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:
USDA Zone 7
Basic human psychology is one of my subroutines.
chlorine tablets, or, use this method. wont hurt the birds. Ingrid
Disinfection using chemical methods:
Unscented household bleach (5% chlorine) can sometimes be a good disinfectant -
when the water is not heavily polluted, or when beaver fever or
not a concern.
Disinfection using bleach works best with warm water. Add 1 drop (0.05 mL) of
to 1 Litre of water, shake and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes before
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
waiting period if you have added enough bleach.
The disinfection action of bleach depends as much on the waiting time after
to the amount used. The longer the water is left to stand after adding bleach,
more effective the disinfection process will be.
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Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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.
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.
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.
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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