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Oreochromis mossambicus - Mozambique mouthbrooder- Tilapea


  • Oreochromis mossambicus - Mozambique mouthbrooder- Tilapea


    Photo thanks to Ddubtoille

    Scientific name: Oreochromis mossambicus
    Common name: Tilapea
    AKA: Mozambique mouthbrooder, Mozambique tilapia, Blue Kurper, Oreochromis andersonii, Tilapia kafuensis, Kafue bream, Three spotted tilapia

    Country of origin: Africa

    Temperature: under 10c - over 38c
    Water flow:

    Maximum size: 40cm +, although they are capable of stunting their own growth under less than ideal conditions.

    Diet: They are omnivorous - eating everything in their environment that hasn't been nailed down, including shrimp, fish, detritus, plants and algae.

    Breeding: males - grow faster, have a concave head & enlarged lips.
    It is often crossed with other tilapea species to increase the size of the fillets in aquaculture. As a pure species it makes up around 4% of the world's tilapea in aquaculture.
    The colour of the fish can vary, depending on its environment & breeding. It can be a yellow or green, with horizontal dark stripes.

    The male makes a hollow in the substrate, the female lays her eggs & they are fertilised, then the female carries the eggs in her mouth. 1 male can pair with many females.

    Lifespan: up to 11 years

    Tank companions: It is far too large a fish to house shrimp with, and could easily eat an adult shrimp in one bite. It is extremely aggressive, and should not be kept with any other fish.

    Overseas it is used in aquaponic systems, and is frequently eaten. Each fish can weigh up to 2kg each.

    It will tolerate brackish water as well as fresh.

    Confused with:
    Native perch or grunters:

    They IS NOT on the allowable import list as of 27/08/2013:
    It has not been on the allowable import list since 1960.

    It has been introduced in countries other than its native territory, where it is decimating fish stocks and local habitats, to the extent that the native stock are now threatened.

    Oreochromis mossambicus are NOT legal imports to Australia as of 20/10/2013:
    however they may have been on previous import lists, have entered Australia prior to the implementation of import lists, or been misidentified on importation.

    The IUCN Red List reports Oreochromis mossambicus as a species which is near threatened, with an unknown population trend at 20/10/2013:

    It is very important not to release any aquarium specimens into our waterways. Any that are not sold or re-homed/ given away, can often be re-sold to aquarium stores. If they are homed in ponds, care should be taken that they cannot escape in run-off into our waterways. Even if fish are native & local they should not be moved from one waterway to another, as this can transfer disease. If they are not local fish, they can both spread disease and either out-compete or eat local fish, shrimp & plants, causing their demise.

    They are NOT a good fish for aquarium keepers in Australia - people have been prosecuted for trading them.

    Relevant threads:
    People prosecuted in QLD for trading:

    Illegally introduced species discussion:


    Food source:

    Threat to native shrimp:

    Pest species:

    • DiscusEden
      DiscusEden commented
      Editing a comment
      Someone I know found a couple of these in freshwater in Brisbane. they where about 2 or 3 cm in size now they are about 13cm and just keep growing.

      They have asked around and haven't figured out what they are anyone know what they are? Also they said around the top of the dorsal fin and edge of the tail it gets red especially at night.

      Originally posted by Piscineidiot View Post
      Your friend needs to get rid of them immediately, or risk getting a knock on the door from DEEDI (although there mightn't be enough staff to door knock now anyway).

      What they are is the Mozambique mouthbrooder (Oreochromis mossambicus), commonly called the tilapia. There's a heavy fine associated with possession of these for any reason, and being a noxious species, obviously release is off the cards.
      Originally posted by JonnyDexter View Post
      Nice pet. Pescinediot is suggesting to kill it.
      should we all get rid of our cherry shrimp too?
      Originally posted by Maazo View Post
      It's the law:

      Any other course of action is illegal.
      Originally posted by NewFishTank View Post
      Tilapia can be eaten actually quite tasty
      Originally posted by fletch95 View Post
      feed it to the cat
      Originally posted by septhen View Post
      Lucky! Try these sites to utilise it to its full potential:

      An American friend of mine used that recipe, apparently its very good.
      Enjoy! Stephen.
      Originally posted by Capitán Primero View Post
      kill it
      and bury the body
      then plant a tree on it.

      as mentioned
      you do not want to be caught with it
      and made an example of.
      Originally posted by Too Many Choices View Post
      I saw massive ones of these in the Barcelona aquarium a couple of weeks ago! Shame because I think it said their critically endangered in their natural areas.
      Originally posted by atwistedlife View Post
      This is sad.
      Granted it's a fish that is not wanted in this country, but that's not the fishes fault nor is it the fault of the people that have made them pets and given it a home out of harms way, yet helpless critters have to be put down because humans stuffed up with not being responsible in their fish keeping in the first place and the people that have made these helpless critters part of their family suffer the heart ache of having to kill it.

