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Rain Barrels for Water


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#1 Josh Blaylock

Josh Blaylock
  • Board of Directors
  • Central Kentucky

Posted 11 August 2017 - 09:06 AM

So I'm thinking of getting a rain barrel and using that for aquarium water.  Is anyone doing this, and can you provide feedback?

 

I have a few concerns:

#1.  Water getting stagnant

#2.  Contaminates from the roof

#3.  Pumping system to fill the tank.

 

Any thoughts on this.  For a pump, I suppose any inline pump would work, and use a garden hose, as long as it's strong enough to pump it the distance.  For #2, I feel like if you're not pumping from the very bottom of the barrel, you won't pickup any of the roofing materials. 


Josh Blaylock - Central KY
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I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.

- Abraham Lincoln, 1861


#2 littlen

littlen
  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 11 August 2017 - 12:39 PM

You'd look fancy with one of these in your backyard:

 

IMG_1001.jpg


Nick L.

#3 Moontanman

Moontanman
  • NANFA Member

Posted 11 August 2017 - 12:47 PM

So I'm thinking of getting a rain barrel and using that for aquarium water.  Is anyone doing this, and can you provide feedback?

 

I have a few concerns:

#1.  Water getting stagnant

#2.  Contaminates from the roof

#3.  Pumping system to fill the tank.

 

Any thoughts on this.  For a pump, I suppose any inline pump would work, and use a garden hose, as long as it's strong enough to pump it the distance.  For #2, I feel like if you're not pumping from the very bottom of the barrel, you won't pickup any of the roofing materials. 

 

I've found that growing Azolla on the surface of the stored water keeps it fresh and clean...


Michael

Life is the poetry of the universe
Love is the poetry of life

#4 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 11 August 2017 - 03:13 PM

Depends on your roof materials and age.  some shingles have algae/fungus-inhibitors (copper, zinc, etc).  I would test it for a couple months on some expendable fish.  I have rain barrels and use it to some extent in tanks, but not much since my tap water is very soft anyway.  Mine are on the north (shady) side of the house.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#5 mattknepley

mattknepley
  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 11 August 2017 - 04:26 PM

My trash can rain barrel is not used for water to harvest, it is mostly in place to prevent run-off from the roof from carving a big honkin' crater in the back yard. We live in a mill village in a good old brick house built in 1925. Like many of the mill houses, our roof is the original slate tile. (Plus whatever else they may have treated/processed the slate with back then, and has dropped out of the sky on it, or collected and grown on it in the last 92 years; I don't want to know.) I do not use the water for fish tanks, but it supports gambusia and Redbreast Sunfish long-term. My 100g stock tank pond also receives roof run off, though not as much, and it supports vaarious darters, Greenfin, Yellowfin, and Dusky Shiners; Flat Bullheads and Blackbanded Sunfish very well. Eastern Mudminnows,however, can't seem to make it but a couple days in there. Soooo, if the water of dubious quality rolling off my roof will support those fishes, I bet you have a pretty good chance of being able to use rain water, too. I would think a simple bubble aerator or cheapie Sun-Sun current generator would turn over water enough to prevent stagnation.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#6 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 11 August 2017 - 09:34 PM

I would trust old slate more than I'd trust modern asphalt.  Mine's an old mill village house too, 1904.  The original wood shingles are visible in the attic, but were covered over with plywood and asphalt shingles probably in the 70's. 


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#7 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:20 AM

I wouldn't hesitate.

The member formerly known as Skipjack


#8 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 12 August 2017 - 07:35 PM

I take that back because I have been to Josh's house, I know that he does not live directly across the street from farm fields that get sprayed, in which case I wouldn't use water from a rain barrel, we never drank our cistern water growing up for this same reason.

The member formerly known as Skipjack


#9 UncleWillie

UncleWillie
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:21 AM

The only other thing that should be mentioned is that rain can be quite acidic (low pH).  A friend used crushed coral in the bottom of his rain barrel to help with this, but this was all just trial and error and there were no hard numbers to back this up.


Willie Pruitt
Chattahoochee River, GA


#10 Josh Blaylock

Josh Blaylock
  • Board of Directors
  • Central Kentucky

Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:41 AM

The only other thing that should be mentioned is that rain can be quite acidic (low pH).  A friend used crushed coral in the bottom of his rain barrel to help with this, but this was all just trial and error and there were no hard numbers to back this up.

 

How about limestone?  I have an abundance of that.  I understand it's often used as a PH buffer.


Josh Blaylock - Central KY
NANFA on Facebook - NANFA on YouTube - NANFA on Google+

KYCREEKS - KRWW - KWA



I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.

- Abraham Lincoln, 1861


#11 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 14 August 2017 - 10:04 AM

That'll work too, or oyster shell, or pelleted lime for lawns.  Rainwater is often acidic, but it's a very weak acid and it takes very little carbonate or bicarbonate to neutralize it.  The carbonate buffering already present in your aquarium may completely negate rainwater's acidity as soon as you add it to the tank anyway, if you're changing not more than half the tank volume.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel





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