Algae-opinions on safety of drinking in freshwater troughs?

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Horsewoman
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Algae-opinions on safety of drinking in freshwater troughs?

Post by Horsewoman » Sat Jul 23, 2005 3:29 am

Hoping someone out there more knowledgeable than I can help settle a "discussion" some of us horsepeople are having about how "paranoid" to get over green algae that forms in horse water troughs? I am of the opinion that it far less harmful to my horses than say the chemical fly sprays or the wormers I subject them to. Others are of the opinion that if you don't scrub the troughs and disinfect them with bleach once a week you're guilty of horse neglect........

Any thoughts out there from people who - if you're a member of this forum - obviously know a whole lot more technically than I do about the safety aspects of algae. I know it annoys me when it grows in my swimming pool; but I'm also of the thought that it's "natural".....and my horses taking a little in with their water are none the worse for it. During our hot spells up here in No. Calif., I flush the troughs out every afternoon with fresh cold water ~ but only "scrub" them out maybe once a month......and never do the bleach thing. My horses? Are happy and healthy.

Am I delusional??? :D Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

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MrMistery
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Post by MrMistery » Sat Jul 23, 2005 7:17 pm

Bleach releases free atoms of oxygen that kills the algae. In case you were wondering :wink:
Now, about your algae... Algae is a sort of inferior plants(Yes, i know biosystematics, but for this discussion we can consider them plants even if they are in the kingdom protoctista) so nothing will happen to your horse if it eats it. Algae is autotrphic-it produces it's "food" by photosynthesis, so it would not harm the horse in any way
However the algae can be a marker for the overall life in that water. If algae develops than some heterotrophic organisms can also live in there, and some of which can harm your horse. If algae can live in that water, so can a lot of other stuff too. however the chances of an optional parasite developing are small. I would say that if your horse drinks the water, he is 60-80% safe, depending on the type it took for it to grow. But, how you said you treat the water, i would say your horse is 95-98% safe.
Hope i have answered your question

PS: remember i am still in high-school so if your horse catches plague don't blame me :wink:
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter

Horsewoman
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Post by Horsewoman » Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:12 am

Hey Mr. Mistery ~ Romania may be a small and insignificant country, but I say they're awfully lucky to have you......very much appreciate your response. Makes sense to me.....I've followed the same routine for 3 years now here where we live in Northern California; lately our highs have been in the triple digits - today 110. My four horses are all - well - healthy as :lol:

Thank you for answering my question ~ your ONLY in High School?? I'd say you have a bright future ahead of you......

Susan
aka Horsewoman

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mothorc
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Post by mothorc » Sun Jul 24, 2005 6:18 am

congratulation MrMistery.
With water contain algae, it mean the water have some problem.
Most of them are cyanobacteria (in new phylogenetic, some species are put in cyanobacteria such as spirulina..).they need light and some nutrition especially is nitrate, nitrit ..and a lot
So when water contain algae, it is polluted. I think it cause by your horses 's feces or saliva, or durty container...And the light help algae develope.
Pure alga is good ( spirulina have the bigest amount of protein) but I think you shouldn't use this water For you horses because 2 reason:
1- algae will make your horse become green if it grow on horse fur.
2- nitrit, nitrate can cause some disease sush as stomach cancer(nitrosamin) or anaemia (with child)
So you should do something like this:
1- test your water source: (If you don't want to ask for a diagnostic lab for total nitrogen index,) use a transparent bottle, pour source water clearly, close tight and put in anture light .
If water contain algae, it mean source water is not good.
If water still clear, now you can set your mind at rest.
2- Keep your water from waste and light. I often avoid algae by keep water in a dark bottle. It is a simple way.
MrMistery right if water is not terrible poluted. but if we have a lot of horses, we must take care of their water. Clear is alway good.
Not too long :D

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