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Fish in water tubs?

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  • Fish in water tubs?

    My mare decided to try and rip her auto-waterer off her stall wall, so she now has two plastic 17.5 gal muck tubs for water. I'm a little bit concerned about mosquito larvae growing in them during the summer, and would like a little help keeping the slime at bay. I can keep them sparkling now, but in the summer, I think it will be an issue (I have to bail them out with a bucket to be able to move them out of the stall so I can scrub them, so I won't be able to do them both more than once a week).

    I was thinking about some sort of fish, one in each bucket, to help eat the larvae/slime.

    I am worried that with their feces, they will do more harm to m y mare's water quality than good.

    Thoughts or experiences from anyone?

  • #2
    First off, why do you need two 17.5 gallon tubs for one horse?

    You should be able to get away with one and, if you dump what is left in the tub no less often than every 3rd day and use a brush and some bleach you shouldn't need to worry about skeeters.

    Horses should have fresh water daily so if it were me, I'd be using only 1 tub and emptying and cleaning it daily. Just make sure you can get the water level low enough to be able to empty it without making a huge mud puddle somewhere.
    Sue

    I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by msj View Post
      First off, why do you need two 17.5 gallon tubs for one horse?

      You should be able to get away with one and, if you dump what is left in the tub no less often than every 3rd day and use a brush and some bleach you shouldn't need to worry about skeeters.

      Horses should have fresh water daily so if it were me, I'd be using only 1 tub and emptying and cleaning it daily. Just make sure you can get the water level low enough to be able to empty it without making a huge mud puddle somewhere.
      This. I kept fish for years, and I wouldn't want my horses drinking the fish-water.
      Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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      • #4
        Holy cow. Why the huge tubs? Typo? Is she an elephant? The water should never be sitting there long enough for mosquitos to lay eggs in it. This fish biologist will tell you that fish, like every other animal, emit wastes into water, raising nitrogen levels and "dirtying" the water in a confined space. I'm very confused as to why one would not just hang a normal bucket or two and refill and clean as needed.
        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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        • #5
          I think a better option would be to use two regular water buckets and just clean and refill daily.

          Using fish would be disgusting and impractical. Fish are sensitive to chemicals in treated (city) water and are also sensitive to pH changes in the water. They also need something to eat--you gonna sprinkle fish food in the water tubs? What if your mare knocks over the muck tub? What if she poops in it?

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          • #6
            I have 2 goldfish in my stock tank, but it is a 100 gallon tank. I don't think that fish in such tiny tubs as you're using would be useful or safe (for the fish). Besides, goldfish aren't slime-eaters.

            As to the fish poop in the tank question -- yes, of course they do. That's not so much of a problem -- in the summer, the regular dump-and-scrub routine takes care of it; in the winter when dump-and-scrub doesn't happen often due to below freezing temperatures for weeks on end, the fish go dormant and neither eat nor poop, so no problem at all.
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            • #7
              I'm going to have to assume that your horse has some type of metabolic problem that it has to drink 30+ gallons of water in a day, or half a day... but even if that is the case I would still rather dump and scrub that size bucket than start trying to have fish in the stall... because honestly then you'd have to start feeding them just to keep them alive.

              I have used a muck bucket as a water bucket before (for two horses in a paddock) so I know they're quite heavy to dump. I'd do the scoop & bail method to clean it out so that I'd get it light enough to pick up and drag out.

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              • #8
                No love for the fishies here!

                I used to have fish in all of my troughs (100+ gallon troughs) and they do a wonderful job of keeping the mosquito larvae at bay. Over the years they got picked out of the troughs by herons and raccoons and just general age. But I have one trough left in my big guy's field with 3 goldfish. They're 9 years old, I've never fed them, and the trough has frozen over hundreds of times over the years. I'm surprised they're still alive and look as healthy as can be.

                In addition to the fish-trough, I have a second 150 gallon trough about 10 feet away. Given the choice, my gelding will only drink from the fish trough. So you can think the fish make the water gross, but my guy would tell you that they make it delicious!

                So I'm not a fish hater like many others here, lol. But given the circumstances, I can't imagine that you would be able to keep fish in a 17.5 gallon bucket alive. If the horse gets a little bit of hay or shavings in the bucket it would do the fish in pretty quickly. And that size is small enough to dump and clean regularly. Just doesn't seem worth it.
                __________________________________
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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Ok, thanks! Looks like no fish for me, just scrubbing more frequently. Glad I can always count on COTH for an answer.

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                  • #10
                    LOL, definitely not a hater -- I work in fish conservation! But that doesn't mean I want to put them in my horse's water bucket!
                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
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                    • #11
                      A barn where I used to board had fish in the water tank, but it contained 400 gallons (large herd). It worked beautifully.
                      The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                      Winston Churchill

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                      • #12
                        You can get a hand-operated pond syphon for about $25.00 @ many big garden centers, that sell pond liners & fountains. Like this-
                        http://www.improvementscatalog.com/w...mp/12663?cm_rr
                        draining tubs will be a breeze, may need to wait until spring for stores to have them in stock.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
                          I think a better option would be to use two regular water buckets and just clean and refill daily.

                          Using fish would be disgusting and impractical. Fish are sensitive to chemicals in treated (city) water and are also sensitive to pH changes in the water. They also need something to eat--you gonna sprinkle fish food in the water tubs? What if your mare knocks over the muck tub? What if she poops in it?
                          I agree. They're not only easier to clean and easier to move, but they'e far more sanitary in general for the horses than one giant tub and give the horse more room in its own stall.

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                          • #14
                            I had fish in troughs - troughs had floats so were always full and a pain to disconnect to drain and dump. They stayed very clean with about 4 little goldfish each, no algae, no mosiquito larvae. Just remember to give the fish a cement block or something to hide in.

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