Hmmm.... I got to thinking that all of you water experts around here may have the answer I am looking for. Besides having a pool for the family's refreshment, I have two fountains in my garden to keep the birds happy. One is a 'bowl' variety that sits on the ground near a feeder. There is a little fountain head in the center that is surrounds by rocks. The birds walk on the rocks to get at the water which is kept almost at a trickle, so that it is easy for them to splash and drink from. The other fountain is a three-tiered 'pineapple' style where the water flows from the top and makes its way down to the bottom by filling the lower level until that in turn spills into the large basin.
I love watching the birds having fun in them, but, they are prone to get algae rather quickly. Without thinking clearly one year, I put bleach in them to control it and it sent the birds packing... and I'm sure they let all their friends know too! Now I am in a schedule of cleaning and scrubbing once a week to control it and I have managed to keep my birds around. While that method is keeping the birds happy... I can't say as much about myself.
So... my question. Is there a way to maintain an algae free fountain that is safe for the wildlife in the yard to swim and drink that doesn't include weekly breaking down and scrubbing?