Aquaponics Training Curriculum for Portable Farms®

Aquaponics Training Curriculum for Portable Farms® Course©



  • inda grow interior3Portable Farms® grow food in greenhouses, warehouses or underground structures
  • Without the use of any pesticides, harsh chemicals, antibiotics or hormones
  • Portable Farms® use 95% less water than traditional agricultural methods
  • Portable Farms® use less electrical power than any other aquaponics system in the world and can be solar or wind powered
  • Portable Farms® provide table vegetables (greens and blooming plants such as tomatoes, peppers, etc.) and fish (tilapia) as a protein source to maintain optimal health
  • Three people can operate one-quarter of an acre of Portable Farms® which feeds 240 people forever. Twelve people can operate one acre of Portable Farms® which feeds 1,000 people forever
  • Portable Farms® can be operated by semi-skilled labor and people of almost any age (young and old)
  • Greens grown in Portable Farms® can be harvested in as few as 28 days after installation and continue producing forever
  • Portable Farms® feed families, communities, cities, countries and the world.

Our 45 years of experience in aquaponics is now available to teach you how to feed your family FOREVER. [Read our History: CLICK HERE]


It only takes a few days to learn the areas related to assembling an aquaponics system  so you can build your own Portable Farms® Aquaponics System! Aquaponics is easier and more productive than organic gardening or traditional agriculture and uses 95% less water. Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems also use less electricity and less labor than any other aquaponics system in the world.

Below is an outline of the 26 sections (A-Z) included in the Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© designed for training people to assemble, operate and raise healthy organic vegetables and aquatic animals (fish) in the Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems through Aquaponics University, a wholly-owned training division of PFAS LLC.


farm 8 18 2012Section A: Preface to coursework and overview with images for main components of the aquaponics system

  • Easy formulation for sizing needs based on number of people the aquaponics system will feed.
  • Calculation for determining the size required for the fish tank.
  • Grow lights for structures, locations or areas with limited available sunlight.
  • Overview for an acclimatized greenhouse structure for year-round growing in an aquaponics system.


Phyllis Davis, Co-Inventor, Harvesting fresh greens from their Portable Farms.

Phyllis Davis, Co-Inventor, Harvesting fresh greens from their Portable Farms.

Section B: Overview and images of the interior of aquaponics system

  • Explanation of the components that are incorporated into the aquaponics system for easy care.
  • Ratios for grow space vs gallons of water required for an efficient aquaponics system.
  • Recommendations for sunscreen protection for interior of structure (greenhouse).
  • Determination for required feet ‘head room’ above grow trays for maximum plant production.


Section C: Terms and definition regarding the aquaponics system

  • Terms and their definition that are used in the coursework, assembly and operations.


Section D: Site requirements for the aquaponics system

  • Considerations prior to the installation of the structure (greenhouse).
  • Suggestions for basic requirements regarding installation of grow trays, air flow within the structure and alternative energy.




Section E: Materials lists and cost estimates for assembly of the aquaponics system

  • Materials lists and US prices (approximate) for lumber, fish tank, fish and other pertinent supplies and materials.
  • Suggestions regarding the purchase of a breeding colony for aquaponics.



Section F: Assembly of clarifier (settling tank) as component of the aquaponics system

  • Explanation and basic operation of clarifier.
  • Location, requirements, drum, PVC fittings,  and proper plumbing of clarifier.


portable-farms-tilapia1Section G – Fish tanks and introducing the fish into the fish tank in the aquaponics system

  • The formula for the volume (size) of the fish tank.
  • Fish recommendation.
  • Recommended maximum loading capacity of the fish in relation to the size of the grow tray.
  • Water temperature maintenance and insulation designs for maintaining recommended narrow temperature range for maximum fish health.
  • Building a tank to protect the fish and maintain temperature range.


gtt 40 days with colle3Section H: Assembly of grow tray tables in the aquaponics system

  • Directions for building and waterproofing methods for grow tray.
  • Examples for assembly of sturdy legs to support the weight of the grow tray.
  • Plumbing the grow tray for effective water flow to feed and water plants.
  • Effectively installing medium into grow tray.



Section I: Explanation of required necessary electrical components in the aquaponics system

  • List of electrical components, their function and installation


portable-farms-grow-trays-constructionSection J: Calibrated Air Displacement (CAD) pump in the aquaponics system

  • Explanation, images and installation of the CAD pump.


Section K: Plumbing the aquaponics system for water flow in the aquaponics system

  • Instructions for connecting all the basic elements of the system together with PVC pipe.

Section L: Conclusion to assembly section for the aquaponics system


Section M: Basic operations of the aquaponics system

  • Information overview regarding the yields, care of plants and fish and the water in their tanks.


Oreochromis mossambicusSection N: The fish and the support of their health and growth in the aquaponics system

  • Reasons for use of a variety of all-male fish in aquaponics.
  • Feeding and care of the fish in the tanks.
  • Restocking fish after harvest.
  • Discussion for use of duck weed and suggestions and resources for raising duck weed for feeding fish.



