Water Trough Algae - Pool Shock?

   #1  

Argonne

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Algae in stock tanks is a constant problem. It's not a huge time waster to clean, but it would sure be nice if it didn't form in the first place. I have researched treating the water with bleach, but that requires 2-3 oz of household bleach per 50 gal trough, and the transport/handling/measuring and long term expense seems like it would be worse than just cleaning the troughs twice a week. A concentrated powder based product, however, might solve those problems as long as it dissolved and dispersed quickly enough to not harm any livestock that used the trough shortly after treatment. I looked into copper sulfate, but there are some sheep that drink from these troughs, so that is a non starter. The other species that use the troughs are horses, goats, dogs, and donkeys.

Has anyone used pool shock or other pool products successfully for this purpose, or anything else for that matter?
 
   #2  

Steppenwolfe

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Algae in stock tanks is a constant problem. It's not a huge time waster to clean, but it would sure be nice if it didn't form in the first place. I have researched treating the water with bleach, but that requires 2-3 oz of household bleach per 50 gal trough, and the transport/handling/measuring and long term expense seems like it would be worse than just cleaning the troughs twice a week. A concentrated powder based product, however, might solve those problems as long as it dissolved and dispersed quickly enough to not harm any livestock that used the trough shortly after treatment. I looked into copper sulfate, but there are some sheep that drink from these troughs, so that is a non starter. The other species that use the troughs are horses, goats, dogs, and donkeys.

Has anyone used pool shock or other pool products successfully for this purpose, or anything else for that matter?

I don't know for sure, but is there a product to change the ph without hurting the livestock? https://www.cuteness.com/article/conditions-water-algae-grow
 
   #3  

Diggin It

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Household bleach is about $2/gallon, sometimes less, so I don't see a lot of cost there. If you want to use some other chemical, look for products for fish ponds/tanks. Pretty sure they're more expensive than bleach though.

How big are the tanks? There are solar powered agitators/aerators that might help.
 
   #4  

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Years ago I visited a mate who worked at a thoroughbred stud = multiple horses. They had goldfish in all of the paddock troughs; 3 or 4 per trough.

:confused3: Seemed to work for them.
 
   #5  

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Plecos {Algae Eaters} are at the pet store and cheap.
They live about 10 yrs or until the horse knocks the trough over.
Whichever comes first
 
   #6  

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Will the animals still drink from the trough - if yes, then don't worry about it. A little algae in the trough only bothers you - not them.
 
   #7  

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If you use pool shock or bleach, you still have to measure either one, so I don't see that there's any benefit over either. They are both sodium hypochlorite, just in different concentrations. You'll still have to treat at the same intervals, so there's no time saving. You'll still have to carry a jug of fluid and a measuring device. You can get bleach at many locations, grocery store, walmart, dollar store, etc... and you can't get pool shock at walmart in the off season (at least around here). You still have to store it as well.
 
   #8  

gunny0628

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We have a horse farm and several troughs for water. We have goldfish in our troughs which mostly keep the mosquitos down (here in Florida). It really does nothing for the algae. The water has to keep moving or be fresh for the algae to keep away. For us, we just clean our troughs as part of our weekly farm maintenance plan. Even with bleach it won’t be enough to keep the algae down and not harm the animals that are drinking it. Once a year we pressure wash all the troughs. We keep a swimming pool net at each trough so that we can net out debris when we fill them.

Good luck.
 
   #9  

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In our swimming pool we use bleach to shock and salt water through a chlorine generator for daily chlorine. We used to use regular chlorine before the salt water conversion. We used baquacile for many years before that. But no matter what method we used for sanitation, we always had to add an algaecide. I don't know of any other way to keep algae at bay, other than dump, scrub and refill on a regular basis. Don't know how algaecide would be for horse drinking water. This has to be a commonly dealt with maintenance item for horse owners. Do they all dump, scrub, refill on a regular basis? Or is there horse trough algaecide safe for horses?
 
  
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Argonne

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Household bleach is about $2/gallon, sometimes less, so I don't see a lot of cost there. If you want to use some other chemical, look for products for fish ponds/tanks. Pretty sure they're more expensive than bleach though.

How big are the tanks? There are solar powered agitators/aerators that might help.

