Aquaponic Gardening

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Starting to plan for a possible outdoor system. Wanted to ask the community for any design ideas for a tank cover. 


I will likely be using a 300 gal round tank half buried in the ground.  This will be in full sun, out in the open, and exposed to all the elements - wind, rain, snow, very hot weather.


I was thinking of building with cedar boards - the kind used as slats for fencing. Should i be concerned about any chemical issues when it rains and the water drips off the cedar into the fish tank? should i work shade cloth and wire fencing into it? Curious to know what others have done.

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I use a portable greenhouse to cover my tank in the winter.


I've done different types of covers.  Cattle panels with netting or shade cloth work pretty easily but are not as elegant for a round tank.

My tower system is a round tank.  I attached some wood across the middle that supports the feeder and bug zapper and on one side I have a cattle panel/netting cover that is easy to lift to check on the fish.  The other half has 2x4 wood pieces cut to kinda follow the curve and the netting extends over the wood and is attached to the wood pieces so they won't easily go sliding off the tank but I can still roll them up with the netting to access that side of the tank when I need to.  It is also a handy place to set things down.


Over my backyard tank I did something a bit different, I built a roof further up over the tank and attached netting up the sides and a shade curtain on the south side to keep most of the direct sun out of the tank but still have light and air in while also blocking most leaves and debris from getting to the water and keeping the fish from jumping out.

Here are the pictures

Find more photos like this on Aquaponic Gardening

It's a fun and sometimes challenging project! We have a 300 gal IBC in a greenhouse to control the elements. We protect it from the desert heat rather than the winter snow, though.

You don't want to block the sun fully; the fish do need light, so a solid wood cover wouldn't be good. A wood, PVC, or aluminum frame should work, though. I'd opt for PVC or aluminum. I think I read somewhere that cedar could be problematic, so I'd avoid it, or do some more research on it. Any kind of wood should be researched since tannins affect PH. You want easy access, so a hinged cover or a high access like the ones shown are good.

Good luck, and enjoy the process!

As long as you leave a little gap somewhere to let enough light for the fish to tell night from day, that should be plenty of light unless you are dealing with trying to breed the fish.  And in an IBC, unless you have blacked out the sides completely, there will be light getting into the tank.  My blue plastic tank gets quite a lot of light in through the sides.  The black stock tanks are the only ones I've dealt with that are easy to black out too much.

That's true, so it depends on what the round tank is made from. We're using IBC's & one is above ground, the other is fully in-ground. The higher one is about 75% covered on the top. Our other IBC doesn't get any light light but from the top.
Thanks for the replies.  The designing is half the fun for me and i like the variety of options.


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