Growth Performance and Yield of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758)) under Different Stocking Densities and Fertilization Scenarios in Earthen Pond Culture

Adugna Gindaba, Abebe Getahun, Mulugeta Wakjira


This experiment was conducted to explore the effects of chemical and organic fertilizers at different levels of stocking density on the growth performance and yield of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758)) in earthen pond culture in southwestern Ethiopian highland located at an altitude of 1700 m above sea level. The ponds were divided into control and treatment with diammonium phosphate (DAP) and poultry manure application at three levels of stocking densities as 1, 2 and 3 fish m-2 in a completely randomized design. All the experimental ponds had two replicates. The fertilizers were applied to the treatment ponds at a rate of 2 g m-2 perweek for 150 days. Juveniles with mean initial weight of 20.9 0.19 g and mean initial length of 11.51 0.16 cm were stocked.

The results showed that the growth performance parameters (viz. weight gain, daily growth rate and specific growth rate) and yield of Nile Tilapia were dependent on both the stocking density and fertilizer type. The fishes stocked in the ponds treated with DAP at 1 fish m-2 attained the highestmean values on all the growth parameters followed by the fishes stocked in the poultry manure treated ponds at the same rate of density. In contrast, total weight gain and yield increased with an increase in stocking densities, and they were greater in the treatments with DAP than in the treatments with poultry manure at the same loading rate. Therefore, it can be concluded, from this experiment, that the most effective stocking density for Nile Tilapia earthen pond culture is at 1 fish m-2 for larger size fish demand while 3 fish m-2 gives higher gross production or yield with DAP treatment. Survival rate remained fairly similar for all levels of stocking density and fertilizer types.


Chemical fertilizer; Diammonium phosphate (DAP); Earthen ponds; Growth performance; Nile Tilapia; Poultry manure; Yield.

Full Text:



FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), Aquaculture extension in sub-Saharan Africa, FAO fisheries circular, No. 1002. Fisheries Department, Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service, Rome, 2004, pp. 55.

Dill, A., The effect of stocking density and supplementary feeding on growth performance of Nile Tilapia (O. niloticus (L., 1758)) in cage culture system in Wenji Reservoir, Ethiopia. M.Sc. dissertation, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, 2010.

Breuil, C., Review of the fisheries and aquaculture sector: Ethiopia. FAO Fisheries Circular. No. 890. Rome, FAO, 1995. pp. 29.

FAO, 2012. Fisheries Global Information System (FIGIS), in: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department (online). Rome, 2012. Accessed at:

Rothuis, A., van Duijn, A.P., Dejen, E., Kamstra, A., van der Pijl, W., Rurangwa, E., Stokkers, R., Business opportunities for aquaculture in Ethiopia. LEI Report 2012-003, IMARES Report C035/12, 2012, pp.138.

Landau, M., 1992. Introduction to Aquaculture. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., pp.464.

Yi, Y., Lin, C.K., Diana, J.S., A Manual of Fertilization and Supplemental feeding Strategies for Small-Scale Nile Tilapia culture in Ponds. Aquaculture Collaborative Research Support Program, Pathumthani, Thailand, Ann Arbor, USA, 2008.

Ngugi, C., Bowman, J., Omolo, B., A New Guide to Fish Farming in Kenya. Aquaculture Collaborative Research Support Program, USA, 2007, pp. 95.

Overcash, M.R., Hashimoto, A.B., Reddell, D.L., Day, D.L., Evaluation of chemical analysis for animal wastes, in: Standardizing Properties and Analytical Methods Related to Animal Waste Research. Willrich, T.L., Miner, J.R., Overcash, M.R., Eds. Amer. Soc. Agr. Eng., St Joseph, MI, 1975, pp. 335-355.

AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists), Official methods of analysis.15th ed. Arlington, Virginia, USA: AOAC Inc., 1990.

