Boris started with a 1250 litre IBC purchased from Rydylme and plans to expand, which is most often the case when ones starts down the aquaponics path.
After designing a custom fish tank that he built himself from bricks and mortar, he designed cut down IBCs as growbeds to provide a shelter over the rectangle shaped fish tank.
The growbeds provide some protection for the fish as well as shade for his rabbit hutches which were later added. The plates on the IBC cage are the perfect size to use as two lids for the two ends of the pond.
The space utilises the back wall of a courtyard and Boris aims clad the IBC’s with wood to give it artistic appeal. The system has provided fresh fish and an abundance of tomatoes, herbs and other vegetables, grown from both seeds and seedlings
Gravel was used as the media in the growbeds and he used square patio tube cut to length the support the front of the growbeds as the weight of the media is quite substantial, the back of the beds are supported by bricks, built in to the fish tank structure. Water is pumped from the 2000 litre fish tank to the three growbeds and to the 200 litre barrel, water returning from each of these provides aeration to the fish tank below.
Initially a wine barrel was designed to hold water for a future deep gravel growbed, however this failed to hold water and was later replaced by a 200 litre blue barrel. There is another blue barrel at the other end of the system which feeds a 100 litre raised growbed, which drains back to the blue barrel and overflows to the main fish tank.
The design is styled on the flood and drain media based system which operates using a stand pipe. Operating on a timed cycle, water is pumped up to the growbeds allowing the water level to rise to about two cms below the surface of the media, flooding for a short while, before draining back to the fish tank below. Boris has been an active contributor to the Backyard Aquaponics forum and hosted a get together to showcase his system with other likeminded individuals.