Keeping a fountain clean

I have a lion's head fountain on my patio with about a 12 gallon fill basin on the bottom. The water flows out of the lion's mouth into an upper basin with three outlets in which I stacked some river rocks to improve the flows. There are no fish or plants. Algae has started to accumulate on the rocks and in the bottom basin, and I'd like to put somethingin the water to keep down the green. My dad suggested bleach, but birds use this fountain as a bird bath and I don't want to do anything to hurt them. Any suggestions? If bleach would work, how much should I put in, or in what ratio of bleach to water? Thanks in advance for any info. If you need to see the fountain to get an idea of the size, here's a link:
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId5068-19811-F30276DA&lpage=none
Rhonda Richmond, VA USDA Zone 7
********** Basic human psychology is one of my subroutines.
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Natty Dread wrote:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId5068-19811-F30276DA&lpage=none
You might try a google search for "prevent fountain algae" (without the quotes of course). Loads of answers pop up and one of them may be what you want.
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John McGaw
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chlorine tablets, or, use this method. wont hurt the birds. Ingrid http://www.bchealthguide.org/healthfiles/hfile49b.stm Disinfection using chemical methods:
Unscented household bleach (5% chlorine) can sometimes be a good disinfectant - e.g. when the water is not heavily polluted, or when beaver fever or cryptosporidiosis are not a concern.
Disinfection using bleach works best with warm water. Add 1 drop (0.05 mL) of bleach to 1 Litre of water, shake and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes before drinking.
Double the amount of bleach for cloudy water, or for cooler water.
* A slight chlorine odour should still be noticeable at the end of the 30 minute waiting period if you have added enough bleach.
The disinfection action of bleach depends as much on the waiting time after mixing as to the amount used. The longer the water is left to stand after adding bleach, the more effective the disinfection process will be.

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Natty Dread wrote:

There is a bird bath block on the market that prevents algae and mosquitos from getting a foot hold in fountains and biedbaths. A google search should provide you with information or a visit to your local garden pond/fountain provider.
I've used small chunks of pool chlorine tablets to keep my fountains clean. I've always broken them into small portions and added them when I notice a little green showing up. The beauty of this is they can be picked up at walmart for a couple of bucks (usually 3" tablets) and they last quite some time.
JD
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On Tue, 04 Jul 2006 19:13:58 GMT, "Natty Dread"

Adding a small amount of bleach will keep algae from growing, but this will no doubt be harmful to the birds. There are anti-algae tablets or liquid made for aquariums that might work well in your case. Keeping your fountain clean will help cut down on algae growth. Algae growing in a pond or aquarium is actually a sign of healthy waters. Another (natural) solution would be to add a small fish. A 50-cent "feeder" goldfish, if left unfed, will eat the algae and any mosquito larva. Adding more shade to the area will reduce algae too.
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Natty Dread wrote:

algae down in my pond.
http://www.bestfish.com/barlybal.html
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I have another thought. Yesterday I suggested adding a small fish, but the fountain looks like cats can easily get into it. Pond snails are particularly fond of algae, so if you add a few to each dish they should help remove the algae.
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The fish will die when the sun heats the water. If the water is used up by the birds or evaporates the poor fish will die an awful death. Our bird bath holds 2 gallons of water and on a hot day the birds will bathe away almost all of it. I keep ours clean by dumping and refilling it twice a week.
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