Do you want to work as an aquarium fish breeder?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for your career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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UPDATED: 2 September 2020


What is an aquarium fish breeder?

An aquarium fish breeder creates a business where freshwater and/or saltwater fish are bred for the aquarium market. This market consists of both private aquariums or fish tanks, and large aquariums.

The definition of fish breeding is where young ones are produced from parent brood fish.

Aquarium fish breeders can also be a part and supply to the aquaculture industry. This is where fish breeding is a very important activity ensuring availability of specific species of fish for conservation (the stocking of lakes, ponds, rivers, pens and tanks).

Some breeders also specialize in other animals that you may find in aquariums, such as crabs, shrimps, small octopus, sea horses and starfish.

The breeders that specialize in larger fresh and saltwater fish are discussed under:

Those that specialize in koi, are discussed under:

Long lives?

There are several species of fish kept as pets that can grow up to 15 years old in aquariums

All shapes and sizes

There is an 82-foot tall aquarium in Germany that holds more than 1,500 fish and has a glass elevator that runs up and down the center of the tank.

What does an Aquarium Fish Breeder do?

Career Categories

The Aquarium Fish Breeder career can be found within the following OZT career categories:

  • Business
  • Marine Conservation
  • Zoos, Aquariums, Theme Parks and Museums

What does an Aquarium Fish Breeder focus on?

Aquarium fish breeders focus on the reproduction of certain species of fish and other aquarium animals for trade, mainly within the pet industry.

What are the daily tasks of an Aquarium Fish Breeder?

  • purchase new stock animals
  • monitor the animals to ensure they stay healthy and do breed
  • feed the animals regularly, knowing the diets of each species
  • create habitats that will help with breeding
  • harvest animals when they are ready for sale
  • transport animals safely to buyers
  • maintain all the tank equipment
  • run business

Working conditions of an Aquarium Fish Breeder

Where does an Aquarium Fish Breeder work?


Aquarium fish breeders mainly work indoors, and in most cases within a special area set up for fish tanks and all the equipment.

Places of Employment –

​They may be employed by large zoos and aquariums where they supply their own fish, or they may decide to start their own businesses and supply through sales.

What is the average annual salary of an Aquarium Fish Breeder?

The average yearly salary of an aquarium fish breeder is US$41,000.

Can an Aquarium Fish Breeder be promoted?

Advancement in the field typically depends on work experience, and whether you are working for an organization, such as a large aquarium. Business owners don’t have promotion levels. The levels of each promotion might differ from organization to organization, but generally are the following:

Intern > Junior Breeder > Senior Breeder > Supervisor

What kind of difficulties can an Aquarium Fish Breeder face?

​You may also be required to work irregular hours including evenings, weekends, and holidays. Breeding small animals is never an easy job, and there will be losses, injuries and possible loss of all your stock due to illness.

Future growth and Possibilities

The prospects of future growth in this industry is good, as fish as pets are growing really fast.

Which Skills are required by an Aquarium Fish Breeder?

The skills required for a career as an aquarium fish breeder can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
Life Skills

Career Skills

  • Basic animal handling and care techniques
  • Basic knowledge and maintenance of equipment
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Basic computer literacy
Career Skills

Which Subjects must I have at School to help prepare for this career?

These subjects are the ones recognized around the world. The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become an Aquarium Fish Breeder?

Minimum Requirements

The minimum educational requirement for an aquarium fish breeder is a High School Certificate, but if you do want to work for places such as zoos and aquariums, a College Diploma or excellent Short Courses will be required.

Study Focus

College Diplomas, or Short Courses with a focus in animal behaviour, breeding, maintaining tanks and equipment, or a closely related area is preferred.

Study Duration

The duration of diplomas are between 2 to 3 years, and short courses differ, but can range from a few days to a few months.

Possible Career Preparation Paths

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Path:

Possible Combined Career Paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternative(s):

Stepping Stone Career

Being an animal breeder can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach (sometimes due to things like high fees etc).

You can begin as an aquarium fish breeder after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.

Some of the possible paths:

Training and apprenticeship

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal breeding careers, most of the skills you will need will be acquired through on-the-job training, or trial and error. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions (or junior positions) require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior person or expert. The more hands on careers, such as animal breeding might require apprenticeship.

Join the Aquarium Fish Breeder Group in the Community to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education for people entering the career

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Certain animal breeding careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

In some countries, aquarium fish breeders do need to have a business license, and may not breed with endangered species.

Learn more about requirements by joining the OZT Community.

Professional Associations

Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards animal care and training.

Do you have information that you would like to contribute to this course? Please click on the red beetle to access the contribution form.

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Join the OZT community & career Group

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an aquarium fish breeder.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being an Aquarium Fish Breeder, please click on the JOIN OZT button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu.

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    Aquarium Fish Breeder

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    active 2 months, 3 weeks ago

    The Group was created to bring together all those interested in learning more about the career while having access to free resources, short courses, expert advice as well as the option to interact with other students from around […]

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