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Jeff Bednar Message Board › Cleaning future tanks

Cleaning future tanks

Chris C.
Mesquite, TX
Post #: 1
I recently got 2 55 gallon food quality barrels that I am wanting to use to build a small home aquaponics system. Only problem is one barrel had been used to transport white vinegar and the other i think soy bean oil. I intend to clean both out before I use them but don't know if a good rinsing would work or if I need to do more. I'm a complete novice at growing anything, fish or plants. So any newbie tips would be appreciated.

My build is going to be an ebb and flow system with 1 of the barrels for fish, the other cut in half and use the 2 halves for grow beds. Still don't know what pump or grow medium to use, nor what kind of prep work needs to be done with the system before I add the fish and plants.
Bob J.
user 18667641
Garland, TX
Post #: 75
I would recommend that you:
1/ put 1/2 cup of bleach in the barrel with 5 gallons of water and shake it so it covers all the inside.
2/ then cut your barrels and take them to the car wash. Use the soap, not engine cleaner, etc. and spray off all corners, edges, lids, etc.
3/ use a weak mix of bleach and water to hand wash the inside.
4/ rinse well with city water
5/ drain and let dry in bright sun 4-8 hour
This has worked for me. I had barrels with Dr Pepper syrup, white vinegar, garlic, and other tough food grade contents and this worked for me
Bob Jordan
user 11075995
Euless, TX
Post #: 66
Chris, the barrel that had the vinegar in it will pose no problems, the one that had the oil in it will need to be cleaned - Bob had a good suggestion - use a quality dish-soap and a pressure washer to clean out the oil. But just be sure to rinse all of the soap residue out.

As far as a design and such, I would recommend that you search out Travis Hughey's Barrelponic design on the web. It is a good design for a beginner, and the manual is reasonably easy to follow. If you use one barrel for a fish tank and the other for the growbeds, I would recommend that you use a pump that will move approximately 250-350 gallons per hour.

I sell 45L bags of the clay pebble media for $25 (plus tax) - you would need about 4 bags for two barrel halves. Or you can get expanded shale or river rock from a local landscape supply company (less expensive, but a great deal more labor).

Just let me know if there is anything else that I can help help you with.

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