Aquaponic Gardening

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I plan on using icb totes for my fist aquaphonic but the only icb,s I can get locally are from farms and they have had either pesticides or herbicides in them do u think they can be cleaned out good enough or should I drive 200 mile and get clean food grade ones

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Replies to This Discussion

Milo-

  IMHO, drive the 200-miles and get food-grade IBCs.  Some believe that you can clean out the pesticides and herbicides, I don't.  I have experience with the IBC systems as I am putting in a 14-IBC system (Those of you who have read that I am putting in a 16-IBC system, we decreased the amount to 14).  Two totes are hooked together with a cross over siphon so two IBCs become one (1) unit so we will have a 7-unit IBC system.  I don't trust the people selling me totes that say "OH yeah, this stuff can be washed out, NO Problem".  They want to sell you the totes and really don't understand what you are doing with it and probably don't even care (unless they are also into aquaponics).  BE CAREFUL.

 i have 4 that i use for tanks and another that is part of a filter system.  i cleaned mine well and then painted with epoxy paint made for fish and other aquatic life that i bought at Aquatic Eco Systems.  it was a lot of work and expense and i would not do it again.  if i could go back i would just use stock tanks or make my own with plywood and liner

  the time i spent on that project more than exhausted any $ savings, imo

marty

Having built my first two grow beds from wood, and using pond liner I would not do it again.  The wood wasn't that expensive, but the liner was, I then painted it to protect it from the elements.  It took much more time then I anticipated.  I then had one of my grow beds collapse from weight, ruining the liner with it - great.  Instead of spending time an money to rebuild it and replace it, I called up our local tank guy we have in Arizona, had him cut an IBC tote from the bottom (14 inches high), with the grate that holds it too, When I got there I had them attache a 1" in bulkhead where I wanted - boom done, and all for $75 bucks.  I figure the time saved from me building a new bed, re-lining, and re-painting was more cost effective.

thanks for the replies i had allready figured on going and getting the food grade ones i was just hope u guy would just say oh just wash them out and u will be fine

Hi Milo,

Come join our IBC group and get answers on IBCs there and please ask questions there so we don't get the same topic spread all over the forum as it makes it harder for others to find answers and that's what forums are for. I would guess that for every question asked here there are hundreds of readers that learn from the answers especially considering we have over 10,000 members here now and we certainly don't get questions from every one.

Personally, as one who has used all kinds of totes (never "waste oil" totes btw) there are water soluble contents that will not penetrate the plastic as petroleum based chems will and will therefore rinse out better. Food grade are BEST but not always available in your area or if there are they will cost over 100.00 each. I have been watching for them for 18 mos. now and have yet to see one. "Veggie based cutting oil" is as close as we get here (NE TN) and that can be harder to wash out than Round-Up but a bit less worrisome. Biggest problem I have found down the road is any time a fish dies you will have to consider what was in that tote as one more possibility on your list of possible causes. However, 18 mos. down the road my fish (mostly trout) are doing great so????and trout are sort of the canary in the coal mine as far as AP goes. Very particular indeed.

Whatever you choose be sure and disassemble even the ball drain valve and completely wash every part as chems WILL hide there. Take out the "O" rings in the lid and wash every part with soap, bleach and Cascade type detergent. Even veggie oil could cause problems for fish. Food grade totes also are made with a special plastic formula which will certainly feel safer over time and I may replace the ?? ones as I find better safer ones. If, however, I had waited to find and afford food grade totes I might never have gotten started on my 2000 gal system. There are lots of discussions on this elsewhere on the net if you want to get into the chemistry of the tote's plastic.

I should add that I can get totes with bad liners but great cages for 10.00 locally and probably free if I push and you can find brand new liners for as low as 25.00. So by using the cage and various parts from the sun damaged totes with a brand new liner, you are styling. I may track down the source for the new liners this Summer and I will post my findings, "after I finish building our new house of course dear". I promised my wife

BTW, that's IBC, "International Bulk Container" not ICB's. VERY common mistake btw. Probably been guilty of it myself.

Umm, err, not to be a dick but...I'm pretty sure that's supposed to read "Intermediate Bulk Container" Jim 



Jim Fisk said:

BTW, that's IBC, "International Bulk Container" not ICB's. VERY common mistake btw. Probably been guilty of it myself.

Not around here. Maybe in your part of the world

So what are the big guys if these are the "Intermediate"'s? Huh, answer that! Might be a good way to enlarge the system. Never saw anything bigger around here though, although there have been rumors. Besides, I like the sound of "International" better.

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Umm, err, not to be a dick but...I'm pretty sure that's supposed to read "Intermediate Bulk Container" Jim 



Jim Fisk said:

BTW, that's IBC, "International Bulk Container" not ICB's. VERY common mistake btw. Probably been guilty of it myself.

Well, in the couple of decades I spent in the States (and a number of places around the planet) they were known as Intermediate Bulk Containers in every industry I worked in...but you're right "international BC" does sound better http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermediate_bulk_container


Jim Fisk said:

Not around here. Maybe in your part of the world

So what are the big guys if these are the "Intermediate"'s? Huh, answer that! Might be a good way to enlarge the system. Never saw anything bigger around here though, although there have been rumors. Besides, I like the sound of "International" better.

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Umm, err, not to be a dick but...I'm pretty sure that's supposed to read "Intermediate Bulk Container" Jim 



Jim Fisk said:

BTW, that's IBC, "International Bulk Container" not ICB's. VERY common mistake btw. Probably been guilty of it myself.

I don't know what it is called but I have IN MY POSSESSION a 300-gallon IBC tote.  It stands a bit taller than the 275 by not much.  Like I really care.

Jim, the big guys would be the ones that come with big axles and wheels and are towed about by semi tractors probably best known as tanker trucks.  But I guess those are small beans compared to the ones that float around on bodies of water and are driven by giant diesel engines.

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