      I find some of the suggestions above heartless and tasteless (no pun intended), if I was told to eat my pet or to feed it to another pet, I would be offended.
      Originally posted by Ddubtoille View Post
      It's just some one I recently met who was asking me if I could identify it and I couldn't so I knew you guys would but I have sent them the information about it so its up to them now, I personally have eaten tilapia hundreds of times when I lived in America, you can't go to the grocery store and not see it, I find it really quite good I had never seen them pre filleted before haha
      Originally posted by Stew_822 View Post
      Seconded. Most of us have cats, yet they're destroying our environment - should we put them on the barbeque too?
      Originally posted by Scruffles View Post
      being biased towards cats... i would say.... yes...?

      But, i guess the government has reasons, such as the fish possibly destroying the natural eco system, and difficult to halt the natural progression of the fishies.... whereas cats can be caught by the local ranger, and there arent as many out there.... yet....
      Originally posted by Maazo View Post
      My opinion on cats aside....

      If eating cats was a social norm, then it probably wouldn't be distasteful. The fact is people eat fish. More to the point people eat Tilapia - overseas, they're arguably the most commonly used fish in aquaponics setups. Ever eaten Nile Perch? they're not that dissimilar.

      The distinction of "pet" is one imposed on the animal by us. The fish doesn't know it's a pet. If it were that aware I dare it wouldn't like to be eaten no matter where it's kept. Likewise farmed salmon (or any other fish for that matter). The distinction we make WRT emotional attachment to animals is both a blessing and a curse. However, by law, the animal needs to be put down. The choices are: to kill it and throw it out; to kill it and eat it (and at least get something out of the process); or, to act in an illegal manner and continue to keep the fish, risking a large fine.

      I do find the "giving them a home out of harms way" grimly amusing. These fish are ferociously out-competing native species. If anything removing it from a waterway has kept other native fish safer. Obviously , it would be best if it some moron hadn't released them in the first place, but that can't be changed.

      Have seen some nice recipes for coriander & lime tilapia!
      Originally posted by mr_c265 View Post
      Not to add fuel to the fire, but gee, you should see the size of the feral cats up near Tarana.
      Also, the government can be accused of being hypocrites. Despite loving trout fishing, i understand the amount of damage that they can cause, at my dad's farm (On the fish river in Tarana), you will never find a Galaxias in the same pool as a trout, nor a Silver Perch, nor Tandanus, yet the government keeps stocking trout in the river. I've never seen a Tilapia in there, but hey, they are banned nonetheless despite living at over 20 degrees and the river getting to about 2.

      There's a stagnant pool with a colony of huge wild goldfish (i mean huge) and when you dissect them they are full of freshwater shrimp, yet goldfish are one of the most popular aquarium fish. They're even still on the approved import list (not a lot of good taking them off would do), yet proper hobbyist fish like the L catfish are completely off limits, despite hobbyists as a whole being more responsible than your average "keep goldfish in a bowl, goldfish doesn't fit in a bowl he's going into the local river" fish keeper.

      I think the government seriously need to rethink their policies, like the coverall ban on entire species just for safety's sake. And that fish hobbyists seriously have to take it upon themselves to be accountable for keeping feral fish out of our pristine waterways . Same goes for cats and dogs, be responsible with your pets (there is nothing better than having a cat the size of a small pig hissing at you from the top of a tree) . I don't see why he shouldn't be allowed to keep the fish, i do however see thousands of reasons why it should never be in Australian Waterways. But hey, at the end of the day it is illegal, and despite there being no reason why you shouldn't have the fish, the government says you shouldn't so i guess the bottom line is either live with the risk or dispose of it correctly.
      Originally posted by Stew_822 View Post
      My point was that if we have to kill this fish, a pest as well as pet (which as far as I know was removed from the environment) then I think that we should to ban all other species that are endangering our natives, whether they be fish, birds, rats (we have some very cute critically endangered species) or what have you. Of course, that isn't my call - it's the Government's.

      Sorry for lighting the fuse, so to speak.
      Originally posted by BigDaddyAdo View Post
      Most of this is beside the point. It is illegal to keep it and it should be disposed of.
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