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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am starting my first tank soon and am gradually piecing together all the supplies and equipment I will need. I am a chef and have access to a steady supply of 5 gallon pickle buckets that seem to me they would make great buckets for water changes, substrate rinsing, etc. The thing is that despite hand washing as well as washing in a high temperature industrial dish washer I can't seem to get rid of the smell of pickles. The smell itself isn't that big of a concern to me as it is only noticeable when the buckets are empty and u stick your face near them. My concern is that if I can smell it that maybe some of the vinegar could leech into any water I put in there. Is this possible or are they safe? If they aren't safe than how can I make them safe? Thanks, -Kevin
 

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20+ years ago I worked at McDonalds. I got 5 gallon pickles buckets from there and used them to mix salt for my marine tanks. Never had any bad experiences. YMMV
 

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Pickle buckets should be fine. For the uses you're talking about leaching shouldn't be an issue because of the short time of exposure. Even if it is the biggest problems would be salt which if you,re keeping hard water species would be harmless. And the other would be pH, vinegar is acidic which may lower the pH in the bucket but it should be insignificant amount of pH change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
sirdavidofdiscus

Thank you all, with safety concerns out of the way, is it possible to get rid of the smell anyway?
 

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I used a good amount of baking soda (didn't measure, just dumped some in) and hot water in a 5g bucket that was used to store some sort of garlic concoction. After about a day of soaking, the garlic odor seems to be gone. Baking soda is great at removing odors and I imagine the hot water allowed the pores in the plastic to enlarge a little bit as well. I have another bucket with the same odor and plan on trying the used water from the first bucket and see if it will work on the odor in the second bucket too.
 

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I dont think it would hurt things too much, but if you can detect an odor, it means something is there, and that would worry me if I was going to store water in them long term.

I think the baking soda idea is a good try.

I would also try a bleach solution (note to all users, do not use hot water with bleach, it inactivates it, instead use warm) let it soak over night, then rince it out until you cannot smell the bleach anymore. That might also help.
 

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I've used pickle buckets in the past. The smell does go away eventually. I never had any problems with them at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
MalawiLover
Definitely will be getting a python, but won't I need to add water conditioner in a bucket before adding it to the tank, during water changes, or is it ok to just pour it into the tank before adding the new water.

-Kevin
 
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