Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fishing for Solutions

I've had a love/hate relationship with the goat water buckets for a long time. I loved how quick they were to fill and that I could raise and lower their height by hanging them on the fence. And using buckets made it easy to adjust how much water we used in relationship to how many goats were in the pen. But the disadvantages were starting to bug me more. The bucks would bump their buckets causing them to spill out the top third of the water. And although cleaning them was easy, the only way to really get rid of the algae buildup was to use some bleach and that caused the plastic to break down from the scrubbing. **I will add, for anyone thinking of using buckets, that rotating to a clean bucket and hanging the used one to dry EVERY DAY, prevented a lot of the algae to begin with. But it began to feel wasteful and time consuming to keep that up.** So about 2 months ago we decided to experiment with water troughs.

Since our herd is so small, we went with 2 small black rubber troughs. They hold about a week's worth of water at a time. I've been checking for cleanliness and making sure they hold a cool temperature daily. Every couple days I add a little water to top it off and once a week I dump and scrub the algae out. I haven't used any bleach yet but I also haven't been able to get all of the buildup removed. ARGH!

I remembered reading sometime ago, before I even had goats, that some people use goldfish in their water tanks to remove algae and mosquito larvae. I decided to give that a try and this week when we were at a WalMart that has a fish section in their pet department, I picked a few up. We got them installed in their new home a couple days ago. Now we will watch and see how they do!

Do you have experience with using fish in your livestock tanks? I'd love to hear about it in the comment section below!

6 comments:

  1. My dad used to use goldfish to keep the mosquito larvae down in his rain barrel. They worked so well that he had to start feeding the fish, as they were starving! He fixed that problem by hanging a bug zapper over the barrel. About the only thing you have to deal with is keeping the water (and goldfish) from freezing. He used to "tank" them in the garage during the winter months...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Winter time is going to be another challenge- we will have to heat the water anyway, but don't want cooked fish. Hmmmm

      Delete
  2. will be interested to see how you get on with the fish, our water troughs we pressure wash on clean out days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pressure washer might be something to try if the fish don't work!

      Delete
  3. I've read about using the fish, but never tried it. We don't have goats anymore, but may get them again down the road.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have six in a 50 gallon trough. The dogs use that in the summer for water and rinsing off, cooling down. I have a small tank heater in there for the winter months. So far, so good. Gold fish are dirty, and so are dogs slipping into the trough constantly. I run a hose into it and let it over flow for an hour or so once a week. The trough is under a tree, so the tree gets the runoff fish water, the trough gets clean enough, and clear enough I can get a head count on the fish. No mosquitoes in there this summer. My son's trough for his dogs was full of larva. On top of it all the baby grandson loves those fish.

    ReplyDelete

Tell me what you think, what you know, what you want to know. I love your comments! I read them all and will try to answer any questions.