Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Park City KS (Our House consists of, 4 glass boxes 5 miniature dachshunds and a black cat)
Collecting rainwater, good, bad or illegal
We had two straight downspouts one on each corner of the back of our bi level home. It occurred to me one day just how much water is going to waste.
So over a period of time I picked the brains of those who would know of such things a way to save all the wasted water.
This is what I came up with, I hope my description helps anyone with a similar interest.
I used two 30 degree aluminum elbows to angle the downspout towards the center of the back of the house where our raised deck sits. As our home is bi-level we have a raised deck giving us access to upstairs from the back yard.
Two IBC totes fitted perfectly under the deck which was then enclosed with trellis. One side had hinges fitted giving access to both of the totes, although it is a tight fit.
The totes were picked up for $30 each locally off Craigslist and cleaned thoroughly three times using a high pressure power washer, they were left with the valve wide open to drain all the water and left to dry. Only then were the final fittings put in place and water collected. I would highly recommend asking what they carried initially.
There is a 2/3 hp sump pump in one with a fitting that reduces to a normal washing machine size hose that reaches into the house through a downstairs window.
When I replace both of them at the end of fall this year (they have lasted 9 years but now have a couple of cracks much to my dismay) the only changes I would make would be to place styrofoam sheeting between the cage and the tote itself. This will not stop the water from freezing in the dead of winter but it will keep it from freezing in the early frosts. When winter arrives I open both of the valves and they are left dry until the spring comes around again.
The water is pumped into the house into a Brute trash can where it is filtered and heated to tank temperature. Water changes are usually once a week where another sump pump of lesser power is connected to a 3/4" hose to reach and refill both aquariums.
We are considering adding a heater similar to those used on farms to keep cattle troughs from freezing thus giving access to the water all year round, we shall see.
Total cost was less than $100.
Both sump pumps were acquired through craigslist $20 for the larger one and $10 for the smaller one.
Two IBC totes $60 ($30 each)
Aluminum downspout, fasteners, screws, attachments and 4 elbows $15
The rainwater we get here in SE Kansas reaches us at a ph of 4.8 (tested at a local lab) and treated accordingly, so this again is something to be aware of in your locality.
I have read it is illegal in some cities to collect rainwater so please be aware of your local city ordinances.
Take only pictures, leave only footprints.
Last edited by StevieD; 07-16-2017 at 08:41 PM.