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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 11:22 am 
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Location: Weatherford, Texas
We are searching for a deterrant to algae in our metal stock tank. We have tried fish, cornmeal, barley bales, a fountain and organic stock tank cleaners. The tank is used for water for our pet longhorns and their babies so we need something that will keep it clean but not harm the fish and cows. Suggestions please?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 11:54 pm 
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Location: Rowlett TX
If you are talking the macro-algaes (filamentous) I'm not sure that's a bad thing and I can suggest some critters that will eat it but if you want to get rid of the suspended algaes (green water) it is easier to take them out with a mechanical filter ...let me know which kind of Algae we're talking about and why you want it out and I can probably help ya on this one.

A homemade sand and gravel filter can be rigged that would filter out the suspended algae and also provide biological filtration of the organic wastes. Ain't it amazing how cows think thier water is for pooping in? :roll:


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 Post subject: algae and stock tank
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 12:20 am 
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Are you talking of pond or metal tank (250 gal or so)
If you use a metal tank as we do, get rid of the fish and worm your cows every three months with Basic H from Shakely. This gets rid of algae on sides and in water.
If you are talking of ponds, I am lost and sure Chuck knows more of this than I do.
If you have a very large pond/lake the poop doesn't hurt as it is food for the fish.
Robert D Bard


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 Post subject: algae
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 10:29 am 
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Location: Weatherford,TX
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1582&highlight=algae

Ck the link above, might help. Tony M seems to know a lot about this subject, maybe he can help.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 11:44 am 
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Location: Rowlett TX
From offline convo:
Quote:
Thanks for replying, this is a large metal stock tank, I have no idea what kind of algae it is, the water is brown colored. We have a fountain with a filter in it and have tried plants, cornmeal, barley bales, organic cleaners and you name it. ... seems to think the cows need clear water to be healthy.


The type of filter you are using is going to help but is not sufficient to really clean the water or handle the bio-load probably.

In addition to the microbes that break down the organic materials that get int here there are two crucial bacteria that break down the ammonia (by product of decomposition). The Nitrogen cycle (NH3 ammonia to harmless nitrate that feeds the good green algae on the sides) is performed by bacteria.
Nitrifying bacteria must use inorganic salts as an energy source rather than organic materials. The thing about'm is that they don't swim around, the fix themselves to a surface. So to clear your water you want mechanical and nitrifying filtration. (dirty water won't likely harm the cows but if you want to have clean water I understand that too :-))

So what you want is a lot of surface area where water is drawn over the surface (these guys need oxygen to process the nitrogen compounds). Since you already have a fountain pump and filter in there we can work with that. what you want to do is to place the pump (you can get a pond pump cheap, 750 gph should do) at the bottom with a screen over the inlet - the mesh baskets sold at Lowes for pond plants will work) at the bottom of one of those 30 gallon plastic washtubs with the return hose coming out of the top.

Then, use three grades of gravel from a pet shop or other source - anything inert. The gravel will hold the bacteria colonies and act as a mechanical filter. Fine gravel first, covered with coarser gravel, topped with pebbles. Put the tub in first with the pump and pump cover, then pour gravel IN THE TANK since this sucker will be HEAVY!

When you get done have the return hose rigged to spray the water back in and agitate the surface.

Your top layer of gravel will trap large particles of organic material and start it breaking down while the lower levels trap smaller particles and every surface with water flowing over will get the nitrifying bacteria covering it and processing the ammonia.

It will take a few weeks for the colonies to stabilize - these guys are not like E. Coli and don't multiply quickly.

In the end, you will have very clear, oderless water and green algae will develope on the sides/bottom - this is good, it absorbs the nitrates and harms nothing and can be handled by snails or goldfish later.

Figure 50 bucks for a clean tank that doubles as a little koi pond if you want it to. When you start seeing Mayflies hatching out of your tank you'll know that it is pretty healthy water. You may find some little red worms living at the top of the filterbed and forming little green coccoons - these are harmless and fish love'm. They break down organic waste and are not a worm but the larval stages of various insects.

More info than you wanted :-) (I still would not drink it but the cows won't mind).

I have read about some new bio-cures that supposedly are ravenous for algae but have not tried them and have a "If i ain't tried it I won't recommend it" policy.


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 Post subject: algae
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 10:28 pm 
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Chuch: you are right but that is a lot of work and the cows are still not wormed naturally. If you put basic h in this will it kill the fish? It will kill the algae.
We do worm organically with DE and basic h. I do both to be sure we get the parasites two different ways.
Bob Bard


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 11:25 pm 
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Missed the worming part?

Is basic H a water additive that nukes parasites and algae????

