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Class Descriptions

Online TrainingOne Day Seminar Five Day Course 4, 8 or 12 Week CoursesAdvanced Aquaponics

One Day Training Seminar
Introduction to Aquaponics

A one-day training seminar designed to teach the basics of raising tilapia and aquaponic plants in a naturally balanced, integrated culture system (aquaponics). Participants will learn about the basic needs and habits of tilapia and how they should be cared for and raised to marketable size. Participants will also learn how to use the wastewater from the fish to raise pesticide-free, nutritious healthy vegetables without soil.

All courses at MSF include lecture, small group discussion, and hands on experience with fish and aquaponic systems. Courses are fast paced, interactive and challenging. Course setting is informal, allowing plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion.

Target Audience
Perfect for middle and secondary school or vocational students and teachers of science, ecology, and agriculture, gardening clubs, FFA clubs, or individuals interested in learning an innovative way to produce a constant supply of fish and vegetables using a simple, naturally balanced, ecologically sound system. No prior knowledge of aquaponics is required or assumed.

Topics Covered

  • Basic characteristics, needs, habits, and advantages of Tilapia
  • Dos and Don’ts of raising Tilapia
  • Integrating hydroponics to Tilapia culture (aquaponics)
  • Building and managing a small backyard or demonstration sized system

For more information on classes or how to get enrolled call 352-206-7022 or email

Class Fees

Five Day Course
Tilapia Culture with Aquaponics

A five-day, more in-depth course than the one-day seminar that teaches the fundamentals of aquaponic systems, tilapia biology and aquaculture. Students will learn the different options that exist setting up aquaponic systems and the principles that you need to know for efficient operation. Lots of invaluable hands-on training that will allow participants to get a feel of what it takes to be a successful aquaponics farmer.

Course focuses on in-classroom lectures as well as hands-on experience and training. Course is fast paced, interactive and challenging. Informal course setting which allows plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion.

Target Audience
Intended for individuals that are seriously considering investing in their own aquaponic system to produce safe, healthy and nutritious fish and vegetables for their own consumption, or as an innovative business. Students, professors or industry professionals looking to expand their skills, knowledge or career opportunities, missionaries and community workers interested in aquaponics or aquaculture as a way to produce a constant supply of high quality protein and nutritious vegetables for community development and enrichment.

Topics Covered

  • Aquaponics system Design and Management Intermediate level
  • Tilapia Nutrition / Feeding in Confinement
  • Tilapia Reproduction / Fingerling Production
  • Duckweed and Supplemental Feed
  • Integrated Horticulture / Controlled Environments
  • Commercial Aquaponics

For more information on classes or how to get enrolled call  352-206-7022 or email

Class Fees

4, 8 & 12 Week Courses
Raising Tilapia with Aquaponics for Community Development

An intensive course in raising Tilapia and aquaponic plants in order to provide a protein rich food source and economic growth to developing communities. The course is designed to help students master the basic information and technologies necessary to raise Tilapia and hydroponic plants successfully. It emphasizes a hands-on approach to learning and provides actual experience with working systems at the MSF aquaponic facility. Participants will also learn basic principles of effective community development to help them create self-sustaining projects in their communities. Students will leave the course with practical experience in training others. Course duration is four weeks.

All courses at MSF include lecture, small group discussion, hands on experience with fish and aquaponics systems, laboratory work, role play, simulation and reciprocal teaching methods.

Target Audience
Community development workers, missionaries, or others who are in a position of leadership in their communities and see themselves as becoming learners and trainers in Aquaponics. Also for individuals considering aquaponics as a business enterprise or career. Students interested in doing a research project or school project can use our facilities, results of experiments can be published in the Aquaponics Journal.

