What You Will Learn
Become an Aquarium Maintenance Professional by enrolling in Animal Behavior College. Our curriculum consists of 10 stages that cover a wide variety of topics including chemistry, biology, fish husbandry and maintenance principles. While pursuing your aquarium technician training, you will learn about all of the topics described in ABC’s robust aquarium care and maintenance syllabus.
Aquarium Maintenance Program Course Description
Stage 1 – AQUARIUM MAINTENANCE BASICS – 28 Days
Aquarium keeping is a highly technical hobby and you will need to understand how to take care of an aquarium before you ever begin to set one up. This stage introduces you to topics such as aquarium chemistry and the nitrogen cycle, principles of animal husbandry, routine aquarium maintenance requirements, troubleshooting and water parameter guidelines.
Stage 2 – AQUARIUM SETUP BASICS – 35 Days
Once you understand what it takes to maintain an aquarium, you can begin to learn the art of aquarium setup for clients. This stage covers how to meet clients’ needs and expectations as well as how to build a system, aquarium sourcing, tank sizing, aquarium installation, how to establish an aquarium and adding livestock.
Stage 3 – FRESHWATER AQUARIUMS – 42 Days
This stage discusses all types of specialty freshwater aquarium setup and husbandry requirements, with a focus on the following topics: requirements for a fish-centric display setup, breakdown of freshwater fish types, “monster” fish systems, cichlid systems, tropical fish systems and troubleshooting freshwater fish tanks. You will also learn about planted fish tank layouts, aquascaping, hybrid paludarium setups, fish tank design, freshwater fish care and husbandry.
Stage 4 – SALTWATER AQUARIUMS – 49 Days
This stage focuses on saltwater aquarium setup. Most aquarists are looking for show-stopping saltwater displays, and many of your customers will want and need an aquarium maintenance service to maintain their advanced reef aquarium setups. Topics include fish-only tank design, how to setup a saltwater aquarium, understanding reef aquariums, saltwater species compatibility basics, coral care requirements, troubleshooting saltwater tanks and husbandry considerations.
Stage 5 – POND BASICS – 21 Days
You will learn the basics of pond maintenance in this stage so you can offer your services to pond owners. Topics include the basics of pond care, pond maintenance procedures and schedule, pond equipment, long-term pond maintenance, troubleshooting, species information and pond fish care.
Stage 6 – SPECIES GUIDES AND SOURCING – 28 Days
This stage will provide in-depth care requirements and compatibility information for a variety of freshwater and saltwater species. Topics include freshwater species guide, saltwater species guide, sourcing livestock, husbandry requirements, compatibility information, healthcare, acclimation, feeding, and long-term care. You will also learn how to establish a breeding/reproduction fish tank setup for customer sales.
Stage 7 – EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE – 28 Days
This stage focuses on aquarium equipment and aquarium maintenance equipment. You will become familiar with equipment purchasing considerations, evaluating equipment for client needs, and long-term servicing of aquarium equipment. This stage also covers setting up and maintaining aquarium equipment, scheduling and performing long-term aquarium equipment maintenance and basic aquarium service equipment needs.
Stage 8 – COMMERCIAL AQUARIUMS – 21 Days
In this exciting stage you will learn how to scale an operation and begin maintaining large and more elaborate systems for commercial clients. Topics include advantages of commercial clientele, commercial aquariums as advertisements, considerations of building larger commercial aquarium setups and aquarium maintenance requirements and scheduling.
Stage 9 – BUSINESS BUILDING – 35 Days
Now, we will take what you have learned about aquarium design, fishkeeping and tank maintenance and apply it to building a business. This stage covers how to establish a basic business model, writing a business plan, setting goals and staying focused, meeting customers and building a client base, advertising and marketing your aquarium maintenance service, growing and expanding your services and more. We also discuss how to interface with local fish stores and other professionals in the fish hobby.
Stage 10 – FINAL EXAM & GRADUATION – 14 Days
In this stage you will be given a final exam to test your overall knowledge on aquarium maintenance. Upon successful completion, you will become an ABC Certified Aquarium Maintenance Professional (ABCAMP).
Benefits of ABC’s Aquarium Maintenance Course
Accessible and Flexible
By enrolling in ABC’s Aquarium Maintenance Program, you can learn how to take care of fish and how to set up aquariums while keeping your current job. Since this program is available online, you can access your course materials and exams anywhere and anytime via the internet. This course format allows you to work around your schedule and complete your program when convenient for you.
While the program is designed to work with your schedule, there are required exam submission due dates and an overall course completion deadline. Completion time for ABC’s Aquarium Maintenance Program is approximately 10 months.
Personal Program Manager
Although your program is done in the privacy and safety of your home, you will never be on your aquarist certification journey alone. Students are assigned an ABC Program Manager upon enrollment. Your Program Manager will be your guide as you learn about aquarium care and maintenance. Your Program Manager will be available to answer your questions, counsel you and grade your exams along the way.
Have more questions? We’re here to help. Call 800-795-3294
Short Term Programs
ABC offers continuing education courses to students and the public. These Short Term Programs are designed to expand upon your knowledge and provide you with more information and resources to help grow in your desired aquarium career. Aquarium Maintenance Program students can sign up for Short Term Programs upon enrollment for a discounted rate and will gain access to these programs after graduation. ABC offers the following Short Term Programs for our Aquarium Maintenance Program students:
- Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
- Pet Nutrition and Diet
- Pet Fostering
- Pet Massage
- Doggie Daycare
As an Aquarium Maintenance Professional you may be especially interested in learning more about Pet Sitting and Dog Walking. Since you will likely be maintaining fish tanks for clients while they are away on business or vacation, the addition of these services would enable you to care for all the pets in your customer’s home. Education in this subject could benefit your career and allow you to expand your services to current and new clients.