Whiskey barrel water garden

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by ShawnInfirmity, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. ShawnInfirmity

    ShawnInfirmity

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    I’ve been researching ideas for a new water garden recently and I decided on something small like a container garden. The idea for a whiskey barrel garden came to mind when I remembered I had a small planter barrel that wasn’t being used for anything. Of course, that turned into a bigger and better barrel and barrel liner from the big blue box store. Gravel for the bottom and plants of course. I didn’t do the best job of rinsing the gravel initially but I drained the barrel, scooped the gravel out, and rinsed it off using a kitchen strainer and now the water is a lot better. The next idea is to get a pump/fountain for filtration and water circulation and add some minnows for mosquito control.

    Disclaimer: the last picture is before I re-rinsed the gravel not after. It's a LOT less murky now and I'm hoping the filter/fountain will help clear it up the rest of the way.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
    ShawnInfirmity, Apr 16, 2018
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  2. ShawnInfirmity

    ROW FISH

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    Great Idea using the planter as the liner. I have had a half whiskey barrel since Christmas that I have planned to do a small container water feature with but i have struggled with the thought in my mind of how to fix the liner without making it obvious that it is there and take away from the beauty of the barrel. I will definitely be stealing this idea and making my own once i finish my current pond project.
     
    ROW FISH, Apr 16, 2018
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  3. ShawnInfirmity

    ShawnInfirmity

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    Steal away! (y) If you already have the barrel, the liner can definitely be purchased by itself for around $20

    This is the one I purchased from the big blue box store:
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/MacCourt-20-Gallon-Black-High-Density-Polyethylene-Pond-Liner/999948250

    The only reason I bought the barrel in addition to the liner is because my original barrel was much too small for the liner. The barrel needs to be about 25-26 inches wide and around 15-16 inches deep for the liner to fit just right.
     
    ShawnInfirmity, Apr 16, 2018
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  4. ShawnInfirmity

    ROW FISH

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    PERFECT!!! Thanks for the link. I will take a measurement of the barrel to confirm it will fit. i will gladly pay the $20 to avoid having to macgyver some way to attach the flexible liner. And virtually no concerns with leaking using the insert you have referenced.
     
    ROW FISH, Apr 16, 2018
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  5. ShawnInfirmity

    ShawnInfirmity

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    Nice! Glad I could be of help @Rowland Moffatt . I would love to see how yours turns out when you get it done. I'll hopefully be adding my filter/fountain soon. It will be nice to have the sound of water in the front yard as well as the back.
     
    ShawnInfirmity, Apr 16, 2018
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  6. ShawnInfirmity

    ROW FISH

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    Will do!!! I should be starting mine in a month or two. So please show us finished pictures and lessons learned from yours as that will be helpful and informational. The pond I'm currently working on is in my front yard as I had the same though as you "It will be nice to have the sound of water in the front yard as well as the back."
     
    ROW FISH, Apr 16, 2018
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  7. ShawnInfirmity

    ShawnInfirmity

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    I picked up the container fountain kit, also from the big blue box store, for about $20. After a quick set up and testing the three heads on the fountain I settled on “bell” for my spray pattern. I also took a picture of the water post gravel re-rinse. What do y'all think?
     

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    ShawnInfirmity, Apr 17, 2018
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  8. ShawnInfirmity

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Looks nice!
     
    addy1, Apr 17, 2018
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    Tula

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    Makes me wish I hadn't given mine to our neighbor ! It looks great :)
     
    Tula, Apr 17, 2018
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  10. ShawnInfirmity

    Panzer13

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    This is exactly how I started out, a whiskey barrel, liner and four 29 cent gold fish. I think you are doing it rite mosquito fish are a better option because they remain small. The barrel worked fine, now I use it as a planter. I would recommend using a sealer on the barrel for two reasons. One in time the wood will become bleached by the sun as all untreated lumber does. Second the wood will last allot longer.
    I sealed mine inside and out. I used a liner as well so no harm to the fish from chemicals.
     
    Panzer13, Apr 17, 2018
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  11. ShawnInfirmity

    ROW FISH

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    Great advise on using the sealer
     
    ROW FISH, Apr 17, 2018
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  12. ShawnInfirmity

    Panzer13

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    Thank you, the fish were quit happy in the barrel they just grew too big for it. So I built them a larger pond.
    One another piece of advice. Wood will wick water from the ground, even treated lumber. If possible I would put the barrel on something like bricks. I am sure you don't get as much rainfall in Texas as we do in Washington, but this will also extend the lifespan of wood.
     
    Panzer13, Apr 17, 2018
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  13. ShawnInfirmity

    ShawnInfirmity

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    Thanks everyone for the nice comments and thanks @Panzer13 for the tips. I'll look into sealer and paver stones to set it on as soon as possible. I definitely want it to look as nice as possible for as long as possible!
     
    ShawnInfirmity, Apr 17, 2018
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  14. ShawnInfirmity

    Panzer13

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    Glad to help.
     
    Panzer13, Apr 17, 2018
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  15. ShawnInfirmity

    bettasngoldfish Maria

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    Looks great :)

    Just want to mention you have to be careful of the fountain head being knocked over and emptying the barrel. Happened to me in a much larger stock tank. Luckily I had the pump raised up on bricks so it didn't completely empty (other wise I would have lost my fish)

    Also if you are planning to have fish you probably won't want the barrel to be in full sun all day. Small amounts of water heat up fast and may not be good for the fish. Green water could also be an issue in a very sunny area.

    I have a half barrel pond that is plastic but looks like wood. It holds about 25-30 gallons of water if filled to the top. I use it for plants, haven't tried keeping any fish in it.

    Can't wait to see how yours turns out.
     
    bettasngoldfish, Apr 18, 2018
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  16. ShawnInfirmity

    ShawnInfirmity

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    @bettasngoldfish, That's for the reminder about the potential issue(s) and I think I'm either going to place a stone or brick on top of the pump casing to hold it down/in place or put a brick under the pump casing so if it falls over it won't drain the whole pot.

    As far as the fish go, I am most likely going to wait until the plants grow quite a bit so the fish will have some shade from the leaves/pads. Since my house is two stories (and the barrel is in my front flower bed) this helps block the morning sun so it doesn't get direct/overhead sunlight until about 1:30 pm and by the time the sun is going down in the evening at around 5:30 pm it will have received about 4 hrs of direct sunlight. I was hoping that would be the best spot so it wouldn't get too hot but it would be enough sun for the lilies to actually bloom? The lilies I have in my backyard pond have never bloomed and I always assumed it was because they don't get enough direct sunlight.
     
    ShawnInfirmity, Apr 18, 2018
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  17. ShawnInfirmity

    callingcolleen1 mad hatter

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    you could put Guppies in there!!
     
    callingcolleen1, Apr 18, 2018
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  18. ShawnInfirmity

    ROW FISH

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    making it a tropical pond would be great. you could even get a little cheap heater for the winter being that you are in tx. and just cover for the hard freezes.
     
    ROW FISH, Apr 18, 2018
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  19. ShawnInfirmity

    Panzer13

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    True but guppies breed like rabbits and that could lead to over crowing fast.
     
    Panzer13, Apr 18, 2018
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  20. ShawnInfirmity

    ShawnInfirmity

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    I'm probably just going to stick with minnows since they are readily available and inexpensive. If the container was larger I might be tempted to throw a couple of goldfish in there, but it's only 20 gallons and has about 5 gallons (4 inches) worth of pea gravel on the bottom.
     
    ShawnInfirmity, Apr 18, 2018
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