Course CodeBAG211
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn to raise freshwater fish

In ponds, tanks or dams

Aquaculture - a growing trend

As marine fish sources continue to decline, Aquaculture is growing in popularity all over the world. In particular, small scale Aquaculturists are farming fish commercially in place of traditional fishing methods as their professions are increasingly jeopardised. The Aquaculture course will provide you with fundamental knowledge about potential fish species to farm and how to set up and run a fish farm. Whether you want your own business or want to start a hobby; whether you have a small tank or a large lake; this course will teach you the concepts of raising freshwater fish and set you on the right path for starting your own fish farm.

Advantages of Aquaculture

  • Helps overcome a deficiency in seafood supply.
  • Efficient production of a protein-rich food source.
  • Source of Income.
  • Flexible method.
  • Promotes tourism.
  • Reduction of diseases transmitted through wild food sources.
  • Facilitates waste reduction and recycling.
  • Increasing production of a species through aquaculture as opposed to fishing for it will aid in the protection of marine species being over exploited and help reduce pollution of coastal waters.

Applications of Aquaculture

  • Commercial fish farming
  • Fish farming as a tourist attraction
  • Keeping fish as a hobby

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction To Aquaculture
    • Scope and nature of freshwater aquaculture
    • Resources, references, organisations around the world
    • Equipment and material suppliers
  2. Production Systems - EP and IP
    • Open, semi closed and closed systems
    • Extensive production
    • Intensive production
    • Water containment: earth, concrete, wood, brick, stone, fibre-glass, liners, etc
    • Dams and water storage: siting, site
  3. What Species To Farm
    • Selection criteria
    • Climate
    • Water resources
    • Finance
    • Scale of operation
    • Other resources: manpower, knowledge, support services, etc.
    • Market demand and access
    • Ecological considerations
    • Risk considerations
    • Review of different fish: we review many fish and other species suited to farming in Australia,the UK and other countries), including:
    • Trout
    • Rainbow trout
    • Brown trout
    • Bass
    • Catfish
    • Carp
    • Cod
    • River blackfish
    • Marron
    • Algae
  4. Trout
    • Three main trout species
    • Farming trout
    • Water
    • Determining flow in source water
    • Water temperature
    • Water dissolved oxygen
    • Stocking rates for production pools
    • Spawning trout
    • Checking the fish
    • Stripping technique
    • Fertilisation of ova
    • Hatching ova
    • From hatch to free swimming stage
    • Feed
    • After free swim stage
  5. Barramundi
    • Industry perspective
    • Breeding and growth rates
    • Induced breeding; hormone injection
    • Growth
    • Fry management and after care
    • Grow out
    • Pond rearing for larvae
    • Barramundi diseases and parasites
  6. Bass
    • Varieties: Australian bass, American loudmouth, Smallmouth
    • Habitat requirements: temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH
    • Natural spawning cycle
    • Controlled spawning
    • Harvesting
  7. Freshwater Crayfish
    • Scope and nature of crustacean aquaculture
    • Marron and Yabbie
    • Conditions: water, temperature, pH, salinity, dissolved oxygen, organic loading, water clarity, pod size
    • Initial breeding stocks
    • Production potential
    • Stocking rates
    • Breeding
    • Growth
    • Feeding
    • Composts for Marron feeding
    • Red Claw
    • Yabbie
    • Spiny Freshwater Crayfish
  8. Setting Up A Fish Farm
    • Land and water
    • Water requirements
    • Extensive production dams
    • Intensive production pools and raceways
    • Cages
    • Biological filtration systems
    • Filter efficiency
    • Clearing turbid water in dams
    • Protecting fish
    • Improving genetic quality of fish
    • Economics of establishing and running an aquaculture farm
    • Financial management
    • Financial institutions
    • Better planning
    • Economics
    • What to plan for
    • Production
    • Marketing
  9. Fish Foods & Feeding
    • Scope and nature
    • Pelleted feed
    • Live feed
    • Brine shrimp
    • Daphnia
    • Worms
    • Night lights
    • Fishmeal
    • Oil meals
    • Fish food production
    • Beef heart
    • Legumes
    • Seafood and vegetable mix
    • Earthworm and compost production
  10. Harvesting
    • Introduction
    • Harvesting techniques: seine nets, gill nets, traps, long lines, funnel trap, flyke trap, etc
    • Fish pumps
    • Mechanical graders
    • Fish health management
    • Review of diseases: salmonids, barramundi, trout, carp, etc

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Learn about the Different Forms of Aquaculture

There are a lot of different terms used to describe growing fish, each with a subtly different connotation.  pisciculture, aquaponics, aquaria or aquaculture are all terms used for growing fish in controlled systems. 

  • Aquaculture is an all embracing term, covering fish, crustaceans, shell fish and other species, including seaweed. It is farming fish and other water dwelling plants or animals - in fresh water or salt water to harvest.
  • Pisciculture is farming fish only (excludes crustaceans, molluscs, seaweed etc.)
  • Mariculture is aquaculture in saline water.
  • Aquaponics involves growing land plants such as vegetables and herbs together with fish, all in the same system (usually in tanks) using (nutrient loaded) water circulated from the plants to the fish, and then returned to the plants. It is a hybrid of hydroponics and aquaculture.
  • Aquaria: Aquarium management or aquaria generally refers to growing plants or animals in water for purposes other than harvesting for food, such as conservation, research, a hobby or decoration.
This course is a good introduction to all of these different pursuits; whether on a small scale or larger commercial scale.

Undertaking this course can ultimately be a money saving exercise for many students. If you have limited or no experience in aquaculture, there are many costly mistakes that can be made if you invest time and money before first learning the basics. This course has the potential to reduce your risk, and provide a sound foundation for important decisions you will need to make; sometimes at a moments notice. When something goes wrong in your aquaculture, you often do not have time to try and find a solution. You may need to make decisions immediately; and making those decisions without at least a broad, fundamental knowledge, can often mean significant mistakes.

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