Prescott, G.W., How to know the fresh water algae. University of Montana: Crown Company Publishers, 1970, pp. 348.

Belcher, H., Swale, E., A beginners guide to Fresh water Algae. London: HMSO, 1976, pp.47.

Fernando, C.H., (Ed.), 2002. A guide to Tropical fresh water zooplankton. Identification, ecology and impact on fisheries. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys publishers, 2002, pp. 291.

Bagenal, T., Methods for assessment of fish production in fresh waters. 3rd ed., Oxford, London: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1978, pp. 365.

Alemu, K., The growth performance of Oreochromis niloticus reared in freshwater ponds loaded with varying levels of poultry manure. SINET: Ethiop. J. Sci., 26, 17-23, 2003.

El-Sayed, A.F.M., Effects of stocking density and feeding levels on growth and feed conversion efficiency of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) fry. Aquac. Res., 33, 621-626, 2002.

Ouattara, N., Teugels, G., Douba, V., Philippart, J., Aquaculture potential of the black-chinned Tilapia, Sarotherodon melanotheron (Chiclidae): comparative study of the effect of stocking density on growth performance of land locked and natural population under cage culture conditions in Lake Ayame (Cote d'Ivoire). Aquaculture Research, 32, 1223-1229, 2003.

Diana, J.S., Lin, C.K., Jaiyen, K., Supplemental feeding of Tilapia in fertilized ponds. J.World Aquaculture Society. 25, 497-506, 1994.

Diana, J.S., Lin, .C.K., Yi, Y., 1996. Stocking density and supplemental feeding, 14th Annual Technical Report, Pond Dynamics/Aquaculture CRSP, Oregon state University, Corvallis, Oregon, pp. 133 138.

Tadesse, A., The effects of stocking density and supplementary feed on growth performance of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus (L.1758)) in cage culture system in Lake Elen, Ethiopia. M.Sc. dissertation, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, 2007.

Gibtan, A., Getahun, A., Mengistou, S., The effect of stocking density and supplementary feeding on growth performance and yield of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus (L.1758)) in cage culture in Lake Kuriftu, Ethiopia. Aquaculture Research, 39, 1450-1460, 2008.

Canario, A., Condea, J., Power, D., Ingleton, P., The effect of stocking density on growth in gilthead sea-bream, Sparus aurata (L.). Aquaculture Research, 29,177-181, 1998.

Chattopadhyay, D.N., Mohapatra, B.C., Adhikari, S., Pani, K.C., Jena, J.K., Eknat, A.E., Effects of stocking density of Labeo rohita on survival, growth and production in cages. Aquaculture International, 21, 1929, 2012.

Bakeer, M.N., Tharwat, A.A., Effect of stocking density and manuring rate on silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) reared in earthen ponds. J. of the Arabian aquaculture society, 1 (2), 57-68, 2006.

Pangni, K., Ats, B.C, Kouassi, N.J., Effect of stocking density on growth and survival of the African catfish Chrysichthys nigrodigitatus, Claroteidae (Lacpde 1803) larvae in circular tanks. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 20 (7), 100, 2008.

Abou, Y., Fiogbe, E., Micha, J., Effect of stocking density on growth, yield and profitability of farming Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus L., fed Azolla diet, in earthen ponds. Aquaculture Research, 38, 595-604, 2007.

Yi, Y., Lin, C.K., Diana, J.S., Effects of stocking densities on growth of caged Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and on yield of small Tilapia in open pond water in earthen ponds. Aquaculture, 146, 205-215, 1996.

Huang, W.B., Chiu, T.S., Effects of stocking density on survival, growth, size variation and production of Tilapia fry. Aquaculture Res., 28, 165-173, 1997.

Diana, J.S., Lin, C.K., Schneeberger, P.J., Relationships among nutrient inputs, water nutrient concentrations, primary production, and yield of Oreochromis niloticus in ponds. Aquaculture, 92, 323-341, 1991.

