Friday, December 18, 2009

COD Close up!

Janice's Cod arrived today. Big! Huge! These Cod started out smaller
than your little finger, weaned to pellets and look at 'em now!

Janice has been published through her articles on aquaponics and has done a
masterful job in raising Cod, usually a difficult fish species to wean & grow out in her backyard. Great job Janice.

COD - reflections

T5 (Tank 5) showing the 'Christmas stocking' of Australian Murray Cod and the relection of the 'sump' and inlet pipes.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Scouting around- preparing for COD!

Started out with 10,000l of rainwater (full tank). Filled T4 & T5
(1000 ea) & 500l in the sump. Hosed out the Lab & ARC areas. Dod a
water exchange on T6 & topped up A1, A2, A3, A4. Fed all fish &
removed rubbish from ARC.
Fired up the pumps & started filter & protein skimmer, all good!
About 5000l left in the tank. It may rain?

A scout is always 'well prepared'!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Good Clean Living/Working

Fed Yabbies- Tank 6 (T6), Aquarium 1 (A1) & Aquarium 3 (A3) Nursery Tank with peas.
Fed Silvers and Gold Fish (T6) with Silver Perch pellets.
Fed tropical fish (A2) with frozen 'Blood Worm' cubes mmmmm!
Fed Goldfish (A4) with gold fish flakes
* All good

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Prawning, for the 'RAW' Prawn on the central coast!

Equipment: nets, lights
Location (snipping) a map from Google Earth _> into Paint -> to mark locations known & used by students in our class.
Cooking: humane cooking, use of salt for flavour and also to enable water to boil rapidly.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Second thoughts?

On third thought it's not bad! Allannah

Guinness Book of Records Attempt

A Guinness Book of records attempt, presented posthumously to this prawn.

Dissect 1 Prawn

GO Cody! Mung in!

More Poop!

Now that prawn was ready to poop before it was cooked.

Shelling- go girls!

Smell...??? Smells like prawns!

Deshelled... removing the poop vein

Great job, most people don't bother about removing it. Some do!


The '3' movement peeling of a prawn! Can you do it in less?

Not the RAW Prawn Brent?... mmm

The serious science of Aquaculture! Dissection, examination of external and internal parts of the prawn! Then eat 'em!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Great Day- even for fish!

Cleaned A1 glass internal and external- algae was beginning to grow. Scrubbed & cleaned filter- also A2, A3, A4.
Completed water exchange of A4, connected aeration and added female Yabbie, in 'berry' (from T6) to A4. A4 is one of our nursery aquarium.
All species do'n fine!
Next focus marine tanks.

* Progressed in setting up relocated computer systems in our LAB for research. A directional WiFi provides full network and Internet access. Thanks Ryan.
Begun additional trench irrigation in garden plots.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Feeding... well!

All fish species are feeding well! Bit of maintenance on pumps, also
fed worms and added/sprinkled protein mixture/powder to snail food.

Aquarium (A3) needs a water change. Need to check Yabbies- in 'berry' in Tank 6 (T6)? Then Move to nursery aquarium (A3).
Marine (salt water) aquariums, AS1 & AS2 need BIG water exchange and AS2
pump replacement, As1 Add another pump!

Wish we had some local lake marine species???
Can't get too excited as we have just 3&abit weeks left.
Plans are underway for 2010!!! WOW!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Aquaculture Netbooks

Aquaculture students access our BLOG with their new netbooks.

Aquarium Tropical Freshwater

Freshwater Tropical Aquarium @ the ARC. Thanks to Hayley & Hayley for feeding the fish with Frozen Blood Worms, a bit slimy but the fish love 'em! A 30% water exchange was carried out on A1 (aquarium 1), A2 and A4. Thanks Gals- you did a great job!

Tank 6

Tank 6, in the LAB has a range of species including Yabbies, Silver Perch, Koi (Gold Fish) and Australian Freshwater (Native) mussels. Peas & Corn are used to feed the Yabbies, Silver Perch growing pellets for the 'Silvers' and Koi, Gold fish food for the ... & the Australian Mussels filter out the debris. A water exchange was carried out using water from our Rainwater tanks. This should stimulate reproduction of all the species... increasing temp, light, food and a 'fresh' (water exchange).

