IBC Aquaponics

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

Members: 176
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Discussion Forum

Leaking IBC

Started by Arthur King, Jr.. Last reply by Jim Fisk Feb 11. 19 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

3-tote system - Design questions and pump size questions

Started by Blake Allen. Last reply by Jim Fisk Feb 9. 21 Replies

Hi guys,Long time luker, first time posting.  I made a small 50 gallon system out of two large tupperware containers that worked great for about a year.  I've sinced moved homes and my system broke…Continue

Getting fish out

Started by Steve Armeros. Last reply by Phil Slaton Oct 23, 2014. 12 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

Wintering your IBC tote/ fish tank

Started by Angela Pierce. Last reply by Jeff S Oct 20, 2014. 22 Replies

This is my first year with Tilapia in an IBC tote, I have them in my greenhouse. I am wondering what others will do for winter? Ie, insulating tank, running grow beds, heater???Continue

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Comment by TCLynx on March 12, 2013 at 6:20pm

Soap can be very difficult to rinse completely out of containers and it can be very deadly to fish.
(This is why they say never to use soap of any kind to clean an aquarium.)

If you already own the IBC then you might rinse and rinse and rinse and rinse and rinse it until it doesn't bubble or sudz anymore and then rinse it some more. 

I've heard some people say then you should use vinegar, I'm not sure if it will make much difference.

Then you fill the IBC with water and leave it sit till it grows some algae.

Then you put some sacrificial fish in it to see if they survive.  Mosquito fish are a hardy fish that will also keep skeeters from breeding.  However they may be too hardy since the ones I have will survive things that would kill other fish easily and so they may not be the best fish to use as canaries.

If you don't already have the soapy IBC's I'll recommend perhaps trying to get ones that had something else in them.

Comment by Brad Moreau on March 12, 2013 at 4:18pm

anybody use ibc that stored liquid soap, can they be cleaned out good enough for fish tank? 

Comment by Cliff Dillon on March 11, 2013 at 3:50pm

I got the IBCs from an add off of craigslist.  The guy was selling them for $75 each but since I bought so many he agreed to sell them for $40 each and deliver them to me.  The guy is out of Crystal Lake, IL which is a suburb of Chicago.  If anyone in the area needs IBCs I can ask him if he minds me posting his contact info.  He told me he sells about 1000 IBCs every year so he has a continuous supply. 

As far as the greenhouse goes I am pretty cheap too.  I bought it used for $1600 and had to disassemble it myself which I did last fall.  I plan and constructing it this spring/summer.  I am a newbie to aquaponics but a long time gardener and I have raised fish before in the past.  Eventually I would like to turn this venture into a business but for now it is just an experimental hobby.  I plan on using 4 of the IBCs as a rain collection system to fill aquaponics and to water my non-aquaponics grow beds.  The remaining IBCs are for the aquaoponics and I have been toying with different designs using google sketch.




Comment by Jim Fisk on March 11, 2013 at 7:52am

Hi Cliff,

That all sounds very exciting indeed. Let us know how you found all those. I was on a trip to N. Maine last Fall and pulled into a rest area about 3 am and parked next to a Cummins Ram just like mine and he had as I recall 40 IBCs between his truck bed and a huge flatbed trailer in tow. He was fast asleep so I never got ask where he was headed. Still haunts me

The check valve is used to prevent backflow during power down. I have a branch off the sump bypass line headed for the woodstove heater coil that would instantly loose the prime (flow backwards and empty the pipe) and need special attention every time to force it up over a doorway again or risk melted pvc pipes. Valve corrected that perfectly so far. Ck out the little blog I wrote on it. I love making most everything myself. Working on a swirl/bio-filter right now from junk parts. Pics soon. Mostly cause I'm cheap

Your GH is twice the size of mine so have at it. I figure my set up when completed should feed a couple families so yours should be commercially viable. Simply awesome!

Comment by Cliff Dillon on March 10, 2013 at 8:49pm

Hello all,

I am fairly new to aquaponics and new to this forum.  I have a small barrel system in my basement but am planning on building a large IBC tote system in a green house this spring/summer.  I have 12 IBC 275 gal and a 900 sq ft greenhouse.  I haven't installed the greenhouse yet otherwise I would start building now.  Anyway I just finished reading all the threads here and saw Jim's diagram of a check valve.  What is that used for?  I have not seen anything like that before.

Comment by Matt Miskinnis on March 5, 2013 at 6:34pm

Doh! my bad.. 

Comment by Jim Fisk on March 5, 2013 at 3:48pm

Hey Matt, remember to just click on a person's avatar and you learn all about them. Having said that, Near Bristol (raceway) TN.

Comment by Matt Miskinnis on March 5, 2013 at 1:35pm

Jim where are you located at?

Comment by Jim Fisk on March 5, 2013 at 12:31pm

Keep in mind that most barrel resellers pay nothing for them at least around here. I stopped at a local used barrel dealer and asked about IBCs and he told me there was no market but he sees them all the time. I offered him 25.00 and he got me 4 330 gal tanks pronto. Ask around. They were all veg based cutting oil. Harder to clean than you think but non toxic so not as critical. He sells them now to others at 45.00 and can't keep them in stock. He'll still sell them to me at 25.00 because I turned him on to them. Pretty sweet. Haven't seen any there lately though and I need 2 more.

Comment by coty on March 5, 2013 at 8:47am
I paid $100 for my tote and it was already cut. The guy i got it from used it to store spare saltwater for his coral tank and the guy he got i from grew tilapia in it

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