Items required

01. IBC tank:

Intermediate bulk containers are stack-able containers mounted on a pallet that are designed to be moved using a forklift or a pallet jack. IBCs have a volume range that is situated between drums and tanks, hence the term "intermediate“.

1000L IBC tank

IBC tank cap closer view. The Bell Siphon will be fixed on this.

02. Air pump + Protective container: 

Plants, bacteria and fish all require Dissolved oxygen (DO) to be present in the system. Without it nothing would survive. Plants require DO around their roots to help with photosynthesis, beneficial bacteria require oxygen to help breakdown the waste material in the system and fish breathe by absorbing DO through their gills. In fact low DO concentrations are the number one cause of fish deaths in an Aquaponics system

In most cases Air pump is not necessary as the return water from Bell Siphon as well as the off-take from main line back to the fish tank breaks the water surface and thus allowing oxygen from the air to enter the tank water.

But to be on safer side I am simply over oxygenating the water.  Let them enjoy!!!
384L/hr Air Pump

Protective container for Air pump. Also act as Junction Box for electrical connection

03. Water pump + Hose + Hose to 3/4" PVC connector :

Pump is 1500L/Hr. Purchased two for emergency situations where active pump fails

More details about sizing the pump is available in the below link


For connecting pump outlet to grow bed inlet.
For connecting hose to 3/4" PVC pipe

04. Bell Siphon parts.

01. stand pipe  -  3/4'', Length 11.5''
02. Bell Siphon - 1.5'', Length 12''
03. Gravel guard - 4.0", Length 13''
04. Bell Siphon end cap - 1.5''
05. Gravel guard end cap - 4.0"

For connecting the 3/4 grow-bed stand-pipe to the IBC cap.

05. Flow control valve:
The flow control valve is attached to the off-take output on the main line, back to the fish tank. This control the water flow to the grow bed without stressing the pump.  Just one valve is used.

3/4" flow control valve. Three shown, but only one used :)

06. Shellac and solvent cement

Shellac is for gasket sealing and solvent cement for PVC bonding

07. Wire tie:

Wire tie

08. Elbow's and Tee's

Obviously, for plumbing :)

09. Plug points with ELCB:

A dedicated the plug point with ELCB is provided for IBCAS to protect from any shocking hazard.

More info regarding ELCB:

Two plug points: One for Water pump and other for Air pump

10. HDPE liner:

HDPE sheet is used to cover the Fish tank as well as grow-bed. First of all I wanted to make sure that
chemical inside the tank(even though cleaned) is not getting mixed to Fish tank or grow bed and also it can protect the tank from UV rays.

HDPE sheet
11. Gravel

Many things can be used as grow medium.  Gravel (Baby Metal) is the cheap and easily available grow medium here.

12. Water test kit.

Tags: IBC, Aquaponics, Kerala, Aquaculture, Fish, Grow Bed, Fish tank, Bell Siphon


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  2. Your blog is pretty cool and very informative. I am very much interested in aquaponics and gathering the supplies to start mine. I was searching where I can get IBC and stumbled on this site. I have gone through your complete blog and having few questions and comments:
    • It seems the IBC is used one. I need to buy; do you have any contact to share.
    • Where can I get HDPE sheets? Is it safe? (cost?)
    • Where did you buy Air pump and water pump? (cost?)
    • If you stack grow bed exactly over fish tank with narrow gap and fill the gravel, isn’t it heavy to move the grow bed to handle fish, airpump & pump etc. in case it is required. Can’t we place the grow bed covering only half area of fish tank?
    • You have given four water outlet in grow bed to distribute water equally on all four side! Since the water will level automatically, is it required?

    1. Dear Abdul Nazir, Thank you.

      01. I have got the IBC from a shop which sell old ones. This is closer to Appolo Tyres, Permabra, Chalakudy
      02. HDPE sheets are available in most shops who sell tarpaulin or similar sheets. It is widely used as pond liners and very safe. Cost ~100 INR for meter I guess.
      03. You get air pump from any Aquarium shop. ~ 250INR. Water pump from ebay ~750INR
      04. There is sufficient gap between grow bed and tank for harvesting fish and for pumps. But it is always better to have more space
      05. In ideal condition just one outlet is sufficient. Since there is no solid waste filter installed, I guess the water flow might be blocked inside grow bed after some time and hence given four outlets.

  3. Hi Gahesh,
    You have done a good job in the website. Its very informative.
    Could you please mention approximate total cost of the materials used in this project ?

    Many thanks, great work.

    1. Hi Mohamed Nufal, Thank you.
      It costed around 8K. Out of that ~4.5k for tank alone. So if you get tank at a cheaper rate, then it cost can come down further.

    2. Hi Gahesh, Thanks for reply.
      Curious to see updates of your plants from this project. Would be appreciated if possible.

  4. Sir,is the ibc available anywhere in Kozhikode district?

  5. Sir,is the ibc available anywhere in Kozhikode district?

    1. I am sorry. I really don't know about that.

  6. Gehesh,
    Any latest updates on your aquaponics, I wish to start one in Chennai. Would also appreciate if you can furnish your contact number.



  7. Nice... Hows things going on. Is that a big success...? Can u tell me about the results...

  8. Great job Gehesh.. It is well explained and really helpful for beginners like me. Awaiting more ideas and updates on Aquaponics.

  9. Dear Gehesh, due to non availability of IBC tank at our place I have made a tank 6x4x3 ft. using silpaulin sheet. Could you please explain the stock density, pump Watt etc.

    1. Stocking density ~100 should easily work. 6x4x3 ft means around 2000L. So buy a pump with rating 2000L/hour. Wattage would be around 30-40w.

  10. Yup. My first siphon had issues. Had gone through multiple iteration to arrive at this one. This works like charm :)

  11. hai gehesh .. can you leave your contact no.