Most important for the health of longhorns from what I can tell is keeping them away from my Sooners..... :lol:


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 Post subject: algae
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 12:01 am 
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Basic h is organic soap/cleaner that has been made by Shakely. I believe it to be 2 amino acids. Numerous farmers have reported that it is effective for worming. I discovered it "Salad Bar Beef" by Joel Salatin - can get at www.acresusa.com in Austin. We have also used DE for years to worm horses and cows. We use both to be sure, but the basic h also clens up the algae.
Bob Bard


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 4:16 pm 
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Chicken raisers have problems with algae growing in watering containers. They and I use cider vinegar to control the algae and it's good for the chickens anyway. I can't tell you the effects of this on cows or fish. I'd love to know about it if you solve this problem so write back what happens.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2003 8:12 pm 
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Pamzilla wrote:
Chicken raisers have problems with algae growing in watering containers. They and I use cider vinegar to control the algae and it's good for the chickens anyway. I can't tell you the effects of this on cows or fish. I'd love to know about it if you solve this problem so write back what happens.


I'll step out on a non-rigorous limb here and suggest that vinegar (at least apple cider vinegar) should not be a problem for cattle, depending on the concentration in the water, and can be beneficial. Acetic acid is one of the three principal volatile fatty acids that provide most/all of the energy for cattle by absorption through the rumen wall. On the other hand, excess acidity in/from the diet can cause problems for cows; in general, that excess acidity apparently results from lactic acid that derives from the digestion of high energy/low fiber feed. That form of acidity is thought to be implicated in the formation/persistance of undesirable pathogens. So, it wouldn't seem like a good idea to acidify the water with lactic acid, or maybe with any other acid other than the metabolic vfas. Of course, of the metabolic vfas, acetic acid is the only one that is practical to use. I've seen suggested dosages of around 50 ml vinegar/week for adult cattle, although that might be for using a 9-10 % acetic acid product. There is a fair bit of discussion around on the myriad benefits of feeding vinegar to cattle, so it isn't such a crazy idea. I suppose palatabililty issues begin to arise at some acetic acid concentration level. Also, I'm not sure whether some level of acidity would affect the tank metal over the long run--I suppose that's something to consider. It probably wouldn't be great to leach zinc out of a galvanized tank and into the water, but I'm not saying that necessarily would happen. An open tank also presents evaporation issues that enclosed poultry watering devices do not.

As for the fish, I suppose that would depend in part on the fish species and on the acid concentration in the water. I have some doubts that most fish would thrive in an environment that is acidic enough for algae control, but I wouldn't mind seeing some data on the point.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 2:47 pm 
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I don't have any explanation for this but when I put a mosquito dunk in a birdbath, the algae disappears. I inhereted a bird bath that I though was painted black with tar, but the algae disappeared about 5 months after the dunk treatment was started. Dunks don't hurt fish, birds, reptiles, or mammals.

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 Post subject: dunks
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 6:19 pm 
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Does anyone know what the dunks are made of? That may provide info. as to why they get rid of algae. Keep in mind that change of location could have a lot to do with algae (sun or no sun).

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 Post subject: Plecostomus
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:59 pm 
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Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
If you can keep the water temp above 70 degrees (72 is better), try using a plecostomus or two. These are very hardy, very good algae eaters along with worms, insects, and grain that fall in the water from the cows mouth. They will grow to almost 10 inches and I can promise they will do a number on the algae. They can be purchased at any Pet Store/Fish Store. You might start with two or three. They will grow well if the water temp is kept up and they have plenty of food (which it sounds like they do). It might be worth a try.

here is some additional information:

http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/155 ... /plec.html

http://petplace.netscape.com/articles/a ... artID=3196


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2003 8:50 am 
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Location: Rowlett TX
The Hypostomus species are very good on macro-algaes but can actually make the suspended micro-algae problem worse.... one way to lessen the suspended algaes is to have more complex plants like the macro-algaes or larger plants in the water because they compete for nutrients more effectively.

If you do want a living weedeater however I'd go with goldfish (carp) in a small area like this because they are cold hardy and far more tolerant of poor water quality... Pleco's are pretty sensitive to poor water conditions - if you try a couple in summer you'd want the PH down to 6.8 or so first - ammonia is not nearly so lethal to fish in an acidic environment, in an alkaline environment it wipes them out fast. My GUESS is that this tank gets pretty dirty in summer and would be pretty oxygen poor - carp are like Freddy Krueger - ya can't kill the darned things once they are established. For a larger pond the sterile triploid carp are a great choice for keeping vegetation down and when you accidentally hook one you may as well get the water skis out - those bad boys grow to resemble a typhoon class submarine after a few years :-)

All things being equal in this situation a mechanical filter will be best - since you already have power out there for the fountain another simple (Overkill, but you wanted clean water) solution are the cheap sand filters for kiddy pools ($60 or so).


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 Post subject: Attention Chuck
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 6:28 pm 
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Location: Ft.Worth & Granbury

Chuck... It seems like you know a lot about Algae! Do you know anything about how to kill Golden Algae from our lakes, the natural way without hurting the fish? There is a meeting tomorrow night at 7:00 in Arlington at The Marine Max @ the intersection of I-20 & Cooper. If anyone has any ideas about how to kill the Golden Algae in lakes please show up and talk to the TPWD & their biologist. Our lakes need your help to save the fish population. Thanks.... Jack Keeton

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