Online Commercial Aquaponics Course Training

We have gone digital with our most comprehensive online course yet!

Running a successful Aquaponics business is much more than the reading a text book or listening to a lecture – at the end of the day it is about making a profit. This is our most comprehensive and hands on training course yet and designed for farmers that want to go commercial! By the end of the first of two weeks, you will be required to fully operate and run one of the Aquaponic systems at Ichthys Farm. The focus on the second week will be to develop the skills required to successfully operate and run a system using operational best practices developed over 14 years at Ichthys Farm. It includes the principles of good system design that are critical for a successful operation. It’s all about minimizing run cost and maximizing yields.

You will in addition learn how to manage a system as an independent business owner; managing budgets, financial statements and tunnel performance metrics to name a few. It aims to simulate the business and operational environment the candidate will experience when he start up his own facility.

Course is ideal for both owners and supervisors.

Course will be conducted online using hangouts as well as all students will have access to additional content available on our unique online training portal.
  • Interest in Aquaponics
  • Pen and paper
  • Laptop
  • Internet access

High level schedule for the next 6 weeks are as follows:

Course 1: Operational Management (Operating a Tunnel)

Module 1: Daily Tunnel Management ,

Module 2: System Maintenance

Module 5: Plant Health Application:

                   BRIX Field analysis,

                   8-Crop Resilience Yield Strategies,

                   Water Quality Lab Testing & Dosing Adjustments,

                   Foliar Operations Management & Budgeting 

                   Chemical Store Management


  • Perform the Friday activities according to the “Weekly and Monthly Tunnel Management Routines & Activities”
  • Clean Swirl filters according to best practice
  • Tunnel Mini-Projects:
    • When is something classified as a mini-project
    • Understand how to maintain system optimally through “mini-projects”

Course 2: Technical Advance (Hydroponics)

Module 3: Plant health,

Module 4: The Importance of Microbial Diversity in Aquaponics, 

Module 6: BRIX, IPM & Environmental Factors

Module 8: Tunnel Spray Plan And Practice Methods,

Module 9: Harvesting Cycle Management,

Module 10: Sowing & Seedlings

  • Plant Health management part 1 :
    • Understand the 6-Step approach to healthy plants, and how to action on it
    • Preventative Analysis: Water Quality Analysis and the “Quality Lab”
    • Reactive Analysis: Leaf Analysis to “Identify Plant Nutrient Deficiencies”
    • Use of “Foliar nutrient treatments for problem solving and preventive management
  • Understand  the weekly “Water Quality testing” and how to interpret water quality results
  • Understand how to manage the “Dosing System” and related “Nutrient Dosage Store”


    • Plant Health management part 2:
      • Learn different types of pesticide, fungicide and foliar sprays
      • Understand the life cycles of common pest and fungi
      • Understand the Standard and Reactive Spray Plans, and best times for spraying
      • Scouting, night time inspections, and pest cards and “focussed spraying”
      • Understand correct spraying procedure and spraying effectiveness
      • Training on responsible use of crop protection products: how to store and dispense chemicals and dispensing, and health and safety measures.
  • Develop/Review the Tunnel harvesting Plan
  • Understand how to manage for continuous harvesting
  • Understand how to prepare for the harvest
  • How to manage harvest product quality and QAS documents
  • Understand the harvesting transaction process
  • Understand “Corrective Action” Report Feedback
  • Lastly, conduct and communicate Post Harvesting preparation and audits.


  • Managing the inventory and seeds
  • Understand variables of planting your own seedlings
  • Basic Planting and germination recipe for seedling: Chives, Garlic Chives, Red & Green Spring Onion, Lettuce, Cucumber, Tomatoes, Mint, Basil
  • Understand how to make cuttings: Basil & Mint
  • Understand how to manage your seedlings lifecycle
    • Watering cycles & proper misting
    • Foliar Feeding Cycles
    • Pest Spray life Cycles
    • Stage 1 and Stage 2 Seedling bays
  • Understand how to transplant and prepare seedling for transplant
  • Weekly Reporting and Performance criteria for Seedling Bay
  • Understand and manage the “Planting Plan” and how its created
  • Connecting Planting Plan to “Tunnel Plant out Plan”
  • How a “Good Quality Seedling” for tunnels look like

Course 3: Technical Advance (Aquaculture)