7 tanks various sizes and locations and up to 100 gal. Un-attended location. Using household bleach at about 14oz per day will add up to a significant expense, and since there would be about 2500 applications a year, it is a forgone conclusion that spilling during handling will occur with attendant clothing damage, therefore, a liquid product containing sodium hypochlorite is out. When I say pool shock I am talking about a powdered product that remains relatively inert until it is wetted. That could be safely handled and measured quickly, and, purchased in bulk quite cheaply, way cheaper than household bleach.

Among "other products" is copper sulfate, but it kills sheep, so that's out.

The fish ideas are out as well. One or more of these tanks get emptied every day depending upon which ones get attention from the horses. They empty one, and move on to the next.

Automatic waterers are out as well. There are goats roaming this location, and they get into, and destroy, everything. An automatic waterer+goats=$1000 water bill eventually. (A neighbor of mine came up with a fail-safe system that works well, however. He put a sprinkler timer ahead of the automatic valve, so even if the auto-valve gets stuck, the water will only flow for X time and then shut off. I might try it some day, but with multiple locations in this case, it's a non starter anyway).

Oh, hey, just for comic relief, let me add a goat video...[video]https://www.facebook.com/100009544525285/videos/vb.100009544525285/2256215694706559/?type=2&video_source=user_video_tab[/video]
 
   #11  

MossRoad

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7 tanks various sizes and locations and up to 100 gal. Un-attended location. Using household bleach at about 14oz per day will add up to a significant expense, and since there would be about 2500 applications a year, it is a forgone conclusion that spilling during handling will occur with attendant clothing damage, therefore, a liquid product containing sodium hypochlorite is out. When I say pool shock I am talking about a powdered product that remains relatively inert until it is wetted. That could be safely handled and measured quickly, and, purchased in bulk quite cheaply, way cheaper than household bleach.

Among "other products" is copper sulfate, but it kills sheep, so that's out.

The fish ideas are out as well. One or more of these tanks get emptied every day depending upon which ones get attention from the horses. They empty one, and move on to the next.

Automatic waterers are out as well. There are goats roaming this location, and they get into, and destroy, everything. An automatic waterer+goats=$1000 water bill eventually. (A neighbor of mine came up with a fail-safe system that works well, however. He put a sprinkler timer ahead of the automatic valve, so even if the auto-valve gets stuck, the water will only flow for X time and then shut off. I might try it some day, but with multiple locations in this case, it's a non starter anyway).

Oh, hey, just for comic relief, let me add a goat video...[video]https://www.facebook.com/100009544525285/videos/vb.100009544525285/2256215694706559/?type=2&video_source=user_video_tab[/video]

You ever mix powdered pool shock and spilled it on your clothes? Same as bleach. You can't just dump the powder in a tank. You have to put the powder in a bucket of water to dissolve it, then pour it into the larger tank. Seems like more of an opportunity to spill vs just pouring liquid from a jug.
 
   #12  

gunny0628

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I also have a salt water pool and the shock that comes in a bag is not inexpensive. Here it is 7.99 a bag. There just isn’t anything to put in a trough that is safe for horses. Auto waterer or clean it manually on a regular basis. They do make injectors for household water systems, I have a Stenner periostatic pump on my home system that pumps chlorine into our house water. Not an economical solution for the horse trough IMO.
 
   #13  

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I get the pint size plastic bottles of Shock that includes an algaecide for about $6, sometimes less. I toss a cap full or two of dry granules into a 1,000 gallon pool. Dissolves instantly. The label says it's people safe in 15 minutes. Not sure about critter drinking safe.
 
  
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Argonne

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You ever mix powdered pool shock and spilled it on your clothes? Same as bleach. You can't just dump the powder in a tank. You have to put the powder in a bucket of water to dissolve it, then pour it into the larger tank. Seems like more of an opportunity to spill vs just pouring liquid from a jug.

The only reason you mix powdered pool shock at all is to keep the granules from staining the bottom of your pool before they dissolve. Why would I pre-dissolve it in anything in this application? If a tablespoon per 50 gallons is required you toss in a tablespoon and move on to the next task.
 
