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Tilapia, genus of freshwater fish in the cichlidae family. Tilapias are easy to keep in aquariums provided they get space enough. They breed easily and grow fast, but are a danger to any smaller fish. Most of the species are substrate spawners but some are mouthbrooders.

Tilapias are sometimes bred for protein. In some regions the fish can be put out in the rice fields when rice is planted, and will have grown to edible size (12-15 cm, 5-6 inches) when the rice is ready for harvest. See also fish farming

The Tilapia fish are an excellent biological control for some aquatic plant problems. They have a preference for a floating aquatic plant, duckweed (Lemna sp.) but also consume some filamentous alga.

It is sometimes misnamed Talapia or Telapia.


The Tilapia fish first will prepare there nest for the offspring. The female then lays the eggs about a dozen a piece into the nest. The male fertilizes the eggs. The male picks up the eggs in his mouth and oral incubation takes place. The male is the mouthbreeder. If the male doesn't incubate the eggs in his mouth, the eggs will never hatch. This is because the eggs are are easily attacked by bacteria The male mouthbreeder keeps the eggs free from bacteria by running water over the eggs in his mouth constantly.