particle aquaponics training in progress


Homegrown Practical Aquaponics offers practical aquaponics training courses by aquaponics expert Martin Fick to help you achieve your aquaponic goals. We offer courses ranging from introductory aquaponics courses for beginners, courses aimed at the aspiring  “Urban Farmer”, to courses aimed at those wanting to get into large scale aquaponics food production.

We offer a world-class aquaponics training experience at very affordable rates. We have masses of experience, and unique, innovative solutions to common aquaponic problems. We have proven aquaponics systems to showcase, and the training is currently the gateway into the international closed WhatsApp post-training support group.

Aquaponics is described as the food production technology of the future. This is certainly true because it is an extremely powerful production system which harnesses the forces of nature but it is currently poorly understood by many. It is, in fact, an extremely complex ecosystem approach to food production, where the risks of failure are real because of the many variables in the following:-

  • Hydrology
  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Water Quality
  • Physics

We at Homegrown Practical Aquaponics (HPA) have spent the last 9 years practically mastering the dynamics of aquaponics thoroughly in theory and in practice. We have designed and developed aquaponics systems of varying sizes that are tried and tested, and are appropriate for the conditions found in South Africa and further afield, and we have a unique, modular approach to aquaponics production that enables flexibility and maximum control of the business, while limiting risks, all of which sets us apart from other aquaponics industry players.

Our aquaponics training courses are aimed at equipping you with the necessary skills to build and maintain a healthy and productive aquaponics system. Whether you’re a DIY hobbyist or have commercial aquaponics aspirations, our aquaponics training courses are designed to aid you in your aquaponics adventure.

1 Day Fundamental Aquaponics Training

Dates TBC, based on demand.

Learn what aquaponics is all about and discover how easy and affordable it is to setup and maintain your own system. Contact us via the Contact form to determine the available dates. Learning to grow your own great tasting, fresh, organic veggies and fish using aquaponics has never been easier.

Itinerary - Day 1 - Tuesday
  • Day 1: (8:00 – 17:30)

      • Housekeeping.
    • Introduction to Aquaponics 
      • What is Aquaponics?
      • Why Aquaponics?
      • Why HPA?


    • Types of Aquaponics
      • Applications
    • System Design
      • System Types
      • Media based Systems
        • Flood & Drain
        • Continuous Flow
        • Design Options
      • Deep Water Culture (DWC)
      • Aeroponics and NFT


    • HPA Economics basics
      • Primary Drivers of Aquaponics as a business:
        • Feed Conversion Ratio
        • Implications of FCR
        • Waste management and running cost
      • Production Efficiencies in Aquaponics – Making money by spending wisely
    • Legislation in South Africa


    • Site Location
      • System Location and Environment
    • Components
      • Media Beds
      • Buckets
      • Towers
      • Fish Tanks
      • Grow Media
      • Pumps
      • Aeration
    • Media Bed Plumbing and Bell Siphons
    • Visit to Alan Weyer. Client run Home System

2 Day Intermediate Aquaponics Training

12-13 Jun, 7-8 Aug, 9-10 Oct and 4-5 December 2018

This 2-Day HPA Aquaponics course is specifically designed for those interested in small-scale or home use Aquaponics, or those who are interested in the industry who would like to learn how to build their own aquaponics systems and grow their enterprise to access niche markets.

Itinerary - Day 2
  • Day 2: (8:00 – 12:00)
    • Recap
    • Crop Selection, and Silent partners
      • Fish selection and care
      • Plants selection and care
      • Insect control
      • Bacteria and Worms
    • Integrating the System 
      • Cycling
      • Water testing
      • pH & TDS/EC


    • Managing & maintenance of the system
    • Course Test/Exam for those requiring certification

    Hands-on sessions

    • Hands-on Activities 
      • Water quality testing
        • Macronutrients & Micronutrients and adjusting pH
      • Fish Feeding and Handling
      • Planting and Harvesting
      • Plant maintenance
      • Integrated Pest control

    Workshop: Practical Aquaponics System design and location considerations.

  • Optional Exam for Certification

5 Day Comprehensive Aquaponics Training

14-18 May in Cape Town, 23-27 July in Salem, 17-21 Sept in Salem, and 26-30 November 2018

This course ends with an optional EXAM which facilitates certification. Join HPA for a fascinating immersion into the Mastery of Aquaponics in every facet. We have designed our course material with local conditions in mind that will save hours of reading, trials, research and frustrating internet searches, and provide all the skills and knowledge required to get the best out of YOUR aquaponics system! Our focus is on a continuous learning experience, and while it is not possible to learn everything about Aquaponics in 5 days, we hope to empower you with a depth of understanding that will give the confidence to establish and grow your business successfully with the minimum cost. The course is an engaging, comprehensive series of lectures and practical lessons on aquaponics fundamentals that provides ample time to deal with your questions. You will learn how aquaponics works, location considerations, system design fundamentals, fish and plant selection and care as well as starting and maintaining your aquaponics system for optimal health and productivity. We desire to partner with you on your journey to success, so we value the relationship that emanates from our course interaction.

Brian Dolan (Zambia): "More than a course! This was a rite of passage... An incredible experience that has empowered me to the point that I can proceed with my venture with confidence. This information is simply not available on the Internet!"