   #15  

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Reading along which I've been doing since the first post, my only comment is whatever you use, if your stock's (cattle or horses or sheep or whatever), if their nose whiskers and hair turn blonde, you are using too much.:laughing:
 
   #16  

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I get the pint size plastic bottles of Shock that includes an algaecide for about $6, sometimes less. I toss a cap full or two of dry granules into a 1,000 gallon pool. Dissolves instantly. The label says it's people safe in 15 minutes. Not sure about critter drinking safe.

Me neither. I tend not to drink our pool water. Beers instead. :drink:
 
   #17  

MossRoad

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The only reason you mix powdered pool shock at all is to keep the granules from staining the bottom of your pool before they dissolve. Why would I pre-dissolve it in anything in this application? If a tablespoon per 50 gallons is required you toss in a tablespoon and move on to the next task.

My powdered shock comes in a pouch. 13.5 ounces of powder for 13,500 gallons.

13,500/13.5=1000

1 ounce of powder treats 1000 gallons.

1/20 of an ounce(by weight) will treat 50 gallons. You'll have to weigh out 1/20 of an ounce and decide what unit of volume that is (for example, 1/20 of a tablespoon?)

Here's the part I'd be concerned about from the manufacturer's website.

You're supposed to add it while the pump is running to circulate it and:

"wait until your free available chlorine levels are between 1 and 4 ppm (parts per million) before using your pool."

You'll have to measure it with test strips. Also, the PH of the water affects it as well.

Really, this problem with algae in stock tanks on horse farms has to have been around since the dawn of stock tanks. What have people been doing to address this issue all this time? :confused3:
 
   #19  

gsganzer

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I think you're better off just cleaning by hand. But, if your intent of controlling algae with chlorine or bleach maybe you could use a floating pool chlorinator with the pellets in it.

here's the one that floats in my stock tank "cool pool".
Float.jpg
 
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Really, this problem with algae in stock tanks on horse farms has to have been around since the dawn of stock tanks. What have people been doing to address this issue all this time? :confused3:

Precisely, and it's just possible that all it takes is a little thinking "outside the box" and the leveraging of existing technology and product streams to solve the problem. An obvious solution is to use an easily handled dry product that can be precisely measured in small doses to treat known quantities of water quickly. It seems so simple that somebody must have tried it, and since this board has so many innovative people on it, I thought I would ask if anyone had evaluated the process and determined it to be effective and safe for the livestock. I am looking for empirical evidence. I already have my own opinion, which is that it could be risky, hence, the reason I am asking around for someone who has tried it.

Speaking of the dawn of stock tanks, the old adage "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" could not be truer. Horses are extremely particular about their water sources. If there is any scum floating on top, they will not touch it. We have one horse that has to have a particularly colored bucket of she won't drink (an Appaloosa, no surprise there). Horses foul their water regularly by depositing vegetable matter in it when they drink. This jump starts algae growth, and it can become foul in a couple of hours in the summer months, rendering a full trough un-palatable.
 
   #23  

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I think the best way to treat your tanks is with liquid bleach I know you don’t want to use liquid but what if you used a self measuring bottle see attached link Tip n Pour Measuring Bottle, Tip n Pour Bottle for Pest Control then basically all you need to do is measure out your ounce or 2 ounces depending on the size of the tank. This would keep the process pretty simple. Ideally you will want to keep the chlorine level at 4 parts per million (which is safe for humans to drink) and still prevent algae growth. The down side is this would be a daily affair.
 
  
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Argonne

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Maybe ask around on some horse boards. :confused3:
Maybe a livestock board. Horse boards are utterly dominated by complete whack-jobs. If I asked this question on one, I would have a hundred irate replies in a hour.
 
  
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Argonne

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I think the best way to treat your tanks is with liquid bleach.
Like you, we live in Texas. Imagine transporting bleach in any spray, squeeze, tilt-dose, etc bottle in your vehicle, every day, 365 days a year, and employing it 2500 times a year. There will be accidents with liquid bleach, and accidents with liquid bleach are expensive and dangerous.
 
   #26  

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Maybe a livestock board. Horse boards are utterly dominated by complete whack-jobs. If I asked this question on one, I would have a hundred irate replies in a hour.

