For first timers, or novices to Aquaponics, there are of course a few things that they need to be aware of so as to get a good yield from their investment into their very own Aquaponics system. Now this consists of knowing what to use when – and also what to do when. And today we are looking at one of the major components – the Aquaponics fish tank. What are the things you need to keep in mind when picking one and what precautions you must take? Read on to find out!
Firstly it needs to be made of food safe material. Good examples of this grade of material include Polyethylene, HD Polyethylene (HDPE) or Fiberglass. Consider Rubber made stock tanks that you normally find in pastures used to provide water for the cattle. And therefore the place to look for these is in ‘Feed and Grain’ stores. You can also use Intermediate Bulk Containers for the same purpose – but do check to see that they are food safe. Of course, you can always use your old fish aquarium to do it as well.
For your home Aquaponics system, many people will go with square or rectangular tanks. And while that will work, if you are looking at a somewhat larger system, then consider round or circular tanks. Since they are round, they allow better circulation for both the water and the fish – and this also provides certain safeguards from fluctuation in nutrients and temperature for the fish.
This is another matter. If you are building a mini desktop Aquaponics system, then go with a small aquarium or a coffee pot. However if you want to use it for serious fish rearing or for plants, then you should think about a larger system. And when you do consider a larger system, the smallest to consider is a minimum 100 gallon tank. This is because anything less than that can suffer from frequent temperature and nutrient fluctuation. Also, tanks that cover more floor area and are less high are always preferred as your fish get more space and oxygenation of the water is better. For a better understanding, check out the separate discussion on size here.
You may be wondering if you need to keep your fish in a see through tank – and whether you need to introduce a light source if the tank is indeed opaque. Well, the fact is that unlike the plants, the fish do not need light. In fact, fish feel more secure and are usually happier if they do not have too much light. Soft diffused light that comes from the openings left for oxygenation should be enough.
Yes, you need to cover it, if not to provide shade, but to keep your fish in. Some fish tend to jump – they are usually after bugs or sometimes just like that. But this isn’t healthy for the fish – especially since they may actually fall out. A wire mesh like fish netting will work just fine.
And with that we have covered the Aquaponics fish tank basics. But there is more to Aquaponics like tank heating and information about the fish. Do check out the rest of the information before actually setting up your own system.