Plecos (Algae eating fish) In water tanks?

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by Lil Eowyn, Mar 6, 2013.

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  1. Mar 6, 2013 #1

    Lil Eowyn

    Lil Eowyn

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    Hello,

    Sorry, I've been posting quite a bit lately, but I'm just wondering;

    I heard that people put goldfish in their water tanks to keep out the mosquito larvae etc., but I have a problem with Algae growing in my water tank. Have you heard of putting a couple of pleco fish in a horse water trough? Is it safe? If so, then do you have to feed the fish or do they just survive on algae? Do they have a lot of waste? I think it would be like drinking from a lake/river, right? Just wondering, because if it did help, I might try it this summer.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Mar 6, 2013 #2

    muffntuf

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    Try putting some real silver silverware in your tank. 3-4 pieces if like 100 gallons.
     
  3. Mar 6, 2013 #3

    Little Wolf Ranch

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    Silverware? What if you have a horse that likes to play in the water tub? What kind of silverware works best?
     
  4. Mar 6, 2013 #4

    muffntuf

    muffntuf

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    since most silverware goes to the bottom - it shouldn't be an issue. And I will re-iterate: real silver
     
  5. Mar 6, 2013 #5

    Little Wolf Ranch

    Little Wolf Ranch

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    I was more or less asking if the size of the silverware makes a difference as I have some pure silver plates I believe?
     
  6. Mar 6, 2013 #6

    muffntuf

    muffntuf

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    My friend throws 3-4 pieces of silverware in a 100 gallon tank. Keeps the algae down.
     
  7. Mar 6, 2013 #7

    littlebigspots

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    They are tropical fish and grow to the size of the tank. So every year you would have to some somwhere to put this big pokey monster. I would find a differnet alternative that doesn't poop in your horses drinking water. [​IMG]
     
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  8. Mar 11, 2013 #8

    Jill

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    Hi, Amy --

    I haven't read through the replies, but did read your oginal post.

    Obviously, I'm a horse person... but I'm also pretty much an avid fishkeeper!

    With plecos, the common (brown) variety, I think, I very territorial. So you wouldn't want more than one in a tank. Plus, they also do create a lot of waste and, if they live long enough, become very large. They are most often kept in "tropical" tanks, but actually can do well in household unheated goldfish tanks. But, I don't think they could ever do as well as goldfish when it comes to a wide range of temperatures. Additionally, they are very noctournal and should have a log, driftwood (ideal) or at least a PVC pipe to hide in during the day. We have quite a few... two common in large tanks (one in a big goldfish tank, one in a tropical type tank) and lots of neat "bushy nose / bristlenose" albino plecos that are not so territoral.

    Our horse tanks here are just those low 55g Rubbermaid kind. We don't keep any fish in them. I just have a toilet brush (obviously, not used ever in a toilet!) and periodically scrub the tanks with that. It only takes me a couple minutes per tank [​IMG]

    Best of luck!!!
     
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  9. Mar 11, 2013 #9

    wildoak

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    I do keep goldfish in my big troughs, and have tried the algae eaters a time or two... they did not seem to last very long and I gave up on them.

    Wonder if there are any negatives to keeping silver in the trough? Interesting idea..

    Jan
     
  10. Mar 11, 2013 #10

    Barnmother

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    I would think Mom would frown on her silver wear going to the horses. I wondered how big a piece of silver it had to be. You can buy .9999 pure silver coins pretty reasonably (well not as reasonable as you used to be able to) but I wonder how many it would take. What in the silver stops the algae?
     
  11. Mar 11, 2013 #11

    Carolyn R

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    Just got back from tractor supply. They have tiny burlap bags stuffed with barley straw. Suppose to do the same thing? Has anyone tried this. I think I will try it out came warmer weather. $4.99 suppose to last for two months or more.
     
  12. Mar 12, 2013 #12

    CASINO

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    My neighbor swears by the barley straw in his big pond. I do notice a difference in it when he throws in a new one.
     
  13. Mar 12, 2013 #13

    Lil Eowyn

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    My Dad said he put minnows in his tank when he was younger (for cattle). I told him about the silverware idea and he said it was good (He's a Dr.) So I think I will try that. I can't remember what he said that was in the silverware that helped it, but he said it prevents algae.

    Carolyn:

    What are those barley straw things called?
     
  14. Mar 12, 2013 #14

    MajorClementine

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    barley straw works great in ponds. never used it in a water tank. I just dump and scrub mine each time they get low. Every couple of weeks or so in the summer. I don't have an auto water on my tank so I figure it's better to dump out the old water and fill with new fresh water every so often.

    "The antimicrobial properties of silver have been known to cultures all around the world for many centuries. The Phonecians stored water and other liquids in silver coated bottles to discourage contamination by microbes. Silver dollars used to be put into milk bottles to keep milk fresh, and water tanks of ships and airplanes that are "silvered" are able to render water potable for months .

    In 1893, the antibacterial effectiveness of various metals were noted and this property was named the oligodynamic effect. It was later found that out of all the metals with antimicrobial properties, silver has the most effective antibacterial action and the least toxicity to animal cells. Silver became commonly used in medical treatments, such as those of wounded soldiers in World War I, to deter microbial growth."

    The article continues to state that you want .999% silver, nothing less. Anything else will have other alloys in it and you don't want those leaching into your horses water causing heavy metal poisoning or other like problems. Sounds like it'll work though. Let us know if you try it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2013
  15. Mar 12, 2013 #15

    Lil Eowyn

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    How much silver should I put in though? I don't want to hurt the horses, but enough prevent algae?
     
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  16. Mar 12, 2013 #16

    Carolyn R

    Carolyn R

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    I can check the next time I go. Will be on my purchase list. I will be trying them out maybe next month, once I can turn off the stock heater.
     
  17. Mar 12, 2013 #17

    Lil Eowyn

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    Thanks =)
     
  18. Mar 12, 2013 #18

    littlenicker

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    I didnt read the other comments but I will chime in a bit with my exeperience with fish keeping in general. Gernerally plecos wont live long without consistant temps of 75 degrees...temp fluctuations will eventually lead to disease in the fish than in no time the fish die. Im not sure what of these would effect a horse, but fish waste builds up quickly leading to not only dead fish but high ammonia and nitrite/nitrate. Generally in a fish tank you would need to do a 20-50% water change weekly and thats with a cycled tank...without a cycle in the tank the ammonia and nitrate will spike within a couple of days killing the fish...Gold fish are a bit hardier and do fine in cool temps but I really dont think you will have much luck with pleco's in the long run. Plecos also grow very large and a number of them would outgrow the trough in just a few months if they were to live. And also if you try goldfish, the ammonia nitrate and nitrite are going to double that of any other fish, they are nasty poopers! I know horses can colic and become ill from eating hay with dead animals in it, I would personally be concerned about the poop causing illness in the horse. Just my thoughts though from experience with fish, good luck with whatever you decide [​IMG]
     
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  19. Mar 12, 2013 #19

    disneyhorse

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    My barn has a koi pond with waterfall and giant filtration system... But I see the icky stuff the filter gets and the water has to be partially changed weekly. Horses don't drink out of it...
     
  20. Mar 13, 2013 #20

    JAX

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    I prefer to have some algae in my troughs. I have gold fish as well. The fish eat any bugs and dropped feed from the horses and the algae helps to oxygenate the water which is good for the fish and in my opinion is not a bad idea for the horses too. Lots of people use different forms of algae as a supplement for themselves and also for their pets... I do not fight the algae in my tanks unless it is the red algae because I hate the way it looks LOL
     

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