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Putting bleach in the water trough to keep down algae?

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  • Putting bleach in the water trough to keep down algae?

    I read on another board today about someone putting a small quantity of bleach in their horses' water trough to keep down the algae. This was in the water, not just to clean it. Apparently never had an issue with it. Anyone try this? It sounds awful, but I am always curious to learn new tricks.
  • Original Poster

    Actually, I just found another whole thread here on COTH about this very topic, so will read those responses.



    • #3
      We used to put goldfish in the water troughs when I was a kid The fish lived and they ate the algae. It worked.

      If you live in an area that freezes, you should bring them inside in the winter.


      • #4
        All i know is the horses love to taste the bleach water! Every time i clean their buckets/troughs with bleach they all try to lick your hands.

        Isn't bleach sprayed on seafood and fish at the grocery store some times?


        • #5
          How about GreenClean's Algaecide powder?
          <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Linda View Post
            We used to put goldfish in the water troughs when I was a kid The fish lived and they ate the algae. It worked.

            If you live in an area that freezes, you should bring them inside in the winter.
            I was going to suggest plain old cheapie goldfish or algae eaters as well.

            Until your cats learn to go fishing, at least. I should have been suspicious when I saw the black cat sitting on the edge of the water with her paw in it...
            Originally posted by Silverbridge
            If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.


            • #7
              But what about the goldfish poop?
              Proud member of the COTH Junior (and Junior-at-Heart!) clique!


              • #8
                It's best to just scrub troughs twice a week like good little pony clubbers, instead of putting toxic chemicals in the drinking water.
                If you get into a routine, it's only a 5 minute ordeal.
                chaque pas est fait ensemble


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                  It's best to just scrub troughs twice a week like good little pony clubbers, instead of putting toxic chemicals in the drinking water.
                  If you get into a routine, it's only a 5 minute ordeal.
                  Mine get dumped and scrubbed daily. Sometimes twice, if my hay dunker is feeling especially thirsty! No algae here.


                  • #10
                    Some BOs put bleach on a cloth and wipe down the sides of the troughs and buckets.

                    I pour a little bleach into everything and then rinse.

                    Last BO said bleach was bad, so all her troughs were full of algae. We are in SE GA. We have a lot of rain and humidity. She would use a brush to brush out troughs, but it didn't get all the algae. I put bleach in troughs. Another boarder's niece came down to visit and said that in the army (she was at Ft Jackson) her sergeant told all of the troops to wash out their canteens with bleach.

                    I used to live in Atlanta. Our drinking water was treated all the time since all the towns up river, including Lake Lanier, dumped their sewage into the Hooch. We once had a dead person in our treatment pool. Added fiber to our drinking water. I lived through 20 yrs of bleached water in Atlanta, as did my cats and dogs who lived to mid to late teens. Bleach is good.


                    • #11
                      We scrub our stall water buckets every day and the fiberglass tubs 1 or 2 times a week in the summer. I have found that spraying them with clorox, letting it dry before refilling really keeps the "slime" down. The "dunker" buckets get nasty quickly.
                      As far as goldfish goes...I used to have to clean the aquarium regularly as the slime builts up on the glass. I don't know what goldfish poop/pee tastes like, but I think my horses prefer CLEAN water/tubs!!!
                      Last edited by crosscreeksh; Sep. 13, 2012, 07:22 PM. Reason: spelling
                      Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                      • #12
                        My 100 gallon gets dumped and cleaned about 2x /week; I splash bleach on the sides and rinse before refilling.
                        A previous neighbor tried the goldfish with poor results, BUT he may have simply added the fish to what was already nasty and algae filled water!!


                        • #13
                          I use bleach to clean the tubs, then rinse and refill most of the time. I may let bleach sit in the water, to kill things growing inside, then scrub, dump and rinse, before refilling.

                          Most bleach is chlorine based, which is what a lot of water is treated with anyway in city systems for drinking. So some chlorine in the water probably is not harmful to horse or people, but I hate the smell, so I don't leave it in the drinking water of my tanks.

