Aquaculture BAG211

Demand for Fish has never been Greater

This course shows you how to produce fish and crustaceans in fresh water (We offer a different course for salt water aquaculture).

To farm fish (or crustaceans), you need land and water.

You can start with as little as a few square metres; but for serious production, you will need acreage.

  • If you are creating ponds, the land should preferably have a high clay content to hold the water efficiently.
  • A reliable source of good quality water is often obtained from a storage dam, river or bore hole.

The third necessity is an inexpensive source of fish feed is a must. This can range from plant growth in a pond to fishmeal products produced on the same farm or bought in as rough or processed feed. Fish meal made from fish flour from low quality fish is used at the moment to feed higher quality fish. With the problem commented above of dwindling fisheries, fish flour has become scarcer and more expensive, facing the aquaculture business with the need to look for alternative sources of proteins for fish feeding. Sources being researched at the moment include plant protein such as soy.

Duration: 100 Hours (Nominal Duration).


There are 10 lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction To Aquaculture
  2. Production Systems - EP and IP
  3. What Species To Farm
  4. Trout
  5. Barramundi
  6. Bass
  7. Freshwater Crayfish
  8. Setting Up A Fish Farm
  9. Fish Foods & Feeding
  10. Harvesting

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.


  • Explain different types of aquaculture production systems.
  • Explain the cultural requirements of different types of fish suitable for aquaculture.
  • Explain cultural practices for freshwater crayfish.
  • Explain different factors affecting the vigour of animals in an aquaculture farm.
  • Explain methods, including feeding and harvesting, used to manage freshwater animal populations.
  • Develop informed management decisions for an aquaculture enterprise.

What is in each lesson?

Here's some of what can be found in the 10 lessons:
  1. Introduction To Aquaculture
    • Scope and nature of freshwater aquaculture
    • Resources ... references, organizations 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 ... emperature, 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


Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

  • List the components of an aquaculture production system.
  • Compare extensive production systems with intensive production systems.
  • Assess the production systems used in three different aquaculture enterprises.
  • Describe a successful aquaculture production system seen by the learner.
  • List freshwater fish suitable for aquaculture in the learner's locality.
  • List saltwater fish suitable for aquaculture in the learner's locality.
  • Describe the requirements for different commonly grown freshwater fish, including: *Trout *Barramundi *Bass.
  • Describe the requirements of one type of salt water fish which has commercial potential for farming at a latitude the same as the learner's locality.
  • Distinguish, by labelling unlabelled diagrams, between visual characteristics of different freshwater crayfish, including: *Marron *Red claw *Yabbie
  • Describe the cultural practices for different freshwater crayfish, including: *Marron *Red claw *Yabbie.
  • Explain how water quality may affect production in an aquaculture system.
  • Explain different methods of treating water in aquaculture, including: *Filtration *Aeration.
  • Develop a list of criteria for selecting a site suitable for a specified freshwater aquaculture purpose.
  • Explain how varying stocking rates can affect the condition of a specified type of animal in aquaculture.
  • Compare the potential affects on aquaculture species, of different methods of containing water, including: *Ponds constructed with liners *An earth dam *Concrete tanks. *Flowing water *Still water
  • Compare various methods of feeding commercial species, including fish and crayfish, with reference to the type of food and the way it is delivered to the animals.
  • Explain the importance of correct feed to the success of a specified aquaculture enterprise.
  • Compare three different aquaculture feeds which are available commercially, with reference to: *composition *appearance *appropriate applications.
  • Compare different harvesting techniques with reference to: *equipment required *time required *damage to animal.
  • Describe how to construct different types of water storage facilities, including: *Ponds constructed with liners *An earth dam *Concrete tanks.
  • Prepare a detailed management system for one species suitable for aquaculture, including details of: *Breeding *Rearing *Feeding *Harvesting *Marketing.
  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of aquaculture with those of two other types of agricultural enterprises.
  • Compile a list of forty different resources in the industry including: *Information sources *Equipment suppliers *Materials suppliers.
  • Analyse aquaculture marketing systems, on both a national and international level.
  • Evaluate the marketability of two different specified types of aquaculture produce.
  • Evaluate the viability of a proposed, specified aquaculture venture.