Bocek, A., Water Harvesting and Aquaculture for Rural Development. International Center for Aquaculture and Aquatic Environments, Swingle Hall. Auburn University, Alabama 36849-5419 USA, 2009.

Knud-Hansen, C.F., Batterson, T.R., McNabb, C.D., The role of chicken manure in the production of Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (L). Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, 24, 483-493, 1993.

Hussein, S.M., Effect of organic and chemical fertilization on growth performance, phytoplankton biomass and fish production in carp polyculture system. J. Aquat. Biol. and Fish, 16(2), 133-143, 2012.

Boyd, C.E., Fertilization of warm water fish ponds. J. of Fish, Soil and Water Conservation. 36,

-145, 1981.

Olah, J., Carp production in manured ponds, in: Aquaculture of cyprininds. Billard, R., Marcel, J. Eds., Paris: INRA, 1986, pp. 95-303.

Green, B.W., Substitution of organic manure for pelleted feed in Tilapia production. Aquaculture, 101, 213-222, 1992.

Smith H.T, Schreck, C.B, Maughan, O.E., Effect of population density and feeding rate on the flathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). Journal of Fish Biology, 12, 449-445, 1978.

Fetene, B., Effects of feed quality on growth performance and water quality in cage culture system for production of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus, L., 1758) in Lake Babogaya. M.Sc. dissertation. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, 2008.

Hailu, S., Effects of feed quantity on growth performance and water quality in cage culture system for production of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus, L., 1758) in Lake Babogaya. M.Sc. dissertation, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, 2008.

Salama, M.E.A, Moustafa, Y.T., El-Dahhar, A.A., Dawah, A.M., Effect of Fertilization on Production of Nile Tilapia in Earthen Ponds II) Effect of an untraditional organic fertilizer and stocking density on the fish yield of Mixed-sex Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). J. of the Arabian Aquaculture Society, 1 (2), 112-130, 2006.

Libunao, L.P., Goat-Fish Integrated Farming in the Philippines. A report. Ambio, 19, 408-410, 1990.

Silva, P., Souza, V., Padua, D., Dalacorte, P., Goncalves, D., Effects of stocking density on growth and fillet composition of tetra hybrid red Tilapia, Israeli strain, in: Tilapia Aquaculture in the 21st Century: Proceedings from 5th International Symposium on Tilapia Aquaculture. Fitzsimmons, K., Carvalho, J., Eds. Rio de Janeiro: Brazil and Aquaculture CRSP, 2000, pp. 341-345.

Isyagi, N.A., Veverica, K.L., Asimwe, R., Daniels, W.H., Manual for the Commercial Pond Production of the African Catfish in Uganda. USAID FISH: Fisheries Investment for sustainable Harvest. Auburn University, Alabama, USA, 2009.

Liti, D., Fulanda, B., Munguti, J., Straif, M., Waidbacher, H., Winkler, G., Effect of open-pond density and caged biomass of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus, L.) on growth, feed utilization, economic returns and water quality in fertilized ponds. Aquaculture Research, 36, 1535-1543, 2005.

Stone, N.M., Thormforde, H.K., Understanding your fish pond water analysis report. University of Arkansas Co-operative Extension Printing services, 2003.

Sifa, L., Chenhong, L., Dey, M., Gagalac, F., Dunham, R., 2002. Cold tolerance of three strains of Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, in China. Aquaculture. 213, 123-129.

Morgan, P.R., 1972. Causes of mortality in the endemic Tilapia of Lake Chilwa (Malawi). Hydrobiologia. 40, 101-119.

Mires, D., The Tilapias, in: Production of Aquatic Animals: Fishes. Nash, C.E., Novotony, A.J. Eds., New York: Elsevier, 1995, pp. 133-152.


  • There are currently no refbacks.





About IJSBAR | Privacy PolicyTerms & Conditions | Contact Us | DisclaimerFAQs 

IJSBAR is published by (GSSRR).