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IMG 0593

Modified IBC with backyard aquaponics system

IBC on pallet

A typical IBC

An Intermediate bulk container (IBC) is a container used for transport and storage of fluids and bulk materials. The construction of the IBC container and the materials used are chosen depending on the application, i.e. there are various types available in the market:

  • Plastic composite IBC Container
  • Steel IBC Container
  • Stainless steel IBC Container

The most common and least expensive IBCs are the plastic ones. This and the option to modify them with common tools makes them common in backyard Aquaponics projects. They are used as sump, fishtank or growbeds

Shape & Dimensions Edit

IBCs are generally cubic in form and therefore can store more material in the same area than cylindrically shaped barrels. IBCs range in size but are generally between 700 and 2000 mm in height. The length and width of an IBC is usually dependent on the pallet dimension standard of a given country.[1]

IBCs may have pallet-like bases so that forklifts can move them.

It is common for IBCs to be able to fold down into a compact profile, reducing their height for transportation and storage when empty. IBCs in almost all cases can be stacked vertically.

Depending on the size of the IBC, it can weigh between 90 and 1200 kg empty.

Acquisition Edit

Intermediate bulk containers may be purchased from commercial dealers that deliver pallets and containers.

Further readingEdit

  • Yam, K. L., "Encyclopedia of Packaging Technology", John Wiley & Sons, 2009, ISBN 9780470087046


  1. Pallet Dimensions