Author(s): B W GREEN
Masculinization of sexually undifferentiated tilapia fry is achieved by oral administration of the androgen 17-α methyltestosterone (MT). An anabolic response to androgen treatment of tilapia has been reported. Growth of control and MT-treated tilapia was evaluated during consecutive treatment, nursery, and grow-out phases under conditions approximating commercial, semi-intensive tilapia farms in Central America. Oreochromis niloticus (L.) fry were fed a 0 or 60 mg/kg MT diet for 28 days. Growth curves for control and MT-treated fish did not have significantly different slopes. Mean harvest fry weights were similar, averaging 0·1 g/fry for both treatments. Fry were subsequently stocked into 0·2-ha nursery ponds for 94 days growth. Slopes of control and MT-treated fish growth curves were not significantly different. Mean final individual weights did not differ significantly between treatments. Control fish did not deviate significantly from the1:1 male: female ratio, but MT-treated fish were 97% males. Control male and MT-treated male fingerlings were stocked for grow-out into 0·1-ha organically fertilized earthen ponds. No significant difference in growth was observed between control and MT-treated fish. Mean gross yields after 150 days and mean final individual weights were similar for both treatments.