How do I stop algae growing in my fountain?

Bird Safe Algae Control For Fountains

Algae is one of the most common problems faced by those who wish to enjoy their favorite water source with little worry. While there are many methods available to combat it, none are foolproof and some will not work at all.

Some may even cause damage to your fountain’s equipment or cause it to fail altogether!

One way to combat algae is through the use of chemicals. These can be harmful if ingested, inhaled or absorbed into the skin.

They can also create dangerous fumes which could potentially kill you. Another method involves using fish food pellets, which are often sold in bulk and used as bait for birds. Unfortunately these products have been known to attract other unwanted species such as rats and mice.

The best solution to combating algae is simply to avoid it completely. If you must drink from a fountain, make sure that it does not contain any type of algae.

You might want to consider buying a new fountain. A good alternative would be purchasing a faucet made out of stainless steel or ceramic rather than glass. Stainless steel and ceramic are much less likely to harbor bacteria and viruses than glass.

The problem with both of these methods is they require the user to expend time and effort. You need to buy chemicals, prepare them, store them away and then wait for the desired result.

If you’re like me, you don’t want to spend any extra time doing anything else while enjoying your favorite water source!

In this article we’ll look at another option: using bird seed as a natural alternative to chemical treatments.

Do copper pennies prevent algae?

Many people believe that copper pennies can prevent algae from growing in water. While it is true that copper pennies will prevent algae from growing on them, it is a myth that they will prevent algae from growing in your fountain.

It is also important to remember the dangers of putting copper into your water, as it could potentially be toxic.

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Do You Feed The Birds?

Many of us have heard that bird seed can attract birds which will then keep rodents such as rats and squirrels away from your yard. This process is commonly known as “feed the birds, frighten the rodents”.

While it may seem counter-intuitive to place bird seed near water sources, there’s some logic behind this idea. Many bird species exist primarily near bodies of water where they can find food and nesting materials.

A safer solution is to use a copper mesh instead of actual pennies. They are more effective than actual pennies and are also cheaper in the long run.

Many garden supply stores carry these products or you can look online.

There are a few different methods for testing whether your water contains harmful levels of copper. You can either test the water yourself with chemical tests or you can attempt to grow plants such as tomatoes or squash (which are especially sensitive to copper) in the water.

The birds that you buy at the pet store to feed to your pet snake only exist near water due to their need for the food that is commonly found around water such as insects and small fish.

If you’ve ever seen birds around a water source such as a lake or river, you may notice that they are much more nervous and are constantly on the look-out for predators such as snakes and larger birds of prey. If the plants show signs of copper toxicity then you definitely should not be placing any copper in or around your water source.

Some people believe that placing actual pennies (or other coins) in the fountain will keep birds from defecating in it. This idea sounds logical at first; who would want to swim in bird poop? In reality, there are probably just as many birds shitting in your fountain as there would be if you didn’t place coins in it.

These birds will quickly fly away when you come near them. If you place bird seed in the water, you’re actually placing it in an area that the birds are not familiar with and are thus more nervous. The birds will remain nervous and continue to fly away when you get close to the water’s edge.

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This may cause some people to become frustrated and conclude that bird seed simply doesn’t work. This isn’t the case at all!

The only tested and proven method is to use a copper mesh. The problem with this method is cost; copper is not cheap!

So how can you get the benefits of copper without breaking the bank? Try using bird food to test the concept.

You can either buy an expensive bag of bird seed at your local pet store or you can gather some seeds yourself. The birds WILL feed in the water and their natural nervousness will keep them from becoming too comfortable around humans.

This will cause them to continue defecating in your fountain. If you’re attempting to scare away rodents, this is a good thing. You do NOT want the birds to feel secure around you. You just spent all that money on a fancy bird fountain, why would you want birds to nest in it and drop poop in it? Gather common seeds such as cracked corn, sunflower seeds, and a few others. Some people believe that white millet is the best choice. Place one ounce of each seed into four cups of water in a pot and boil for ten minutes. Let the mixture cool and then pour it into a spray bottle.

Spray this mixture onto copper mesh (sold at garden stores) cut to fit over the opening of your fountain.

We’re not saying that it isn’t possible to have a healthy, happy pet bird. Just that it isn’t going to happen with a bird fountain.

If you really want a bird fountain, go buy a regular plastic fountain and place it next to a window where you can see the birds. This will give you the enjoyment of watching birds but will keep them from shitting in your expensive fountain.

To Top You can also use the mesh to cover the top of your fountain if you wish. Other garden stores sell copper disks that you place on the bottom of your fountain.

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The water drips through the disk and gets coated with copper as it travels through it. The benefit to using the mesh is that it will scare away birds since they don’t feel secure in that area.

You can use the copper disk without the mesh if you want. It will slowly turn green over time but we’ve never heard of it actually deteriorating due to water or chemicals in the water.

It’s up to you whether you want it to look pretty or whether you don’t mind a little verdigris.

Other types of fountains do not deteriorate as quickly when placed in the sun. Plastic and resin fountains are especially prone to heat.

Most of these fountains have an area in the base that is just empty space. The manufacturers place the motor in this area and then pour the material that makes up the rest of the fountain around it. This gives the fountain a certain “floaty” appearance but also makes them prone to heat. Heat causes all plastics and resins to deteriorate.

Since most of these fountains are made with a base that is much shallower than a regular water feature, the water evaporates from the surface much more rapidly. If you are leaving your fountain out in the sun and you are using a plastic or resin fountain you will need to refill it several times a day.

If you are using a water feature, you will have to check it twice a day. If you are using a solar fountain then you will have to dump out the solar collector tray and refill it twice a day. Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? You might as well be pouring the water down your drain!

If you just can’t stand the thought of having an eyesore like this in your yard then why not use a solar powered “fantasy” fountain? These are made from a mixture of resin and plastic. They don’t evaporate so they last much longer than other types.

The water stays at the same level in the fountain for quite awhile which is good if you don’t want to have to check it so often. They also come in many different shapes and colors which makes them a nice addition to your yard or patio.

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To Top Many of them are manufactured with a light that “dances” on the water much like a spotlight. They are fairly realistic looking and since they are solar powered, you just need to place it in the sun every day and it will do the rest.

If you have an above ground pool then you can always use one of these fountains to increase the enjoyment of your backyard oasis. If you are fortunate enough to have a pool house, you can place this fountain inside where it will be nice and cool.

You can also place it in the garage if you like since it’s very light. It would also make a nice unique gift for someone who has everything!

If an eyesore is not something that you can abide by, then you should place your water feature in a shady area. There are many types of water features that are made out of a mixture of metals and stones.

The water evaporates very slowly from these materials, so just a few times a week you will need to refill the basin. These materials are heavy though so be sure to place them somewhere sturdy like concrete pavers or a deck.

To Top You can also use one made out of plastic and resin. They don’t hold up well in extreme heat but they look terrific.

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