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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 12:14 
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Should be some interesting views on this subject.

What credentials are required to become an Aquaponic consultant?

Consultant.
con·sul·tant (kn-sltnt)
n.
1. One who gives expert or professional advice.
2. One who consults another.

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I would assume a consultant for something, no matter what it is, is a proffessional in that field. Im not good at analogies so heres a poor attempt. Analogy: If I was new to formula one racing and wanted to decide what tyres to put on my car, I would see a proffessional in this field, someone with vast experience and knowledge... or... If I wanted to become a prawn farmer, I would seek proffessional expertise. Both would have risks and without proper consultation it could be costly or failures could occur.

The raw basics of Aquaponics is easily understood but everything after that is open to exteme amounts of variables and outcomes. Because AP requires a range of skill sets it becomes more complex the further you delve into it.

Plants: Nutrient requirements, sun and shade requirements, pests and diseases..etc

Fish: Fishkeeping skills, oxygen requirements, water quality, diseases and treatments.. etc

System design: Types, layouts, pumps, piping, flow, volumes, aeration, structural, BSA..etc

Commercial: Experience in running or involved in building a successful operation.

You could build and run an aquaponic system successfuly with only a handful of the above pieces of knowledge and you could definately assist people in building and running a system with only parts of the above skill sets. We all do it here within the forum every day.

But are we all consultants?

Depends on your take on the definition I suppose. There has been and still is numerous people claiming the title of aquaponic consultant, and there are some who deserve and are worthy of that title. People that have been in the buisness for many many years and have great knowledge. Names like Losordo, Dr. James Rakocy, Dr. Wilson Lennard, Ebling, Steve Diver, Savidov, Speraneos etc are/were proffessionals in their field.

Maybe being an AP consultant simply just requires you to be able to build and run a system successfuly? I dont know but Id love to read of others opinions.

:thumbleft:

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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 12:25 
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I think it's a personal matter.

Some people feel that they can charge got advice and yet they know stuff all.

Others have massive amounts of knowledge but don't feel they can justify charging people for there advice.

I feel I'm in between. I feel qualified to design and run commercial systems which I'm personally involved in running where I am sharing the risk with my fellow investors. I'm not qualified enough to offer a consultation service.

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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 12:40 
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I feel i could be a consultant to people who are extremely new to this, I.E. people who dont know fish need water to survive, plants need oxygen in thier water and the like.
Beyond that, it would hard to call anyone here good enough to be a consultant, a consultant should be able to direct people out of almost any bad situation that may arise, most of us here are just information sharers and are not in the same league as people like rakocy and paul - earthan.


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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 12:50 
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I think one needs to be an expert (where 'X' is an unknown variable and a spurt is a drip under pressure).

I was tempted to share that pun a while ago when a particular AP 'expert' and 'consultant' was frequenting the forum and upsetting people but I didn't want to be mean to them, so I never did. :wink:
In hindsight that could be a few people couldn't it? :lol:

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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 13:04 
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I think it depends on what the people you're consultanting to expect. Or what they are proposing to do.

I could think of a stack of people on here who could consult easily to backyarders, but I couldn't imagine much (or anything) being charged for it, considering all the information would be free online.

Personally, I think to be a consultant for a commercial system, you need to have run or setup a successful commercial system. Successful being the word. Or have degrees and real world experience in large scale Aquaculture & Hydroponics.

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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 13:26 
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There are so many things that you could consult on I think it's really just what people are willing to pay for :dontknow: For example, how to get organic approval with an AP system might be worth something. There are almost no large scale commercially successful AP systems that I know of but I'm not in the loop on this and someone else here is I'm sure. Too many things to know for any one person to know them all.


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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 13:37 
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I would never call myself a consultant and I'm often wary of people who call themselves consultants (depending on the situation). I always tend to wonder, if your a consultant for something, especially commercial, then why are you consulting and not doing it yourself?

These people who say you can make lots of money doing xxxxxxxxx, and if you pay me I can tell you how to make a lot of money.. Well why aren't you just doing it yourself? This is getting a little sidetracked though... :)

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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 13:42 
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Im a drycleaner in a rich suburb, one of my old customers was a "consultant" - for what i dont know - but i saw one of his pay cheques, he was making $5k per week, i think if you are able to, consulting is certainly the way to go rather than doing it yourself - a hell of a lot of money for very little work.


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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 13:44 
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Gees, does that mean Charlie must be a consultant? :?

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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 13:49 
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if he makes as much money as his tax rate says and simply points out peoples mistakes, then yes, i imagine he is.


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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 13:50 
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OK, I want to be a consultant too.... :)

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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 13:55 
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I've always said "I should have been a consultant". I can amass vast amounts of knowledge and can pass it on, but never remain interested in any one topic to really make a go of it.

Unless a governing board requires some sort of licensure, anyone can call themselves a consultant. Of course each industry can decide on their own requirements, so maybe that's what we should focus on in this question.

Formal education or 5 year "apprenticeship" in quaculture or agriculture with an additional two years in aquaponics? Something like that?

I was astounded in my research how many people posted in blogs or videos so authoritatively only to find out they were showing their very first set up. Oh and the mistakes!


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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 14:16 
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I would feel comfortable in helping setup a simple IBC system for a friend, offer general advice, and so on. I know more than somebody who knows nothing about AP, but less than many.

I think you call yourself a consultant, when you feel comfortable charging for your advice, and are willing to take some liability for any failures. Til then, youre just a mate/person with passion who likes to talk to others about a hobby.

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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 15:02 
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I dont know enough to even consider being a consultant, I drink too much to be able to retain any decent amount of information.

p.s. I wish I never posted anything about tax on the vent thread aaarrgg

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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '14, 15:35 
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The company I work for are "consulting engineers", we provide expertise in specific areas of design.

If somebody asks you to design an AP system, you specify the equipment and tell them how to plumb it and run it, that would make you a consultant.

that said there is also this type of consultant:-


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