Sparsholt offers short courses for fishkeepers

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The UK's leading college specialising in aquarium science is running a series of short courses for fishkeepers.

Sparsholt College, based near Winchester in Hampshire, is the leading college for aquatics and fisheries and is offering a series of short residential courses between the end of January and the beginning of March 2008.

The courses cover fish biology, fish health and water quality and last just two days, making them more accessible to those with other commitments.

Sparsholt College lecturer Adrian Love said: "Fishkeepers that invest in training experience a whole range of benefits beyond the obvious one of acquiring new knowledge.

"We see signficant changes in fishkeepers who attend our courses; even those who attend a one-off short course. When it comes to dealing with livestock there is a bonus that we are already dealing with people who are interested in the subject matter. So we don't have to develop that side of things before we can start teaching new things.

"Attendees are already enthusiastic, which is a privileged position to be in, so it is our job to harness that enthusiasm and build on it.

"By sharing experiences, knowledge and developing a deeper understanding of the livestock and products, fishkeepers develop their confidence and an even greater enthusiasm, which makes their hobby even more rewarding."

Love says that the importance of developing a good knowledge of fish biology cannot be over emphasised, but it is often considered to be less relevant than fish health or water quality by fishkeepers.

"A knowledge of how fish works leads to a greater understanding of why they get health problems, and why water quality is so critical", Love added.

"This in turn leads to better long-term health management and care, with problems avoided rather than reacted to."

The courses are supported by Tetra, who has a long-term relationship with the college.

Each course costs 170 and is two days in length and offers practical instruction and discussion, drawing on the experience of instructors and trainees. Trainees completing one of the short courses will be issued with a Certificate of Attendance.

For more information contact Sparsholt College on 01962 776 441.