Sexing Tilapia: An Easy Way to Determine Gender

Posted by Amy Storey on February 5, 2015

Why would you sex your fish?

Fish are obviously a key component in your aquaponics system and maintaining healthy fish populations means a healthier, more resilient system.
There are several reasons for sexing tilapia. From selecting for breeding to reducing aggression, there are some great reasons to figure out the sex of your fish.

Selecting individuals for breeding.

If you're thinking of breeding your fish, you'll want to carefully select the males and females you use based on favorable traits that they display. First, though, you must select candidates from both genders.

Separating genders to reduce aggression.

Many aquaponic growers use only male tilapia to avoid aggressive behavior that can be sparked by the presence of a female.

See how to identify gender:

As you can see, Noah uses dark food dye (green and blue are best) to highlight the physiological characteristics.

The dye accentuates the anus and genetalia of the fish and the difference is clear.

Male tilapia have a tapered shape below the anus, whereas the female have a more rounded shape with a triangular indentation in the center.

fish-2_1024 Male tilapia have a tapered shape below the anus, whereas the female have a more rounded shape with a triangular indentation in the center. In this picture, the female is on the left and the male is on the right.

Male tilapia are also usually smaller and more aggressive than females.

You can learn more about breeding tilapia here.

Other fishy questions?

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Topics: Aquaponics

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