The dipeptide dl-methionyl-dl-methionine (Met-Met) has extremely low water solubility and better absorption than other methionine sources (such as dl-methionine and l-methionine) available in the market. Therefore, six diets (D1, D2, D3, D4, D5 and D6) containing 0, 0·07, 0·15, 0·21, 0·28 and 0·38 % Met-Met were formulated to investigate the effects of Met-Met in juvenile Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (17 g initial body weight). The results indicated that percentage weight gain and specific growth rate of fish fed with D2 and D3 diets were higher than those fed with D1, D4–D6 diets. The levels of total essential amino acid in whole body of fish fed with D3 and D4 diets were significantly higher than those fed the D1 diet. Superoxide dismutase activity and malondialdehyde content have no significant difference in fish fed the diet with or without Met-Met supplementation. Majority of reads derived from the fish intestine belonged to members of Fusobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. Diversity of intestinal microbiota and total antioxidant capacity in fish fed with D3 diet was significantly higher than that of other groups. Based on the growth results, the authors conclude that the optimal level of Met is 0·61 % Met with the addition of 0·15 % Met-Met for grower-phase O. niloticus.