Monday, November 09, 2009

The RAW Prawn(ing)- A Beginners Guide

A beginners Guide...

When is the best time to prawn and where?
Where: The Entrance Channel, Canton beach... where else?
When: The best time to 'prawn' is (1) at night, (2) on a run out tide a (3) few days before the 'new' moon.
Please add your comments of photos.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

NSW Carp Control Plan

NSW Carp Control Plan
Download a copy from:

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

La Spezia Daily Fish Markets

Can you name the fish species, is there a local/English equivalent name to the Italian name displayed? Given the exchange rate of Australian dollars $ to Euro € how do the prices compare to our local coop or the Sydney Fish markets?

Seafood Markets- La Spezia, Italy

Can you name the fish species, is there a local/English equivalent name to the Italian name displayed? Given the exchange rate of Australian dollars $ to Euro € how do the prices compare to our local coop or the Sydney Fish markets?

Fish Markets- La Spezia, Italy

Can you name the fish species, is there a local/English equivalent name to the Italian name displayed? Given the exchange rate of Australian dollars $ to Euro € how do the prices compare to our local coop or the Sydney Fish markets?

Fish Markets- La Spezia, Italy

Can you name the fish species, is there a local/English equivalent name to the Italian name displayed? Given the exchange rate of Australian dollars $ to Euro € how do the prices compare?

La Spezia Daily Fish Markets

Can you name the fish species, is there a local/English equivalent name to the Italian name displayed? Given the exchange rate of Australian dollars $ to Euro € how do the prices compare?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Octopus 4 Lunch- Kardamina, Koz, Greece

One day the ARC will serve fresh farmed Octopus! Just like Mama!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

How MUCH Water is in that Aquarium?

Students will need to collect data-
Height, Length and Width of Aquariums in the ARC to then apply a formula to determine the volume of water each is capable of carrying.

This is vital in:
  • adding salt to make the water suitable for marine/salt water species
  • determining water flow and aeration
  • applying chemicals for illness
  • total biomass verses water volume to calculate the number and size of fish each aquarium can support.

Bubbles of Brine

Bubble, bubble toil and ... trouble! Brine Shrimp (Artemia) cycts added, air stone active, bubbles active- some cysts are stranded on the side of the container by the action of the bubbles. They will probably perish as the salt water would have triggered hatching and then left 'high & dry'!!!

A Home For Brine Shrimp

All set and ready to go. Just add salt water and brine shrimp cysts!

We still had issues with leakage through the tube/lid connection and needed to re-silicon the lid hole.

The Daily Grind

The Daily Grind

Yep, it's life on a farm- 'early to rise... early to bed'!


  • Open door to ARC to enable sun on seedlings/air flow
  • Feed peas to Yabbies- not too much not too little
  • remove rotting food from aquarium
  • Feed pellets to Silver Perch *Tank 6 (stored in plastic container on metal shelf)
  • Feed lettuce to snail (lettuce from Canteen, stored in fridge
  • Feed lettuce to worms
  • check all water levels
  • check water quality
  • water garden plots
  • weed
  • water seedling in ARC
  • ensure tap key is always returned to ARC
  • ensure ARC is always locked ALWAYS!
  • all tools returned to ARC- check for damage. NO DAMAGED TOOLS ARE TO BE USED
  • no food scraps in ARC, deter rats, mice and cockroaches
  • sweep ARC
  • collect rubbish, especially rocks etc. from farm and ARC, move to school bins

  • Tuesday- 3 * opaque water Jerry cans to PDHPE staffroom to be filled with sea water by beach sport
  • Wednesday collect sea water from PDHPE, syphon appropriate litres of water from marine aquarium/s- just enough to enable water exchange to return water level to appropriate level

Thursday, September 10, 2009

School Certificate Assessment Task- Traditional Indigenous Fishing Practices

Stage 5 Marine and Aquaculture Technology (MAT)

School Certificate Assessment Task- Traditional Indigenous Fishing Practices

Last Possible Date for Submission (Due Date): October 1, 2009
Total Marks: 100

Focus: Traditional Indigenous Fishing Practices. Traditional Use of Marine Resources
Searching the Internet... filtering sites through the use of keywords in Search Engines.
Traditional Aboriginal/Indigenous Fishing Methods- Fish traps, Spear Heads, Fish Hooks, and Grass Nets etc.

