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Does a smell in my barrel mean possible contaminates?

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Hey all quick question. I am prepping my mixing station (very similar to what Drimo did) and although it is not stained I can still smell the soft drink syrup that was first in the barrel. Does this mean it still has the potential of releasing baddies into my reef tank?

PS i have already rinsed it a few times and also used some vinegar. I plan on getting a big jug of vinegar and rinsing it a few more times also. Thanks all

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  1. Sumpmonkey's Avatar
    I went old school with my thirty two gallon barrel it was a fruit juice concentrate container grape i think.I filled it with about 30 gallons of water then topped it off with clorox straight bleach ran with a powerhead for three days.Drained it and rinsed it three times let it air out for a week then did five gallons of vinegar mixed with 27 gallons of water ran that for three days.rinsed numerous times.let it air out for a week and never looked back
  2. baker.shawn's Avatar
    i think they key here is to use super hot water + bleach + maybe some soap (dont quote me on that) the hot water will help to open the pores in the plastic and the cleaners you select will...well clean lol makesure you also rinse with super hot water to makesure you get all your cleaing product out...the smell will go away eventually, as long as you know you cleaned it well it should be all you need to sleep well at night while your fresh SW mixes itself
  3. Mustang's Avatar
    Thanks guys both methods sound good and although i don't want to wait and let it air dry for a week i don't think i have a choice. My brother picked up my RO/DI unit ( one of Marc's) as he lives on a boarder town but we missed our first chance to meet up then he forgot it the second time. Ahh family no choice but to love them. I just hate lugging water from my LFS about 30gals a week when i have an RO/DI unit already paid for but is about 4-5hrs away.
  4. jlemoine2's Avatar
    I'm thinking if there is something in the container causing a smell, then there is still residue in the container that will likely leach into your water. When using a used container for water storage, you must ensure it is cleaned out. I'm not sure I would go as far as Sumpmonkey did, but certainly a hot water bleach soaking would do the trick. If anything, doing the deep cleaning would give you peace of mind. You don't want to be thinking of your root-beer smelling water every time you try and diagnose a problem with your tank. :-)
  5. Sumpmonkey's Avatar
    This actually started a nice discussion amongst a few of my local friends. One of my friends did basically the same thing i did but he also made a paste of baking soda and ro water and scrubbed his barrel out with a filter pad and the paste.I guess some may think i went a little crazy on the cleaning.But with the price of livestock and some corals costing a days pay you cant be to careful
    happy tanks to ya
  6. melev's Avatar
    Baking Soda and water works. Where can you get a bunch of hot water outside? Usually you can't. Maybe at a coin operated car wash location.

    Muriatic acid works too. However, you need to know where you will pour out the solution when done.

    I got my barrels from Dr Pepper and the syrup smell was strong and long lasting. I'd soaked the barrel for a long time - days in fact - but it wouldn't go away. I think it was actually the underside of the top part (aka what we could call the lid). When the barrel was full, that convex area just wasn't getting wet and an airpocket surely existed. I did a lot of rinsing, then decided to stop worrying about the syrupy smell. Never had a problem and used the barrels for years. Still do as needed.
  7. reefocd's Avatar

    Never Never Never mix Bleach and Vinegar together. Toxic combination.

  8. baker.shawn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by reefocd

    Never Never Never mix Bleach and Vinegar together. Toxic combination.

    really ..... oops!
    being a chemistry student you would think i would of thought of this earlyer
    2HOCl + 2HCH3COO ↔ Cl2 + 2H2O + 2 CH3COO-
    products being chlorine gas, water and acetate.....well now i know
  9. reefocd's Avatar
    I may have done it once before I knew. Explained on link below;
  10. Mustang's Avatar
    Just a quick update i set the barrel up in the fish room and filled it with hot water and some Bleach let it sit for about 12+ hours and that seems to have done the trick i gave it a quick rinse with cold water and that smell seems to be just about gone. So i will let it air dry over night and give it a fill of just hot water again tomorrow let it sit again then drain it and rinse again and should be good to go after that. I should have the RO/DI unit i bought from Marc in my hands on April 2nd and you can be guaranteed that i will probably have it installed on the 3rd. Thanks again all for the suggestions and feedback.
    PS If you are curious as to how this is all going to pan out watch for a blog on my set up in mid April.
  11. melev's Avatar
    I should have made it arrive on April 1st, and be an empty box save one haydike block of concrete.
  12. Mustang's Avatar
    OOhhh that would have been one of those jokes that was only funny a year later. Any who the weekend will be here soon enough and my wait will be over. Oh but i hate to wait lol
  13. melev's Avatar
    What's your real name? It be nice to know who Mustang is.