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Qualification - Certificate in Fish Farming

Course CodeVAG115
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours
Learn Fish and Aquatic Farming
  • Discover opportunities in one of the fastest developing areas of agriculture.
  • Enrol and start studying anytime, from anywhere, and at your own pace






Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Certificate in Fish Farming.
 Farm Management BAG104
 Aquaculture -Marine BAG220
 Fish Farming & Aquaculture BAG211
 Aquaponic Farming BHT319
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 4 modules.
 Marine Studies I BEN103
 Marine Studies II BEN203
 Agricultural Marketing BAG304
 Water Gardening BHT307

Note that each module in the Qualification - Certificate in Fish Farming is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Brief outlines of the modules

Aquaculture (Freshwater) BAG211
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

Mariculture BAG220
This marine aquacylture module takes 100 hrs to complete, and involves eleven lesons.
1. Aquaculture Production Systems
2. Starting a Mariculture Business
3. Choosing a Species to Farm
4. Finfish
5. Crustaceans
6. Molluscs and Echinoderms
7. Seaweeds and Aquatic Algae
8. Pharmaceuticals
9. Diet Formulation and Feeding
10.Health Management
11.Harvest and Post Harvest Handling

Aquaponic Production BHT319
Aquaponics combines crop production with fish farmingl allowing you to grow fish, feeding them on algae that grows on the chemical runoff from the roots of vegetables and fruit plants; then feeding the plants on the waste products generated from the fish. There are ten lessons in this module.
1. Introduction to Aquaponics
2. Aquaponic System Options
3. The Science of Animal and Plant Growth
4. Nutrition and Controlling Growth
5. Selecting and Managing Animal Production
6. Setting up an Aquaculture System
7. Aquaponic Plant Culture
8. Applications and Opportunities
9. Managing an Aquaponiv Venture

Farm Management BAG104
This module has eight lessons:
1. Strategic Farm Planning
2. Farm Business Plans
3. Business Assessment
4. Viability Analysis
5. Management Strategies
6. Human Resources
7. Physical Resources
8 Natural Resources


You can choose a further two modules from the following. If you wish, you can delay choosing electives until your compulsory modules are completed.
Water Gardening
This module has 8 lessons. This module presents an opportunity to broaden your area of knowledge. The water garden industry is big business in many countries, breeding and supplying fish, and everything needed to support them, for use in garden ponds, streams and fish tanks. In choosing this course, you will explore further work and business opportunities, beyond commercial scale farming.
1. Introduction
2. Water Garden Construction
3. Equipment, Pumps, Lights, Filters
4. Pods and Watercourses
5. Spas and Swimming Pools
6. Indoor and Outdoor Water Features
7. Water Plants
8. Aquatic Animals

Aquarium Management
There are 10 lessons in this course, as listed below. This is another opportunity to broaden your knowledge into areas beyond farming. The knowlege of growing fish that you develop in the compulsory modules is comlimentary to working in the pet industry or in zoos or research facilities where fish are kept in aquaria.
1. Scope and Nature of Aquaria
2. The Water Ecosystem
3. Water Quality and Management
4. Equipment and System Design
5. Suitable Inhabitants for Your Aquarium
6. Fish Health and Diseases
7. Freshwater Tanks
8. Simple Saltwater Tanks
9. Maintenance
10. Breeding

Agricultural Marketing
Marketing is a key aspect of any business. Whether you are a one man operation or a large scale fish farmer; you cannot have a viable business if you don't market your produce well. If marketing skills are a weak point for you; it may be wise to choose this module; but if that is not the case, consider the other options. This module has eight lessons
1. Agricultural Marketing Concepts
2. Farm Objectives and Strategies
3. Target Marketing
4. Handling Produce
5. Customer Relations
6. Market Research
7. Promotions
8. Managing Marketing

Marine Studies I
An deeper understanding of marine life can be most advantageous; particularly if you are focussed on fish farming an a salt water (marine) environment. This module has 9 lessons as below:
1.Marine Ecology Systems
2.Shallow Waters and Reefs
3.Shellfish & Crustaceans
4.Squid, Octopus, and Other Primitive Animals
5.Fish Part A
6.Fish Part B
7.Marine Mammals
8.Turtles, Sea Snakes and Seabirds
9.Human Impact on Marine Environments & Fishing

Marine Studies II
There are 10 lessons as listed below.
1.Introduction and Simple Organisms (Protists, Sponges etc)
2.Marine Plants
3.Cnidarians and Worms: Anemones, Jellyfish, Crustaceans, Flatworms
6.Echinoderms: Starfish, Sea Urchins, Sea Cucumbers
7.Non-Bony Fishes: Lampreys, Hagfishes, Sharks, Rays
8.Bony Fishes I
9.Bony Fishes II
10.Marine Mammals


Commercial Aquaculture
It is sometimes possible to diversify farm income by utilising farm water resources to grow fish or freshwater crayfish (eg. yabbies). At the same time, these animals may be used to help purify water (help dispose of effluent and eat algae that grows on fertiliser residues).
This then provides a harvestable and marketable food product
It is important to select the appropriate type of fish or crustacean for the climate, and water conditions (ie. temperature range, salinity, dissolved oxygen, purity, etc).
Permission may be needed to grow some species in certain areas (eg. Trout being an imported species may not be permitted in some situations).
Most fish and crustaceans are healthier, and grow faster if water contains higher levels of oxygen, and water quality is.
Freshwater Crayfish, Trout, Golden Perch, Macquarie Perch and Australian Bass can do well in dams.
Murray Cod need large warm dams (around 1 ha or more) in warm temperate to sub tropical areas (not tropical).
A mix of Golden and Silver Perch is more productive than either fish by themself.
Most fish will eat algae and insects. Supplementary feeding may improve growth rates.
Crustaceans eat decaying organic matter, microorganisms and small animals.
Freshwater crayfish (eg. Yabbies, marron) can be cannibalistic. This is generally overcome by segregating different sized animals.
Some types of fish may not breed in a dam, but can be introduced small and grown to a large size for harvest.
In poor quality water, growth rates can be slow and susceptibility to diseases may become a problem. 
Fish & invertebrates can be killed by fertilisers (particularly phosphorus & nitrogen), pesticides, animal effluent & silage, etc.
Predators such as birds, other fish, etc can drastically reduce stock numbers.

Meet some of our academics

Alison PearceUniversity Lecturer, Quality Assurance Manager, Writer and Research Technician. Alison originally graduated with an honors degree in science from university and beyond that has completed post graduate qualifications in education and eco-tourism. She has managed veterinary operating theatre, responsible for animal anesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniques and procedures.
Cheryl McLardySports Horse Stud Groom, Stable Manager, Yard Manager, Equine industrial Training Manager, FE Distance Learning Manager. Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture and equine industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. Cheryl has a B.Sc.(Hons), HND Horse Mgt, C&G Teaching Cert.
Peter Douglas Over 50 years experience in Agriculture and wildlife management. Former university lecturer, Wildlife park manager, Animal breeder, Equestrian. Peter has both wide ranging experience in animal science, farming and tourism management, and continues to apply that knowledge both through his work with ACS, and beyond.
Marius Erasmus Subsequent to completing a BSc (Agric) degree in animal science, Marius completed an honours degree in wildlife management, and a masters degree in production animal physiology. Following the Masters degree, he has worked for 9 years in the UK, and South Africa in wildlife management, dairy, beef and poultry farming.