Module 7: Fish Stock Management,

Module 4: The Importance of Microbial Diversity in Aquaponics,

 Module 9: Harvesting Cycle Management and Fish Disease


  • How to process the fish waste through mineralisation, augment with mineralised solution, and importance of mineralisation
  • Understand microorganisms and bacteria in Aquaponics, how to introduce, and best environment
  • Plant Health management part 1
    • Techniques of managing and measuring plant health
      • Measure the Plant Health measurements: Sap PH & EC, BRIX
      • Evaluate effectiveness of foliar feeds on increasing plant BRIX
    • Preventative Strategies used to manage plant health
      • Environment control
      • Trellising and Pruning
      • Companion planting
      • Natural predators
    • How to apply “Foliar nutrient treatments” to adjust plant actual nutrient content and/or PH
  • Balance the water flow in the system
  • Calculate how the water flow plan was developed using the required system rules
  • Assess the aeration plan in the system
  • Calculate how the aeration plan was developed using the required system rules
  • How to develop your system fish stock management plan
  • Calculate fish cages sizes according to rotation plan
  • Hormone treatment of fish
  • Counting and Sizing fish in your system
  • Preparing your fish for Harvest: Purging
  • How to harvest fish and management its cold chain
  • How to collect and transport fish
  • How to minimize stress to the fish when introducing the fingerlings into your system
  • How to manage the fish quarantine area i.e. water changes
  • How to treat unhealthy fish in your Aquaponic system and quarantine area
  • Understand the most common issues experienced with fish
  • Fish Permits and fish fingerling suppliers

Course 4: Financial Modelling Module 11: Financial Planning

Module X : Advanced Design Course (ADC)-

                     Market Analysis & Crop Research 

                     Reference Card

                     Advance Environmental Design


  • Review relevant legislation, Global GAP and certification requirements
  • Define the next steps to your own system
  • Review the Ichthys Supply Chain Model
  • Review Ichthys Support Model
  • Understand alternative sources of funding
  • Understand alternative Aquaponics and Farming resources
  • Evaluate CAPEX models for starting your own system
  • Understanding your market, marketing strategy and sales strategy
  • Conduct a Aquaculture and Hydroponics Financial Planning
  • Configure and built a monthly and quarterly budget
  • Configure a Profit and Loss statement  for a 24 month period
  • Configure a Balance Sheet for the system
  • Conduct a Capital Budgeting evaluation for project
  • Evaluate strategies to improve commercial viability
  • Review the Aquaponics value chain and business architecture using the BCF as a model
  • Evaluate  the business structures using BCF as a example
  • Develop an Organogram and associated Capacity Model
  • Understand the planning targets and outputs of the Aquaponic System
  • Cascade high level targets to KPI’s
  • Evaluate the performance Metrics for your aquaponics business
  • Understand the risk, risk prevention measures, and reactive measure
  • Unpacking the budget and planning suppliers
  • Determining Inventory requirements and stores: Consumables, Equipment, Materials
  • Review a “supply store” for the system
  • Evaluate an Ordering plan, based on lead-time and risk model
  • Developing QAS documentation for product quality
  • Develop a Master planting plan based in individual client demands

System Design

  • Mineralisation Systems (Anaerobic and Aerobic)
  • Environmental control systems and related tunnel design
  • Aquaculture Quarantine
  • Aquaculture Design
  • Building and specifying your cages system according to your fish stock management plan
  • Specify and built the fish quarantine area
  • Chemical Storage and Handling
  • Swirl Filter design for Gravity flow
  • Sump design

Virtual Site Visits – Visit another Aquaponics farm

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Hourly Schedule

Day 1 - Introduction Session

Day 2 - Commercial Designs

Day 3 - Daily & Weekly Tunnel Management Tasks

Day 4 - Plant Health management

Day 5 - Preventative Strategies used to manage plant health

Day 6 - Fish Management

Day 7 - Harvesting

Day 8 - Monthly and Quarterly Routines and Controls

Day 9 - Vegetable Processing

Day 10 - Aquaponics Financial Management

Day 11 - Operations Management – The Farm Business Structures and Performance Model

Day 12 - Supply Chain & Customer Management

Book Event

Full Course R10,000

Attend all 12 Days

Available Tickets: Unlimited
The Full Course ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Day 1 Introduction Free
Available Tickets: Unlimited
The Day 1 Introduction ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.


Jun 05 2021


11:00 am - 12:30 pm




Aquaponics Courses