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Thread: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

  1. #1
    Golden Moray Rhodes19's Avatar
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    Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    Hi All,

    Can I use 2nd hand plastic barrels? I just fund a local place I were I can get used 55 g plastic barrels (blue color) for $20 a piece. I want to use one for fresh water storage and one for salt water storage. The gentleman I spoke with said that the barrels held detergent in them and that if I washed and rinsed them out with bleach they would be fine to use. Will that be safe? Has any one done that without any problems? Let me know what you think. Thanks.
    180 reef
    125 FOWLR
    29 QT
    Biocube 14 reef
    40 empty (frag tank some day)
    45 FW needs repair
    55 Blood Parrot Cichlid tank (my wife's )

    My wife notices any additions to the tanks. "Is that new"?
    "And if my wife asks, it was only $20!"


    My Addictions: Rhodes19's 180 build
    Rhodes19's 125 FOWLR

  2. #2
    Golden Moray Robzilla's Avatar
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    Re: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    Maybe someone else can have a better idea but it makes me nervous. I thought BRUTE containers were the only ones that didn't leach chemicals into water, let alone one that held detergent. If it is safe then that is quite a steal!
    Robzilla's 55 gallon reef tank with 3W CREE LED lighting
    Bare bottom with LR only
    Vortech MP10 ES, Koralia Evo 750
    38gal sump/fuge with Eshopps PF300 overflow, ASM G1 skimmer, Phosban 150, and Eheim 1000 return pump

    Fish: Melanurus Wrasse (male)
    Coral: Caulastrea, Chalice, Mushroom & Ricordea, Zoas/Palys, Torch/Frogspawn, Favia, Acro & Millies, Birdsnest, Monti Cap & Digi
    CUC: Mexican Turbo Snails, Dwarf Ceriths, Nassarius, Florida Ceriths, Large & Small Nerites

    "Rob just be careful to not "over complicate" things. A reef tank can be like a fresh cow pile... The more you handle it the stinkier it gets. Sometimes they do better when we observe without touching." - Al

  3. #3
    Harlequin Tuskfish QuentinB's Avatar
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    Re: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    I want to say the blue ones aren't usually food-grade, which means the plastics could leach chemicals into your water. The fact that it was used for detergent isn't very reassuring either, some of those can be quite potent. I've seen some 30 gallon plastic drums that were used for tomatoes and such that I wouldn't think twice about washing out and using, I'm not sure where you could find them though(my boss had a few). I'd imagine they'd be around that price though.

    That's just my thoughts, and if you find out they are food-grade(or however it's labeled) they might be worth a shot!


    Edit: Rob, the Brute containers are just more easily available. They are actually food grade as well, which actually kind of worries me when I think about it What are we eating that has been in and out of a trash can?! But seriously, as long as the plastic doesn't leach anything into the contents, or absorb anything from them, it should be fine.

    Oh, and Rhodes: for possibly the first time in your reefing career, you could honestly tell your wife "it was only $20" !!!

  4. #4
    Elegance coral glampka's Avatar
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    Re: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    If the drums had detergent in them, DON'T use them. You want drums that had food stuff like fruit juice or baking ingredients. Color doesn't matter as long as it is food grade. I have a blue one that previously had fruit syrup in it. Your price seems a bit high for used drums. Around here they sell between $10-$15.
    We are the people our parents warned us about! JB

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  5. #5
    Whale Shark Frankie's Avatar
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    Re: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    You know, I have always been leery of the Brut cans for water storage. The less rigid the plastic the more porous it becomes. That's why some containers will forever hold the odor from stuff, like onion for example. Nothing will remove that odor from the plastic once it sets in.

    Cutting out plastics as much as possible is really the best way to go, but were forced to do some things with them.

    Here is some good reading from different points of views from outside sources.

    Beware Rubbermaid trash cans

    Keep in mind not all Rubbermaid products are food grade safe.

    Rubbermaid Commercial Products

    Just because it's said to be "food grade safe" does that mean it will not leach chemicals into the water? We eat chemicals that are bad for us daily. But were not goings to start sprouting algae out of our ears like a reef tank will

    "Water Storage Safe" is what were looking for. Were not keeping food in them.

