IBC Aquaponics

A place for IBC tote systems to share what they have learned and system designs.

Members: 191
Latest Activity: on Thursday

Discussion Forum

Requesting help with media/plants

Started by Mike Beckman. Last reply by Mike Beckman Aug 17. 5 Replies

Hi there, my IBC tote system is functioning well, fish are getting bigger(started with goldfish) and plant growth is amazing however fruit production is disappointing to say the least.  Several posts…Continue

IBC Tank Drain - Fish Screen

Started by Jeff Guykema. Last reply by Jeff S Aug 9. 6 Replies

I saw someone use the IBC drain as the solids outlet run out to a sweeping 90 to veritcal into a radial flow filter.  Thought that was a great way to go until it was time to put fish in...  hmmm, how…Continue

Update to my IBC system

Started by Mike Beckman. Last reply by Jeff S Jul 21. 9 Replies

 Plants are doing amazing.  Peas growing all over the rafters, squash growing over the media bed, down to the floor, tomatoes tied up to the rafter and flowers everywhere however, fruit production…Continue

Source for IBC Totes in North Pugt sound

Started by Carla&Dave Jun 22. 0 Replies

They usually have 2 or 3 available each (253) 269-2928 3715 Irongate Rd, Bellingham, WaContinue

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Comment by Michael & Kristine Stoddard on Thursday

So, in a regular cut IBC tank GB, to prevent dead zones, is it best to fill from one corner and drain to the opposite or fill from multiple sides/corners and drain to the middle? Or is it not that big of a deal since it's only 45 x 47"?

We were just discussing the options and benefits/drawbacks of GB #3 and how easy or problematic it would be to transition it from DWC to wicking to media. Options are always good.

Thanks again for all the suggestions. 

Comment by Jim Fisk on Thursday

Hey Vlad, right on. We have @ 2500g so that's a lot of thermal mass in a 24x22' GH.

M & K, I designed that bed so it could be DWC, Media or wicking. I feed it at both ends and drain at the middle for that reason. If it were a dedicated DWC I could have filled at one end and drained at the other but with media or wicking I wanted to avoid any chance of a dead zone (anaerobic pocket)

Jeff, I (we) are very compost prone and love to sup with montmorillonite (mineral clay), green sand, etc and that works best in a well rounded compost. BUT we still need bio-filtration and conversion and that requires a lot of surface are for the required bacteria and lots of system water contact so a balance of both works to advantage as we still raise great tasting trout. Otherwise compost beds in a GH would be just fine for simply raising organic veggies. It's all about the system dude. lol.

Comment by Jeff S on Thursday

Guess I'll have to do more FB. The Forums have been pretty quiet this winter.  


if you didn't need the filtration would you make all your beds wicking beds? Does it perform better than media beds?

Comment by Vlad Jovanovic on Wednesday

Yeah, in a homestead type "cut and come again" setting, I suppose one of the only potential advantages that a DWC trough might provide would be the extra water volume (thermal stability, a bit more pH stability)...

Comment by Michael & Kristine Stoddard on Wednesday


Good to know that DWC's can be converted over to a wicking bed setup; we might try that if we don't see an advantage with the DWC. We were toying with the idea of having separate 1/2 barrels for supplemental wicking beds once the AP system was chugging along, but couldn't think of a way to incorporate the barrels into the water flow with a return to the system.

We like a lot of your other ideas and we have seen several of your YouTube presentations. The dual solids filter and the SLO modification are really good stuff; thanks!

As you've probably seen, this post is also in the Arizona AP group, Thanks for your help.

Comment by Christian Richards on Wednesday

Hey Jim, I'm curious to know how you run your wicking bed. I was looking at doing a DWC but a wicking bed sounds better. Mainly my question is: Do you just turn on the water for a few minutes each day to keep things moist? The wicking bed sounds better because then i could actually make/use compost and water from the aquaponics. Did you just leave the old plumbing on the image below (I didn't think you would leave it attached or risk the compost tea leaching back into the sump. (whatever info you could give, i'm very interested.)

Comment by Jim Fisk on Wednesday

Hey Jeff, we have done DWC twice now and we just don't see any advantage for a home system. Commercial where you run it as a conveyor belt with seedlings going in at one end and harvesting at the other of course makes sense but we don't harvest that way. We pick leaves and tomatoes, etc and they often get to be a year old and still cranking so DWC makes no sense for us. The wicking bed is far better suited to our lifestyle and the compost makes for such healthy plants there is no comparison. So the combination of our 5 IBC media beds for the nitrogen cycle and the wicking bed to help feed the system with compost tea and worm castings just makes sense. As to where I've been there are about 5 FB groups that crank and of course our own FB page so I spend a great deal of time on there. Trends LOL. Forums have been quiet and "groups" have taken over.

Comment by Jeff S on September 30, 2015 at 8:09am

Jim, so that's where you've been all summer. Did your raft bed under perform?

Comment by Jim Fisk on September 30, 2015 at 7:18am

We changed our raft bed over to a wicking bed using 3" of gravel media covered with weed barrier and topped off with about 7" of compost mix and it has taken off. I used a 3" x 3/4" standpipe and bell siphon to "tide" the system water up and down just enough to touch the bottom of the compost and keep it watered and fed. Here is a picture of the growth at just under a month.

Comment by Jim Fisk on September 30, 2015 at 6:45am

Welcome Michael & Kristine Stoddard. Shade from the house in Winter is a tough nut to crack. Here is a plan ot our AP GH here in NE TN for some ideas and ck out my FB page under Smoky Mountain Aquaponics


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