You can use any food grade bucket. You can turn it into a "bottling bucket" by getting a spigot, drilling a hole in the bucket and installing the spigot. I've had to replace mine a few times, for various reasons, and they are prety cheap, around $3.50.
As for knowing when they are carbonated, I usually let them sit at room temp for about 2 weeks and then put one in the fridge and sample. If they are good, I move the batch to the basement and put them in rotation with the rest.