Department of Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries, University of Dar es Salaam, P. O. Box 35064, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute, Headquarters, P. O. Box 9750, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Department of Animal Science and Production, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box 3004, Morogoro, Tanzania
Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute, Kigoma Centre, P. O. Box 90, Kigoma, Tanzania
Prolific breeding and production of high percentage of recruits are main problems in mixed-sex Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) culture in earthen ponds. The current study assessed the efficiency of different sizes of African sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus) in controlling recruitment in mixed-sex Nile tilapia cultured in tanks and its effect on growth performance, percentage survival and yield. Three treatments consisting of triplicate ponds stocked with mixed-sex Nile tilapia in monoculture and in polyculture with large (62.50 ± 3.26 g) and small (40.00 ± 2.68 g) African sharptooth catfish were fed on a 297.50 g kg−1 crude protein diet for 126 days. Results showed that, the number of recruits was significantly lower in larger African sharptooth catfish predator than smaller ones and monoculture of Nile tilapia. Polyculture with larger African sharptooth catfish resulted in significantly higher growth performance of Nile tilapia. Large African sharptooth catfish in polyculture reduced the amount of small, low-value recruits, while the yield of large and high value Nile tilapia was increased. This study revealed that fish farmers can reduce prolific breeding, obtain higher growth performance and produce larger size of marketable Nile tilapia by predominantly stocking ponds with large African sharptooth catfish predator of at least 60 g.