General African Cichlid Discussion • keeping oreochromis niloticus x oreochromis aureus

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keeping oreochromis niloticus x oreochromis aureus

Postby Magicarp » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:07 pm

Hi, I'm very new to keeping cichlids and was wondering if anyone had any tips on keeping nile/blue tilapia crosses (Oreochromis niloticus crossed with Oreochromis aureus). I know it's probably a very silly question, but the only information I can find about them is on how to raise them in aquaponics, along with other agricultural based sources. I got two of these hybrid tilapia from my school, they are currently 5 and 6 inches long at a little over a year old, and are both males (which is not unexpected given the cross of species). I'm not sure exactly how big they will be when fully grown, as nile tilapia can be 24 inches, and blue tilapia can be up to 20 inches. I don't know much about other species of tilapia to be honest, as some species aren't true tilapia, whereas others are and the lines get a bit blurry for me. I know that both blue and nile tilapia are typically kept in groups (not sure if they're schooling, shoaling, or if it's just because of the industry), so I would assume that it might help to give them tank mates to reduce stress, and possibly spread out aggression, as I know cichlids are known to be more aggressive fish (I'm not sure if tilapia would be considered a "tank boss" species, as they can get big, but they're commonly raised in a monosex system where they seem to do fine). I don't know if it would be better to get large docile tankmates, more semi-aggressive tankmates, or have no tank mates at all and consider giving them both separate tanks in the long run (now I have a plastic divider with rocks on the bottom big enough that they can't dig under, and tubing on the sides so they can't get cut if they try to push through). I raised these guys since they were 3/4 and inch long and I just want to give them a good life to live, so if anyone has tips or suggestions, please let me know.
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Re: keeping oreochromis niloticus x oreochromis aureus

Postby DJRansome » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:15 am

Aureus is an 18" fish and niloticus is a 24" fish. Perhaps a 6 foot tank for aureus and an 8 foot tank for niloticus?

If you keep each male with seven females what will you do with all the fry???

Very robust fish, often ignored by hobbyists. The main reasons for it not being very common in home aquaria are mostly due to its large adult size, frenetic breeding rate and legendary appetite.
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Re: keeping oreochromis niloticus x oreochromis aureus

Postby Magicarp » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:26 am

Honestly I was hoping to avoid getting females, that's why I was leaning towards getting a different species as a tank mate (if I do actually get them tank mates), as they get more aggressive during the breeding season, and on top of that I wouldn't know what to do with any babies. I understand the difference between the aureus and niloticus, but the two that I have are a cross between the two species of oreochromis, which is why I don't know what their full size will be. I agree with you that they're very robust fish, I haven't had any problems with them and they're surprisingly friendly and interactive too, which is why I was a little surprised not many people kept them in the hobby. For tank mates I was looking into maybe peacock cichlids as they are also large and semi-aggressive, except I'm not sure if it would be a pro or a con to have fish with similar body shapes to the tilapia as it would mean the tilapia may see them as competing males, so they would probably spend less time being aggressive towards each other, but I also don't want to put the peacocks at risk either. Thank you for your input by the way :) , do you have any other helpful information I could utilize?
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Re: keeping oreochromis niloticus x oreochromis aureus

Postby DJRansome » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:26 am

I would expect two males of the same species in the same tank to be aggressive to each other, females or not. Hybrids can be the size of either parent or anywhere in between so you would plan on 24" fish.

I don't think peacocks are large or semi aggressive...maybe a large hap on the aggressive side like Venustus. So an eight foot tank? With all male you want one of each species and fish that look nothing alike.

Why not follow the aquaponics advice?
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Re: keeping oreochromis niloticus x oreochromis aureus

Postby Ichthys » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:30 am

Stick to non-cichlid tankmates. Cichlids will just elicit territorial aggression and get ragged. Tilapias aren’t usually the most aggressive cichlids but they’ll hold their own against most of them. Remember you’ll be keeping them all in the tilapias’ territory.
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Re: keeping oreochromis niloticus x oreochromis aureus

Postby sir_keith » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:51 pm

Magicarp wrote: ...was wondering if anyone had any tips on keeping nile/blue tilapia crosses (Oreochromis niloticus crossed with Oreochromis aureus). I know it's probably a very silly question, but the only information I can find about them is on how to raise them in aquaponics, along with other agricultural based sources...


There's a very good reason for that... :o Seriously, for someone who is 'new to keeping cichlids,' this is a very odd place to start...
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Re: keeping oreochromis niloticus x oreochromis aureus

Postby Magicarp » Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:43 pm

Ok, thank you for the info :)
Why I wasn't necessarily going with the aquaponics advice is because they are raised to butcher at around 240 days, when they are not fully grown, versus mine that are a little older, and are still not fully grown. I have emailed companies that breed and raise tilapia to try and find advice, but honestly they all either overlooked the actual questions I asked, or responded with they didn't know, which is why I figured it would be worth trying a cichlid forum, since then I could get advice from people in the hobby that may know more about keeping fish in actual aquariums, not within a aquaponics system. I know that I'm in a pretty silly situation, I'm just trying to figure out if I can make it into a good situation. I appreciate all the help and information, and if you guys have any other input I'm here to listen
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