Let us talk about fish tanks or home for your fish in an aquaponic system. There are several choices for fish tanks just like there are for grow beds in fish tanks and you are going to hear a common theme amongst all of them.
First is that you have to start with food safe materials using polyethylene, or fibre glass or always optimal materials as you know that you are going to perfectly fine with any of those.
Lets us also talk about rubber made stock tanks. These are the tanks that you will see in pastural land used for watering cattle. You can find these at feed and grain stores and these work really well as fish tanks.
Another option is IBC (Intermediate bulk containers) totes These are the liquid storage containers that are used for shipping all around the world. They work very well as fish tanks. Just make sure you know what was stored in that tank before using it as a fish tank. It should have been food or food safe material.
55 gallon drums
Same thing with storage barrels, these 55 gallon drums. They would work just fine. You can also use batch tubs as a fish tank. Those work very well and they are pretty fun. You are rescuing them from the garbage dump.
Really any sort of container you have or even a hole in the ground that is lined with pond liner will work as a fish talk as well. Dura skrim liner is organic and food safe and hence the best liner for a fish tank.
Make sure you get a tank high enough, so your children or pets cannot get into it. You are going to get the most stability in your aquaponic system somewhere around 200-gallon mark. This will give you less fluctuation in temperature and less fluctuation in pH when you go for a bigger tank, so it is going to be a little easier for you. Round shaped tanks are the best to have as they are the most optimal. The reason for that is that the water can circulate, the fish can circulate and most importantly for our purposes, the solid weight can be kept suspended. It is not going to settle in pockets or corners of the tank and create anaerobic conditions.
More surface area
The next thing is surface area. If you have a choice between tanks that are lower and wider, that is going to be better than a tank that is narrower and taller. The reason is you want to optimize the surface area on top of your tank because of oxygen exchange.
Let us talk about coverings now. Fish do not need light. Fish like to have some covering and some shade because it helps them feel secure. They do not like a lot of people looking in their tank. You also want to keep it covered at the very least, so they do not jump out. Fish will jump out as they are going after bugs, or they may think life is better on the other side of the tank. Fish nets work really well and should be secured so they do not slip off. Fish nets are also nice as you can feed the fish.
Remember about the ratio of your fish tank to the number of grow beds. It is about 6 gallons of water per square foot of growing space.
So, here it is – the amazing world of aquaponics – combining fish farming and hydroponics creating a symbiotic atmosphere. Just take note of the pointers for picking the right fish tank as mentioned in this article and you should be good to go.
Check out my other post about trout aquaponics