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Q: Bird bath algae ( No Answer,   2 Comments )
Subject: Bird bath algae
Category: Science > Biology
Asked by: msdolally-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 22 Jul 2006 16:49 PDT
Expires: 21 Aug 2006 16:49 PDT
Question ID: 748622
I have a concrete bird bath that acquires algae.  I thought that was
bad and it seemed to me that the birds avoided it when algae was
present and so I purchased a natural enzyme product that is supposed
to help eliminate the algae.  Since the algae had already formed and
scrubbing doesn't eliminate all of it (there are crevices where I just
can't get it all out), the enzyme product doesn't work as well as if I
had started using it before any algae formed at all.  Now, today, I'm
told that there is nothing wrong with having algae in a bird bath. 
What is the real story and what should I do?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Bird bath algae
From: pinkfreud-ga on 22 Jul 2006 17:09 PDT
We used to have a problem with algae in our concrete bird bath. My
husband bought a power-washer that is mainly designed for cleaning
driveways, and the power-washer worked wonders on the bird bath. Every
speck of the algae is gone. We didn't even need to use any chemicals.
Just water under very high pressure.
Subject: Re: Bird bath algae
From: sparkysko-ga on 07 Aug 2006 11:37 PDT
With the exception of very uncommon forms of algage which occur in the
ocean (Red tide, caused by Diatoms, not algae). There is nothing to
worry about with green algae occuring in a bird bath. The enzyme that
you purchased is very likely to be barley extract, or some type of
algaecide (algae poison).

Most toxic critters are formed from anaerobic (oxygen less)
environments, such as stagnant water with lots of debris in it (you
basically get an outbreak of funii and rotting, fungii can be toxic).
The presence of green algae is usually a good indicator that there is
oxygen in this environment, and rotting is not the case (However, once
the water temperature exceeds 100F, there is no oxygen in it).

Algae will be caused by an excess of nutrients, and an excess of
lighting. Usually the limiting factor here is phosphates in the water.
 Most algae problems can be cured by removing phosphates from the
water. This probably isn't very practical in your case.

I wouldn't be suprised if birds showed a preference for clear water,
but there is nothing to worry about. If you're truely worried, add a
very small amount of bleach to the water. A good, small mouthed,
bullet proof snail is Melanoides Tuberculata, commonly referred to as
the 'Malaysian Trumpet Snail'. These have a very hard shell, which
would provide protection against the birds, also, when the conditions
get rough, they close up into their shell, and can withstand quite
harsh conditions. Also, Petsmart sells a large 'Apple Snail', which is
a voracious eater, and cannot reproduce on it's own.

Lastly, perhaps you should consider an epoxy like painting (or just
epoxy) on the bottom of your bird feeders to give it a smooth surface?
Every epoxy that I'm aware of is non toxic when fully cured, and
provides a water proof, extremely durable, smooth surface, which would
be easier to 'wipe off' than a concrete surface.

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