What to Use for Aquaponic Grow Beds
Aquaponics is a very neat way to grow food and vegetables at home. You don’t really need a lot of money to build your own aquaponics system. A basic aquaponics system consists of a place to grow your plants which is usually called a grow bed, a place to raise your fish usually called a fish tank, a water pump and some plumbing that will allow the water to flow between the grow bed and the fish tank.
In this article you will learn about some commonly available items that you can use for grow beds in your aquaponics system. Here is a list of grow bed possibilities
An IBC or intermediate bulk container makes a great grow bed. You can actually build an entire system out of such a tank. Basically all you do is cut the top 12 to 18 inches of the tank off. You can then use the 18 inch cut off section for your grow bed and the bottom section for your fish tank. Just make sure that there weren’t any harmful chemicals previously held in the container that you want to use.
55 gallon drums
Using a 55 gallon drum is a very easy and economical way to acquire a grow bed or two for your system. All you have to do is cut the barrel in half lengthwise. Make sure to use food grade barrels. Also, if you are constructing your grow beds from used drums make sure that the drums you are planning to use did not contain any harmful chemicals.
Rubbermaid type totes
Rubber maid totes are another container that you could use for a grow bed. An aquaponics system that is constructed with rubber made totes is usually small in size. You may however increase the size of a rubber made tote aquaponics system by using several totes at once.
Wash tubs come in various sizes and can be made from metal, wood, or a combination of both. Wash tubs can be round or oval. If you want to construct a grow bed using metal washtubs it is a good idea to use a grow bed liner as well.
Old Bath tubs have been used to make grow beds in a number of backyard aquaponics systems. A bath tub will allow you to grow a slightly larger aquaponics system than most of the other grow bed possibilities mentioned. Just like with any other grow bed choice you have to make sure that any bathtub that you decide to use is clean and chemical free.
Aquaponics is a very neat and efficient way to grow foods and vegetables at home. You can save a lot of money by building your own aquaponics system using commonly available items. Having your own aquaponics system will allow you to become more self-sufficient.