Tank algae

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    The skeeters thread got me thinking..

    I have a closed water tank I use for my chickens. It's the kind that fits in the back of a pick-up, big hole on top, valve on the bottom to let the water out. I put fittings on it to hook up 1/4" tubing to run to the waterers.

    The tank gets algae in it. Normally I wouldn't care, but it breaks loose, goes down the tubes and clogs up the waterers.

    I don't want to clorinate the water, as I try not to use any chemicals in raising the animals. Right now, I am shocking the heck out of the tank to get it cleaned out, but I will rinse it, or let the bleach dissapate before I have birds drinking from it again.

    I wonder if I can put some scum sucking fish in there. My concerns would be....if they die, I can't easily get them out. If they float, I might be able to get them, but if they sink, there's no way. I also wouldn't want a dead fish clogging up the lines. I imagine that would be worse than the algae!

    I've heard of people using vinegar. Does it really work? How much goes into 450 gallons? Do you think it would cause any off taste in the birds?

    Any other ideas?

  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    If you can block the light getting to your tank the algae will stop growing in it. My water hauling tank used to get green unless I kept a dark tarp tied over it. You might be able to paint the outside and do the same thing. Not sure what kind of paint would do it tho.

  3. Keeping the light out is best.

    Vinegar is just 5% glacial acetic acid, which is a much weaker acid than chlorine bleach. If the vinegar water is too storng your ladies will let you know, watch them when they are drinking, if they shake their heads after drinking, then add some well cruched egg shell to the water, the excess vinegar will be used up as it dissolves the vinegar.

    Dissolving egg shells in vinegar is one way to add calcium to your chocks via their water, but if it is too strong they will not readily drink it, so watch them and adjust accordingly.
  4. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    May 12, 2002
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    There are tropical fish that clean the glass tanks, available all most every where. I cannot spell the name but it sounds like 'koolie loach'.
  5. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

    Jul 25, 2004
    Pell City, AL

    Koolie loach is a very acceptable spelling. They are however, scavenging, bottom dwelling fish that cannot and do not eat algae. Not much of it anyhow, they do not have a 'sucking' mouth like a plecostomus or a Chinese algae eater would.
    I do not think it would be a very good idea to put fish into a tank like you have. They would cause serious problems if they were to die, which they certainly would during the winter. They are tropical fish that require temperatures of at least 65 degrees. They also poop a whole lot which could possibly clog your lines and not be good for your birds.

    It's very true that blocking the light would cause the algae to die. That's what I tell all my aquarium customers. Just turn off the aquarium light and it will all die. Try painting the outside of the tank. I think that's an excellent suggestion.

    You can also use barley straw. You can order tiny, little bales of it or even an extract of it to use. It's used in outside, ornamental goldfish and koi ponds. It's supposed to release a very low dose of peroxide as it decomposes that causes the algae to die off due to lack of carbon dioxide dissolved in the water. You can order the stuff from the Drs Fosters and Smith catalog.
  6. whodunit

    whodunit Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 29, 2004
    Ditto the barley straw idea. I imagine it would be safe for the chickens, if its safe for fish and other pond-dwellers.
  7. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    Someone mentioned barley straw. I read an artical on it a couple of years ago and they said it released hyd. peroxide. I use peroxide on cuts ect. so I tried it in my yard fountain and it works like a champ :D We used to put goldfish in the stock tanks but when they get big there poo would clog your waterers :eek:
    Mr. Wanda