What to do with a big ole barrel?

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So, I have a rain barrel I got for free from a neighbor, similar to something like this (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbrande...h-Green-Brass-Spigot-55100009004281/202402181). It's probably around 50-55 gallons, though I haven't measured it.

Since it is "pretty" and not your ordinary storage drum, I was thinking it may be fun to try and integrate it into my pond upgrade, but I have no idea what to use it for. It's very sturdy and since it was free, i'm not afraid to experiment with drilling holes and adding piping, drains, etc.

I thought maybe I would try to make it in to some sort of filter that feeds a waterfall and am looking for suggestions. I've been looking at DIY Sand and Gravel filters, but my water coming in would be coming from a submersible caged pump, likely in a skimmer, so the water will probably be kind of dirty -- not sure if an S&G will be appropriate.

The new pond will be between 1500 and 2000 gallons (depends on how tired we get of digging), and my pump is a Laguna 2900 which will be split between my small bog (connected to a "middle pond" of about 450 gallons) and this barrel. Right now, all I have are 10 gold fish, so not a huge Bio Load, but I may dabble with 1 or 2 koi if the environment can support it (but that's a topic for a different thread...).

Anywho, what do y'all think? I'd like to make something that is helpful for the water in some way and won't end up being a nightmare to maintain (although the occasional flush every week or two seems reasonable). Plus, it has to continue to be "pretty" ;-)

Thoughts?
 
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I like your suggestion about turning it into some kind of feature - what about something like this?

9eb6cf834109f7bae064674d38b53a8f.jpg


I like how they have used an old water pump!
 
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Thanks, Becky and Tbendl! Both of these ideas are beautiful! If I do end up integrating the rain barrel somehow, i'd like to experiment with some sort of filtration just because I feel like i'm a bit lacking in that regard (or rather, I will be once the new pond is up and running). Aesthetically, though, these ideas are spot on! Now, to figure out what to do on the inside... maybe some sort of skippy getup?
 

tbendl

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Do a search on the site for rain barrel or skippy filters and a bunch of examples and walk throughs should show up, I've seen a bunch of people on this site convert barrels. Keep is informed with what you decide to do.
 

addy1

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My honey got me a 55 gallon barrel, I did a type of up flow skippy type set up. The piping enters at the top, goes down to the bottom flows back up and out a 2 inch piece of pvc. Mine is built into a mound of dirt on my slope, around 2 feet higher than the top of the stock tank. It waterfalls into the tank via a cut in 2 inch pvc pipe. I covered all with rocks so it looks like water is coming out of the rocks back into the pond.

How about a picture of your barrel so we can visualize what might work?
 
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Here's our rain barrel in all its glory!

2015-05-23 17.37.10.jpg

Totally not opposed to cutting holes where needed. As of now, i'm leaning more towards the skippy idea. Little bit worried about the wind and it being top heavy, though. Then again, it's prolly a few hundred pounds when filled with water, so as long as its level, it should be fine, I guess?
 

addy1

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It won't go anywhere when full of water. Since I turn all off for the winter, I have a bottom (side drain) to empty it of water for the winter. I just leave the drain open. It is just a two inch line with a rubber coupling that I can pull off and leave off.

Mine we cut the top off, usually plant impatiens in it. Just have not gotten around to it this year. At least green is easier on the eye than bright blue.
 
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Add some bakky filter media and turn it into a shower/bakky filter ie a very pretty bio filter as it cascades over the lip and back into the pond the water will also be rich in oxygen and the good bacteria will love it and so will the fish I built a k1 moving bed out of a water butt (with the help and advice from the forum members) its eary days as I set it up very early this year so as yet its not fully mature so no noticeable results as yet
 
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Thanks, Slick! I've seen pictures of Bakki showers, and they usually have a series of tiered baskets. Are you thinking something like that would be rigged up inside the barrel? Or it will cascade out from the barrel into something tiered? Or do I have the concept wrong?

Last night I spied a moving bed setup and I am intrigued! Would love to hear how your experience plays out! Did you post photos of it, by chance?
 

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