Cleaning fountains

azpitgirlJune 26, 2005

I know this has been discussed before but I was wondering if we could re-visit the subject do to my memory condition (CRS). The birds drink out of my fountain so I'm using a cleaner that's wildlife safe, you add a capful once a week. Problem is, it doesn't work. I drain and clean it and at one week its already covered with algea by week two I have to clean it again. Is this normal or does anyone have any suggestions?

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judy_b(AZ zone 9)

I haven't found the animal-safe algaecides to work either. I use a little bit of bleach. Doesn't clean it very well but keeps it from getting TOO green. Hydrogen peroxide will kill string algae and maybe the algae that sticks to the walls, but doesn't do anything for the suspended type.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 5:16PM
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eileenaz(9, Sunset 12)

Two things come to mind- barley straw and phosphate-absorbing pads. I haven't used either, but the former is used in ponds, apparently with great success, and the latter has been recommended for aquariums. Neither is harmful to fish, so they should be safe for birds, too. Drs. Foster and Smith online should have both- otherwise you can do a web search for information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drs. foster & Smith

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 6:11PM
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I find Fountec helps my fountains but I still scrub them out only not as often. In my pond I took Garden Trolip's advice and add Hydrogen Peroxide. 1 1/2 ozs. /100 gallons. Made a big difference in the suspended algae. Can see the bottom clearly now. sam

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 1:03AM
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Same thing here, too. I was tempted to use chlorine but the pond repair people said it could damage the pump. One thing I did was turn off the fountain, scrub it out completely and then added the safe algaecide but I added 3x more than what was called for. Since then, the fountain has stayed clear on a regular maintenance dose. It was suggested that I skim the fountain daily to get out any organic matter that could feed algae so I made one out of pantyhose and a coat hanger bent into skimmer shape.
It was hard to clean- we have a bee problem and I had to wait until sundown as at least 50 were swirling about my head!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 10:03AM
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frangipaniaz(z9 Az)

I have a barley bale floating in my pond and the string algae has not returned... I'd give that a try because it has worked wonders for my pond... unless you chlorinate the water it won't be perfectly clear (I don't believe)... but so far that barley bale has done the best...

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 12:41PM
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Thanks everyone, I'm going to get the barley bale and I've added the hydrogen peroxide for now.
I like the pantyhose skimmer idea. I have the same bee problem, at least they aren't in the pool this year!
Hawaiisam or Judy-
How often do you add the peroxide?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 2:51PM
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I bought barley and it did work but only for a few weeks. I think the reason is that my pond is in full sun..means it grows tons of algae exceeding the capacity of one barley ball. I suggest the low dose peroxide that GT suggested. Usually you need to apply once a month on average. But however it depends on how much sun your pond gets. I say try to apply whenever you notice algae.
PS: Barley produces low dose the concept of killing algae is the same with barley vs. applying hydrogenperoxide. I say it is cheaper to go with direct applications of peroxide.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 1:58PM
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is peroxide in that dose ok with fish? (mosquito eater and algae eater fish)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 2:52AM
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I've been using Hydrogen Peroxide every Spring for years. If you read up on barley straw you will find that as it decomposes it releases Hydrogen Peroxide :) Why wait weeks and the expense of Barley Straw when you can skip all that and add H.P.? I have Koi, Gold Fish, Mosquito Fish, Frogs and a turtle. No one is bothered by it :)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 12:12PM
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kazooie(kapiti coast, NZ)

GT, how much hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water do you add to your fountain/pond? in the past i have used bleach (i pour a little in during the night when i know the birds will not be drinking from the fountain), but i would rather use the peroxide if it gentler on the pump and the wildlife.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 12:22AM
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In my 1200 gallon Koi pond I add 4 quarts.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 10:29AM
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Is hydrogen peroxide safe for dogs?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2006 at 11:25AM
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red_rock_girl(N. AZ 7a/8a)

Is Algae-fix not on your list of 'safe' algae killers? It is actually safe for fish, but it's my understanding that all of these products have to be used with caution (and low doses) in the heat as the affect oxygen levels in the water...?

I'm a pond newbie, but I have done incredibly well with Algae-Fix. It says it's safe for fountains and ponds, fish and 'wildlife.' No one has died yet, and my pond is an incredibly vibrant eco-system...koi, goldfish, hybrids, toads, toadpoles, skimmer bugs, dragonflies, birds drinking pond water all day (including the hummers, which hover at the edge of the waterfall and drink from it). So no problems so far. I also gave my parents a bottle and they use it on their three fountains. They also love it.

Maybe this isn't what you had in mind? Sorry to jump right in on the thread. I usually hang in the rose forum, but I was looking for javelina advice and saw this discussion. Algae was a HUGE problem my first two springs, but since discovering the Algae-Fix I haven't had any algae at all, of any kind.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 3:42AM
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HP is "safe" for dogs, but it might make them vomit in large quantities. I agree the best and cheapest way to clean the fountains is with HP. I have also heard Algae-Fix works well, more expensive than HP of course.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 9:21PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Be VERY careful with Algae Fix. It can kill plants and fish. I've read many threads by people who have done so over the years.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 11:55AM
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Thanks for all the wonderful info... When you say HP, is this the 3% from the stores or is this the Food Grade 35% one? Just wanted to clarify. Thanks!!!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 2:08PM
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crista(Sunset 13)

Happyboy is right, HP is what you use to get your dog to throw up if you think he's been poisoned --- like if he eats chocolate.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 2:31PM
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I did some math and figured out that the HP is 3.15 ml per gallon but I wanted it in tsp. so I decided to use 2.5ml per gallon which is half a tsp. because im trying it for inside my turtle tank. i will let you know how it goes

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 7:33PM
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