Picking a fish tank for an aquaponics system is not the same as choosing one for an aquarium. Its correlation with the grow bed makes it important to consider some things. Not all tanks are the same and some can damage your health and kill your fish. This guide will help you buy the right aquaponics fish tank:
What an Aquaponics Fish Tank Requires
When choosing this kind of fish tank, you will want to think about the following:
- Zero leakage. A watertight tank does not have leakage around where the plumbing fittings are inserted. Leakage can be prevented by using marine grade silicone and rubber gaskets.
- Dependable strength. The tank must sturdy enough to hold the water’s total mass weight. Also, you must consider the extra pressure from flowing water.
- No toxic materials. The fish tank must not be toxic to keep the fish safe. Subsequently, it will offer nutrients for other living organisms in the system such as worms, bacteria, and plants. That is why you can even find an aquaponics fish tank with bacteria growth on the sides.
- Made of the right material. A fish tank made from a good material should not impact the system’s chemical balance like the ammonia and pH levels. It is usually best to avoid metal as it is prone to corrosion.
Other Important Things to Take into Account
Aside from the basic requirements discussed above, the following are other considerations when choosing an aquaponics fish tank:
- Ratio between the grow bed and fish tank. The best aquaponics system has a perfect balance between the amount of fish waste and the ability of the plant and biofilter to convert such waste into fish food. Ideally, it’s a 1:1 ratio between the grow bed and fish tank. But, you can choose to increase the ratio to at 2:1 for better system filtration.
- Size of the tank. Your choice will depend on the kind of system you have. Also, the tank’s size defines the kind of fish you can grow and the flexibility of the system. If you are looking to use just aquarium fish, a small indoor desktop aquaponics system may suffice. But, if you wish to grow bigger fish that can be consumed, you will have to invest in a bigger tank. A bigger tank must have a minimum depth of 45 cm and can hold at least 190 liters of water. This size is capable of growing a 30 cm plate-sized fish.
- Tank shape. Ideally, you will want to choose an oval or round shaped tank to reduce the possibility of dead zones where water flow and chemical change tend to be little. A lot of people also invest in a short and wide fish tank as they lead to a more efficient exchange for the tank. This has to do with their higher water surface area to water volume ratio.
- Where you plan to place the tank. Surely, you don’t want to place your tank on top of a weak structure. Also, you must not be in an area where the temperature could change like in direct sunlight. Species of fish vary in what environments they are suited in and changing their ideal environment can kill them.
Author Bio – Born in northern california, David Keys has 22 years experience in the field of horticulture, gardening, building and servicing irrigation systems, amd lanscape design and installation. More recently his focus is on alternate garden systems such as Hydroponics and Aquaponics.