Aquaponic tanks

There are a large number of options when selecting a fish tank, with wildly varying prices and quality. In what types of tanks can you keep your fish in a DIY aquaponics setup? What is the best tank type? This page lists some of the choices you have when selecting your aquaponic tanks.

Many different types of tanks can safely be used as a fish tank in an aquaponics system. The most important thing to check is to ensure that the tank materials are non-toxic to the fish.

Fiberglass containers

Containers made out of fiberglass make excellent, strong and durable aquaponic tanks for fish. The fiberglass containers can be purchased from specialized stores, or found online through several retailers. Make sure that the fiberglass container is strong enough to be filled with a liquid without bending of buckling. Remember that a container of 1m heigh, 1m wide and 1m deep can contain up to 1000 liters of water, and weigh 1000kg. The container must be able to handle this kind of weight.


IBC container

An Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) is a standard container used for shipping liquids around the world. They are available all over the world. An IBC container is usually about 1000 liters, although other sizes are available. When using an IBC container as a fish tank, the top of the tank can be cut off in order to have access to the fish and be able to feed them.

Pools (kiddie-pools)

A very inexpensive way to get a fish tank for your DIY aquaponics system is to use a (small) pool available in many outdoor stores. These pools come in a number of sizes and quality. An inflatable kiddie pool is probably not a good long-term solution, but quality non-inflatable pools are available at relatively low cost from many stores.

Galvanized stock tanks

Depending on the coating on the tanks, galvanized stock tanks can be used. These tanks often come with a liner, such as a PVC liner, in which case there is no problem in using them in your system setup.

Painting tanks

When using paints on the inside of the tank, ensure that the paints are non-toxic and do not release any amounts of toxic chemicals into the water. Remember that in a closed, recirculating system, toxic materials are not removed from the system and will accumulate. Also ensure that the paints are high quality, and last for a number of years. Some paints can bubble off the tank sides in as little as 2 - 3 years even when properly applied.