TFF (Trouble Free Fountain)?

Dirk

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So I visit my brother a few weeks ago and the subject of his elaborate front-yard fountain comes up. He describes how he has to add water all the time, and dump it all every few weeks to scrub it clean of the algae he's constantly battling. So I go into Dirk-mode and give him a crash course in the FC/CYA principal, concluding that if he throws in some CYA and maintains a decent FC, his algae-cleaning days could be behind him. Like all my TFP-evangiliazing attempts, I figured that would be the end of it.

But he calls today and wants to get onboard. I show him Pool Math and the FC/CYA chart, and convince him to buy the K-2006 and some CYA granules. I told him I'd buy back whatever he doesn't need of both of those, so he'll end up at about 40 bucks out-of-pocket. We then play with Pool Math (online) and figure out we need to input a 30,000 gallon pool, instead of a 30 gallon fountain (to get Pool Math's rounding algorithms to reveal any meaningful numbers), and then divide the FC and CYA doses by 1000, which comes out to less than an ounce each. The plan is to use the CYA test and FAS-DPD test to maintain a CYA of 50 and an FC of 8.

Is this going to work? Can you extrapolate the FC/CYA principle, and the FC/CYA chart and Pool Math, down to a 30 gallon body of water, and expect to control algae? Has anyone ever tried something like this? Or should I stop him before he spends any money on the goods?

Would he be better off using some sort of big box store fountain/pond magic potion? Or can he have a TFF?
 
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mknauss

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A 1 inch tablet is 0.5 oz of trichlor. I wonder how long it would take to dissolve that? Sort of like a mosquito puck they use in abandoned pools. It would be easier. But it may be pretty acidic.
 

Dirk

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I thought of suggesting pucks, but don't want him to get into a high-CYA situation. And I'm trying to save him from having to dump water all the time. I was going about it like it was just a mini-pool, and advising him as if it were a full-sized pool. And he's got a lot of birds, so he has a concern about tweaking the fountain chemicals beyond their tolerance.

Also throw into the mix, his fountain is not only evaporating, but he gets a lot of splash out too, which is where the test kit idea came from, because while he could fudge the FC a little high or low, if the CYA is not relatively constant, because he's constantly losing it, and trying to compensate CYA because of that, then he'll be constantly under/over-dosing FC. I figured in for a penny, in for a pound: strict TFPC all the way.

The missing piece of the puzzle is whether the FC/CYA chart can be applied to any size body of water, even a 30 gallon one...
 
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mguzzy

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Jul 8, 2015
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The missing piece of the puzzle is whether the FC/CYA chart can be applied to any sized body of water, even a 30 gallon one...
the short answer yes... but you lose the buffering effect of having larger body of water. I wonder if you should be using a hot tub analogy instead. They do weird stuff in that forum.. I stay away from it because its a different cult. If he gets a lot of splash out.. a half a puck might be a good way to go. Just monitor the CYA level. I'm just think'n out loud.
 
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Dirk

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Right. Like how it's much easier to keep fish alive in a 100 gal aquarium as opposed to a 10 gal. It might be more trouble than it's worth. He may just need to keep track of chlorine, which he could do with a bottle of bleach and a $8 OTO kit. But if this little experiment fails, I'll buy up all his stuff and he can go back to his original MO, no harm no foul.
 

JJ_Tex

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Jul 17, 2019
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I've never owned a fountain, but when I started dating my wife her dad had a big one out front. They added hydrogen peroxide to it to prevent algae and mosquitoes. His wife claimed it was safe for the birds too.

I'm not sure the science behind it as college aged JJ was not too concerned with fountains and other "old man stuff" at the time, but to their credit it was a nice fountain and I dont remember it having algae or ever not working.
 

Dirk

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Dirk, you need to add an auto-filler and post some pics.
Ha, you think you can make fun of my automation!?! That's the first thing I did when I restored the fountain in my yard. I ran a line of 1/2" drip tubing from a hose bib near my back door to my fountain. And then I ran a couple of 1/4" drip lines from my drip irrigation system to the fountain, too. So whenever my timers run either of two drip circuits, my fountain gets some water, too! Auto-fill!! If those don't keep it topped off enough, I just twist the ol' hose bib and finish filling manually, but without having to drag a hose out to the fountain. So there!! 😜

Edit: Wait, in case you were serious, and there is such a thing, point me to it!!


Uh, oh, the joke is on me. There is such a thing!! I must have it!!! I'm on it...
 
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Dirk

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They added hydrogen peroxide to it to prevent algae and mosquitoes. His wife claimed it was safe for the birds too.
Interesting. Thanks JJ. What's cheaper I wonder, the hydrogen peroxide it would take, or the chlorine? Which is silly, I guess, the reagents are probably going to cost more than the chlorine!
 

duraleigh

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At average water rates, the refill for a 30 gallon pool is roughly $.025 (two and a half cents) about 1 teaspoon or less of Clorox will provide adequate sanitation for at least 24 hours.

Listen to Maddie.......Use Clorox and test with an OTO (Not even sure I would use the OTO)
 
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Dirk

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Yep, my overthinking might have gotten the best of me again. A little squirt of chlorine once a day does seem to be the simplest solution.

I'm projecting my own pool care system: doing the absolute least amount of work possible! I was thinking some CYA would stretch the chlorine dosing some number of days.
 

mguzzy

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FINALLY a pic of what we are dealing with... Let's get our priorities straight here, that fountain should not be filled with water.. it should be filled with Champagne. 🍾🥂
 
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