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Monday, May 16, 2011

Want to use IBCs or Barrels?

IBCs and 55-gallon drums from

Though I personally love stock tanks for making an aquaponics system, I just wanted to show you reasonable prices/sources for IBCs and 55-gallon barrels.

Novabarrel is a source local to me here near Washington DC - I can get 55-gallon barrels for $35 or IBCs for $145 (he only has one in stock currently, but expects another dozen or so in the next month). An IBC system (3 IBCs (~$435) cut into a tank, three growbeds, and a sump) could fit in the 10 ft. x 10 ft. HomeDepot greenhouse ($250 delivered to your door). For those in the middle of the country, you can find used IBC containers via eBay, Craig's List, and web searches.

When I was considering a system using 55-gallon drums, I came across a guy in New Jersey who has thousands of the things - blue, green, and white.

One note of caution - the white/translucent barrels and IBCs break down in direct sunlight. You'll want to paint these, unless you need them to stay white/clear for some reason.

The reason I was researching novabarrel again is I'm in search of a white 55-gallon drum so I can make a black soldier fly (BSF) composting system. You can see the 55-gallon drum design for BSF composting at BSF larvae power through food scraps, so you get compost faster than standard methods. Plus BSF larvae are good eating for the fishies.

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