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Sustainable Aquaponics using pre used or recycled materials

The reason most people start in Aquaponics is to save money and be more selfsufficent. If you’re going to try your hand at growing vegetables or herbs using aquaponics to be more self sufficient then you should really go the extra step towards sustainability  and use recycled materials where ever you can in your aquaponics system design.

I know that there are an increasing amount of commercial aquaponic systems on the market and if you have the money to buy them I’m sure they will suit your needs.

But from a sustainability point of view, think about how much energy and green house emissions have gone into making that plastic fish tank or plastic grow bed. Also think about where the material was made and where you’re purchasing it from. Chances are that your new sustainable aquaponics kit has travelled 1000’s km to get to you and its full of embedded energy.small IBC aquaponics design

Now I’m not critical of commercial aquaponics kits, they are a great educational tool and also they are great to get you started growing fish and vegetables  really quickly. If however you can assemble your own plumbing and pipes and use a saw and you wish to be more sustainable in your gardening approach then I suggest that you use recycled materials. In this way you’re taking a once used and discarded product and using it for a second, third or fourth purpose.

To create an adequate size Aquaponics garden consider using IBC tote bulk containers for grow beds and fish tanks. They are available around the world and are easy to cut, move around your backyard and have a small physical footprint.

There are many methods and styles when using these IBC tanks. You could try some of the following:

  1. Chopping the top off and inverting the top. The large section becomes the fish tank and water is pumped to the growbed above. This is a great technique for those with limited space.
  2. Chop the top and base off. This will provide two growbeds. Use a second tank as a fish tank or use a fish pond and pump to the new growbeds. There is no limit to the number of grow beds you could use in this approach.

You could use many other materials like large tubs, old washing machines, old fridges, kids swimming pools, etc etc.

Look around, keep your eyes open and if it can hold water then you can most likely use it in your aquaponics project.

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