  1. Describe the appearance and action of traditional Freshwater and Saltwater Fish Traps used by Aboriginal people. You may wish to include sketches/copied images of the traps. (20 marks)
  2. Cultural Fishing. How does this impact on modern fishing laws? (10 marks)
    What is a Midden? (5 marks)
  3. What marine animals where caught and eaten by indigenous people? Create a table and match European names to Aboriginal names of animals. (15 marks)
    Aboriginal Name European Name
  4. What was/is traditional fishing equipment made from? (15 marks)
    Fishing Equipment Traditional Material Used
  5. Using traditional, Aboriginal dot painting method complete an Aboriginal painting using the supplied fish template/image. (35 marks)

Spring into ACTION!

Jobs completed @ the ARC
  • moved female Yabbie (new mother) from nursery aquarium back to communal tank. Babies doing well (100's)
  • moved female in 'berry' from communal tank to a new nursery aquarium
  • setup, YET another aquarium for more berried females. Set water heater to approx. 23C
  • fed all aquarium/tanks- peas
  • water tested Brine Shrimp (Artemia/Sea Monkey) nursery bottles- all needed silicon to prevent leakage. Siliconed and awaiting drying.
*Will add Brine Shrimp either Friday or next week.

Module 22 Aquarium Design Construction and Maintenance
Module 23 Underwater Farming
Module 24 Designing Systems for Aquaculture
Module 26 Growing Stockfeed for Aquaculture
Module 27 Biology of Native Crayfish
Module 28 Growing Crustaceans
Module 29 Fish Biology
Module 30 Managing Fish Production
Module 31 Managing Water Quality

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Jingle Berry!

A female yabbie in 'berry', carrying fertilised eggs.

Module 23 Underwater Farming
Module 26 Growing Stockfeed for Aquaculture
Module 27 Biology of Native Crayfish
Module 28 Growing Crustaceans
Module 29 Fish Biology
Module 30 Managing Fish Production

Friday, September 04, 2009

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ornamentals- you can't eat 'em BUT worth $s

Gold Fish

Siamese Fighter Fish

        Research: Photo, Water Specifications, Temp, pH, Food, Breeding

        • identifies the nature and scope of the marine and aquatic environment
        • identifies and describes the components of some marine ecosystems
        • identifies the nature and scope of aquaculture
        • investigates plant and animal species suitable for aquaculture
        • interprets and follows instructions with accuracy
        • identifies employment opportunities in aquaculture, marine and maritime industries
        • selects and presents the results of appropriate research from a variety of sources
        • identifies and describes a range of marine and aquatic ecosystems and investigates their complex interrelationships
        • identifies and describes a range of aquaculture, marine and maritime vocations and leisure pursuits
        • recalls aspects of the marine environment using relevant conventions, terminology and symbols

        Aquaculture Focus
        Module 23 Underwater Farming
        Module 25 Economics of Aquaculture

        On the outta Barcoo...

        Barcoo Grunter or Jade Perch

        Thursday, August 27, 2009

        Hell! How many Brine Shrimp eggs? SAMPLING

        Brine Shrimp eggs are small... and smelly too! A 'method' used to calculate the total number of small items/animals etc. is to detemine a sample as part of the whole.
        In this example the total Brine Shrimp supplied fitted into a:
        10cm * 10cm square
        A smaller square 1cm * 1cm was placed on the larger sample.
        Total numberofanimals = numberofanimalsinsmallsquare * 100
        as there would be 100 1cm squares in a 10 cm square

        Thursday, July 30, 2009

        Feeling Caged In?

        Cage Culture
        Cage culture is an aquaculture production system where fish are held in floating net pens. Cages are widely used in commercial aquaculture overseas and individual cage units come in all shapes and sizes and can be tailored to suit individual farmer’s needs. Cage units can be purchased through commercial outlets, but can also be made from readily available construction materials such as polypipe, wood or/and steel. Cages can be used in both freshwater and marine environments. The advantages and disadvantages of cages compared with other culture systems, include: Use existing waterbodies, Technical simplicity with which farms can be established or expanded, Lower capital cost compared with land-based farms,
        Easier stock management and monitoring compared with pond culture.

