Friday, March 21, 2008

Marine Aquarist Courses Online pt. 2


Back in January, we posted an announcement about Marine Aquarist Courses Online (or MACO for short). Well, the time has come for an update (hold your ooo's and ahhh's until I'm finished, please - lol).

Marine Aquarist Courses Online (MACO) has a course on Fish Husbandry starting on April 6. The course includes 6 weeks of full instruction. MACO courses are internet based and feature a 2-hour chat session each week. Live interactive chats for the Fish Husbandry courses will be held at 6 PM PST (9 PM EST) on Sundays. Visit
AquaristCourses.org and click on Fish Husbandry for more info.

This class will introduce you into the world of marine fish husbandry, from basic biology and taxonomy, to principles and procedures used to insure that these animals live out long and healthy lives under your care. You'll learn how to select the proper equipment, and be guided on how to set up your system in a way that suits the fish that you've chosen and the environment that you would like to emulate.

Most importantly, you'll learn to avoid all the mistakes that are so easily made when learning to keep these amazing animals. The class will cover the tendencies and idiosyncrasies of various families of marine fish, how they interact with each other, and how to keep them together without experiencing the problems that plague so many aquarists. You'll learn how to manage and avoid diseases that commonly infect and often kill so many captive marine fish. You'll learn what you must do, and as importantly, what you must not do in order to excel as a marine fish keeper.


The following is an outline of the course's topics:

  • Responsibilities of the Marine Aquarist
    The life in our hands Give something back
  • Basic Taxonomy
    What is a fish? What is a Genus? What is a species? Why does it matter?
  • Basic Biology
    Basic Anatomy Do fish sleep? Hermaphroditism
  • Habitats
    Where do our fish come from? Does it matter? What is a microhabitat? What is a biotope?
  • Tank Selection & Setup
    How big? Glass or Acrylic? Plywood? To skim or not to skim? What kind of filter? Do I need live rock? Lighting
  • Quarantine Procedure
    What is quarantine? Why do I have to quarantine? Does quarantine stress the fish more than just placing it in my tank? Is it worth the extra expense?
  • Stocking order & Compatibility
    What do I introduce into my tank first, and why? Can I keep fish of the same species together? Can I keep fish x with fish y? Aggression Management/Aggressive tanks
  • Disease management
    Prevention and treatment of common fish diseases Nutrition
  • Family Specific Discussions
    Angelfish Triggerfish Groupers Wrasses, etc
  • Species Specific Discussions
    Open discussion on suitable species and compatibility What are the most desirable species for a reef?
  • Fishes to avoid
    Fishes that shouldn't be purchased, and maybe shouldn't even be available!
  • Invert Compatibility
    Can I keep this fish in my reef/this invert with my fish? Angels in the reef
  • Nanos
    What is a nano? What makes it different? What fish can I keep in my nano? Are nanos harder to keep?