Aquaponic production is a food production system that combines hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) with aquaculture (raising aquatic animals in tanks). Some people operate large-scale commercial aquaponic farms, however you can also practice the principles of aquaponics in your own backyard!
The Certificate of Aquaponic Production is a professional development course that will teach you the fundamentals of aquaponic plant culture and how to successfully set up an aquaculture system.
In this aquaponic farming course, you will learn about different aquaponic systems, the science of plant and animal growth, and how to control the nutrition of your own system.
You will also discover how to select and manage the right combination of plant and animal life, how to troubleshoot potential issues, and how to manage an aquaponics venture yourself.
On completion of this course you will be able to set up, maintain and even profit from what many believe is the future of sustainable farming!
Unit - Aquaponic Production
Unit 1 – Introduction
What is aquaponics
History of aquaponics
Cost benefit analysis
Is aquaponics organic
The aquaponics system
Can it be used with salt water
Types of Systems:constant flow closed reciprocating, open, deep water, floating raft
Outdoor or indoor systems
Barrel ponics, wick, NFT, etc
Advantages and disadvantages of aquaponics
Scale of operation
Unit 2 – Aquaponic System Options
Non recirculating (open loop systems or micropnics)
Plant structure: roots, stems, leaves, reproductive parts
Biochemistry and aquaponics
Biochemical processes in a cell
Mechanisms of nutrient uptake
Role of pH in plant growth
Bony fish (Osteichthyes) and their biology
Crustaceans: crabs, lobsters, shrimp and prawns
Unit 4 – Nutrition and Controlling Growth
Water soluble chemical compounds: ions
Less water soluble chemicals
Complex chemical compounds
Understanding nutrient formulae
Hydroponic nutrient formulae
Atoms, elements and componds
How are chemical names written
What does a plant need
Symptoms of nutrient deficiency
Nutrients in aquaponics
Variables in aquaponics: conductivity, ph control, oxygenation, beneficial bacteria in aquaponics
Unit 5 – Selecting and Managing Animal Production; Fish and Crustaceans
Choosing what to farm
Scale of operation
Availability of animals
Overview of main species to grow: in Asia, South Africa, Australia, U.K., Europe, North America, South America
Trout: Rainbow, Brown
Other species: ornamental fish, crustaceans and molluscs, lgae
Sourcing fish and crustaceans
Which type of fish food to use: pellets, live food, daphnia, brine shrimp, tubifex worms, earthworms, oil meals
Fish food production: beef heartlegumes, seafood and vegetable mix,
Earthworms: setting up, adding worms
Compost: understanding, making, conditions for compost production
Common pests and diseasesin aquaponics
Penaeid shrimp diseases
Salinity and system health
Unit 6 – Setting up an Aquaculture System
Choosing the right sized system
Selecting the right components
Setting up the system
Threats to the system
Using a greenhouse
Greenhouses: passive systems, active systems
Active solaqr heating
Controlling the growing environment
Air temperature control
Root temperature control
Relative humidity and vapour pressure deficit
Carbon dioxide and oxygen
Unit 7 – Aquaponic Plant Culture
Selecting media for aquaponic plant culture
Types of media Growing seedlings
Seed propagating media
Sowing seed direct
Vegetables in aquaponics
Flow charting a crop
Controlling plant growth: stopping, spacing, disbudding, trimming, training
Pest, disease and other crop problems: overview, identification
Pest, disease and disorder control in aquaponics
Unit 8 – Applications and Opportunities
Aquaponics for profit
Harvest and post harvest management of fish
Harvest and post harvest management of vegetables and herbs
Harvested crop physiology: fruit ripening, respiration, when to harvesy
How to prepare salad mixes from harvested vegetables: chlorine levels in water for washing produce, preventing bruising and rots, packaging
CA and MA storage
Chilling damage and storage temperature
Harvesting and grading vegetables
Fruit grading systems
Unit 9 – Managing an Aquaponics Venture -including a PBL
Case study: University of the Virgin Islands system
Case study: North Carolina State University system
Case study: Speraneo system
What is an aquaponic trial?
Running an aquaponic trial
PBL Project: Create and present a plan with specific strategies for improving the crop production of an aquaponics system in terms of amount and quality of produce harvested based on a clear understanding of the system’s requirements and its location (greenhouse or open air; temperate, subtropical, or tropical climate)
Unit 10 – Troubleshooting
Water supply problems
Dirty, cloudy water
Water imbalances; high levels of ammonia or nitrite
Imbalances in gases
Controlling salinity and nutrients without damaging fish
Pythium in aquaponics
Environmental physiological disorders
Nutrition problems in aquaponics
Correcting nutrient problems in aquaponics
Fruit set management: pollinationfloral initiation, fruit growth
Flower and fruit development problems
Fish eating plant roots
Clogging with sediment
Fish to plant imbalances
Pathogenic contamination issues
Estimated duration 50 hours
Course Delivery and Start
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