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Rain barrels - Rain collection

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rain barrels

Post  westie42 on 3/28/2011, 12:29 pm

Fish in the rain barrel is an interesting thought. Around here farmers have put them in their horse/stock tanks as far back as I can remember. To them it helps reduce algae thus keeping the water fresher and more appealing to the animals. The fish also ate the mosquito larvae. A bonus would definitely be the P&P left behind by the fish. They usually had a few bluegills and a couple catfish or bullheads in the stock tank. Similarly we put plecostomus in our aquariums where they clean the walls of algae and the bottoms of debris. They are about the most hearty fish in the aquarium and grow steadily. Concerns I can think of are is there enough open surface exposed to air to gather sufficient oxygen for the fish in a barrel plus we would need to always leave enough water in there to sustain the fish and later removing the fish dead or alive mite be challenging. Maybe just before freeze up time you could dine on the fish, the farmers of yesteryear did. Has anyone tried this concept out in a rain collection system. It may be a bit of the wall but still......

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  nancy on 3/28/2011, 12:39 pm

Last year I did a lot of research on putting fish in my rain barrel. I ended up not doing it. Most of the research said the rain water will get too warm in the summer. Mosquito fish should work well, but they cannot be released into neighborhood streams. I go through my water too fast and they would fry. Do some research - you might find that it will work for you.

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  Glendale-gardener on 3/28/2011, 12:48 pm

Has anyone tried the mosquito dunks? I read that they approved by the govt agri dept for organic gardening. People swear by them.

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rain barrels

Post  westie42 on 3/28/2011, 1:27 pm

Nancy- very true because their old wind mill constantly pumped fresh cool well water into the tank. We don't have that luxury available while waiting for rain. So guess I should punch down a sand point well and put up my wind mill, LOL.

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  Megan on 3/28/2011, 10:52 pm

I don't know if I can afford it this year (I hope so!) but I would very much like to put in at least one rain barrel and an above-grade pond, too--looking currently at a 100-gal stock tank. The pond, because I want to and because I've many very fond memories of them. The rain barrel, because it makes sense and also because it'd help to keep the pond topped off in hot weather. (So, yes, luxury items, the pond anyway.) We'll see how it goes.

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  Old Hippie on 3/28/2011, 11:27 pm

Megan, we plan to eventually put in a pond as well, but plan to keep it topped up with water from the rain barrels. Actually, the system that we plan to set up by the garage will have a small pond. We have a problem in spring with drainage from melting snow in our yard where our garage is located. So we found that by making a 'french drain' we can take care of the problem and incorporate a pond at the same time. We don't feel it is a luxury. It is good use of water that falls on our property. It encourages birds, frogs etc. to come to the yard which in turn takes care of bugs.

As much as possible we are doing it with recycled materials...old bathtubs, old pallets, rocks from building sites, solar panels to run pumps, etc. While these may seem like luxuries to some to us it is being good stewards of the land that we have. It is actually less of a luxury than an acre if lawn that needs to be fertilized, watered and mowed on a constant basis to keep it looking good.

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  nancy on 3/29/2011, 10:08 am

Since I didn't use fish, I did go with mosquito dunks. The rain barrel is on my back porch and the first year mosquitoes were a huge problem for me. Last year was quite peaceful. Since it's only 55-gallons, I only use 1/2 of one at a time.

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  Glendale-gardener on 3/29/2011, 11:28 am

awesome, I was hoping if those were okay because I didn't want to do fish because I'd have to remember to leave some water in there during the drought period and I would totally forget and drain them

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rain barrels

Post  westie42 on 4/22/2011, 11:16 am

I have located a larger supply of 55 gal barrels at a marina near Iowa City. The others on craigs list have disappeared and I have called a lot for other places with no luck. These had corn syrup in them in their first life but were washed out. This seems ok to me since the syrup went into human and cattle feed. What do you all think.

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  Glendale-gardener on 4/22/2011, 11:26 am

Sounds perfect!

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rain barreks

Post  westie42 on 4/22/2011, 12:43 pm

Thanks Glendale if a couple more folks agree and none give concern I will drive down and get 5 or 6 of them at only $10 each why not.

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  Old Hippie on 4/22/2011, 12:53 pm

Sounds like a great find to me too.

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  buttaflie143 on 4/22/2011, 1:48 pm

Its today and boy do I wish I had some rain barrels.

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  nancy on 4/22/2011, 4:29 pm

Go get them - corn syrup will not hurt you or your plants. I try to avoid it when possible, but it would be fine for this purpose. I really wish I had several more. They would be full by Monday. =)

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Rain Barrels

Post  westie42 on 4/22/2011, 10:41 pm

Buttaflie there are currently several adds in Craigs list for good 55 gal barrels in the Raleigh area. Thanks all for your input guess i'll just go get some barrels.

