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Birdbath Algae

Hello,

I'm new here and hoping someone can help with an organic or at least harmless method of preventing algae growth in my bird bath.

Now that the weather is warming up, the algae that was not a problem during winter is reborn and flourishing well and I'm getting complaints from the birds (actually, they don't seem to be using it as much as when it was algae-free).

Last summer I fried the algae with a small blow torch. This worked well, but I'm looking for a less labor intensive solution.

Any ideas?

-Dan
 
Geez - a blow torch?? You must be kidding?

All I do, about once a week, is empty & give my birdbaths (one concrete & two potteries) a scrub with a "Dobie Pad" (synthetic kitchen scrubbing pad) that I've dedicated just for that purpose.

I can't think of any situation that would require a blow torch.
 

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"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."

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"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."

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Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia

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Yeah, for months I tried scrubbing away the algae too. Fire works better than scrubbing but as originally posted, I'm looking for something that I can add to the water.

BTW, the blow torch idea works great on weeds/grass along walkways and driveways too. Though there are no doubt some who would rather get down on all fours and dig away at them instead.
 
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I clean mine with a scrub brush. The algea does no harm though. The rocks along most healthy waters (springs, creeks etc.) has algea growing on them. It's more important to keep the water clean.

If you really don't like it you could clean it with a bleach solution, just be sure soak in clean water and rinse real well. If your bath is concrete you might be careful with a blow torch. The quick heating of concrete like that sounds like a crack waiting to happen.
 
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I like battery power (lots of problems with hands from arthritis and carpal tunnel), and have a little rechargeable scrubber. I use baking soda and scrubber brush. Rinse with hose on high power. Have used power washer before if I'm already using it elsewhere.
 
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To keep algae from growing in your bird bath flush it daily with fresh water. If the algae does build up you can clean that bird bath with a 1 part Chlorine bleach to 9 parts water solution. Flush the bird bath well with water and put that solution in and let it sit until the algae is gone and then flush the bird bath well before putting it back filled with fresh water.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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After more research I came across many chemicals (some "green") for treating algae in birdbaths and aquariums, but I found this potential solution interesting and will have to give it a try - from this link: http://audubon-omaha.org/bestofbbml/birdbath.htm

"A safe way and trick (I just learned about this trick this year) for taking care of algae in birdbaths or water fountains, is to dump 1 cup* each week of H2-O2 or Hydrogen Peroxide into your birdbath or water fountain (*depending on the size of your bird bath or water fountain, dictates how much Hydrogen Peroxide you need to kill off the algae, so you will need to experiment on how much to use, but have no fear...the birds will be safe no mater how much Hydrogen Peroxide you use.)

That's right the 3% Hydrogen Peroxide in the brown bottle that you can buy for next to nothing at Target (where I buy it) or your local drug store. The 3% Hydrogen Peroxide just raises the oxygen level in the water, killing off the algae. No scrubbing needed, the algae just magically goes away. So simple and safe that I'm shocked I didn't know about this trick years ago."
 
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When the weather is warm enough that the water doesn't freeze in our birdbath I refill it daily. Before I refill it I turn the hose up, use a nozzle with a good focus and blast all the remaining water from the day before out of the birdbath. I have never not had the fresh water blast away any traces of algae and very little seems to form in a day, even out here where I live with all our sunshine.
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ LAUS DEO, Where ever I go, there I am. ..... major at nwi dot net ..... Zone 6a, Eastern Washington, sagebrush high desert, Columbia plateau.
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