Note shade cloth mounted on the roof and sides of this greenhouse to protect the plants that will be planted in the gravel grow trays.

Note shade cloth mounted on the roof and sides of this greenhouse to protect the plants that will be planted in the gravel grow trays.

Section O: Pumps in the aquaponics system

  • Overview and installation of pumps for moving water through the system. 


Section P: Climate and weather specific operations and emergency solutions (due to power failure) in the aquaponics system.

  • Operating the system during normal weather conditions, hot conditions, cool or cold conditions and during emergency situations (power outages).


Section Q: The operations and cleaning of the clarifier in the aquaponics system

  • Directions for routine cleaning and disposal of the fish waste.
  • Maintenance of the clarifier for keeping the fish healthy and the plants happy and well fed.


Section R: The grow tray table and your plants in the aquaponics system

  • Vertical growing and trellis design features in the grow tray for maximum support of the growth of tall green plants or blooming plants.
  • Safety and hygiene issues for aquaponics that are vital to health of fish and plants.
  • Plant and harvest suggestions for maintaining optimal growth in the grow tray.
  • Care and cleaning of the areas around the grow trays to maintain as clean an interior structure as possible for maximum healthy, safety and productivity of both plants and fish.


Komatsuna summerfest - An Asian Green we prefer over bib lettuce.

Komatsuna summerfest – An Asian Green we prefer over bib lettuce.

Section S: Seed planting and harvesting in the aquaponics system

  • Use of mineral rock dust when planting and growing all plants to support maximum growth.
  • Suggestions for organic growing mediums for planting seeds.
  • Seed and variety suggestions for growing greens and blooming plants.
  • Planting and caring for plants in the grow tray.
  • Indoor pollination suggestions.


Section T: The physical structure for the aquaponics system

  • Recommendation for a greenhouse cover that offers 83% diffusion for scattering light within interior of structure.
  • Sun shade for interior of structure.
  • Advantages for greenhouse structure
  • What NOT to do regarding physical structure.


tilapia drawingSection U: Fish harvesting and restocking methods in the aquaponics system

  • Recommendations for harvesting only the fish in the tank that are harvest size.
  • Suggestions for creating minimal stress on the smaller fish that remain in the fish tank that were not harvested.

Section V: Fish processing and cooking freshly harvested fish in the aquaponics system

  • Humane way to fill fish.
  • Easy way to gut fish.
  • Simple way to fillet fish. 


table1Section W: Ongoing operations of the aquaponics system

  • Recommended daily ‘chores’ for raising plants and fish.
  • Normal maintenance issues related to the gravel, fish tanks, clarifier for maximum production.
  • Routine cleanliness-related topics for healthy food and fish.
  • Methods for monitoring plants to assure no insects impact food within the structure.



Section X: Food safety and technology on-farm food safety in the aquaponics system

  • Good food practices on aquaponics farm offered by a major US university related to the following basic sanitation procedures to significantly minimize risks.
  • Key areas of food safety considerations in aquaponics include human sanitation, harvesting produce safely, managing warm-blooded animal feces, water sources for fish and produce, zoonoses prevention and disposing of the system’s waste water.


Phyllis Davis holding ONE HEAD of India Mustard grown in 45 in Portable Farms® Aquaponics System.

Phyllis Davis holding ONE HEAD of India Mustard grown in 45 days in Portable Farms® Aquaponics System.

Section Y: Guidelines for growing health plants and fish in the aquaponics system

  • Worm casting tea as a foliage spray for enhanced plant health
  • Smoking prohibited due to Tobacco Mosaic Virus
  • Monitoring and adjusting pH balance to assure plant health and productivity as well as fish health and safety.


Section Z: Recognizing pests (bugs/insects) within the aquaponics system

  • Simple organic solutions for ridding pests from the structure.
  • Recommendations for protecting structure from pests.

Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems are the most efficient commercial aquaponics systems in the world.

We accept MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and Wire Transfers. If you’d prefer, you may call us to give us your credit number over the phone: 800-906-0256 OR 800-952-6224. We also accept checks and money orders.

Shipping and postage are included to addresses in the US only, BUT for all order outside the US there is a US$140 shipping and handling charge.

Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems GROW FOOD.

View a  2 minute video clip of the interior of 16 x 33′ Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems. TheYouTube video has been viewed over 56,100 times.

Aquaponics University (AU) offers an easy-to-understand home-study course that teaches individuals how to grow chemical-free food and fish in a closed-loop system.

Aquaponics University (AU) offers our own Portable Farms® Aquaponics System Course© that teaches individuals how to grow chemical-free food and fish in a closed-loop system.

REFUND POLICY: Please note. You may ask for and receive a full refund of your tuition you begin the course  because you will have access to the entire course curriculum.  At the point, there will be no refund because you have received access to all our Intellectual Property.


