Barrel pond problems.

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Hi guys, still haven’t got my pond up and running. I decided, rightly or wrongly, to not line it.I filled it,but after a few days the oil slick returns. It must be from the barrel .I have read somewhere to fill it , add Borax and let it sit for a week. Any thoughts?
 
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I have a sand & gravel filter, made from a 55 gallon food grade barrel. I think you'll need to do the same, or use a liner for it to be safe for living things....plants, fish, frogs etc.

I'll be interested to follow along and see if you have success - good luck :)
 
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Mmathis

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Hi guys, still haven’t got my pond up and running. I decided, rightly or wrongly, to not line it.I filled it,but after a few days the oil slick returns. It must be from the barrel .I have read somewhere to fill it , add Borax and let it sit for a week. Any thoughts?
Refresh my memory — is this a wooden barrel? I don’t know anything about “waterproofing,” and maybe it’s OK, but borax is poisonous/toxic (something like that). Chemistry is not my area of expertise, so I have no idea how it would even work for this purpose, or if it would eventually leach into the water causing any issues. Unless someone here can say differently, I would do more research. And if you’d have to wait a week, anyway, for the “borax” to work — might as well get a liner. Just MHO!
 
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Hi Mathis, yes this is a wooden barrel from a Cooperage in Scotland. Many people have advised using a liner but since the barrel appears to be watertight it seems a shame to line it. Also it is very big, 40” x 25” ,and I foresee major problems fitting a liner especially round the top. I also am not sure which is better for the preservation of the barrel, soaked from the water or drying out with a liner. I have filled it and planted it a couple of times but after a few days there is an oil slick on the water. Any suggestions would be most welcome. By the way there will be no fish, just plants. I think you are right about the borax, from the frying pan into the fire comes to mind. June
 
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I have a sand & gravel filter, made from a 55 gallon food grade barrel. I think you'll need to do the same, or use a liner for it to be safe for living things....plants, fish, frogs etc.

I'll be interested to follow along and see if you have success - good luck :)
I have a sand & gravel filter, made from a 55 gallon food grade barrel. I think you'll need to do the same, or use a liner for it to be safe for living things....plants, fish, frogs etc.

I'll be interested to follow along and see if you have success - good luck :)
Hi Tula, not sure I understand your comment re sand and gravel filter, senior moment. June
 
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Hi Tula, not sure I understand your comment re sand and gravel filter, senior moment. June
I was trying to say that I used a 55 gallon barrel in my filtration system, but was careful to use a food grade barrel as opposed to one that once held oil. Sorry for the confusion.
 
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I was trying to say that I used a 55 gallon barrel in my filtration system, but was careful to use a food grade barrel as opposed to one that once held oil. Sorry for the confusion.
Hi Tula, understood. The barrel originally held whisky. I don’t know why I’m getting oil on the surface but anyway I’m going to fill it again and let it sit for a while before I put plants in. I used some grey pavers to raise some plants and don’t know if the oil could have come from them.
 
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Maybe you could wash it out with water and just one small drop of dishwashing liquid to break any oil residu in the barrel. And wash it out with just only water. Since it's just whisky I wouldn't be to afraid of it.
 
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Hi AquaticZone, since my last post , the pond has been full for a while with no oil film forming, so fingers crossed it may have cleared. Thanks for your suggestion, I will try that if the oil returns. I’m going to put the plants in this weekend and hopefully finally get to enjoy it. Cheere, June
 
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