The truth about Tilapia Farming At Home
Tilapia farming at home is owned by Edgar S., a part-time tilapia farming hobbyist. Here's what he said about himself on his own website back in September of 2008:
He first registered his website domain name on August 7th 2007:
There are no records of any pages appearing on his website until the middle of 2008. This is not unusual, as many people secure their domain names long before they actually add any publicly visible pages.
On September 15th 2008, Tilapiafarmingathome.com had one product for sale:
Here is what Edgar had to say about Mike Sipe on October 2nd 2008:
It looks like Mike Sipe has done incredible things with tilapia. Having Mike as a teacher would definitely give his student some bragging rights. Assuming that everyone believed it was true.
Less than five months after giving Mike (and himself) such great reviews, and only seven months after his pages first appeared in the Internet archive, Mr. S. changed his story about Mr. Sipe:
Gone is the part where Edgar claims that he asked permission from Mike to market his single breeding colonies for home tilapia farming. In it's place are Edgar's thoughts as he processes through an explanation of how "Tilapia Farming at Home was born". He goes on with his claim that Mr. Sipe was in declining health and that it was too difficult for Mike to continue operating his farm or continue "teaching". He repeats his statement about having male and female specimens of Mike's fish, just in case his readers missed it the first time. Then, as if pleading to a overwhelmingly christian jury, uses "fate" like a sign of divine intervention to explain how he came to possess the culmination of 30 years of Mike's work , and what he intends to do with it.
I will never accuse the owner of Tilapiafarmingathome.com of being a thief; it's not for me to decide. I'm only here to present the evidence so that you can decide for yourself. That said, he does openly admit to stealing from others who can't fight back in his writings about Mike Sipe.
Speaking of legalities, it is very convenient that I have been given permission to copy and reproduce anything on his site provided that I give credit to Edgar F. S. (which I am doing now) and supply a link to www.tilapiafarmingathome.com.
So according to Edgar's confession, his own breeder colonies produce inferior Hornorum / Mossambica hybrids. Something that aquaculture community has been saying since 2008.
He doesn't appear to understand genetics
Edgar apparently didn't read the section in Mike's hatchery manual or on Mike's website, about how chromosomes affect the testosterone and estrogen producing sites within the tilapia? No problem, here's a screen shot from Mike Sipe's hatchery manual on the subject:
Edgar clearly knows how to spell the word Genetics, and repeats it several times throughout his website, however he demonstrates no knowledge of the science.
He isn't really a tilapia farmer
Edgar refers to himself as a tilapia farmer, but it simply isn't true. Edgar already identified himself as being a self-employed as a locksmith in September of 2008.
He raises a few tilapia in his backyard as a hobby. He highlights the fact that his backyard operation is a Florida Department of Agriculture certified facility, but fails to mentions that EVERY person who possesses any tilapia other than Blue has the exact same certification. It's like bragging that you have a driver's license.
He has unrealistic refund and replacement policies
Buying from tilapiafarmingathome.com can be dangerous to your wallet! But only if you lay down and take it.
So if your tilapia die during shipping, you may be responsible for even more shipping charges. If the replacement fish die, you are screwed for the price of the tilapia and possibly two shipping charges. It appears that Edgar is unaware that Paypal instantly grabs the money from the seller as soon as a dispute is started online by a customer.
He over-charges for shipping
As I have said elsewhere on this site, inflating their shipping charges is how many tilapia dealers display a lower cost up front and then make up for it at check-out. This works because a very high percentage of customers don't see the charges or assume that they will be the same no matter where they shop. Tilapia Farming at Home charges $49 and $69 for shipping. These same-sized orders shipped from an actual hatchery (as opposed to a part-time backyard operation) would be free.