    A glass aquarium blacked out, drilled and plumbed properly for water storing and mixing would be the best choice imo.

    Other then the ones I use that are water grade safe I would also recommend these:

    Plastic Closed-Head Drums
    My current thread,
    http://www.reefsanctuary.com/forums/...-build-17.html
    If we ignore the environment
    maybe it will just go away....

  6. #6
    Golden Moray Robzilla's Avatar
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    Re: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    Thanks Frankie! Great links!
    Robzilla's 55 gallon reef tank with 3W CREE LED lighting
    Bare bottom with LR only
    Vortech MP10 ES, Koralia Evo 750
    38gal sump/fuge with Eshopps PF300 overflow, ASM G1 skimmer, Phosban 150, and Eheim 1000 return pump

    Fish: Melanurus Wrasse (male)
    Coral: Caulastrea, Chalice, Mushroom & Ricordea, Zoas/Palys, Torch/Frogspawn, Favia, Acro & Millies, Birdsnest, Monti Cap & Digi
    CUC: Mexican Turbo Snails, Dwarf Ceriths, Nassarius, Florida Ceriths, Large & Small Nerites

    "Rob just be careful to not "over complicate" things. A reef tank can be like a fresh cow pile... The more you handle it the stinkier it gets. Sometimes they do better when we observe without touching." - Al

  7. #7
    Golden Moray Rhodes19's Avatar
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    Re: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    Quote Originally Posted by Robzilla View Post
    Maybe someone else can have a better idea but it makes me nervous. I thought BRUTE containers were the only ones that didn't leach chemicals into water, let alone one that held detergent. If it is safe then that is quite a steal!
    Hi Rob,

    Thanks. I thought that too but I've been told that even though the Brute's are food safe (and there is some questions there too) that they still leach stuff into the water.
    180 reef
    125 FOWLR
    29 QT
    Biocube 14 reef
    40 empty (frag tank some day)
    45 FW needs repair
    55 Blood Parrot Cichlid tank (my wife's )

    My wife notices any additions to the tanks. "Is that new"?
    "And if my wife asks, it was only $20!"


    My Addictions: Rhodes19's 180 build
    Rhodes19's 125 FOWLR

  8. #8
    Golden Moray Rhodes19's Avatar
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    Re: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    Quote Originally Posted by QuentinB View Post
    I want to say the blue ones aren't usually food-grade, which means the plastics could leach chemicals into your water. The fact that it was used for detergent isn't very reassuring either, some of those can be quite potent. I've seen some 30 gallon plastic drums that were used for tomatoes and such that I wouldn't think twice about washing out and using, I'm not sure where you could find them though(my boss had a few). I'd imagine they'd be around that price though.

    That's just my thoughts, and if you find out they are food-grade(or however it's labeled) they might be worth a shot!


    Edit: Rob, the Brute containers are just more easily available. They are actually food grade as well, which actually kind of worries me when I think about it What are we eating that has been in and out of a trash can?! But seriously, as long as the plastic doesn't leach anything into the contents, or absorb anything from them, it should be fine.

    Oh, and Rhodes: for possibly the first time in your reefing career, you could honestly tell your wife "it was only $20" !!!
    Hi Quentin,

    Thanks. Or, what my wife doesn't know won't hurt me. I'm using some Brute 32g trash cans that are supposed to be food safe, but you have a good point. Look at all the new studies showing how our plastic water bottles, cups, containers are actually leaching out stuff that isn't good for us and may help cause cancer. And they are supposed to be food safe.
    180 reef
    125 FOWLR
    29 QT
    Biocube 14 reef
    40 empty (frag tank some day)
    45 FW needs repair
    55 Blood Parrot Cichlid tank (my wife's )

    My wife notices any additions to the tanks. "Is that new"?
    "And if my wife asks, it was only $20!"


