A Bayesian Belief Network, validated using past observational data, is applied to conceptualize the ecological response of Lake Maninjau, a tropical lake ecosystem in Indonesia, to tilapia cage farms operating on the lake and to quantify its impacts to assist decision making. The model captures ecosystem services trade-offs between cage farming and native fish loss. It is used to appraise options for lake management related to the minimization of the impacts of the cage farms. The constructed model overcomes difficulties with limited data availability to illustrate the complex physical and biogeochemical interactions contributing to triggering mass fish kills due to upwelling and the loss in the production of native fish related to the operation of cage farming. The model highlights existing information gaps in the research related to the management of the farms in the study area, which is applicable to other tropical lakes in general. Model results suggest that internal phosphorous loading (IPL) should be recognized as one of the primary targets of the deep eutrophic tropical lake restoration efforts. Theoretical and practical contributions of the model and model expansions are discussed. Short- and longer-term actions to contribute to a more sustainable management are recommended and include epilimnion aeration and sediment capping.