AQUACULTURE - Freshwater

Study Aquaculture through this online course. Learn how to produce fresh water fish and crayfish commercially. Understand what is required to manage an aquaculture farm.

Course Code: BAG211
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn Freshwater Aquaculture

  • Farm fish or crayfish
  • Small or large scale
  • Start a small business and expand over time
  • Work in aquaculture - develop your skills and career prospects

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 - reviews of 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 and Feeding
    • 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.

What Do You Want to Farm?

There are lots of options. Trout is one of the more widely farmed fish world wide; but there are many others. Some fish are popular in one region or country and not in others. Some which are farmed in one place can even be illegal to farm somewhere else. The techniques, equipment and systems used to farm in aquaculture are however relatively generic across a lot of different types of aquatic animals.

By doing this course, you will learn about different farming systems, and the common issues of breeding, health care and feeding.  Decisions about what to grow and how to grow it can be so much easier as you become better informed about the fundamentals of aquaculture, and all of the different facets involved in establishing an enterprise then managing it. 

Considering Trout

There are three main species of trout farmed: rainbow trout (Onchorrhyncus mykiss), brown trout (Salvelinus trutta) and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). Of the three, rainbow trout have adapted to warm conditions the best. 

Rainbow trout is native to the rivers draining West North America, from Alaska to Mexico. It has been cultivated as an introduced species for recreational and food production purposes since 1874. Its culture has boomed since pellets feeding started in the 50’s, even in warm water countries from tropical and subtropical areas of the world.  Rainbow trout were exported from Scotland to Africa in 1897 and successfully raised and bred at a number of hatcheries thereafter. For many years they were stocked in rivers, streams, lakes and dams for angling purposes only – i.e.: they were not commercially farmed for human consumption. Nevertheless, today there are quite a few waters where suitable living and breeding conditions exist and trout are well established and these populations self perpetuating.

It is only in recent decades that the importance of trout as an agricultural product has been realized and exploited in some countries.

Because environmental conditions are generally not suited to trout they are not found in great numbers in nature in warm countries, as are bass, tilapia, catfish and many other fish tropical and subtropical species. Trout are best spawned in a hatchery and the eggs and young cared for under controlled conditions.

The hatchery cannot be left to run itself for very long and needs attention every day. Fish need to be fed regularly, they need to be sorted to reduce bullying, water quality needs to be monitored, water filters cleaned regularly and fish checked for diseases and parasites, to name just a few of the more important regular checks.

During the breeding season a large number of man hours are usually needed for netting, spawning and looking after the young fish. However, the amount of labour and man hours depends on the system of collecting and spawning the fish that is used. Also, the larger the operation the more labour is needed.

Many hatcheries carry stocks of large, breeding fish to give them a sufficient supply of ova during the spawning season. This requires pond space throughout the year to hold the fish, feeding, water and labour. Sometimes these ponds need protection against poaching and natural predators, ie birds, otters, feral cats, etc.

Some farms are for spawning of trout only. The fish are spawned, the ova grown to eyed stage and then sold. No hatching or growing on is done except for selected fish used to replenish the breeding stocks. This makes allowance for the specialist growing on farm. These latter farms can buy in ova and hatch and grow the fish to a marketable size. There is also the third type of trout farm   those that do both breeding and growing on.

Trout farming is determined by several factors that affect water: quality, temperature and dissolved oxygen.


Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

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