What type of material do you suggest that I use or stay away from when I'm building my aquaponics system?

- Dan.

It's important to know which materials you're able to use when building your aquaponics system because using the wrong material could have damaging affects. Metals such as lead, copper, aluminum, and brass, are some of the more available products that you should avoid. Over time, these metals are exposed to water, oxygen, high flow rates, dissolved carbon dioxide, salts, and sulfates. During this exposure, corrosion is induced and these elements are then introduced into your system. These metals can be highly toxic to both fish and plants, and will eventually lead to death if allowed in high enough concentrations. Best practices are to not allow any of these metals to have contact with the water in your aquaponics system.

Be Cautious of Concrete

Concrete is one of the materials that you are able to use, but it must be used with caution. Concrete can be one of the less expensive ways tp build large aquaponics aquariums and for this reason it has appeal. If you choose to use concrete for your build, make sure that you cure it before considering its use for your aquaponics build. The problems an uncured concrete aquarium can cause are the introduction of alkalinity, which raises pH and makes it very difficult to lower.

Good Material

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is one of the prominent plumbing materials that have withstood the test of time in aquaponics. It's used as standard housing plumbing and it doesn't corrode or leach any harmful elements into your system. PVC is also used as a pond lining material. If you don't want to cure your concrete then you always have the option of placing a pond liner over it and that will make for a safe environment for the plants and fish. Pond liner also has other options such as EPDM and polyethylene, which provides more resistance to sun exposure than the PVC material does.

At The End Of The Day

Overall, before adding anything to your system you want to ensure that it is food and fish safe. You can read and research the material if your unsure if it's safe, and that will lower your chancing of introducing toxins. Additionally, if you're buying used material from individuals or companies you want to surely inquire about the material that was previously used with what you're trying to purchase.