Topics Covered

  • Aquaponics systems Design and Management Commercial / Community scale
  • Waste Management / Mechanical and Bio
  • Tilapia Development Gender, Larva
  • Test Equipment / Lab Work
  • Business Plan Development
  • Community Impact

Course Versions

4 Week
Course focuses on in-classroom lectures and the fundamentals of aquaponics systems and tilapia biology. Its primary aim is to introduce the basics of Tilapia aquaculture and aquaponics theory. This version of the course provides sufficient practical hands-on experience to allow the participant to understand the requirements of operating a full scale aquaponics facility.

8 Week
This portion of training focuses on design and construction. Students will be taught how to design a system that meets their project goals. They will learn about construction techniques indigenous to their areas. They will then construct a scale version of their design and monitor the efficiency of their design.

12 Week

A more in depth course for those interested in pursuing aquaculture as a possible career, or for those interested in working in the mission field establishing community fish farms and teaching others the knowledge and skills of aquaculture. At the end of the course you will be able to design aquaponic facilities, estimate the economic potential and socioeconomic impact of a project, and operate and manage a full scale aquaponics facility.

For more information on classes or how to get enrolled call 352-206-7022 or email

Class Fees

Advanced Aquaponics
Aquaponics for Commercial Design

Description-This is an intensive two-day course intended to compliment either the One-Day Training or the Four-Day Training seminars.  It is focused on those intending to establish larger home or commercial aquaponics systems.  It can also provide scientific background information for those enrolled in Morning Star’s 4, 8, or 12 Week Hands-On Training courses.  One can take the course stand-alone, or as part of the Hands-On courses.  The course emphasizes water chemistry and how nutrients can be managed to maximize plant and fish production.

Methodology-The course consists of lectures by Dr. Peter Rubec using powerpoint slides, with the students using Morning Star Fishermen’s Comprehensive Training Manual.  The course is fast-paced and interactive, allowing the opportunity for questions and discussion.  Monitoring and hands-on water quality testing provide application of lessons learned in class.

Target Audience-Those with some scientific training in ecology and/or chemistry wishing to become self-sustaining can benefit the most from this course for growing healthy pollutant-free food at home or for starting a commercial aquaponics company. Participants expand their knowledge on how to manage nutrients, manipulate water chemistry, the proper filtration, lighting etc., to maximize the production of fish, vegetables, flowers, and/or herbs using advanced aquaponics techniques.

Topics Covered

Aquaponic systems including raft, media-bed, and nutrient-film technique, plants and fish that do well with aquaponics, Morning Star’s large-scale system, how to set up a raft system, important water-quality parameters, pH buffering, nitrogen cycle, effects of pH on ammonia and ammonium toxicity, nutrients monitored in aquaponic and hydroponics systems, macronutrients and micronutrients needed by plants, nutrient availability as a function of pH, raising or lowering pH to enhance plant growth, nutrient supplements, photosynthesis and respiration effects on water quality, day-night cycles of dissolved oxygen, fish growth as a function of temperature and dissolved oxygen, temperature and pH requirements of plants and fish, regulating temperatures in greenhouses, aeration systems, aeration without electricity, pond fertilization, natural food supplements for juvenile and adult fish, replacing animal protein with plant protein in diet, composting, vermiculture, nutrient content of various algae and duckweed, waste management, mechanical filtration, clarifiers, aquaponics filtration,  new approaches for recycling nutrients from fish feces, aquaponics outperforms hydroponics in Alberta, germinating seedlings with media such as rockwool, coir, or biochar, key criteria for aquaponics, plant pests, diseases, and disorders, diagnosing plant-nutrient deficiencies, chlorosis of plant leaves,  other plant requirements, lighting systems, light spectrum,  beneficial and harmful insects, fungi, viruses, natural plant disease controls, natural pest controls, system monitoring, trouble shooting, fish diseases and treatment, periodic maintenance, aquaponics as a business, developing a business plan, production to market, marketing,  alternative energy systems, getting off the grid.

For more information on classes or how to get enrolled call  352-206-7022 or email

Class Fees