Aquarium Management

Learn about Aquariums. Study Freshwater, Tropical & Marine Fish Tank Management. Develop skills to work in a commercial aquarium, zoo or marine conservation.

Course Code: BEN105
Fee Code: S1
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
Get started!
 

Learn to manage an aquarium

  • Freshwater or salt
  • Small or large
  • Home, hobby or commercial applications, tourism, conservation or any other purpose
 
Water quality management is perhaps the most important aspect to control when it comes to keeping a healthy balanced interaction between the water conditions and the species. There are a number of factors that interact with each other that can affect positively or negatively the dynamics of the ecosystem. Therefore, getting to know these features becomes essential when keeping a well balanced and easy to manage aquarium is desired.


Whether you choose to have a saltwater tank or a freshwater tank, you will need to take care and protect your system and equipment, however, as salt is a corrosive agent, a freshwater tank may be more recommended for beginners because it may be easier to maintain.

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

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Select, establish and manage both freshwater and salt water aquaria of varying sizes with different species of plants and animals.
  • Discuss the scope and nature of aquarium use and management.
  • Describe the Water Ecosystem.
  • Explain Water Quality and Management.
  • Determine appropriate equipment and systems for different applications in the provision of aquaria.
  • Determine appropriate species of animal and plant life to introduce into an aquarium.
  • Identify common health problems with fish, other animals and plants in an aquarium.
  • Determine appropriate treatments in response to health issues.
  • Explain the establishment of a freshwater aquarium.
  • Explain the establishment of a saltwater aquarium.
  • Explain the maintenance of an aquarium.
  • Explain how to breed a range of different fish.

Hobby or Job - this is a course for either!

  • Indulge your passion
  • Develop skills to work in a commercial aquarium, zoo, or marine conservation.
  • Create and manage feature aquariums in offices, shopping centres or other commercial locations
  • Enhance your skills to work in the Pet Industry
An aquarium is basically the resemblance of an underwater ecosystem. In order to maintain similar conditions to the natural environment and habitat of the species that live in the tank, it is necessary to maintain constant water conditions as well as optimal water quality levels specifically required by each organism in the aquarium tank. To reach these conditions, it is essential to be familiar with the right type of equipment in order to supply the appropriate environmental conditions that each species requires.
Whether you choose to have a saltwater tank or a freshwater tank, you will need to take care and protect your system and equipment, however, as salt is a corrosive agent, a freshwater tank may be more recommended for beginners because it may be easier to maintain.
 

What to Grow in an Aquarium?

An aquarium can be as simple as a small round tank with a single fish inside to a large tank with a variety of fish, species and ornaments to help create an ecosystem that can be very pleasing to watch and care for. Those with a broad variety of species are often called “community tanks”, which can be quite a learning experience in terms of watching different interactions within the different species kept.  However, taking into account the compatibility within the species is a very important factor to consider if you wish to maintain harmony between the species and the environment inside an aquarium tank.

Among the behavioural problems, fish that are slow swimmers might get disturbed by those that swim fast, or the size of a larger fish might intimidate a smaller one, provoking the small one to exhibit aggressive behaviour. Aggressive fish are most likely to eat more food than those that are shy, but adding more food won’t help either because that will only accumulate more uneaten food in the tank, which can lead to water quality problems. Different types of fish might fight for territory and limit the amount of space for the rest of the fish to swim free. If there’s not enough ornamental structures which fish can use for hiding, the territorial ones might use the only ones available in the tank.

It is also necessary to find out if the species you are planning to include have the same water quality and food requirements so they can live in a well balanced environment altogether. If a fish isn’t compatible with the parameters present in the water (for example: temperature, salinity, oxygen levels, alkalinity, pH, etc.), its colours or its growth rate might be diminished. It’s important, as well, to avoid overcrowding because this may lead to stress as well as low water quality issues.

Other living organisms that are very important to have in an aquarium are aquatic plants. These regulate important chemical balances such as the nitrogen cycle, as well as oxygenating the water. They also serve as shelter for fish and other invertebrates and helps give the aquarium a natural look.  Many aquarists maintain a diverse range of aquatic plants as part of the `aquascape’ of their tank.  This requires growing, propagating, fertilising and maintaining their plants on a weekly basis.  Some aquarium fish and invertebrates also eat live plants, so aquarists may want to take this into account when matching up fish and plant species in the same tank.  A lush aquascape of vegetation can be hard to maintain if fish and snails are consuming plant foliage as fast as it grows.  Or plant material may be propagated and grown in a separate `plants only’ tank for regular replacement into aquariums stocked with fish to act as an additional food source for species who like to nibble on plant material.

Some plants assist certain fish species during the breeding process and may be used as part of breeder tanks.  Java Moss and other types of dense spreading plants act as a safe haven for fry, preventing them from being eaten by adults.

Freshwater and Saltwater are the two basic and most common types of aquatic tanks. There is also a third common type referred to as “brackish water”, which is a mix between these two types of aquatic environments, resembling an estuary, river mouth or a mangrove in nature. But for small scale aquarists (home, hobbyist, restaurant, etc), this term falls into the category of a freshwater aquarium tank.

  
ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.

Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason has been a member of the International Scociety of Horticultural Science since 2003


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.


What if I change my mind?

Please get in touch with studentservices@acs.edu.au if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( admin@acs.edu.au ).




Course Contributors

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

Dr. Gareth Pearce

Veterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand

Dr Robert Browne

Zoologist, Environmental Scientist and Sustainability, science based consultancy with biotechnology corporations. Work focused on conservation and sustainability.
Robert has published work in the fields of nutrition, pathology, larval growth and develop





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Cheryl McLardy

Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture and equine industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. Formerly: Sports Horse Stud Groom, Stable Manager, Yard Manager, Equine industrial Training Manager, FE Distance Learning Manager at Warwickshire College

Alison Pearce

Alison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ACS Agriculture, Wildlife and Ecotourism students.

She has worked as a University Lecturer, a Quality Assurance Manager, a Research Technician, and has also run a veterinary operating theatre; responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniques and procedures. She has worked in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

She has extensive experience of handling, husbandry, and management of a wide range of both small and large animals and has a particular love for nature and wildlife.

Julia Mayo-Ramsay

Dr Julia Mayo-Ramsay is a practicing environmental and agricultural lawyer. She holds a PhD in International Environmental Law, LLM, BLJS, GDLP, LLM (Environmental Law) and a Master of Applied Science (Agriculture).
Julia started out in agriculture working on various dairy farms in the 1980s before working as dairy manager / tutor at Hawkesbury Agricultural College Richmond NSW. Julia then went on to work at Riverina Artificial Breeders at Tabletop (Albury) NSW as an embryo transfer technician assisting vets with artificial breeding and embryo transfer in cattle, sheep and deer. This was followed by two years as a herd manager for a very large commercial dairy herd milking 3,000 cows over three dairies on the outskirts of Sydney before heading overseas. In 1994 Julia accepted a position in NE Thailand at the Sakhon Nakhon Institute of Technology (now a University) training farmers and students in cattle breeding and dairy farm management. On returning to Australia in late 1996 Julia completed a Master of Applied Science in Agriculture at Hawkesbury Agricultural College (UWS) as well as law degrees and maritime studies. Julia now works as a Lawyer in the area of environmental and rural law.
Currently Julia teaches a variety of maritime subjects for Marine Rescue NSW.
As well as teaching Julia is working on a number of environmental research projects.

Need Help?

Take advantage of our personalised, expert course counselling service to ensure you're making the best course choices for your situation.


I agree for ACS Distance Education to contact me and store my information until I revoke my approval. For more info, view our privacy policy.