Skip to main content

Aquaponics – the circular food production system

Aquaponics is polyculture which combines aquaculture and hydroponics cultivation, i.e. fish farming and soil-independent food production, in a circulatory system with the aim of recycling nutrients from fish farming wastewater. In this MOOC course of the ZHAW you will learn the most important points about aquaponics and how to plan and design such a sustainable production system.

There is one session available:

After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Starts Sep 27
Estimated 6 weeks
4–6 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
Free
Optional upgrade available

About this course

Skip About this course

Aquaponic technology continues to attract a lot of attention around the globe, especially in the context of urban farming. But how exactly does an aquaponics system work and more important what knowledge do I need to successfully run an aquaponics system? In this course, you will obtain answers to these questions. The curriculum will give you an understanding of central topics in the field of aquaponics. Aquaponics is a circulation technology based on a broad knowledge base: from water chemistry, fish and plant physiology, to engineering and microbiology. It can thus serve as a learning model for inter-and transdisciplinary thinking and acting.

This course is for:

  • Everyone interested in Aquaponics with a basic understanding of natural sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) on undergraduate degree level
  • Professionals in the sector of Aquaculture and Hydroponics
  • Aquaponic practitioners who want to gain additional knowledge on specific topics

At a glance

  • Institution: ZHAWx
  • Subject: Biology & Life Sciences
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:

    This course is for:

    • Everyone interested in Aquaponics with a basic understanding of natural sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) on undergraduate degree level
    • Professionals in the sector of Aquaculture and Hydroponics
    • Aquaponic practitioners who want to gain additional knowledge on specific topics
  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Understand the basic technological principles behind aquaponics, be able to assess the advantages and disadvantages of aquaponic systems, and have an insight into current research and potential applications in terms of urban agriculture and vertical farming.
  • Be familiar with fish anatomy and physiology, fish feed and growth along with fish health and welfare.
  • Understand the principles of fish cultivation in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), the required technical components, the calculation of dimensions in terms of engineering, and the important role of water treatment and monitoring.
  • Understand basic plant anatomy, physiology, and growing requirements. Know the basic principles of hydroponics and its different cultivation systems. Be able to calculate the nutrient supply in hydroponic systems and determine nutrient supplementation in aquaponics if required.
  • Be familiar with the plant varieties suitable for aquaponic systems, learn how to monitor plants, and understand the key factors of integrated pest management.
  • Know how to assemble the basic components of an aquaponic system and understand the importance of water flow from one component to another. Be able to plan and design an aquaponic system and calculate its dimensions yourself.

To run an aquaponic system you need broad knowledge ranging from water chemistry, fish and plant physiology, to engineering and entrepreneurial thinking. Therefore, the course is structured into six main topics:

  • Basic Principles of Aquaponics
    Basics of Aquaponics; Opportunities, Risks, Challenges, and Limitations; Aquaponics and Urban Agriculture, a global perspective
  • Aquaculture Part 1
    Fish Anatomy and Physiology; Feeding and Growth; Fish Health and Welfare in Aquaculture
  • Aquaculture Part 2
    Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) Engineering; Management; Calculations
  • Hydroponic Part 1
    Hydroponic Systems; Plant Anatomy, Physiology and Growth Requirements; Nutrient Supply
  • Hydroponic Part 2
    Plant Varieties; Plant Monitoring; Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  • Aquaponic System Design and Calculation of Dimensions
    System Design and Planning; Calculating the Dimensions of your Aquaponic System

To enhance your learning, you will have access to videos, course literature, forum contributions, discussions, practical sessions, individual work, and quizzes. In week 6, as a project, you will design an aquaponic system and calculate its dimensions.

About the instructors

Interested in this course for your business or team?

Train your employees in the most in-demand topics, with edX for Business.