He has an inflated view of his contributions to tilapia farming
It appears from Edgar's use of exclamation points, that he strongly believes his own claims to fame. However, there dozens of websites that were up and running for as many as eleven years before his site even existed. Cherrysnapper.com in 1997, miami-aquacuture.com in 1997, tilapiaseed.com in 1999, and americulture.com in 1998 just to name a few. Then again, Edgar knows the truth, because he published this little tidbit in January of 2016:
How can he be the only one on the Internet, if three years prior to his website becoming active, he was finding websites with tilapia for sale and contacting people to buy them? By the way, 2007 was when he purchased his domain, not when he launched his website.
Edgar doesn't know when to quit
Apparently Mr. S. thinks that when you change a webpage, the old version goes away. He doesn't seem to know that everything he puts on the web is archived permanently, just waiting for someone with the skills to dig through them and find the inconsistencies. These archives are a historical record that can even be used in court to establish a persons truthfulness. As a person's story slowly changes over time into what they want everyone to believe, they leave a breadcrumb trail back to the truth, that ultimately becomes their undoing. So let's have a look at Edgar's most recent addition to his website.
Here's a story that Edgar published on his website in January of 2016. As you read it, try to imagine how you would feel having your personal business hung out in public like this, especially if it were true. It gives a clear window into the heartless world of Edgar S.:
If you're like most people possessing a soul, you can't help but be offended by what Edgar S. says on his website. True or not, that kind of writing has no place on a professional website. But then again, that's the whole point of this report: To prove that Tilapiafarmingathome.com is owned by a man who will say anything to grab as much fame-by-association as he can in order to sell his inferior products.
While he was writing the garbage above, he was clearly focused on "proving" that he didn't steal tilapia from Mike Sipe's farm as it has been suggested in the aquaculture community. Fortunately, in the process he lost track of his other claims, making them nearly impossible to believe. For years Edgar has referred to Mike Sipe as his "teacher". And why not, Mike is the world's foremost expert on tilapia genetics and has over 40 years of experience farming tilapia worldwide. Claiming Mike as his teacher has provided Mr. S. with a lot of clout. Without the ability to associate himself with Mike, Edgar goes back to being just another Florida backyard hobbyist selling fish.
In Edgar's latest rant, he set the timeline in 2005, and then advances it a couple of times; first by one week, and then by a few months. He settles down and offers mid-2006. So it seems that somewhere around the end of June in 2006, according to Edgar, he had ALREADY given up on learning any more from Mike Sipe. If that is true, his previous statement about parting ways with Mike Sipe in March of 2008 is a lie.
I was inspired to contact Mike Sipe when I first read this. Mike acknowledged that he hired Edgar S. to work as a gardener after he lost use of his hand following a stroke. Mike was able to do most things, including drive his car, but couldn't comfortably hold string trimmers and experienced some difficulty with the pull-starter on his lawn mover. He said that Edgar only came by every-other Sunday for about six months, no more than a dozen times. After Edgar finished working, Mike spent an hour or so going over his hatchery manual... basically reading the book to him.
In Edgar's story, he claims that Mike's "weed wacker" broke. How exactly does something break itself? According to Mike, Edgar broke his string trimmer after only a few uses. Edgar attempted to blame the trimmer for breaking itself, but the Sipes aeren't that stupid. They told Edgar that he need not return until they had a chance to buy a new one, but Edgar was determined to continue his bi-monthly stops. One can only speculate why Edgar was so insistent on coming to the Sipe's farm, but in the end, Edgar bought a new string trimmer in order to facilitate his ability to walk their property.
I asked Mike about Edgar's version of how he acquired female Hornorum and male Mossambica tilapia. He said without hesitation, "They were stolen"!
Mike Sipe is a college educated expert with 40 years of experience in tilapia genetics. He's the man who Dr. Lovshin called "The father of tilapia". Mike Sipe is the one who traveled to Brazil decades ago to bring back the very first Hornorum tilapia to the United States. The guy who fought and won against the State of Florida for the right to possess tilapia in the first place. The man who Edgar himself refers to as his "teacher" is now reduced in Edgar's version to a bumbling idiot, too stupid to identify the sex of a tilapia, accidentally giving his gardener a breeding pair? Not once, but twice?