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I found a couple of totes that they say were used to "make soap." Not sure if I should chance it at $75 each. Anyone have some experience with this type of IBC use?

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Which part of "making soap" were the totes used for?  Soap is definitely NOT fish safe.  And rinsing all soap residues out of a tote or barrel is not easy since they tend to keep sudzing forever!!!!!!!  Now there may have been some other material the tote was used for that might be easier to clean out but otherwise you might want to look for another source.

there is a guy in my area selling hdpe barrels and totes who gets them from a similar source. Their former use was for Glycerine, which is used in many products for human consumption, is water soluble and has low toxicity. Should be ok after a good couple rinses with hot water and a light scrub (without soap) while rinsing.

my ibc have soap in it i put goldfish in it after a week  there happy no problems

Turns out those IBCs were actually used for Adhesin LAM 5225, a food grade adhesive. After some MSDS research I was about to purchase several when my wife found 4 like new IBCs that had been used for molasses. It turned out to be a sweet deal. The fella cleaned and delivered them to my home for $70 ea.

I now have 2 sources for totes at a fair price if anyone is interested. Both are w/in 15 miles of Lakeland, Fl.

Glycerine is easy to rinse out and I've used many barrels that had contained it.

If you can actually clean a previous soap container out to the point that absolutely no more bubbles form when water is agitated in them you might be ok.  It is risky though and there is a reason that aquarium are never cleaned with soap.  It can be darn hard to make sure you remove all the residue before you put fish back in.

Molasses, sweet deal, I see what you did there.....
 
John E Windsor said:

Turns out those IBCs were actually used for Adhesin LAM 5225, a food grade adhesive. After some MSDS research I was about to purchase several when my wife found 4 like new IBCs that had been used for molasses. It turned out to be a sweet deal. The fella cleaned and delivered them to my home for $70 ea.

I now have 2 sources for totes at a fair price if anyone is interested. Both are w/in 15 miles of Lakeland, Fl.

and after rinsing the soap, use a diluted vinegar rinse to neutralize it..

Now that I have an extra IBC, I am debating if I should go with 4 media beds instead of 3. More gravel, a bigger pump and I am sure a 275 gallon FT will be large enough.

Any thoughts and IMOs?

Provided you take into account the water level fluctuation and deal accordingly, more media beds are always good in my book.

However, down here in FL with some of our extreme temperature fluctuations, a single 275 gallon IBC as a fish tank (which won't have a full 275 gallons in it) may be on the small side to buffer against those temperature extremes.  (My market system which had an IBC as fish tank (with about 200 gallons of water in it) experienced a temperature swing from a very warm day in Feb to an overnight low that put most of my bluegill and catfish on their sides before morning.  They survived it but it really wasn't good for them and some extra measures should have been taken to keep them from experiencing such an extreme day to night temperature change.  My home systems, with the 300 gallon fish tanks and bigger, all did fine with no fish lying on their sides that morning and no extra measures to protect them.

I was already thinking of wrapping the FT with insulation to slow the temperature swings. The styrofoam wall boards should work nicely.

TCLynx said:

Provided you take into account the water level fluctuation and deal accordingly, more media beds are always good in my book.

However, down here in FL with some of our extreme temperature fluctuations, a single 275 gallon IBC as a fish tank (which won't have a full 275 gallons in it) may be on the small side to buffer against those temperature extremes.  (My market system which had an IBC as fish tank (with about 200 gallons of water in it) experienced a temperature swing from a very warm day in Feb to an overnight low that put most of my bluegill and catfish on their sides before morning.  They survived it but it really wasn't good for them and some extra measures should have been taken to keep them from experiencing such an extreme day to night temperature change.  My home systems, with the 300 gallon fish tanks and bigger, all did fine with no fish lying on their sides that morning and no extra measures to protect them.

Insulating a fish tank may help a tiny bit but in a media bed system the water flooding and draining through the grow beds will tend to exchange heat between the air and the water and therefore if the air around the plants gets really cold and the beds are flooding and draining the water will still get chilled.  Towers and NFT tubes will also experience much chilling through the plant growing space on cold nights.

Hi John, I am interested in one of the totes, I have not found a deal that good yet. I am nearby in Plant City.
 
John E Windsor said:

Turns out those IBCs were actually used for Adhesin LAM 5225, a food grade adhesive. After some MSDS research I was about to purchase several when my wife found 4 like new IBCs that had been used for molasses. It turned out to be a sweet deal. The fella cleaned and delivered them to my home for $70 ea.

I now have 2 sources for totes at a fair price if anyone is interested. Both are w/in 15 miles of Lakeland, Fl.

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