Does anyone do this? Hubby said he used to do it with his cows and they kept all the algae eaten away. They swim around the bottom, so I don't really think its a worry that she'll drink them, but it seemed weird to me lol.

TIA!
Jen

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I have not done it personally, since I have automatic waterers, however I know others that have done it with great success. The fish do not bother the horses at all. Another way to keep the algae down is shade. If the water trough is in full sun all day, the algae grows like weeds.
Works like a charm... if the little boys don't find out there's fish in there!
I'm so glad you asked this question! I've often wondered if I could put something (I had thought snails) to keep the algae down. What about the "waste" from the fish, is that a problem?
hubby says its not a problem considering they often come in contact with lots of different types of feces (SICK!) but i guess thats true lol
do not put snails in the water, they carry Potomac horse fever, keep the troughs clear of snails, they also carry parasites.
This is funny, I just had this very conversation with a friend the other day when we were inspecting the water trough in our horses' new field! I've come across it before, but didn't realise there was a practical reason for doing it. Just thought it was people whose fairground prizes had got too big for the tank!
Its great because the fish don't only eat the algae but they also eat the mosquito larvae too!! Mosquitos lay their eggs in still water so the fish will take care of that which I love, less mosquitos the better. I've always kept fish in the water tanks - less work for us and they look cute lol.....as long as you don't have a crazy Percheron/Paint who decides to play with the fish and jump into the tank...those poor fish never saw him coming = (

As for the waste from the fish no worries there the algae eat that and the fish will also eat it. It mostly sits on the bottom so if you wash the tank out once in a while you will get rid of any build up.

Just go to your local wal-mart and pick up the gold fish for like .58 cents each.
I am also curious to see what others think about this subject. I have seen this done. It seemed to work good for eating up the mosquitoes larvae but in this case there was still lots of algae but it was in the full sun. This became pretty gross in the bottom with the fish pooh but it probably needed to be totally refreshed more often. The fish survived all winter but there was heaters in the tank to keep it from totally freezing.
I do have a different opinion about the fish eating their own pooh. This is my personal observation. I used to work at a pet store with over 100 fish tanks. I did at times see fish take a piece of pooh in their mouth but they always spit it back out. We had to siphon out the bottoms of the tanks periodically to get rid of some of the pooh & some would break down with the filtering systems but it didn't stay clean on it's own.
I know when we emptied out the water troughs at my boarding stable last year there was LOTS of pooh in the bottom. It was gross. This year they are going without the goldfish and I'm happy about that. Personally I wouldn't do it unless I planned to empty and clean it on a regular basis. BUT, I know some people think it's a great thing to do.
Hoping for more to share their experiences with this.
Interesting experience--thanks for shedding more light on the pooh subject :)

Our trough is fairly large and I usually have the boys fully scrub it out every other week anyways, so I think I'm going to give the fish a try, but keep an eye on it like you say--

Love all the comments and active discussion guys!
One suggestion if you decide to go with the goldfish. When you clean the tank and change the water, it's much easier on the fish if you can put them in a bucket with the old water and then gradually adjust them to the new clean water and temperature. It's a real shock to their system if you just dump them into totally different water.
Good reminder Shirley--I noticed my hubby doing this with the bag that they came in and it finally donned on my why.
what about in the winter when it freezes solid?

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