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  1. Francisco

    Been browsing your site for a while now and I love the concept.
    I know I will be putting one in my backyard eventually.
    I had in mind a structure about 16’x24′ that is solar powered.
    What size system can I put in there to efficiently utilize the space?
    Thank You

    1. portfarms


      For maximum utilization of the proposed space use this formula: The width of the space minus 2.5 feet and divide the remainder by either 7.5 or 8.5 depending on the desired width of the Grow Table. Using 5 foot width you use 7.5 and for 6 foot Tables use 8.5. The 2.5 is the width of the outside aisle. Working backwards multiply the Table plus aisle width by the desired number of Tables and you will have the required size of the building. 8.5 times 2 plus 2.5 is 19.5 or 20 feet. 7.5 times 2 plus 2.5 is 17.5 or 18 feet wide. The length can be up to 36 feet for 6 foot Tables or 44 feet for 5 foot tables. We trust this helps.


  2. Sam


    I am so very interested in a portable farm and have watched every video posted by Colle and Phyllis. Beginning to feel like family!

    My question is a clarifying question because I hear information and read information and can’t seem to understand.

    2 things:
    First, on the website, it says as of May 2, 2016 that price for course and kit is $625 until July 1st, yet when I click buy now it says $1875. I’d kinda like to pay the $625 if possible, just fits my budget better. Because I saw this on more than one page I didn’t take it is a typo, but still would like to understand what I’m missing.

    Second, what exactly comes in the portable farms kit? Is this equipment? The whole kaboodle? Instructions and thats all? Colle said its about a 2′ by 2′ box. So I’m trying to understand, really, what I will be getting and then what will still need to be purchased so I can fully realize budget expectations for the whole project.

    Thanks for any clarification!


    1. portfarms


      Thank you for the kind words.

      1. The posts on the website clearly state “On May, 2, 2016, we lowered our price $625.00.” Not ‘to’ that amount. This has cause a couple of people out of the five thousand a week who look at our site to misinterpret the pricing. The price really is US$1,875 until 1 July.

      2. If you had read the PRICE LIST available at the top right on every page of the website you would see the exact contents of the Portable Farms Kit. The AU Course is where the instructions are given. The Portable Farms Kit and the Diploma are shipped upon satisfactory completion of the Aquaponics University Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems Course©.

      We trust this clears up everything. We look forward to having you as students.


  3. Terry

    Why is the gravel growth medium your preferred method?

    1. portfarms


      You are asking two questions in one. We use medium filled grow beds instead of a float system. Because it is much easier to keep the water clear and the fish healthy with a medium based system because the gravel is a huge filter. Second, the gravel is available everywhere in the world and is very inexpensive.

      We trust this addresses your question(s).


  4. Mokabedi Kaziyo

    Hello i just wanted to know the production capacity of the kit that is shipped on completion of the course.

    1. portfarms


      The Portable Farms Kits are all the same size. Everyone receives the Commercial Grade Portable Farms Kit that will easily accommodate an 18m2 (200sf) Grow Table. The figures for that size are on the website in various places.


  5. Darrell

    Hi, I was wondering if the course is accessible to blind users using screen readers.

    1. portfarms

      As long as the program can read .pdf files. We suggest a second person, perhaps a family member or care giver, also have access to the material to insure the installation is operated properly in the person’s absence.


  6. Joy Elliott

    Dear Colle,

    I would like to purchase the course and the farm system or junior system to put in my garage. I live in the City of San Bernardino, CA and will have to get a permit from the City. I’d like to find out if they will approve the system or junior system before I buy the course. What can I show them as far as dimensions, equipment, etc.?



    1. portfarms


      Placing the PFAS in your garage shouldn’t require a permit because you are not modifying the building structure itself. The water is contained within the system like an aquarium and only drained out to be on your lawn or trees and the electrical service is an extension cord. There are several Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems already installed in your area and no one has been asked to have a permit.

      The dimensions are up to you, but please quietly check with the permit offices if you are so inclined and ask them if a large aquarium requires a permit.

      That’s the best we can do for you on this because every jurisdiction has different rules. So far the only organization that has refused to allow a Portable Farm® has been HOA’s with their height limitations.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

  7. Kong Tao

    Hi Sir,
    is this course online I don’t have to go to class ?
    if do go to class what State is it ?


    1. portfarms


      The Aquaponics University Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems Course© is an email correspondence course. Most students complete the course in two to three weeks and upon their graduation we send them the Portable Farms® Kit so they can complete their installation. I trust this helps and we look forward to having you as a student.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

  8. John

    Please explain what is included in the price of the course. Manual, equipment, building materials etc.

    1. portfarms


      We make the entire list of what is available, even the outline of the AU Course, what is included in the PFAS Kit, what you have to provide locally. The PRICE LIST is available on EVERY PAGE, right hand column, first box. Yes, it does require you to enter a valid email address and some first name.

      We trust this information is helpful.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

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