Tilapia is a hardy, prolific, fast-growing tropical fish native to Israel, where it has been farmed for about 2,500 years. There are two main types of tilapia currently being farmed, red and black. They require warm water temperatures ranging from 76 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit, so they are usually farmed in tropical areas. Most tilapia are also able to be raised in salt or fresh water, although the black is usually grown in fresh water and the red in salt water. Tilapia can survive on a diversity of food, but it is mainly a herbivore, which allows farmers to use pure vegetable feed, which is uncommon in fish farming. Algae is probably their most common food in the wild. Tilapia fillets are white to pinkish white and may have a thin layer of darker muscle tissue just below the skin side in the raw state. They cook up white in color with a mild taste and a slightly firm, flakey texture. Tilapia absorbs the flavor of the water it is raised in, so the water must be clean or the fish will have a muddy taste. Tilapia are grown in ponds, raceways and open pens in lakes. They are fed a high-protein pellet feed. When raised in a controlled environment they can achieve growth rates of up to 3 percent of body weight per day.