Successful aquaculture depends upon maintaining routine checks of the fish you are growing. If problems are detected fast, they are unlikely to ever develop and become too serious; but undetected problems can be devastating for any aquaculture installation; small or large.

In order to grow healthy, disease free fish the following all need to be within appropriate levels.You will need to have a test kit that tests pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate; and be alert to issues such as the following:

  •  Water temperature and quality - Temperature is vital to the survival of fish. Temperature fluctuations outside of the normal range for fish species can induce shock in fish and possibly lead to death. The climate of your region will influence the heating and cooling you will need. Water quality is also important and water sources need to be tested. Tap water for example will need to be de-chlorinated, tank water too can be problematic especially is the material they are constructed of are leaching toxic chemicals; bore water has a high pH and this will also need to be adjusted. When adding new water to the system you should do so in small quantities to allow the fish to adjust. 
  • pH - Measure of how acidic or basic (alkaline) the water is. The pH level is usually higher at the beginning of a cycle and then gradually decreases once a system has cycled completely. In general the pH should be between 6.8 and 7.2 – but tolerances can vary slightly outside of that. 
  •  Dissolved oxygen - Dissolved oxygen is required by all fish to survive. The water properties and stocking densities will affect its ability to hold oxygen. For example, warmer water will hold less oxygen. As discussed earlier, in order for fish to survive, the water must be aerated.
  • Ammonia - This is the first product of the nitrogen cycle. There are two forms of ammonia. Unionized ammonia is most toxic to fish. 
  • Nitrite - This is the second product of the nitrogen cycle. Nitrite is produced by the oxidation of ammonia by bacteria and is highly toxic. An increase in ammonia concentrates will be detrimental to fish health. Remove excess feed to prevent this. This problem can be avoided by installing a plumbing off-take from the main pump line. This ensures good water circulation by feeding by into the top of the fish tank. Circulating water keeps the food particles floating and these can then be more easily removed by the pump and filtered back into the grow beds. Adding more fresh water and reducing the pH also limits problems with ammonia excess.
  • Algae – Ttanks in sunlight can experience problems with algal growth – this is detrimental to health of your fish, the bacteria in your tank or the plants you are growing; place your tank out of sunlight to avoid algae. 
  • Build up of Solids - Some people install a settling tank or swirl separator to remove the larger particles of solids from their tanks, such as fish manure and uneaten food, so that there is not an over load of ammonia or nitrites. This is not totally necessary though as long as you monitor your system carefully; some people think that removing the solids removes fertility from your plants.



This course has been developed and revised with input over more than 20 years, from a range of highly qualified and experienced experts including:

Barbara Seguell  B.Sc. M.Aquaculture Engineering 

Alex Varlekov M.Sc. An experienced Aquaculture Research Scientists from Russia

Dr Valeria Astorga Ph.D. Biologist, Consultant and Researcher from Spain and Chile

Peter Douglas D.An.Husb. Former University lecturer, Wildlife Park Manager, from Australia

Corrine deMastre B.Sc.(hons) Marine Biologist, Zoologist, Consultant from Australia

Dr Lyn Morgan PhD -International aquaponics consultant, based in New Zealand

ACS Course Quality

  • We have been teaching aquaculture for over 2 decades, and our academic staff who support you, are highly qualified and respected professionals in this field.
  • A strong focus on experiential learning, builds more than just knowledge.
  • Tried and tested courses - updated more often than many other colleges.
  • ACS is known and highly respected internationally: by employers and academics alike.
  • ACS has been training people around the world since 1979
  • Over 100,000 have now studied ACS courses, across more than 150 countries
  • A faculty of over 40 internationally renowned academics – books written by our staff used by universities and colleges around the world.



  • Working on a fish farm or farming fish on a small scale at home
  • Diversifying your source of income
  • Starting on a new business or career path
  • Becoming more self sufficient at home
  • Growing your awareness and understanding of what might be possible in aquaculture; whether on a small scale or larger scale



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PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $748.00  1 x $680.00
B 2 x $407.00  2 x $370.00

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