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We train the basics of culture and this can apply for many species. Certainly, there are specific requirements by species, but this is the basic understanding one must have to be an aquaculturist. The short training is most suited to high school graduates who want to learn enough about aquaculture to make a decision whether they should pursue this area of work.



Aquasearch offers training programs for individuals and small groups (1-4) who are interested to learn some basic requirements and  practical techniques used in aquaculture operations.  We want to stress that this practical job-training is working with us in our facility and marine display.  The facility is not large but incorporates all the necessary components for a hatchery.  These include a 12,000-litre recirculation seawater system, a second system of 3,000-litres, an area which includes larval culture tanks and fresh and seawater aquaria, a microalgal area, and seawater tanks (including the aquarium marine display)  under a large translucent canopy.  While there will be some time spent to explain some aspects of aquaculture that can not be learnt in the doing, much of this job-training is involved in the 'doing'.    Job-training programs offered include:

A certificate will be given to show the basic aspects of practical aquaculture the participant has been successful at learning. The certificate is currently not accredited with an educational organisation.

1.  Use of the seawater system and methods to maintain quality of the seawater

This involves, amongst other things,  learning how to use:  the refractometer, the pH meter, water quality test kits, addition of freshwater to the system, checking & maintenance of the float switch system, keeping display windows clean, siphoning of sediments, culling of macroalgae, addition of sodium bicarbonate &/or calcium hydroxide to the system to maintain correct alkalinity and pH.        

2.  Feeding of fish, invertebrates, and general care of broodstock organisms

This involves feeding of dry, prepared feeds, but also preparation of frozen shrimp or fish for feeding.   There is also the care of broodstock ornamental fish (both freshwater and saltwater), and of various marine invertebrates in the aquaria (clams, corals, etc.) 

3. Maintenance of Live Food cultures - microalgae,  rotifers, brine shrimp

 In the period of 1 week the microalgae stock cultures, microalgae working juice-bottle, carboy, and outdoor mass cultures will all be covered.  A practical and inexpensive algal culture medium has been prepared by Aquasearch, rather than using the expensive chemicals of the standard F2 medium.  Participants will practice the use of the hemocytometer, which is used to estimate the density of microalgal cultures.   The maintenance of rotifer cultures will be taught and the proper  technique to catch the rotifers for feeding to larval fish will be demonstrated.  Likewise, the technique used to hatch brine  shrimp cysts (Artemia salina) for feeding to larval & juvenile fish will be shown.  The participant(s) will be shown how to use the binocular compound  microscope.

4. Larval rearing

The type of larvae will depend upon the time of year that the short job-training will be done, but generally there will be some fish larvae to care for.  Aquasearch has a number of freshwater and saltwater species which it can work with under it's D.P.I.   Aquaculture License. With regards to the saltwater species, we are putting special emphasis on the clown anemonefish,  Amphiprion percula.   Whatever stage the larvae are in during the short training will be what we concentrate upon.


The following are approximate day by day activities for the training options:





I.                      Short weekend training (Saturday & half of Sunday) 

Saturday:  Participants will work through daily jobs with the trainer.  This will take about 3 hr. of the day.  Job-training will run from 09.00 - 16.30 hr, 60 min. lunch break, 2 x 15 min. coffee/tea break on Saturday. The Saturday training would involve:

        Use of the seawater system and methods to maintain quality of the seawater [~30% of total weekend training time]

        Maintenance of Live Food cultures - microalgae,  rotifers, brine shrimp [~40% of total weekend training time].

Sunday: Sunday will involve a half day of job-training (09:00 - 12.30, or 13.30 - 16.30). 

        Feeding of fish, invertebrates, and general care of broodstock organisms [~10% of total weekend training time].    

        Larval rearing [~20% of total weekend training time]

II.                    One week training currently not being offered.  Note:  each day the standard work still needs to be performed, in order to keep fish & invertebrates fed, seawater system maintained, live foods, & cleaning.  This normally takes 1-2 hr each morning, half an hour at mid-day and 1 hr at the close of the day.  Therefore, up to 3 hr each day may be spent on this work.  The remainder of the time will be spent on special subjects each day but the day will include a 60 min. lunch break and 2 x 15 min. coffee/tea breaks.  

Special Subjects by day:  

Day 1:  Use of instruments: microscope, refractometer, pH meter, and test kits (NO3, NO2, NH4).  

Day 2:  Live Foods - Microalgae culture.  Preparing & sterilizing stock cultures & working cultures.  Some theory on the importance & use of microalgae in aquaculture.  Use of the formula D1V1 = D2V2.  

Day 3:  Remainder of microalgae culture.  Live Foods -Rotifer culture,  Artemia culture, & freshwater infusoria.  

Day 4:  Care of broodstock fish & invertebrates.  Water chemistry with aquaria.  Seawater collection (if required).  Set up aquarium.  

Day 5:  Larval culture.  Caring for larvae; water quality, feeding.  Fish & bivalve molluscs, discussions on other organisms.  

Day 6: Nursery culture. Water quality, food, culture vessels.   Considerations in shipping & packing.  

Day 7:  Biofiltration & foam fractionation [protein skimmers].  Wind up & open discussion.  


A certificate will be given to show what aspects of practical aquaculture the participant has been successful at learning. The certificate is currently not accredited with an educational organisation.


Program Secondary & Undergraduate Tertiary Students Postgradute Tertiary,   Business, General Public
Weekend program Australian $230 (not registered for GST) Australian $395 (not registered for GST)

1 week program

(currently not being offered)

Australian $675 (not registered for GST) Australian $965 (not registered for GST)

* Note: these prices are for Australian residents only. Non-Australian residents interested in the short-training should contact us by email first. Non-Australian resident course prices available on request. Optional visits to other marine facilities in the area can be arranged.INSURANCE:  It is a requirement that each person participating in any of the training programs must have their own Insurance to cover heath, accident, & death.  Insurance for these areas may be covered by Travel Insurance, but it is your responsibility to check on this, or to obtain other insurance which will cover you.  Aquasearch reserves the right to check on your insurance package when you arrive and before the training has started. You will need to sign an insurance waiver stating that Aquasearch will not take any liability for this insurance. The low cost for this training is possible only because we are not taking on this responsibility for Insurance to cover heath, accident & death.

Payment of fees:   After booking, half the cost of the training shall be paid upon arrival on Magnetic Island, and the remainder  before completion of the training.Payments may be made by cheque if the cheque is drawn on an Australian Bank.  Other payments can be made by Postal Money Order, by cash or bank cheque after Travellers Cheques have been cashed at the bank.  Cheques or money orders should be made out to AQUASEARCH.  If you prefer to send money electronically, then contact us to get details where the electronic transfer will go.

Visa for Non-Australian residents: A tourist visa is suitable for this short training. One needs a student visa only when a course of study or training is longer than 12 weeks.

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Updated 22 November 2016; Copyright Aquasearch