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Are Rubbermaid Stock Tanks Good for Aquaponics?

If you are into aquaponics, you will need a container for your setup. With these items, you can rear your plants and fish. But before you can get the best results, you will search for quality.

Today, people use tanks from different companies. One of such brands is the US-based Rubbermaid company. As expected, this company has offered incredible tanks for many uses.

are rubbermaid stock tanks good for aquaponics

Are Rubbermaid Stock Tanks Good for Aquaponics?

Yes, Rubbermaid stock tanks are ideal for aquaponics activities. As expected, these items have enough features that suit this activity.

Rubbermaid is a US company that sells rubber products including tanks. Apart from tanks, Rubbermaid offers coolers, sheds, deck boxes, and other plastic products. When it comes down to it, these items can handle various functions.

Like most of its products, a Rubbermaid stock tank can handle the pressures of aquaponics. For this reason, you should consider this item.

Aquaponics involves rearing plants and aquatic animals in a closed system. Before you can run a decent aquaponics system, you will need to get a tank. Now let’s look at the features of Rubbermaid stock tanks and see if they can get the job done.

Why Should I Use a Rubbermaid Stock Tank for Aquaponics?

As mentioned earlier, Rubbermaid stock tanks have good features for aquaponics. Moreover, the tubs can provide the right environment to grow the crops.   Below are the options that allow such use.


A Rubbermaid stock tank comes from molded polyethylene. Thanks to this material, the tank can endure exposure to moisture and tough conditions. On top of that, the item is well built to suit endure long term use.

Comes in Various Sizes

If you are setting a large or small aquaponics system, you can find a tank that suits your setup. With this in mind, Rubbermaid has stock tanks in various sizes for different uses. Furthermore, the tanks have enough depth for aquaponics tasks.

Easy to Maintain

There is nothing much to taking care of Rubbermaid stock tanks. After all, this product has features for easy cleaning. For instance, some Rubbermaid stock tanks have a drain plug for pouring out wastewater. Besides, the shiny material is perfect for quick cleaning.

Safe to Use

According to Rubbermaid, the company does not use phthalates or toxic materials in its stock tanks. With this in mind, the tanks will suit aquaponics.

Easy to Find

Rubbermaid products can be found in many locations. If you can’t find it at your local hardware store, you can order a stock tank from the website.

Comes with Lifetime Warranty

All Rubbermaid products including their stock tanks come with a lifetime warranty. So if your tank has defects, you can reach out to the company for extra help.

What is Rubbermaid?

Rubbermaid is a company that makes different household products including trashcans, containers, and laundry baskets. Founded in 1920, the brand had its headquarters in Ohio. But after it was sold to Newell Brands in 1999, the company moved its headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia.

How to Use a Rubbermaid Tank As An Aquaponics Grow Bed

A Rubbermaid tank can be part of an aquaponics system. Here you can use the item as a grow bed or fish tank. But if you don’t install the tank properly, you might end up with frustrating results.

Here are the materials and steps for using a Rubbermaid tank as a grow bed.


  • 2 Rubbermaid Stock Tanks
  • Gravel
  • Drill
  • Scissors
  • Electric Tape
  • Growth Medium
  • Fountain Pump/Circulation Pump
  • Plastic Tube for the Pump
  • Aquarium Air Pump
  • Air Tubing for the Airstone and Aquarium Air Pump
  • Air Stone


  • Choose one of the Rubbermaid tanks as the fish tank and place some gravel into the container
  • Use the drill to make holes at the bottom of the other Rubbermaid tank.
  • Move to the back of the container and get to its edge. Drill a hole that will match the tube from the small pump.
  • Insert the water pump into the fish tank. Then place the Rubbermaid tank / grow bed on top of the fish tank.
  • Connect the plastic tube to the water pump and pass it through the hole at the back edge of the grow tank. Ensure the tubing gets into grow bed properly and almost reaches the top. Also, loop this part of the tube in the container.
  • Remove excess tubing with scissors. Fold the cut end and cover it with electric tape.
  • Add the growth medium to the grow bed. Remember not to go above the plastic tube.
  • Measure two inches on the looped section of the tubing. At the end of two inches, make some holes. Repeat the process until you have many holes in this part of the tubing.
  • Ensure the looped tubing stays under an inch of growing medium
  • Turn on the fountain pump and allow water to flow into the grow bed.
  • Head to the Rubber maid fish tank and add some water. Then, insert another pipe between the air pump and the airstone.
  • Insert the airstone into the fish tank and switch on the air pump.
  • Check for bubbles in the fish tank. If you find any, that means that there is air in the aquarium.
  • Dip the litmus paper into the water to test the PH levels. If the PH level is less than 7, you will need to increase the PH levels. But if the level goes higher than 7, reduce the PH content. If you have a reading of 7, then you have gotten the correct PH level.

How to Use a Rubbermaid Tank as an Aquaponics Fish Tank?

Apart from grow beds, Rubbermaid stock tanks serve as great options for fish tanks. Because of its many features, the container can become a great home for animals and plants. Here are some general steps for building an aquaponics fish tank with a Rubbermaid container.

N.B. Before using these steps, ensure that you have set up the grow bed with the steps in the “How to Use a Rubbermaid Tank As A Aquaponics Grow Bed” part of this article.

Now, after completing the steps  above

  • Add some chlorine to the water-filled Rubbermaid fish tank.
  • Allow the chlorine to decompose from the water. You can speed up the process with a chlorine remover.
  • Put the fish into the tank. Wait for more than a month before adding more aquatic animals.
  • Add plants to the fish tank.

Tips for Using a Rubbermaid Stock Tank

Even if the tank has the best features for growing fish and plants, you can use the following tips to get the best results. Below are some tips for using Rubbermaid stock tanks for aquaponics.

Use the high-quality water in your system

Since aquaponics depends heavily on water, it would help if you chose top-quality water. As you want to add water to your system, ensure it has the right temperature, PH, nitrogen, alkalinity, and oxygen levels.

Do Not Overfeed the Fishes

When fishes become full, they tend to ignore food. If the untouched food stays in the pond for long periods, your Rubbermaid fish tank will offer low oxygen content and diseases. Avoid this nightmare by removing any scraps after thirty minutes of their feeding time.

Do Not Crowd Your Tank

With too many fishes in the tank, the container might weaken and eventually break. Overall, this type of use can reduce the service life of your tank. Instead of adding tons of fish into a single container, aim for a population that you can manage.

Inspect the Tank

Look out for leaks that might drain the water out. You should also ensure that all connected devices are in top shape. If you notice any problems, replace the tank or repair affected mechanical items.

What Can I Do to a Leaky Rubbermaid Tank?

If you notice a leak around the drain area of your Rubbermaid tank,  you will not have to dump the item in the trash. Instead, you can fix the container with the following steps.

  • Use marine silicone to caulk the drain plug.
  • Secure the silicone by spraying a waterproof patch seal on it.

If you want an alternative method, you can simply clean the area and cover the leak with double Teflon tape. Also, inserting glue between the gasket and tank ( before applying the screw) helps plug the leak for a long period.

Wrapping Up

Rubbermaid stock tanks are built to withstand weathering and various types of use. Also, they are safe to use with plants and animals. For these reasons, they come as good tools for aquaponic systems.

When you use a Rubbermaid stock tank for aquaponics, do not add too many fishes to the container. Also, remove any extra food from the tanks. As a grow bed, check out for algae while providing other suitable conditions.