Aquaponics Tanks

When I think of an aquaponics tank I normally think of a rectangular container, which is like the aquaponics plant tank I built for myself, but take a look at these plant ‘tanks’, which are made from PVC tubes instead:

Photo by Kanu Hawaii.
These plant tanks, or plant grow beds, take up very little space and evaporation losses are very small. The nutrient rich fish water flows through the tubes providing the plants with what they need.

A whole wall has been covered with these plant tubes and connected to large aquaponics fish tanks:

Photo by Kanu Hawaii.
The fish in my system are also pet fish and live in an ordinary aquarium, so that you can see the fish, but I don’t think the fish actually care whether or not they’re able to look back at the people watching them. And if that’s true you might as well dump the fish in a big black plastic container as shown in the picture above. Just remember that black surfaces absorb energy from the sun andΒ  heat up.

An aquaponic system can be installed anywhere, like for instance right next to a restaurant or hotel to secure an extremely fresh supply of herbs and vegetables:

Photo by Kanu Hawaii.
The system I built is based on an ebook called Aquaponics 4 You that originated from Hawaii (formerly known as Ultimate Aquaponics Home System) and the University of Waimanalo in Hawaii is experimenting with aquaponics too. Take a look at one of their neat plant tanks, with floats and net pots installed, standing on top of a few layers of cinder blocks:

Photo by Kanu Hawaii.

The area is packed with aquaponics tanks, and a solar panel would be a very convenient way of driving your water pump in an outdoor aquaponic system:

Photo by Kanu Hawaii.
Some kind of marquee placed above your tanks would be a good way to protect your crop against the weather if it’s necessary:

Photo by Kanu Hawaii.
When you’re building a system and looking for aquaponic supplies you can benefit from all the hydroponic containers on the market already. The large white tank below is from but all the pipes and fittings you could ever dream of is probably also available from the existing hydroponic retailers:

Photo by Kanu Hawaii.
I grow my aquaponic plants in coconut fiber but many people use LECA balls instead (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate) – then you won’t need floats and net pots:

Photo by Kanu Hawaii.
Here’s another system installed under a large polytunnel cover, with an artificial fish pond beneath the plant pond:

Photo by Justin Leonard.
The next system has three layers – two layers of watercress beds and a 120 cm deep fish pond (4 feet) at the bottom. The beds are 120 cm wide (4 feet):

Photo by Justin Leonard.
The water circulates slowly through PVC pipes and the watercress filters the water for the fish:

Photo by Justin Leonard.
You can throw as much money as you have at an aquaponics system to keep improving it, but with very little money and reused materials you can get a cheap system up and running. The most expensive part is probably the pump but in small systems it shouldn’t take long to find someone who has a spare that you can have for free.

Photo by hurricanemaine.

3 comments on “Aquaponics Tanks

  1. -

    Wow, thats some systems there !

    Yeah, solar panels + hydroponics, that is one nice combination πŸ˜€

  2. -

    @Rasmus: Yes, let’s go to Hawaii and check it out personally πŸ˜€ I’m wondering why they’re so into aquaponics down there, or in Australia for that matter…
    The solar panels might be expensive to buy but when the system is up and running it should have a low maintenance cost. Furthermore, in aquaponics you should be able to grow your own fish food. Or maybe set up a fish tank compartment with shrimps as fish food.

  3. -

    i have been looking at different systems. I realised it depends on size and money. I found some good sites to help me get started, & I thought I would you let other beginners may appreciate some information as well know where to get some other supplies , other than tanks. So checkout:

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