I can only imagine. We were involved in 4H for 15 years with out kids. We always joked that there are two 4H fairs; one for the horse people, and one for everyone else. :laughing:

I'm not sure just chlorine will solve your algae issue. We always use an algaecide along with chlorine. Don't know how safe that stuff is for animals to drink. I mean, yeah, people might swallow a bit of water in a pool, but it's not like we're drinking gallons of it every day like a horse would.
 
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   #31  

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algae can't grow without sunlight, so shading the troughs is the easiest maintenance free way. in my pool, I use chlorine tablets which has a chlorine stabilizer, and I never had a problem all summer with algae. in my pond, I use a UV sterilizer light, which gets fed by the waterfall pump. that works too, but then you have to have a pump system along with the sterilizer light, which gets plumbed into the pump..
 
   #32  

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When I was a kid, we had a concrete trough for the cow and horse and we put a catfish in there that Dad said would keep it clean. I know we never emptied or cleaned it.
 
   #33  

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The shade works. We have two troughs In the shade and one in direct sunlight. The one in the sunlight always has algae. When we head down to the barn we let the water run over. The horses have never had an issue drinking out of the water with algae in it. They usually shake their upper lip/muzzle around to move the water and get to the cleaner stuff below the surface. Adding a chemical to the water in my opinion is a vet bill waiting to happen.
 
   #35  

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Am I the only person who uses vinegar? Cheap white vinegar. A little bit in my dog's water bucket, a little bit for the chickens, a little in the horse water trough. It changes the ph factor and helps keep algae from growing. I even drink a little vinegar in water often for health purposes. My horses actually seem to like the water better with vinegar in it. I keep a few goldfish in my water trough to eat the mosquito larvae and they all seem to be healthy also. Horses contaminate the trough so badly that it will need to be cleaned out on a regular basis anyway, but not quite as often, and it is easier to clean out any algae that does grow in there.

Also, to slow algae growth, limit the amount of light in the trough. Putting a roof over it to keep direct sunlight out helps a lot. One of my troughs is an old bathtub and I made a cover for it that covers about 2/3 of the tub keeping light (and leaves) out, but allowing enough room for an animal to drink from it.
 
   #36  

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It was my job to treat the drinking water on a US Navy ship (in 1972)
The medical staff would sample the water, analyse it , and tell me how much chlorine to add to each of the 2,500 gallon tanks of water.

When we pulled into the Mediterranean Sea, the water that the ship made was so contaminated, I had to add 20X the usual amount of chlorine,,

All the guys would complain TO ME about the strong smell of the drinking water at the water fountains,,, :laughing:

So, in 1972, the correct answer to the question of what to use to treat the water was CHLORINE,,,:thumbsup:
 
   #38  

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don't know how horses would react. I use Clorox in my cattle trough
 
   #39  

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We have two 100 gallon troughs in our pasture. Both have had goldfish and I probably only clean them out once per year. One is on a fence row under some trees so it does a little better than the other which is in full sun. Horses, cows, and donkeys drink from them so there is frequently water moving. Maybe get rid of the goats? :D
 
   #40  

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Algae in stock tanks is a constant problem. It's not a huge time waster to clean, but it would sure be nice if it didn't form in the first place. I have researched treating the water with bleach, but that requires 2-3 oz of household bleach per 50 gal trough, and the transport/handling/measuring and long term expense seems like it would be worse than just cleaning the troughs twice a week. A concentrated powder based product, however, might solve those problems as long as it dissolved and dispersed quickly enough to not harm any livestock that used the trough shortly after treatment. I looked into copper sulfate, but there are some sheep that drink from these troughs, so that is a non starter. The other species that use the troughs are horses, goats, dogs, and donkeys.

Has anyone used pool shock or other pool products successfully for this purpose, or anything else for that matter?

Our tank is under a roof, so it never gets direct sunlight. We put a couple goldfish in it and they keep it clean. I don't know how well they would do if they tank was out in the sun because of how hot it gets here, but where they are at, they live for years and do well without any feed from us.
 
   #41  

robbyr

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Our tank is under a roof, so it never gets direct sunlight. We put a couple goldfish in it and they keep it clean. I don't know how well they would do if they tank was out in the sun because of how hot it gets here, but where they are at, they live for years and do well without any feed from us.

They do fine in the Texas sun. We do give ours a little fish food once in awhile.
 
 
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