                          On another discussion about cleaning tanks, someone suggested using a power washer, which removes the gunk on the tank walls easier than a brush and does a better job.

                          I took my tanks to the local car wash, did the powered rinse ONLY and it sure DOES remove built up gunk in the tanks! Just peels it off with the spray of water and sends it flying!! I had a lot of green freckles when I got home, which made husband laugh a lot. That was a couple weeks ago, so they are ready for another trip to the car wash for cleaning after all the sun we have had. I did rinse them again when I got home, not sure if the car wash recycles their water, so I do the extra rinse before filling.

                          The power wash saved me a lot of work, did a WAY better job than my stiff scrub brush, got a lot done quickly for a couple dollars in quarters. I washed two tanks and two big tubs. Great cleaning suggestion, so THANKS to whoever made it. Horses are stalled during the day, they didn't even know the tanks were gone for a bit.


                          • #14
                            A racehorse trainer friend of mine puts lime in her troughs and swears by it. There was quite a good layer of it at the bottom from what I saw, not sure how much she puts in or how often she changes it (and google isn't helping)...

                            I have seen the barley straw thing advertised here and there as a solution...I have waterers now so haven't tried it, but it sounds like a great, non-toxic idea?


                            • #15
                              Zinc in concrete troughs is good. I can buy a small block for about $2 and break it in half for the size of our troughs. I don't have to clean the troughs, just make sure that they are always topped up so that there isn't too much in the water.


                              • #16
                                I worked for a trainer that was a stickler about clean buckets growing up but never bleached until I started working for one of my ex employers who insisted on all troughs being dumped, bleached, scrubbed, and refilled 2x a week.

                                I am a convert, that is for sure. Not a bit of algae- "scrubbing" the tanks took mere moments because the algae never had a chance to really get started.

                                My gelding LOVES a freshly bleached bucket too. I never let his get bad- he has two water buckets, and at least one gets dumped by the barn help at breakfast, and I dump and scrub both and refill when I take care of him in the evening. But give him a bleached bucket, you can bet on having to refill- he'll drink no less than 1/3 of it, even if he'd just taken a big drink out of the bucket before dumping it.

                                I would never leave it in though. The buckets and troughs get rinsed thoroughly before refilling

                                I also would NEVER use fish in it. The goal is clean drinking water.... So why take a clean tank and then put an animal that poops at least every two days in the tank? I think that the algae eating benefits are kind of cancelled out by fish poo.... Gimme a splash of bleach well rinsed any day....


                                • #17
                                  When I fill my 100 gallon troughs they get 1 cap full of bleach added. It keeps the troughs spotless and it's such a minute amount that I have no worries about it being toxic- seriously no way it could be worse than city water with all the chemicals added to it. I hate dumping and scrubbing- it's so wasteful! not to mention messy.
                                  "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                                  So you might as well have a good time"


                                  • #18
                                    not all BOs like to clean stock tanks - sad but true

                                    what can work in those situations is using barley straw - it will do wonders for algae etc.

                                    also, gold fish are fine but in places where it is sunny all day on the water algae will still grow...

                                    anyway - i personally scrub water buckets daily and big tanks weekly. the horses appreciate it.

                                    and i believe that bleach evaporates quick quickly so i dont think it would hurt the horses....


                                    • #19
                                      I use vinegar to clean and scrub my buckets and tanks.
                                      No algae. We scrub with vinegar every other day.
                                      save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                                      • #20
                                        To purify drinking water from poor quality sources (for human consumption) we use 1/8th teaspoon per gallon of water, of 1/2 taspoon per 5 gallons. Let the water sit for 30 minutes to kill the critters present. The water will have a slight chlorine smell, but is ok to drink. Use plain bleach, not "mountain fresh" or other scented kinds. The bleach will evaporate out fairly quickly in an uncovered container.If the water is coudy, use double the amount.

                                        I can't tolerate iodine-treated water, so I have to use bleach purificationfor our 3rd world travels.