Before I setup my aquaponics system one of the very first questions that I asked was, "what kind of containers can I find that are safe and inexpensive?" There are so many options out there to use for building your very own aquaponics system and I wanted to give my opinion on a few of them.
Most of us have seen the IBC tote systems and 55 gallon drum systems, but there are other options as well and all have their advantages and disadvantages. I originally was looking for IBC totes for my system. But during my research, I saw a couple of videos and articles online of others using 55 gallon drums. I had seen these online for sale before when I was looking into building a rain collection system. Once I starting looking into the barrels further, I knew this was going to work for me. I paid just $10 per barrel and split them in half to make two equal grow beds. They were easy to clean and capable of holding the heavy weight of gravel. The other advantage I have found is that the built in bung connection takes either a 3/4" male threaded adapter or a 2" male threaded adapter making some of the plumbing a bit easier.
Over the past nine months, I have been very happy with my choice of the 55 gallon drums for my aquaponics system and grow beds. Next year, I plan to make an outdoor system that uses pond liner and I may also use some IBC totes in a greenhouse down the road. For my indoor system, however, I would highly recommend using the barrels as they are one of the best solutions available.
What ideas do you have? Leave a comment below if you use something different, I'd like to hear about it.
Food grade plastics according to the FDA are -