Worried about leaks and cracks - 30 gal plastic tote. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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Worried about leaks and cracks - 30 gal plastic tote.

Well, I built a aeroponic garden out of a 30 gallon plastic tote that I got from home depot. It runs fine right now, now leaks or anything, but now I'm worried...

I read about a few people having their plastic totes spontaneously crack and leak everywhere when used for water storage. It's only filled about halfway right now, but I'm still paranoid. When you shine light on the inside of the tub, you can see the imperfections in the plastic.

Any thoughts on prevention or precautions to prevent a huge problem if it happens? I was thinking about getting a stock tank that is designed for water storage, but none of them have lids... Maybe a tote inside a tote?





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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 04:20 AM
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I've kept 6 of these rubbermaids full of water for 4 years with no cracks, leaks or busts. I even had 3 of them as aeroponic gardens like yours.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 04:32 AM
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you could allways wrap it tight in something like the clear plastic they use to make up pallets. that should take some of the stress off the sides
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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I've kept 6 of these rubbermaids full of water for 4 years with no cracks, leaks or busts. I even had 3 of them as aeroponic gardens like yours.
Well, that's reassuring, but being living in a 5th floor apartment still has me a little paranoid...
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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you could allways wrap it tight in something like the clear plastic they use to make up pallets. that should take some of the stress off the sides
The bungie reinforcement that I have on there seems to have taken a lot of the pressure off the sides. But I'm worried that over time it could still develop cracks.

I could buy a shorter, but wider and longer tote to set this one inside. It wouldn't really be doing anything unless there were a leak and then it would catch all the water
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 04:57 AM
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hmmm, I've never done anything like you're doing here so take my suggestions with a grain of salt, haha.

I like your idea of the outer contain to use an emergency catch basin but may be unsightly.

If that's a factor you could line the inside with a pond or pool liner. Coat the inside of the tote will silicon and stick the liner to it. That in conjunction with you side stress reduction should make it safe as the silicone and liner will prevent any plastic imperfections from breaking.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 05:09 AM
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Oh, and here's a tip... Paint the outside or inside of the lid flat black to avoid algae build up on the inside. I hate green water
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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hmmm, I've never done anything like you're doing here so take my suggestions with a grain of salt, haha.

I like your idea of the outer contain to use an emergency catch basin but may be unsightly.

If that's a factor you could line the inside with a pond or pool liner. Coat the inside of the tote will silicon and stick the liner to it. That in conjunction with you side stress reduction should make it safe as the silicone and liner will prevent any plastic imperfections from breaking.
Hmmm, that's an interesting idea. It might not help that much if there was a MAJOR split, but it would prevent leaks from any small cracks or whatnot. Is this something that could be found at Lowes or Home Depot?

You're right that a second tub might look a little dumb. My only thought is that I'm a bigger fan of redundant systems rather than preventative ones. Prevention may make it less likely to fail, but if it does fail you're still in trouble. Maybe the second tub could be made to have second function or somehow pretty it up a little.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 11:55 PM
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Could you buy the exact same tote and "Nest" one in the other? Some tote designs fit pretty sung inside each other. That would give you renforcement & damage control back-up.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 03:12 AM
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Could you buy the exact same tote and "Nest" one in the other? Some tote designs fit pretty sung inside each other. That would give you renforcement & damage control back-up.

That's so ridiculously simple it's bound to fail! lol.

That's actually a great idea... the only complication would be any bulk heads build into the tote. It looks as if the spray bar is build into the tote itself. It would possible but just takes a little extra effort in the plumping.


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 03:24 AM
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There are totes, and there are totes. Some people use that thin brittle plastic tote that if you look at it funny, breaks. Yours looks like the type (greasy tough durable LDP) that would take a great deal of force to break. I wouldn't worry about it, frankly. I used totes like those for reservoirs and put bulkheads in them with never a problem. The one you have looks like the same material they use for trash cans. I say you're good to go.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 03:16 AM
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That's so ridiculously simple it's bound to fail! lol.

That's actually a great idea...
I had some machine parts(heavy) stored for 3 years in two "nested" rubber made tubs. When I finnaly sold them I actually needed to use a long screw driver as a prybar to seperate them.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-27-2011, 02:06 AM
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You could just rap it up in duct tape.. Yes it is ghetto but it will get the job done.


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-13-2011, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Well, here's what I ended up doing. I went to the container store with identical tote in hand and found a wider shallower. This particular one holds ~12 gallons. So I just fill my reservoir up to the 10 gal mark and I'm good to go. It came with a lid that I may modify to make an nice cover for the second tub.

The plants are about 3 weeks old.

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