        Wednesday, July 29, 2009

        Tank Gravel dumped! IN!

        Tanks survived the pressure/water test. We NOW begin filling with a gravel base over the gravel filter. AND so begins the movement of sea water from the Rock Pool Boat Ramp...

        Friday, July 24, 2009

        Water Tight? Alright!

        Testing new 'old' Aquarium to be water tight. The silicon holding the
        glass can age and ...
        All seems good, ready to fill!

        Tuesday, July 14, 2009

        Whale of a time?

        A NEW Blower to replace our Compressor/air pump (went non stop for 4 years).
        AND the return of LG! Thanks Lance for your valued help in installing the blower and returning air to our recirculation system.
        The fish, students and community thank LG for his continued commitment to our school and community.

        Wednesday, July 01, 2009

        No Lost Fingers!

        The proper Handing of livestock is vital. Today showed the respect that our students are developing for our animals and the recognition of animal welfare and care.
        Most of the class were confident and held the Yabbie while examining the 'walking legs', sex appendices, exoskeleton while dodging those fierce nippers.
        The Yabiies showed the 'flee' reflex by rapidly constricting their tail to 'jet' water and retreat. Although Yabbies do attack, injure and kill other Yabbies they MOSTLY attempt to flee, in order to survive!
        Yabbies, unlike fish can survive and 'breathe' out of water for an extended period of time! The secret to this is that Yabbie gills are located behind their exoskeleton and retail water in this cavity. Their gills are also constructed differently so that they DO NOT collapse (like fish). So Yabbies can continue to extract air/oxygen from their gills- even out of water. The Yabbie was returned to Tank 5 to contribute to building the bacteria colony in the biofilter/recirculation system.

        * photos on the way

        Friday, June 19, 2009

        Pollution (Slick) on surface of Tanks 1-2... It's a PROBLEM!

        Showing their class as observers... a slick (oil like) has been found on the surface of Tanks 1-2. These tanks have been isolated for over 2 weeks. This also coincides with 3 dead Silver Perch from Tank 5?

        Oil and pollution slicks at sea can be tracked back to the source by comparing the chemical make-up of both the slick and different ships ballast/sump or samples taken from other suspect sources. Our priority and limitations are that we need to not focus on blame BUT focus on removal. How might we apply methods, used in sea or fresh water to REMOVE pollutants?
        * Dead perch fingerlings removed.

        Please comment.

        PROBLEM BASED LEARNING (PBL) projects are carefully designed to expose you to the information and skills that we want you to learn.

        • A statement of the problem (eg. diseased animal, failing business)
        • Questions to consider when solving the problem
        • A framework for the time and effort you should spend on the project
        • Support: teacher and resources

        The problems that you will solve in this course will relate to what you are learning. They are problems that you might encounter when working in that field or related fields, adapted to your level of study.

        With PBL, students are assessed on their ability to go through a problem solving process.

        What is PBL?

        Thursday, June 11, 2009

        Mov'n Out! Silver Perch transfered to Tank 5

        We need to 'charge' the bio filter with 'good' bacteria. These 'good' bacteria feed on the waste products of fish making harmful chemicals like nitrates less harmful.

        The Silvers, from the LAB Tank will 'kick start' the bacteria- to help ARC brought in some aquarium 'change' water from home and added it to the tank *this water contains good bacteria.

        Underpinning this activity is our dedication to animal welfare and care. We reduced the STRESS of capture and transport, and physical injury by:

        1. planning a method of capture that did NOT involve chasing fish around the tank

        2. using an 'enviro' net that reduces the risk of damage to fish scales, gills etc.

        3. water in the tanks was the same- temp. water quality, pH, etc.

        * this process of charging the biofilter will take some weeks.

        Thursday, June 04, 2009

        BLOGGING our BLOG

        Although access from within the school is NOT easy! We are beginning to BLOG our BLOG!

        Thursday, May 21, 2009

        Cold Water? Not for Trout! 17C

        Using Data loggers we tested water temperature within the tanks in the ARC. 17C chilly... Naaa NOT for Trout. Trout die at 24C and although 17C is a good temperature we have seen in the past that feeding and activity increase under 15C.
        Did we tell you that our Trout arrive this weekend?

