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I'm looking into setting up an aquaponics system, which requires me to acquire a large tub (on the order of 250L, relatively flat) to use as a grow bed for the veggies. Does anyone know where I could look to find a source of such tubs? Perhaps disused from some other purpose? All those I've seen commercially seem exorbitantly expensive for what they offer.

In addition, I've read something about "food grade" materials (usually regarding plastic) for this use. If the containers are not designed for growing good, how can I determine whether the material is suitable?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Restaurant supply houses offer a wide variety of food grade equipment that can be repurposed. I also see food grade containers like totes and olive barrels available at my local recycler.

A supplier like this has a wide selection however they are not pretty. If you want something that does not look industrial you need to find an outdoor pond or even a koi supplier.

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Well they definitely don't need to look pretty, so thanks for the pointers. Having done some more reading, it seems like totes (aka IBCs) and olive/blue barrels are the way to go. There seems to be many IBCs on eBay selling for something like $50-100 of various cleanliness, and I'll have a look around some potential local providers. – Pie21 Jan 9 '12 at 6:44

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