Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is now offering an “Aquaponics for Beginners” program online.

Small-scale aquaponics system
Joe Masabni, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulture specialist, Dallas, demonstrates a small-scale aquaponics system. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)

The program can be accessed at https://bit.ly/348BunH. Cost is $15. Once registered, participants can access the program at their convenience for 180 days.

The online course is the first in a series developed to introduce homeowners, do-it-yourself hobbyists or future commercial farm operators to the world of aquaponics, said Joe Masabni, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension horticulturist, Dallas. Additional courses being developed will cover intermediate and advanced aquaponics methodology for hobbyists who are expanding systems and commercial production.

Aquaponics for Beginners curriculum

The Aquaponics for Beginners course will familiarize participants with:

  • General concept of aquaponics.
  • Different types of aquaponic systems.
  • What you will need to get started.
  • What you can grow.

“This course will cover the basics from the system components to how many fish and how many plants you can grow, and also to give people perspective on what it will take to reach certain levels of success with the size system they choose,” Masabni said. “We are here to encourage and educate hobby producers, but we also want to deliver accurate information on the realities of aquaponic production, like what yields to expect and how to avoid serious issues.”

Masabni said AgriLife Extension agents will receive a 50% discount on program access as an incentive for continuing education until the end of June.

For more information about the series, contact Masabni at [email protected]. Masabni is also inviting gardening groups and clubs to reach out to him for organized lectures on aquaponics and other small-acreage production methods.

“There is a lot of interest in aquaponics, and I think this program will help people who are just now looking into starting a new system or are wanting to expand,” he said. “This program is a good place to start. It should answer most of the questions and help people determine whether it is something they want to pursue.”

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