They say hindsight is 20/20, and during this unexpectedly wet San Diego winter, you’re probably wishing you had a system set up to collect all that free water falling from the sky to use for landscaping and cleaning (or even drinking and cooking if you have a high-quality water filtration device).
It’s not too late. This wet winter isn’t over yet, and IBC totes are excellent for collecting rainwater from your roof. But before you go shopping, remember that although many IBC totes come in white or light colors, in some cases, black IBC totes are a better fit. Take a look below at what makes black IBC totes perfect for hydroponic gardening and rainwater collection.
Black stops sunlight in its tracks
When choosing an IBC tote for your rainwater collection system, there will be many options available including size, new or reconditioned, and food grade or non-food grade. You’ll also have a choice of color for the tote, and when it comes to storing water, black is great choice. Black IBC totes are great for water storage because they’re light proof. This is important because even the tiniest sliver of sunlight is all it takes for algae and bacteria to bloom. And cleaning algae out of an IBC tote is no easy or rewarding task, to say the least.
Urban farming made simple
Whether you’re growing flowers and tomatoes, or taking advantage of Prop. 64 to grow some recreational herbs, hydroponic grow systems are a popular choice, especially with newbie urban farmers lacking significant farmland. In a nutshell, hydroponic systems don’t use soil—instead, plants sprout roots and grow in a neutral growing medium (like lava rocks) and all the nutrients are provided with a mix of water and liquid plant food. IBC totes can store large amounts of premixed watering solution, and also aid in flushing, filtering, and re-watering the plants. But again, a black IBC tote will prevent light penetration, which you’ll want even if your system is set up indoors because grow lights have the same algae-producing effect as sunlight.
Aquaponics: The new frontier in home gardening
If you want to take your hydroponic system to the next level of sustainability, check out aquaponics, which is the marriage of hydroponics and aquaculture to grow plants and raise fish together in one integrated system. Fish, living in the main water tank portion of the IBC tote, provide nutrient-rich waste to fertilize the plants (with some help from microbes and worms thriving in the growing medium), while the plants provide a natural filter for the water. This means you won’t need to buy plant food or strictly monitor the pH levels of the nutrients (as you do with traditional hydroponic systems), and you won’t need to periodically flush the system to remove salt and chemical build-up. With aquaponics, all you need to do is top off the water level as it evaporates and eat the fish when the tote gets crowded. For aquaponics, you can get an IBC tote in any color—if algae starts to bloom, the fish will eat it right up.
We have your black IBC totes for hydroponics and rain collection. But that’s not all!
In addition to a wide range of IBC totes and accessories, San Diego Drums & Totes offers a complete line of replacement parts, tools, and pumps, along with rain barrels, plastic and metal drums, water storage tanks, buckets and jugs, and much more. So if you want to step up your home’s self-sufficiency with rainwater collection or hydroponic gardening, check us out today.