Aquarium Management

Course CodeBEN105
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn to Manage Aquaria

  • As a Passion

  • For a job

Suitable foundation course to work in commercial aquariums, zoos, marine conservation, aquaculture, etc. Learn to create and manage feature aquariums in offices, shopping centres or other commercial locations; or develop skills to work in the Pet Industry. 

Learn to look after fish in aquariums.


Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Aquaria
    • Aquarium use and management
    • The categories of aquariums
    • Aquariums for fish communities
    • Aquaria Size and Complexity
    • Water quality control
    • Types of Equipment
  2. The Water Ecosystem
    • Interactions between organisms and the water environment
    • Checking abiotic factors
    • Different types of natural ecosystems
    • Saltwater ecosystems
    • Freshwater ecosystems
    • Brackish water ecosystems
    • City or Municipal domestic water supplies
    • Rainwater
    • Well or bore water
    • Water quality in the aquarium ecosystem
    • Water treatment options
    • Energy relationships
    • Plants and nutrients
    • Photosynthesis
    • Pollution in an aquarium
    • Nitrogen cycle
    • Overcrowding
    • Overfeeding
  3. Water Quality and Management
    • Tank capacity/Tank size
    • Maintaining a Balanced Nitrogen Cycle
    • Aquarium Cycling
    • Changing the Water
    • Vacuuming
    • Algae Removal
    • How to avoid Overfeeding
    • Water Conditions
    • Water Temperature
    • Water Hardness
    • Water pH
    • Salinity
    • Gas Exchange in the Aquarium
    • Preventative Care
    • Moving Your Aquarium Safely
  4. Equipment and System Design
    • Learn about the equipment and systems for different aquariums
    • Aquarium Equipment
    • Aquarium Tank
    • Filtration
    • Aeration
    • Light System
    • Aquarium Light Timer (optional)
    • Tank Cover
    • Heaters and Thermometers
    • Gravel
    • Plants and Decorations
    • pH meters
    • Refractometers/Hydrometers
    • Water and Other Additives
    • Adding the Fish
  5. Suitable Inhabitants for Your Aquarium
    • Determine appropriate species of animal and plant life to introduce into an aquarium.
    • Freshwater fish types
    • Livebearers
    • Loaches
    • Anabantids
    • Catfish
    • Tetras
    • Cyprinids
    • Rainbow fish
    • Branchiopoda
    • Gastropods
    • Freshwater Aquarium Plants
    • Cold Water Plants
    • Tropical Fresh Water Plants
    • Brackish Water Plants
    • Saltwater Fish Types
    • Saltwater (Marine) Aquarium Plants
  6. Fish Health and Diseases
    • Fish Diet
    • Fish Diet Related Problems
    • Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency
    • Origin of Diseases
    • Environmental Diseases
    • Common Signs of an Unhealthy Tank
    • Diseases Caused by Water Quality and Chemistry Problems
    • Water Contamination and Poisoning
    • Ammonia and Nitrate Poisoning
    • Oxygen Starvation - Hypoxia
    • Pathogenic Disease Causes
    • Viral Diseases
    • Bacterial Diseases
    • Fungal Diseases
    • Genetic Diseases and Disorders
    • Parasites
    • Plant Problems
    • Treatment of Diseases and Parasites
    • Quarantine Tank
    • Coral Bleaching
  7. Freshwater Tanks
    • How to establish a freshwater tank
    • Tank Selection and Decorations
    • Setting up Tank Décor
    • Setting up Planted Tanks
    • Aqua-scaping
    • Basic Equipment
    • Electricity and Aquarium Set-up
    • Heater Installation
    • Filters and Air Pumps
    • Lighting and Hood
    • Solar Heating
    • Other Equipment
    • Selection and Addition of Fish
    • Feeding Requirements
    • Cleaning and Maintenance
  8. Simple Saltwater Tanks
    • How to establish a saltwater tank
    • Tank Selection
    • Saltwater Tank Cycling
    • Filter
    • Basic Equipment for saltwater tanks
    • Heaters and Thermometres
    • Light System
    • Test Kits
    • Selection and Addition of Fish and Other Invertebrates
    • Feeding Requirements
    • Cleaning and Maintenance
    • Critical Parameters Affecting Salinity
    • How concentrations of ions affect salinity
    • How temperature affects salinity
  9. Maintenance
    • Learn how to maintain a tank
    • Correct Tank Set-Up and Maintenance
    • Checking the Lighting
    • Checking the Temperature
    • Filter Maintenance
    • Checking and Maintaining Water Quality
    • Fish Observation
    • Plant Maintenance
    • Algae Removal
    • Regular Vacuuming
    • Regular Water Changes
    • Preventative Care
    • Emergencies
  10. Breeding
    • Fish Reproduction and Behaviour
    • Live Bearers
    • Egg Layers
    • Breeding
    • Tank Set-up and General Requirements
    • Early Stages - Selecting and Conditioning the Pair
    • Triggering Breeding
    • Hatching the Raising Fry
    • Breeding and Genetics
    • Nutrition
    • Cultivating Your Own Food
    • Fish Legality in Different Countries
    • Aquarium Care
    • Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilisation
    • Cleaning and Maintenance
    • Maintenance of Plants
    • Checking Filters
    • Water Changes

