Press release: Animal Behavior College
They are the third most popular pets in the U.S., and approximately 12.5 million households own them, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA). They come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes, and have proven health benefits. Freshwater and saltwater fish ownership continues to increase in popularity. And more households and businesses are seeking the assistance of aquarium maintenance companies to care for their tanks. In fact, since 2016, the percentage of owners who hire aquarium maintenance providers has increased from 8 percent to 21 percent. To meet this demand, Animal Behavior College has introduced a core certification Aquarium Maintenance Program (AMP) and is kicking off a new campaign to announce it.
“There are more than 139 million freshwater fish and 18 million saltwater fish kept as pets in the U.S.,” said Steven Appelbaum, president and CEO of Animal Behavior College. “This program is designed for new and existing hobbyists who want to start a maintenance business.”
The Aquarium Maintenance Program teaches aquarists everything they need to know about fishkeeping and starting an aquarium maintenance business. Students learn everything from setting up and maintaining freshwater and saltwater aquariums and creating aquascapes to aquatic-plant and pond-care basics and how to identify common diseases and their treatments. In addition to business building, the curriculum also includes information on fish anatomy, species differentiation and breeding, as well as understanding compatibility and husbandry requirements. The distance learning-program will take students, on average, between 10 to 12 months to complete.
Upon completing the program, graduates will be certified by ABC as Animal Behavior College Aquarium Maintenance Professionals (ABCAMP).
“One of the many benefits of establishing an aquarium maintenance business are its reasonable start-up costs,” said Appelbaum. “With basic supplies, such as buckets and tubing for water changes, testing kits, a siphon vacuum and specimen containers along with other specialized equipment and liability insurance, program graduates can begin maintaining aquariums for clients. They could also expand their business by offering maintenance services to pet stores and other businesses, as well as breeding fish, fragging corals and growing plants for sale.”
Many businesses, including dentists and doctors’ offices, restaurants and hotels, have display aquariums in their offices and lobbies. Aquariums compliment décor and watching fish—even for a short period—can have positive physiological effects. In fact, people who viewed tanks during visits to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, England, experienced reduced stress and anxiety, improved mood and lower blood pressure, according to research published on July 28, 2015, in the journal of Environment & Behavior.
The Aquarium Maintenance Program campaign will feature a fish-face photo contest, an essay contest, as well as information about fishkeeping and aquarium maintenance and reasons why it is a viable career. In fact, the APPA estimates that in 2019 pet owners in the U.S. spent an estimated $75.38 billion on their pets. And pet owners are expected to spend $1.97 billion on live animal purchases, $16.44 billion on supplies and over-the-counter medicine and $6.31 million on other services. There is a market for aquarium maintenance providers, which makes this an excellent opportunity for fishkeeping enthusiasts and career changes to start a business.
ABC also offers four other professional certifications in dog trainer training, cat training, pet grooming and veterinary assisting. Specialized certificates of completion in seven short-term programs are also available on subjects, including doggie daycare, pet fostering, pet nutrition and training shelter dogs.