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  camprn on 12/26/2011, 2:24 pm


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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  plantoid on 12/26/2011, 3:16 pm

I don't know if this option is available to you guys un the USA .. here in the UK we have food production companies that use fruit & tomato juices by the big barrel full . These barrels hold close on 500 gallons each & have 2 foot wide screw top lids , they are about four foot six in diameter and just over six feet tall .

For us they were a cheaper option to buy than 11 x 45 gallon barrels including the delivery & cheaper to set up .

You can climb inside them when they are laid on their side so it makes it very easy to fit a 2 inch ball lever tap discharge tap , drain down points and plumb in unions for interconnecting tanks ..

We had four at our rabbit farm , they took the first rainwater run off from the sheds from devices that we inserted in the water down pipe . These devices bled off about 20 % into the tanks , the rest went in to bottom lined 3/4 inch filled to 18 inches soak garden long aways to help water the gardens from beneath up to 100 mtrs from the sheds .

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  CindiLou on 12/26/2011, 11:45 pm

Was just reviewing some old post and reread this one.
I have three wooden barrels that hubby made for my gardens. Last year they got to smelling THAT smell lol...

after doing some research online, I decided on algae alert. I put one cup of unscented bleach in each barrel after I was done using them for the year. I did this about a month before we drained them for the winter. When draining them the smell was gone. So hopefully that will cure the problem. I may put this on the list of fall chores to refresh them each year.

I have been using them a couple of years already. So they were well broke in.

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  camprn on 4/15/2012, 7:21 am

BUMP

Rain water harvesting regulations and standards.
http://www.harvesth2o.com/statues_regulations.shtml

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  kittykat on 4/15/2012, 10:17 am

This is an interesting thread. I live rurally in South-Coastal British Columbia and we have a well that pumps 20 gal/minute so, while interesting, harvesting rain water has never been a top priority for me. But really interesting thread. I've always wondered about the chemicals in the roofing materials. All those duroid and asphalt products and adhesives in the water and into the garden... Any thoughts on this?


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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  camprn on 4/15/2012, 10:32 am

It is sometimes difficult for those of us that get significant rainfall to remember that in many areas of the country/ continent there are water wars and even laws prohibiting rain water harvest from roofs. I often have to remind myself how lucky I am to live where I do as this typically is not a worry.

My plan is not for potable water harvest so I have not seriously considered the substances in the roofing material. But I will look into it, what do you think?

Here is an interesting read.
http://tylertork.com/diyrainbarrels/safety.html

I have a nice colony of moss growing on part of my roof...at this point I have no problem using the rain water on my vegetable garden. If it was 20 years ago, because of acid rain, I probably would not have used it.


Last edited by camprn on 4/15/2012, 10:50 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/15/2012, 10:41 am

You got that right camp. Colorado has very strict laws about collecting rain water. A few years back, some laws where changed to allow some folks who depend solely on well water to apply for permits to be able to collect rain water. Being in a very arid state makes water a very sticky subject!
You may not be able to collect what falls from the sky, you can however divert it once it lands upon your roof...

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/15/2012, 11:02 am

What if you use collected rain just for watering plants?

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/15/2012, 11:04 am

It's illegal here in Colorado to collect rain water. That includes to water plants with.

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Re: Rain barrels - Rain collection

Post  givvmistamps on 4/15/2012, 11:05 am

@kittykat wrote:This is an interesting thread. I live rurally in South-Coastal British Columbia and we have a well that pumps 20 gal/minute so, while interesting, harvesting rain water has never been a top priority for me. But really interesting thread. I've always wondered about the chemicals in the roofing materials. All those duroid and asphalt products and adhesives in the water and into the garden... Any thoughts on this?


Hmmm, you have a valid question. After doing an internet search for data, I couldn't find anything I would consider even remotely reliable. I just sent an email to my former environmental science professor back in NC; he has a lot of information at his fingertips, and is extremely conscious of how products he uses influence the environment. He also has always kept an organic garden and composted in the nine years since I met him. I'll also be consulting some of my husband's coworkers, professors of chemistry and environmental science. Until I know, I will be postponing the rain barrel project as far as my vegetable garden goes; I'll just use the water on ornamentals for now. I just found out that my city is using chloramines, so I'm sticking to the well for now!

We'll have to replace our roof in 4-5 years, so I'll be taking this issue into account when selecting roofing materials. I was already planning on looking into a more eco-friendly option for roofing...and I'm educated in environmental biology and environmental science technology...which is why I'm shocked that I didn't think of this issue! Embarassed

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