Learn What Marine Fish Eat

Proteins, amino acids, fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, energy, energy/protein balance are the essential elements of an animal diet.

The object of feed formulation is to mix ingredients of differing nutritional quality so as to obtain a balanced diet whose biologically available nutrient profile approximates to the dietary needs of the animal in question.

However, the formulation of a practical diet is largely a compromise between what would be ideal from a nutritional viewpoint (i.e. such as the production of a diet in which the protein component is entirely supplied by a high quality fish meal), and what is practical and economical.

According to the F.A.O. the following factors should be considered when formulating a practical fish or shrimp ration:

1.    Market value of the species to be farmed: feed cost should not exceed 20–25% of the farm gate value of the cultured fish or shrimp

2.    Feeding behaviour and digestive capacity of the farmed species: Is the species a carnivore, omnivore or herbivore; a benthic, pelagic or surface feeder; a day-time, twilight or nocturnal feeder; a visual or olfactory feeder; a moist or dry diet feeder; a rapid or slow feeder; and does the species in question have an acid secreting stomach and possess a full compliment of digestive enzymes?

These factors, together with the proposed production unit (i.e. tank, cage or earth pond) will dictate if a floating, slow-sinking or sinking feed is required, and will also determine the physical characteristics of the feed to be produced (i.e. size, bouyancy, colour, texture, palatability and desired water stability).

Similarly, the formulation of a diet for a stomachless fish species or a shrimp will necessitate the use of dietary phosphorus and calcium sources which release their native elements within an alkaline digestive environment

3.    Intended feed manufacturing process to be used: straight mixing, cold pelleting, conventional steam pelleting, expansion steam pelleting, flaking, crumbling or microencapsulation.

For example, expansion steam pelleting requires the presence of relatively high amounts of starch containing cereal grains within the formulation so as to facilitate starch gelatinization and obtain the desired expansion texture.

Cold pelleting techniques require the use of special binders which do not have to be activated by heat (i.e. such as the use of alginate binders within semi-moist pelleted fish feeds); and micro-encapsulation techniques for larval shrimp require the use of soluble and highly digestible dietary protein sources such as egg proteins and invertebrate tissue homogenates

4.    Dietary nutrient requirements of the farmed species: including the dietary protein, essential amino acid, essential fatty acid, vitamin, mineral and energy (if known) requirements for all stages of the life cycle.

5.    Available feed ingredient sources: This includes the nutrient content of available feed ingredients, including quality control and cost (at source and with transportation).

The availability, nutritional quality and cost of individual feedstuffs (including micro-nutrient sources such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and mould inhibitors) will dictate the type of ration which can be formulated

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