How to Feed Tilapia Fish in Ponds


Tilapia is considered a hardy, fast growing fish, with a high reproduction rate. Properly feeding your tilapia fish will ensure that they are healthy, have good growth, and that their immune system is working properly. When you are raising your tilapia in a pond setting, there are a couple of feeding options to choose from when selecting your fish's diet.

Things You'll Need

  • High protein fish food pellets (optional)
  • Inorganic fertilizer or fresh chicken, duck, or pig manure (optional)
  • Select and purchase some high protein fish food pellets from a pet store, agriculture store, or an online source. This high protein diet will help achieve optimal growth rates of the tilapia. Typically, the fish will grow 1 pound for every 1½ pounds of food that they eat.

  • Sprinkle the food pellets by hand or with a sprinkler mechanism twice daily. In either situation, you want to disperse the pellets evenly throughout the water.

  • Consider naturally increasing plankton, algae, and detritus in the tilapia pond with manure. This is an economically friendly approach to providing the foods that fish would normally eat if in the wild. Test the oxygen levels of the water early in the morning to know when and how frequently to add the manure. If the parts per million is below 2, you do not want to add manure at that time. Wait until it is above 2 to add more manure. When it is above 2, spread a thin layer of inorganic fertilizer or fresh chicken, duck, or pig manure evenly throughout the pond. If you can, make sure that the animals that are producing the manure have been eating a high grain diet so they produce quality manure.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't overdo it with the manure. You don't want to add too much as it would lower the oxygen levels in the water, making it harder for the plankton, algae, and detritus to grow, as well as possibly making the water toxic for the fish. Also make sure that the temperature of the water is above 64 degrees F so that the manure decomposes instead of sitting on the bottom of the pond.

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  • Photo Credit white tilapia image by Lucid_Exposure from
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