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Wine barrel water feature

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:16 pm
by justjane1
I have recently purchased a half wine barrel complete with hand pump and water pump which I excitedly filled with water and plants on the first day. As the weeks have gone by, the sides of the barrel have become slimy to touch and the water has turned a murky brown and is full of mozzie wrigglers. I intended to put some fish in the barrel but have been warned that the water could be contaminated from the wine barrel and that the fish (and plants) may die.

I have considered buying a prefabricated barrel liner, but the dimensions of my barrel are not standard and so this wouldn't work. Another consideration is to line the barrel with pond liner, then fill with tank water, plants, then fish.

The barrel catches the sun (in summer) for approximately six hours and the water gets quite warm. Will fish and plants be OK in this environment or should I move the barrel to a shadier spot in the garden?

If anyone has any thoughts or ideas about what I could do, I would greatly appreciate them.

Re: Wine barrel water feature

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:39 am
by snakecharma
you can buy paint-on sealant for water features, works the same as a plastic liner. Should be able to buy it from a decent hardware/nursery.

I would also suggest a small aquarium pump with an airstone. If the water gets too hot the oxygen levels in the water may drop too low - it also will help circulate the water.
If outdoor electrics are not an option you can buy little battery operated aerators from fishing tackle shops.

HTH
:mrgreen:

Re: Wine barrel water feature

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:26 am
by justjane1
Cheers for that advice Snakecharma, I'll give it a go

Re: Wine barrel water feature

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:16 am
by Pam
As for the water heating up too much, is shading it with a few leafy plants an option?

Re: Wine barrel water feature

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:32 pm
by Coustralee
i saw a bit of a garden show the other day about slime in garden ponds, there is a product you can get that will stop it, his other tip was barley straw in an onion bag... not that i've ever seen barley straw anywhere :)

Re: Wine barrel water feature

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:54 am
by Pam
Coustralee, I bought a bale at the produce store.

Re: Wine barrel water feature

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:46 am
by Coustralee
theres sposed to be something in the barley straw that will stop the pond slime from growing

Re: Wine barrel water feature

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:39 pm
by MrFaulty
put a water lily on top (that will help keep the water cool). I had one some years ago and killed a few fish before they managed to survive; fill tjhe barrel and leave for a week, empty it and refill, do this half a dozen times or so, then put a water lily in with a few rainbow fish and the rainbow fish will keep the moquitos away - mine even bred in the barrel eventually!

Re: Wine barrel water feature

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:56 pm
by justjane1
Thanks everyone! I gave the barrel a good scrub last weekend and it's sitting collecting rainwater at the moment. The water still turns a bit brown but seems to be turning a lighter brown each time (if that makes sense).
I'll try a waterlily too - also moved the barrel to a slightly shadier spot.
I have been told that if I paint the inside with a sealer, then the barrel will eventually fall apart because the timber needs to be waterlogged, so I'll persevere with the cleaning.

Cheers everyone!