I made my first water fountain in a half size whiskey barrel. A couple
of issues puzzle me. It seems I'm in a "catch 22" situation with it. If
i chlorine it, as was suggested by someone, to avoid algae, won't birds
die from drinking from it? Also, if i do chlorine it, what would be the
ratio. BTW, my fountain has white pebbles.
It's also not a tub of standing water. You said you made a fountain, so that
means the water is moving. Evaporation will cause you to add new chlorinated
water from the tap. That may be all you need. It's not like you're talking
about some giant fountain that requires ladders and scaffolding to clean. If
you do get some algae, scoop it out.
There are probably other ways to deal with the problem (if it's even a
problem) without resorting to chemicals. Personally, I haven't had any algae
in my small fountain. It's not a whiskey barrel, but it's a similar scale. I
totally empty it only in the winter when it could freeze, and I've never had
a problem. The pump is on a timer. It turns on just before I get up, and
turns off around my usual bed time. I can't hear it from my bedroom,
otherwise I'd run it 24/7.
If your friends have fountains that they're adding chemicals to, find out if
they ever actually had the problem that they're adding chemicals for. I
suspect they're making pre-emptive strikes on a problem that they may never
see. Unless they only run the pump a couple hours a month. If the water just
stands there, it might be a problem.
It would be good if you had about 1/4 of one of those mosquito donuts
floating in there. That won't hurt the birds.
I have a "water feature" made from a half barel liner that I put in the
ground. I don't have any fountains or filtration and I don't have any alge
problems. Keep it out of direct sun, put some plants on the surface, put in
a couple fish, and don't use any fertalizer. Forget the chlorine.
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