How to Stop Algae from Growing in Water Tanks

What do you get when you mix water and high temperatures? – Algae.

step2081 How to Stop Algae from Growing in Water TanksIf you are raising livestock, algae blooms in your water tanks can become a serious problem during the summer months. While most forms of algae are just unsightly and won’t cause harm, some are toxic to livestock, which makes its growth particularly problematic. The last thing you want is to have your cows, pigs, goats, sheep, or any other type of livestock you are raising to drink from water that has become compromised by these forms of algae.

The best rule of thumb to prevent a problem is to avoid letting your animals drink from water tanks where algae has started growing; however, who has the time to constantly empty out troughs and refill the water? And, simply refilling a tank that has had algae growing in it doesn’t solve the problem. Once algae has started growing in a tank, that tank is more susceptible to another bloom.

So, how can you avoid the problem and ensure the health and safety of your livestock? Here are some tips that will help you effectively prevent algae from growing in your livestock water tanks.

Clean the Tanks

This is something that should be done on a regular basis anyway, but it is particularly important if you have a problem with algae. Cleaning out the tanks at least once a week will prevent the growth of this nuisance, sometimes lethal, bloom.

Cleaning out the water tanks may sound like a simple task, but it can actually be a big undertaking, especially when you have a farm to run and have multiple tanks. The majority of commercial tanks are manufactured with drains that allow for easy removal of water. If you have these types of tanks, simply drain the water to start the cleaning process. However, if you aren’t using a commercial tank that has been designed specifically for watering your livestock, cleaning out the tank becomes a bit more difficult. If you are recycling vessels, such as bathtubs, wells, or other items that can hold water, draining the water can become a difficult challenge. Despite the challenge, however, it must be done.

Once the water is drained from your tanks, you have to give them a good scrubbing. Use the appropriate supplies to clean out the water tanks, and thoroughly rinse them before you refill them with water for your livestock.

Apply Liquid Algaecide

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If you don’t want to spend the time emptying water from your livestock water tanks, a great alternative to cleaning the water is to use liquid algaecide.

There are several different types of liquid algaecide on the market, but one of the best is Stocktrine II. This product is specially formulated to offer effective control of algae growth that has already started in livestock tanks, water troughs, and even ponds, and the results are long-lasting. What’s really great about this product is that it prevents the re-growth of algae when it is used in your regular maintenance program. Another plus is that it won’t corrode galvanized tanks or equipment.

The application rates for Stocktrine II are as follows:

So, for example, if you are treating a 500-gallon tank, you will need to apply 2 ounces to the water. If you are treating 1500 gallons of water, you will need to apply 6 ounces of the algae killer.

For the best results, you should apply Stocktrine II when the weather is calm and sunny. You should also apply it when temperatures are at least 60°F. In order to maximize the chemical contact time, you should apply the product when your stock water levels are low, or when a livestock tank is not in use. The product should be used at least every other week in tanks and troughs, and monthly in ponds. This will allow you to gain maximum control over existing algae growth, as well as prevent regrowth. Do keep in mind that during the summer months, when temperatures and water consumption are high, you may need to apply it more frequently.

Apply Copper Sulfate

A low dilution of copper sulfate can also be used to treat algae growth in livestock water tanks. It is suggested that you use one-half part per million in the water. An easy way to do use this product is to create a solution. You can do this by dissolving 1 oz of copper sulfate in a pint of water in a glass or enamel vessel. Do not use galvanized containers, as it reacts with the material. Add 3 tablespoons of your solution to every 1,000 gallons of water. Allow the solution to sit in the water for 12 hours, making sure to keep livestock at bay. Discard the water and refill with fresh water.

With these simple tips, you can keep algae at bay and ensure the safety of your livestock for years to come.


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