    My Addictions: Rhodes19's 180 build
    Rhodes19's 125 FOWLR

  9. #9
    Golden Moray Rhodes19's Avatar
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    Re: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    Quote Originally Posted by glampka View Post
    If the drums had detergent in them, DON'T use them. You want drums that had food stuff like fruit juice or baking ingredients. Color doesn't matter as long as it is food grade. I have a blue one that previously had fruit syrup in it. Your price seems a bit high for used drums. Around here they sell between $10-$15.
    Hi glampka,

    Thanks. I'd like that but I don't think we have any one locally that actually uses those barrels. I'll have to google and see if there is any one within driving distance that may have/use them.
    180 reef
    125 FOWLR
    29 QT
    Biocube 14 reef
    40 empty (frag tank some day)
    45 FW needs repair
    55 Blood Parrot Cichlid tank (my wife's )

    My wife notices any additions to the tanks. "Is that new"?
    "And if my wife asks, it was only $20!"


    My Addictions: Rhodes19's 180 build
    Rhodes19's 125 FOWLR

  10. #10
    Golden Moray Rhodes19's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    Charleston, SC
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    Re: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
    But were not goings to start sprouting algae out of our ears like a reef tank will

    I'm not so sure about that. I thought I some algae coming out of your ears when we first met.

    A glass aquarium blacked out, drilled and plumbed properly for water storing and mixing would be the best choice imo.


    That's what I've been thinking about doing as well.
    180 reef
    125 FOWLR
    29 QT
    Biocube 14 reef
    40 empty (frag tank some day)
    45 FW needs repair
    55 Blood Parrot Cichlid tank (my wife's )

    My wife notices any additions to the tanks. "Is that new"?
    "And if my wife asks, it was only $20!"


    My Addictions: Rhodes19's 180 build
    Rhodes19's 125 FOWLR

  11. #11
    Midas Blenny jrhaughey's Avatar
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    Re: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    I use one of these now for my RO Water. However, I used it to collect rain water for two years first. So hopefully, anything that was left in to has already been rinsed out several times over.

  12. #12
    Whale Shark Frankie's Avatar
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    Re: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    Fortunately I have access to Rhodes outside the forum so I am a bit more informed

    Chris, did you get the pickle containers yesterday? Feel free to hang onto the rubbermaid bin until you find the right containers.
    My current thread,
    http://www.reefsanctuary.com/forums/...-build-17.html
    If we ignore the environment
    maybe it will just go away....

  13. #13
    Golden Moray Rhodes19's Avatar
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    Re: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhaughey View Post
    I use one of these now for my RO Water. However, I used it to collect rain water for two years first. So hopefully, anything that was left in to has already been rinsed out several times over.
    Hi jrhaughey,

    Thanks for the feed back. I did just get the pickle barrels earlier today but I think I will get those detergent drums later as well. I'll clean them put and use them for the wast ro water and use them to water my wife's garden.
    180 reef
    125 FOWLR
    29 QT
    Biocube 14 reef
    40 empty (frag tank some day)
    45 FW needs repair
    55 Blood Parrot Cichlid tank (my wife's )

    My wife notices any additions to the tanks. "Is that new"?
    "And if my wife asks, it was only $20!"


    My Addictions: Rhodes19's 180 build
    Rhodes19's 125 FOWLR

  14. #14
    Golden Moray Rhodes19's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    Re: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
    Fortunately I have access to Rhodes outside the forum so I am a bit more informed

    Chris, did you get the pickle containers yesterday? Feel free to hang onto the rubbermaid bin until you find the right containers.
    Hi Frank,

    Sorry, I meant to call you but got tied up. I picked up the pickle barrels this morning and have them in the back yard full of water and bleach. It's starting to rain so I'll finish cleaning them up later. They are $27 a barrel but the label on them says 60g, not 55g. That should work out better for the fw.
    180 reef
    125 FOWLR
    29 QT
    Biocube 14 reef
    40 empty (frag tank some day)
    45 FW needs repair
    55 Blood Parrot Cichlid tank (my wife's )

    My wife notices any additions to the tanks. "Is that new"?
    "And if my wife asks, it was only $20!"


    My Addictions: Rhodes19's 180 build
    Rhodes19's 125 FOWLR

  15. #15
    Tunicate
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    Re: Used 55 g plastic barrels for water storage??

    I use them, they were/are food grade and had tomatoe sauce in them originally.
    Washed then out, rinsed throughly and have had no problems at all.
    Picked them up for $8 a piece from a seller at a flea market.
    1 holds RO/DI water the other is used for mixing and storing saltwater.

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