Mossambique Tilapia

From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Jump to: navigation , search
Oreochromis mossambica - (Peters, 1852)
Mossambique Tilapia

Also known as the Black or sometimes Pink Tilapia. Bryan Harry/National Park Service.

[edit] Overview

This is a big, tough cichlid that can thrive in many situations and that is commonly used in aquaculture. It is sometimes crossbred with the Hornorum Tilapia (Oreochromis hornorum) to produce a fast-growing hyrid.

Not a particularly appropriate aquarium species, it has escaped aquaculture facilities in many parts of the world and is blamed for decimating local native fish populations.

See Emerald Rainbowfish.

It is regarded as highly palatable, a firm-fleshed fish with a clean flavor. Sportsfishermen think of it as a fine gamefish, and it has been stocked in many bodies of water worldwide.

Breeders have established light-colored strains with pink, orange, or red hues, that are sometimes marketed as marine fish because they resemble Red Snapper or Orange Roughy when filleted. Mike Sipe of Tilapia Aquaculture International in Florida, has developed a number of these strains, including on he calls the Red Butterball Tilapia.

So-called Red Butterball Tilapia, bred by Mike Sipe.

Feral populations of the Mossambique Tilapia are established in Texas, Alabama, and Florida, in the U.S. In some places they have been intentionally introduced to control nuisance aquatic vegetation.

Family: Cichlidae

Other common name(s):

  • Black Tilapia
  • Pink Tilapia
  • Orange Mossambicus
  • Red Mossambicus
  • Mossambic Tilapia
  • Zanzibar Tilapia

Native range:

Habitat: Able to survive in most conditions, but in the wild it gravitates toward quieter waters, including lakes, rivers, swamps, man-made reservoirs, canals, and ponds. Will venture into coastal estuaries, and even out in full-strength saltwater. It can tolerate periods of drought, with low water levels and diminished oxygen content.

Maximum length: 39 cm (15 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 1140 L (301 gal)

Water: Freshwater 17 °C (290 K, 63 °F) - 35 °C (308 K, 95 °F)

General swimming level: All levels, but often near the bottom.

[edit] Feeding

Omnivore. Juveniles tend to eat more insects, crustaceans, and other meaty foods, while larger adults are more herbivorous. They also feed on detritus and smaller fishes. Their diet is highly adaptable, and they are greedy eaters in captivity.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

This is a big fish that gets very aggressive when in breeding mode.

[edit] Breeding/Propagation

Maternal mouthbrooders, digging pits in soft bottoms to spawn.

Mike Sipe is a Florida breeder of colored tilapia and has an informative website at Cherry

[edit] Notes

This species has also been referred to as: Chromis niloticus, Chromis mossambicus, Chromis niloticus, Chromis dumerili, Chromis vorax, Tilapia mossambica, Tilapia vorax, Chromis natalensis, Tilapia natalensis, and Sarotherodon mossambicus (Trewevas, 1983)

Facts about Mossambique TilapiaRDF feed
Common name Mossambique Tilapia  +, Black Tilapia  +, Pink Tilapia  +, Orange Mossambicus  +, Red Mossambicus  +, Mossambic Tilapia  +, and Zanzibar Tilapia  +
Family Cichlidae  +
Genus Oreochromis  +
Maximum length 15 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 301 gal  +
Native range Africa  +, Zambizi River  +, and Shiré River  +
Specific name mossambica  +
Swimming level All levels, but often near the bottom.  +
Water max temp 308 K (35 °C, 95 °F)  +
Water min temp 290 K (17 °C, 63 °F)  +
Water type Freshwater  +