Sometimes the simple solutions are the ones that work brilliantly! If you want to greatly reduce the frequency with which you have to dump your water troughs and scrub them out, OR, if you have an algae problem in your trough… this short video may bring a smile to your face:
If you have any tips or tricks for water troughs, please let us know in the Comments section below. And remember you can upload pictures with your comment if you want to show us what you’re talking about (yes please!) 🙂
Jini Patel Thompson is a natural health writer and Lazer Tapping instructor. She began riding at age 2 in Kenya, and got her first horse at age 8 in Alberta, and so continues a life-long journey and love affair with these amazing creatures.
13 thoughts on “Easy Tips for Algae-Free Water Troughs & Less Cleaning”
Hi Jini, nice vid! I’ve recently moved and didn’t have automatic water filling troughs which were high on my priority list. Pretty soon though I realised how much better self fill tubs were… plenty of large tubs of water means that I clean them much more often – a very quick scrub out before they get filled up again. Much fresher water and no algae.
The other thing I’ve implemented here is having 3 big tubs of plain water then medium sized tubs of water containing water and a splash / small scoop of each of the following: apple cider vinegar, salt, seaweed, zeolite volcanic dust, magnesium oxide, charcoal, rosehip syrup. The list is obviously endless and depending on what your horse needs in his/her diet you can vary the offerings regularly. It’s lovely to see how much they self-select and drink from each of the different tubs.
(ps by ‘self fill’ I meant manual filling tubs)
What a fantastic idea Jacqui!! This never occurred to me, but it’s brilliant. I also have liquid magnesium (in water) and I’ve been wondering how/if the horses would want some, so this is an excellent idea. Thank you for sharing 🙂
The video recommends what I’ve had work best…a net and goldfish! In warmer climates the goldfish can live in the tank year round most years. Not so in many climes…that’s the downside. In winter, you have to keep goldfish in the house.
Did you ever try leaving them outside through the winter Diedre? I read that as long as your tank has a water heater to keep ice from forming, they are okay in the tank through the winter. Also that certain species of goldfish are more hardy than others, so you request that when you buy them.
I once had a goldfish as a kid in Alberta that grew like crazy and was miserable in the small fish tank we had, so I put it outside in our pond and it grew there to be over a foot long. It lived out there through the winter, even when the top of the water was frozen over I could see it swimming around underneath the ice. Then we had a -40 degree Celsius cold snap and the entire pond froze solid and that was the end of the poor guy. Horrible, I know, but unfortunately young kids just don’t have great consequential thinking ability.
Ah here you go, looks like the Comet Goldfish is the one that can survive cold water:
My goldfish winter-over fine here in Missouri. I use a bottom-sitting tank heater that keeps the water about 40 degrees.
When I clean my horse’s water bucket I spray Listerine on the inside and scrub….then I rinse several times before refilling. It helps to keep the algae from growing and it smells fresh and clean! And my horse likes the minty smell!
Thanks for this Jini. I came here to find info on tanks. I like the suggestion of adding something to the water, and having a couple of different throughs for the horses to drink from. What about plastic vs metal? It seems plastic is the way to go? Also, what size/quantity would you suggest for 3-4 horses? CurrentlyI am planning on buying an electric heater for the winter, but for now the troughs will do.
It’s funny as I thought for sure my herd would prefer to drink from a metal trough (no chemicals, no taste transfer) rather than the big black rubber trough – but no. They all prefer the black rubber troughs. Not sure if it’s the dark color versus shiny – they will drink groundwater whenever they can (there goes my manure-worm control program) so then I set up eavestroughs to collect rainwater and thankfully they now drink that first! The tap water at my barn is chlorinated city water and even sitting out to let the chlorine evaporate, they will still drink anything rather than that.
Regarding size, it depends on whether you want something you can easily dump and clean, or if you’re going to go with the fish net sieve idea and then just clean once every 2-4 weeks. If the lattter, then 80 gallons is a good size but not too big to clean easily. Two of those should be great. If you go with the extra-large plastic buckets, you’ll be cleaning every 2-3 days and filling at least once or twice per day. Hope that helps!
Thanks Jini! I’ll probably try a variety of things, I am sure! But I like the idea of the 80 gl. I might do that AND the large buckets. I have some buckets now that I used a the boarding place (I used a bucket of water in their stalls even though they had automatic waterers, and they all drank the whole bucket each night), so I’ll add those too.
I’ll definitely clean it like you demonstrated. We have one of those that we use to clean our small water feature (just a beautiful stone through, too small for the horses) so that will be perfect!
Yes, that’s how I started! One 80 gallon and then some large buckets. The 80 gl one just gives you that extra bit of security on a super hot day, or if you’re going away for 24 hours etc.
I heard that fish in horse water is really detrimental, I certainly wouldn’t want to drink it, why should one expect a horse to do so eek
Having said that, I know that COLLIODAL SILVER in water prevents buildup of algae and is so good for a variety od ailments.
Thankyou for all the info you post it’s great!
Cheers from oz. 🐎
Yes there’s an issue of ammonia in water with fish, but I understand the key is to keep the fish density low enough that everything stays in balance. I did not know colloidal silver prevented algae though! Although, I wouldn’t want to use it long-term, ongoing. I wouldn’t ingest any anti-pathogen agent long-term as it would throw the body out of balance with all the good microbes we need to function well. How much do you need to use per gallon and how often?