Thursday, May 22, 2008

Washin' The Troughs

Despite being wiped out after our ride last Sunday afternoon, we got back to the farm and decided that it was a perfect day to wash out the horse troughs. Goodness, they needed it. They are fairly large (over 90 gallon) stock tanks. The mares and goats share one, and My Boy has his own. Unlucky for us, our mild climate tends to promote quick algae growth. Any ideas out there on how to keep water trough algae to a minimum? When I was a young girl, we would put feeder goldfish in the ponies trough. I remember a couple of those fishies even surviving the winter in there. Not sure if they really helped clean out the algae. I wonder what My Boy would think about having a pet fish? There is my sister, scrubbing out one of the tanks. She has a few curious helpers nearby. Fritzy looks slightly concerned that she no longer has any water. Right before this photo was taken, Fritzy came over as the water was nearly drained and started drinking it up, almost as if in a panic that it was leaving forever. Uh-oh. Leave it to Ralph the goat to assume anything with a flat surface and raised up off of the ground is a mountain he should climb on.

Hey, can you give me that net thing? I see some more muck that needs to be cleaned out of this trough. Figures a goat would have to take charge around here!

My Boy got a scrubbed trough and fresh water, too. Oh goodness, my back is still sore from scrubbing out that tank. I'm afraid it's time to get those free weights back out.This is how interested My Boy was in helping clean the water trough. Not very. After a nearly three hour ride, he was taking a well-deserved horsey nap under his tree in the late afternoon sun. I have been working hard on Part Two of How the Appy Became My Boy. I will have it posted early next week at the latest! Stay tuned!


  1. There is nothing nicer than a clean trough and fresh water, it looks so inviting.

  2. Callie over at Midwest Horse blog posted last week that one cup bleach per 100 gallons of water helps to retard algae growth.

    Love the goats "helping"-too funny.

  3. I remember reading that. Okay dumb question: you just add bleach to your horses's water? That isn't toxic? Or do you use the bleach when you clean the trough?

  4. I have heard that about bleach too but hesitate because, well after all it is bleach! I don't know if it is safe or not. Someone try it and let us know! lol

  5. Wow! That water was sparkling. You really did work hard. We are wanting to get one of those large livestock troughs, but I'm worried about keeping it clean. It's fairly easy cleaning out a big black water bucket every few days. But the downside to that is that we have to refill it every day. Horses, even just one, draink ALOT of water! hehe

    In that one photo, Ralph looks like he HUGE horns. No wonder you are nervous around him. Yikes.
    I get nervous around my Angoras when I trim their feet because those horns can get might close to my face sometimes.

    We have a pond with 6 goldfish/koi and their pond has terrible algae. So their not doing much to control it. Plus they poop a bunch. I don't think My Boy would like drinking fish poop! hehe

    I'm glad you enjoyed such a great ride on My Boy, too. He looks tired (but gorgeous) in that picture.

    My neighbor and I took a ride on her horses for a couple hours last week.
    When you're up there on the horse, you feel as if you could ride all day long. It's so exhilirating and fun.
    But when you come's another story. hehe

    Heating pads and ibuprofen are my friends.

  6. I have scrubbed tanks with bleach-it helped some. Never used it in the water that I can remember-but hey, everyone's drinking water has bleach and chlorine in it.

    Maybe try 1/2 cup to start????

  7. Those water troughs sure got super clean!! I think ours are so old not matter how much you scrub they just don't come that clean. Good thing they have a clean pond to drink out of!!

    We have put the big gold fish with the fan tails and those eat the alge, or you could get an alge eater, aka plocaustomous (sp?). Those eat alge for a living. And they will grow as large as their habitat will let them!! Cool huh? Fun pictures!! I loved the goat trying to help!!

  8. You did a good job on that stock tank! We use fish in ours, not for algae, but to eat the mosquito larvae! Mosquito's need standing water in order to reproduce, so the fish help to keep mosquito populations in check.

  9. Callie did post about the bleach water ratio the other day on her blog. I have never tried using it before, it is bleach! I may try it though as it is a ongoing battle. I have heard of people using the goldfish-but if the trough is in direct sunlight, you have to give the fish shade. Of course our horses have a metal water trough, they will not drink out of it! We have a white bathtub out there for there water. I clean/scrub it at least 2 times a week. Oh and I fill our water up 2-3 times a day this time of year! Between 5 horses drinking, evaporation and if it is leaking.

  10. Andrea, I was wondering about those placaustamus (sp?? who came up with that word anyway? ;) for troughs...I know they do a good job on my sister's fish tanks. Not sure if they needed a more controlled aquatic environment. I was thinking feeder fish since they are hardy and live through about any conditions!

  11. I have put feeder fish in my water troughs, they usually die after a year or so. I have pleco's (short for plecostamus)in my indoor fish aquariums and not sure how they would survive outdoors without filtration. I did mention that to you sis while we were cleaning out the troughs. We could try it but I'd hate to see a cute pleco die!

  12. Ok heres the scoop on "treating the "I would suggest two things to you; first, instead of treating your water trough as a fish tank, think of it as a fountain. The trick to retarding bacteria, algae and mosquitoes is to keep the water moving and that is easy enough to do by adding a small fountain or aerator to the tank. Be sure to keep the cords out of the horse’s reach so you don’t solve one problem and cause a new one by electrocuting your horse. Also, avoid the temptation to fill the tank to the top. The more water in the tank, the more chances for bacteria to grow. Today, there are floats that you can purchase that will keep the tank filled automatically. If you select a shallow tank, use an automated float and a small fountain/aerator, you will minimize the bacteria growth, eliminate the chance of your tank turning into a breeding grounds for mosquitoes and ensure that your horse has fresh water to drink. By the way, the fountain/aerator does not need to resemble a fountain in the Las Vegas water show, it just needs to act as a bubbler and keep the water moving scum in the troughs"
    (I found this info online) I too have the dreaded algae! Also bleach is ok to use to clean your tank with,but I rinse it out. I don't think a little would hurt the horses, as I know my kids swallow half the pool!!Yheck! We all know what's in there! It just comes down to elbow grease!


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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