Finding the right hydroponic reservoir is only as hard as you make it. You don’t have to go out and spend a bunch of money on reservoir. In fact, you may already have a few items around your house that you could make into a hydroponic reservoir. When selecting a hydroponic reservoir you want to keep in mind how much water will be need to circulate through your entire system while leaving enough water to keep your water pump submerged. The larger the reservoir you use, the more hydroponic nutrient solution you will need to use. If you buy a reservoir built specifically for hydroponics it will probably have a drain, but it if you not I recommend adding a drain to the reservoir you want to use.
Things You Can Use As A Hydroponic Reservoir
Buckets work well for smaller systems and hydroponic bucket systems. They also sell buckets larger and smaller than the typical 5 gal bucket for larger and smaller hydroponic gardens.
Some plastic totes work well as hydroponic reservoirs. If you decide that a tote is a better fit for your hydroponics system I recommend using one with a thicker plastic to prevent bowing from the weight of the water.
When using a buckets and totes as your reservoir, you want to make sure you get a bucket that will block out the light from penetrating in. Black colored reservoirs prevent light and algae growth. but the dark color of the reservoir raises the heat of your nutrient solution. You should look into different ways to cool your nutrient solution. If doing outdoor hydroponics an alternative may be to use a white bucket lined with a black plastic bag. This will keep you bucket color light white blocking out light from the side. Keep in mind the sun beating down on your reservoir lid.
A fish tank can serve as a great hydroponic system reservoir. If you using a fish tank I suggest looking into aquaponics and filling your tank with gold fish instead of using nutrient solution. This can be less maintenance, better quality and more cost-effective.
When looking for the right reservoir for your hydroponics system don’t let perfection hold you back. The beauty of hydroponics is the possibilities are limitless. If you can’t afford to go out and buy something new then just use what you have!