        FREE @ Last- Mussels

        After 12 weeks Australian Freshwater Mussels have maintained the individual pond water CLEAR NO Algae!

        The Mussels have been retrned to the main tank. We will now observe the changes that may take place in each of the individual (Mussel less) ponds.

        We expect that now our natural filters have been removed that we will see Algae growth???

        Monday, May 11, 2009

        Is it really a 'Life Cycle' if we eat all the Trout?

        And you thought it would be simple?

        • egg (green eggs and ham, eyed egg,
          hatching egg)
        • alevins- (newly hatched, incompletely developed fishes still in nest or inactive on bottom, living off stored yolk)
        • fry
        • fingerlings
        • 'portion size', mature male,
          mature female, normal lifespan
        EAT 'em!!!

        Wednesday, April 29, 2009

        Aquaponics Made Easy!

        We ordered a DVD for Teaching & Learning from ...
        We'll give you more info. after we have reviewed the DVD.

        Friday, April 17, 2009

        DVD- Aquaponics arrived

        Aquaponics Made Easy!
        We ordered a DVD for teaching & Learning from
        We'll give you more info. after we have reviewed the DVD.

        Tuesday, March 31, 2009

        Trick Question... Where do our local fish come from?

        If you buy from our coop/s then local means local!

        Gorokan- Wallarah Rd, Gorokan T: 0243921603
        Tacoma- 77 Wolseley Avenue, Tacoma T: 0243532344

        Name that FISH?

        Is the fish you are buying REALLY the fish you think it is?

        Standard fish names ensure:
        - accuracy of trade descriptors and labelling
        - public and consumer confidence
        - efficiency in seafood marketing
        - effective fisheries monitoring and management
        - sustainability of fisheries resources
        - effective traceability and food safety management
        - industry viability and profitability

        Monday, March 30, 2009

        Do'n v's Dun 4-U

        The 'perfect' subject to encourage and reward ''n..!

        When 'most' things are dun for us we get quickly 'bored'. Aquaculture Technology teaches students that do'n is good and can reward us through enjoying hardwork, exercise and accomplishment.
        Be a do-er NOT a dun 4-Uer!

        Friday, March 27, 2009

        Experiments @ the MAD Scientists Lab

        Real MAD Science? Not just a guess!

        1. Do Mussels filter water? Yeah we know they do because that's what it says!
        2. How much water can a Mussel filter?
        3. How can we measure Turbidity- clarity of water? Not just I think it's clear?

        Our MAD Scientists (Aquaculture) have planned a number of experiments:

        • Exp.2 2 Identical Units... CONTROL... 1 * Pond (No Mussel) + 1 * Pond (1 Mussel). Monitoring/Observing Clarity/Turbidity over time.
        • Exp.3 CONTROL + 1 * Pond (1 Mussel) + 1 * Pond (2 Mussel/s)
        • Exp.4 CONTROL + 1 * Pond (1 Mussel/1l of water) + 1 * Pond (1 Mussel/s/5l of water) + 1 * Pond (1 Mussel/s/10l of water) + 1 * Pond (1 Mussel/s/20l of water)
        • Research into available and invented (they are mad) tools to measure Turbidity/Clarity of water.

        After eating the Caviar... are you feel'n a bit Secchi?

        * we will bring you updates and photos soon.

        Wednesday, March 25, 2009

        mmmm Fish Eggs (lumpfish roe caviar)

        What a subject... Caviar tasting in Marine & Aquaculture Technology? Yeah Right!

        Talk about value adding. Caviar, fish eggs are sold at ENORMOUS prices. Caviar was once just from Sturgeon, a type of fish. Most of the fish species that contribute to 'caviar' are from Europe and Russia... however our Sea Mullet are netted from our 'Pelican Beach' by the Rosetti's and along the NSW coast.
        The flesh of the Mullet is VERY low value HOWEVER the egg carrying females are 'stripped' of their roe (eggs) which are exported to Japan at a very large value.

        Trout roe is also produced in Australia at the company that we source our Rainbow Trout from.
        Observations were made: sight, smell, feel, taste & texture.
        * We tasted the roe/caviar before seeing what a Lumpfish looks like. Poor thing!
        Students are encouraged to add comments from their observations of Lumpfish Roe (Caviar).