Itinerary - Day 1 Monday


  • 14:30 pm Introduction to Aquaponics –
  • Housekeeping
  • Expectations
  • What is Aquaponics? – Definitions & Laws of Nature
    • Why Aquaponics? – Rationale: The concept of Bioremediation in a recirculating system.
    • Why HPA? – Unique focus on small to medium modular HPA
    • Video: The Power of One
    • Optimization to achieve efficiency
    • The relationship between Biology & Productivity


  • Demonstration of the Physics behind the Biochemistry of Aquaponics – Know WHY
Itinerary - Day 2

·       WELCOME & RECAP 08:00am

  • Types of Aquaponics
    • Media Systems Design Options

    Media Based Aquaponics

      • Beds
      • Buckets – IrriGravity
    • Flood & Drain – Impact on Nutrient availability & Oxygen
    • Continuous Flow
      • Towers
      • Buckets
  • Water Based – DWC
      • HPA Components & Design principles
  • Aeroponics & NFT
    • Combination systems
  • Legislation in South Africa
  • Questions
  • Water quality and testing
  • pH and nutrient availability
  • Understanding Carbonates
    • Buffering & KH
  • TDS & Electrical conductivity
    • Reverse Osmosis
  • Dissolved Oxygen and Microbiology –
    • Specific Surface Area
    • Biological Surface Area
  • Water Quality:
    • Balance & Management
  • Farm visit to Alan Weyer
    • Basic 4 + 4 + 1 +1 domestic module
    • Learning curves
    • Expanding/mitigating Risk.

Closure & Drinks/Pizza at Homewoods in Kenton on Sea.

Itinerary - Day 3
  • WELCOME & RECAP 08:00am
    • Aquaponics The HPA Approach
    • Water Quality – Determines success

System components, Design & Construction considerations

    • Growbeds, Towers & Buckets
    • Fish tanks
    • Sumps
    • DWC Rafts
    • Bell Siphons
    • Media
    • Pumps & Aeration
    • General Design
      • Appropriate Housing
        • Heating
        • Cooling
    • Backup power options
  • HPA Economics
  • Primary Drivers of Aquaponics as a business:
    • Capex considerations – ROI & Functionality
    • Aquaculture and FCR
    • Waste management and running cost
    • Implications of FCR
    • Production Efficiencies in Aquaponics – Making money by saving money
  • Risk
    • determining Market price
    • SWOT Analysis exercise
    • INSIGHTS & Mistakes to avoid


  • Practical session – Fish Feeding and Handling.

 Demonstration of component function in Aquaponics – the impact of design on cost

 Selecting crops

  • Market considerations
  • Fish
  • Plants
    • Strategic harvesting
  • Revisit Physics, Biology & Chemistry – Balance & impact of failure to cycle
    • Practical demonstration of Bell Siphon problems
    • Creating an anoxic Media bed – Knock-on effects

Farm visit to Three Chimneys Aquaponics, Grahamstown

HPA Commercial Module in operation

  • Informal discussions, supper & drinks Grahamstown
Itinerary - Day 4 and 5
  • WELCOME & RECAP 08:00am

      • System components & design
      • Water Quality
      • Economics & INSIGHTS
    • Real Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – The concept and detailed treatment options


    Real IPM continued

    • Companion planting
      • Dealing with specific pests in commercial aquaponics – Bio-Pesticides

    Site Location

      • System Location and Environment considerations
    • HPA prototype development Simple to complex – Practical session
      • Water testing
      • Macronutrients & Micronutrients, adjusting pH


    • Hands-on Activities
      • Planting and Harvesting
      • Plant maintenance
      • Insect control
    • Questions
    • Revisit Physics, Biology & Chemistry – Mystery no more
    • Farm visit to Sweet Waters – Modular Commercial Aquaponics System in operation


Day 5 Itinerary:

  • Cycling, Routine Maintenance, Course Exam, Specific client design discussions and practical demonstrations


  • Cycling the system
    • Duration
    • Establishing Both of the microbial engines
    • Cycling without fish
    • Cycling with fish
    • Adding worms
    • Crop Selection, maintenance
    • Silent partners
  • Records and Routine Maintenance.

Purpose, Value and Format

  • Seasonal
    • Monthly
    • Weekly & Daily
  • Other topics to be covered:

Fish selection, grading and care

    • Plants selection and care
    • Insect control
    • Bacteria
  • Alternative feed sources
      • Worms, Black-Fly larvae, Duckweed, Algae and Crickets
    • Practical demonstrations on Worms creating particles
      • Worm farm design
      • Worm Tea
    •  worm and compost tea brewing.
  • Delegate Course assessment.

Course Exam

Exam discussion


General discussion

Thanks & Closure

We have, as a result of popular demand, lengthened this empowering course to a 4 and a half-Day HPA intensive Aquaponics training specifically designed for those contemplating Commercial Aquaponics, or those who are currently involved in the industry who would like to expand or grow their enterprise and access niche markets. The objectives of the course are to enable sound decision making in Design, Production, Management, and Market stage of an aquaponics business. The course is also ideal for Lodge, Restaurant, Hotel, School, Local Community or Establishment Management where a commercial scale HPA unit is envisioned for the supply of fresh, chemical-free greens and fish for use within the scope of business.


Contact Us

Martin Fick
+27 83 2784 201

Welcome! Enjoy the site. We look forward to hearing from you. Dismiss