IBC Aquaponics

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

Members: 165
Latest Activity: on Sunday

Discussion Forum

What size PVC pipe and threads for IBC tote bottom valve?

Started by Steve Federwisch. Last reply by Jim Fisk on Sunday. 12 Replies

I was told the bottom valve on my IBC totes were 2" pipe thread so I went to the store and got the PVC 2" pipe female connectors thinking they would screw right on. I cannot even get them started. Is…Continue

Leaking IBC

Started by Arthur King, Jr.. Last reply by Jeff S Sep 24. 16 Replies

I went to feed my fish this morning and it seems my IBM has sprung a leak!  Anyone have experience with this.  It is lest than a year in service, I would not have expected a failure this…Continue

Getting fish out

Started by Steve Armeros. Last reply by Jim Fisk Aug 30. 11 Replies

I posted under the wrong area with question..Hello AllIs there an easy way to get gold fish out of the Tote?  These suckers are really fast to net.SteveContinue


Started by Steve Armeros. Last reply by Jim Fisk Jun 17. 5 Replies

Posted wrong the first time.I am getting a build up of algae in the tote etc.  Water is turning green  .Am I overfeeding? Have Tilapia in there and all seems well.Any advice?SteveThanksContinue

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Comment by Jeff S on September 24, 2014 at 1:56pm

Yeah I'll probably go with the granite or similar and cover it with a thin layer of Hydroton for aesthetics. I put a few red wigglers (a 100 or so)in my bed early spring but as I've pulled plants I haven't noticed any around the roots. You think they could've died off or am I expecting too much from the short period of time?


Comment by Leo White Bear on September 24, 2014 at 11:17am


  You can go with other medias but most (for me) are cost prohibitive.  I,like Jim, use a quartzite media called purple quartzite.  Here it's a bit more expensive even with UPU at $32 a sq yard but it is more than needed to fill 2-1/2 IBC grow beds.  Another media you can use/with drawbacks is scoria or lava rock.  It is very dirty and WILL cut your hands if you don't use HD rubber gloves but it is light and relatively inexpensive

Comment by Jim Fisk on September 24, 2014 at 10:02am

Well I use granite from a local quarry. I know it can be a bit controversial but granite dust is a highly acclaimed mineral supplement and it is 18.00 a ton pu at the Q so that comes to 9.00 per 12" deep IBC GB. That comes to .60 per cubic foot. I don't even want to know what that would be in Hydroton terms. I challenge anyone to beat that price and it is well graded and cleaned so it requires an absolute minimum of washing which I do right in the GB by redirecting the wash water outside the GH and not into the sump. Been using it going on 3 years and I see no real difference from the river gravel I used in the first 2 GBs at three times the cost. It also stays much cleaner looking than the river stone that is always creating more sediment.

Comment by Jeff S on September 24, 2014 at 8:52am

Thanks guys. Good tip Jim about positioning of the media. Any suggestions on media? I have a grow stone covered by hydroton setup now but would like to go cheaper and/or lighter.

Comment by Jim Fisk on September 24, 2014 at 8:21am

Hi Jeff, what Leo said. Just grab some gravel from your established bed, say a coffee can's worth and place that right near where the FT water enters the new beds. That will kickstart the new bed fast. Try to take a deep sample so you get a good strata from the various layers of gravel (or media).

Comment by Leo White Bear on September 24, 2014 at 5:56am

It is always best to "Seed" with established media, that said, when I built my grow beds for my NFT system, I didn't have the media to seed with.  My grow beds did very well with the water flowing through them and the plants took off right away.  It is said that the bacteria need a foundation to grow upon to flourish but they are suspended in the water and deposit on the walls of the FT so...they will find their way to the media sooner than if you just started out with a new system.  As stated, it is better and quicker to seed with established media.

Comment by Jeff S on September 23, 2014 at 8:33pm

I'm adding grow beds to my IBC system. Will the new beds cycle better with just running the fish water through them or would supplementing the media from a cycled bed work better?

Comment by Derrick Kerr on September 21, 2014 at 9:01pm

If anyone here is in Maryland, I just created a group Maryland Aquaponics for open discussion about the difficulties specific to our area. Please join me and lets talk aquaponics.

Comment by DJ Wambach on July 6, 2014 at 3:44pm

Thanks Jim, I like the freezer idea I was thinking of just using one to cool a coil of black pipe. Sort of the flip side of a sun heater but I like the added fish tank .

Comment by Jim Fisk on July 1, 2014 at 8:30am

Another thing that might help is an old chest freezer used as a FT and replace the t-stat with a room temp t-stat. I have that in my original plan but have not found a suitable freezer other than the 2 we use for our farm animals, etc. The wife won't let me have one of those bu I am on the lookout. Just be careful to avoid hitting the coils if you drill for pipes. One way of doing that is to turn it on open and the frost will show you the plumbing pretty quick.


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