As with any farm animal, tilapia are kept in a controlled environment to provide them with food, water and shelter.

Tilapia are easy to keep but require a lot of space. They are omnivorous so they eat both plants and animals. Tilapia need at least 20 square meters per fish. However, you can also keep tilapia in a tank that’s not as big as this. The fish will just have to be a bit closer together. Tilapia grow quickly, so they’re ready to harvest when they’re between 30-45cm long. They can live for up to five years if kept properly. If you choose to rear tilapia in an indoor aquarium, the water should be about 18 degrees Celsius.

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