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Question

HyperFerret from Arkansas Asks
My fountain has green algae constantly growing on it; I keep cleaning the fountain and rocks but it regrows so quickly. I know it's probably because of the sun beating through the clear water, presenting perfect opportunity for the algae but I'd really like for the algae to be gone.

I was wondering if there was something I could put in the water to keep it algae free yet still safe for the birds.

First I asked a plant nursery and they told me to get a Algaecide from Walmart; but while there I could only find Fungicide in the Lawn & Garden department, so I looked in the Pets department in Walmart. In the fish section I found a couple of algae products but it specifically stated not safe for humans or domesticated animals, now I know the birds are not domesticated but figured it wouldn't be good for them either.

The birds love to drink from and bathe in my fountain, I don't mind that at all and would like them to continue to use it. Is there anything that will keep my fountain algae free but safe for the birds?
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Answer

Dianne from Texas Responds
I was thinking of getting a bird bath or a fountain so I was doing research on placement, cleaning, mosquito's etc.

What I found on algae build up is part placement, part lack of enough oxygen, and part cleaning; a water source placed in full sun will build algae far faster then in the shade.

Cleaning all parts of a fountain or bird bath once a week with a solution of diluted bleach and apple cider vinegar will kill algae. Placing a table spoon of apple cider vinegar (per gallon of water) in the circulatory water will help prevent buildup once all parts are cleaned and will it not harm birds.

Placing water plants in your fountain will provide more oxygen. Also placing a few copper pennies, or a small piece of copper tubing, will help reduce algae (pennies dated before 1982 are 95% copper, whereas 1982 and later are 97.5% zinc. (I think I would use copper pipe instead.)) But I've read where People swear by the copper penny theory in their fountain.

So In a nut shell
1. Direct sun leads to a faster outbreak of algae.
2. You must regularly clean all parts of our fountain.
3. Placement of water plants will produce oxygen.
4. Place a piece of 100% (or as close to 100% as possible) copper in your fountain.
5. Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per gallon of water.
Posted on May 14th, 2014
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Comments or Attributions

Amazon carries an all-natural, nontoxic, pool cleaner additive called Natural Chemistry Pool Perfect Concentrate and Phos Free Pool Cleaner which should be safe for outdoor wildlife; Natural Chemistry also has several other products as well, just be sure to look for all-natural nontoxic formula's.

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