TFF (Trouble Free Fountain)?

Dirk

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Well, that's possible. But what would be the ethical and safety concerns and obligations for drunk birds roaming the neighborhood? Collect their keys? Uber them home? Card them? What is the legal age for a sparrow? Would he need bouncers? Sounds complicated...

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JoyfulNoise

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It’s going to smell like chlorine/chloramines and the plants around it are going to get hit with over-spray. In a fountain I would use copper based algaecide and MPS (non-chlorine shock). It’s not a drinking fountain or potable water supply for human use so bacteria isn’t really an issue (who cares). If it gets algae, dump it, sanitize it with bleach and Ahhsome and then start it up again.

Does this fountain have a filter or does it just move water with a pump?

It would be way too much work to treat it like a pool....but then again, this is an @Dirk thread so 🙄
 

Dirk

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Thanks Matt. If it's worth thinking about, it's worth over-thinking about, I say!

Which is worse for the birds? Chlorine, or the MPS and copper you recommend? It is, technically, a a potable supply.

The plants are a concern, but I was hoping a teaspoon of chlorine might be OK...

No filter, just moves water.
 

JoyfulNoise

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Believe me, the birds will not care one bit about what you put into that fountain.

I would just start off with a copper algaecide designed for ponds (you can find that in a lot of hardware stores) and then use MPS at a rate of 1/4 tsp per 30 gallons. You'll need to watch pH and TA though as MPS is acidic and will lower both. However, the acidity will help to not precipitate copper.

You can use bleach too (no copper algaecide), but it will need to be added everyday. 1/2 teaspoon in 30 gallons of water will raise the FC to 1.3ppm and with zero CYA that will be plenty to destroy any algae or bacteria. It won't last long in direct sunlight but the sanitation effect of killing everything should keep the water clean enough for 24 hours until the next dose. Adding 10ppm CYA will drop the active chlorine levels down to their minimum for sanitation but it will give you a few hours of protection. If you want to go the FC/CYA route, then use 6% bleach (Clorox should be fine) with liquid CYA to get 10ppm. Dump it once the water becomes cloudy from suspended solids build up.
 
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Dirk

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OK, thanks all. He's going to go with a $12 K-1000, a sports water bottle full of 6% bleach and no CYA for now. He'll use the OTO to figure out how many squirts will last him a day. He has to fill the fountain daily, so the squirting will just become part of his chore. Once he gets it down, he can forgo the OTO, maybe just use it every few months as the seasons affect the dosing.

I mentioned to him that the next time we visit I'll give him a few scoops of CYA from my stash, and he can try a little of that to see if he can extend the dosing a bit. But I pointed out, since he's adding water every day anyway, adding chlorine every day might actually be simpler, since he won't have to remember if he did it yesterday, or day before, etc.
 
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mguzzy

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Believe me, the birds will not care one bit about what you put into that fountain.
Exactly.. that's why really cheap Champagne will work so well. Mosquitoes will be too drunk to lay larvae, and the hipster sparrows that hang around will think anything else are hors d'oeuvres. The bubbles will help keep the pH in check and the alcohol will help sanitize. Sounds like a win-win to me.
 

sacredcow

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May 8, 2018
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This reminds me of a friend who has a fountain that he doses with peroxide from time to time to kill algae. He had trouble finding peroxide in the early days of the Covid, so someone suggested he add some bleach instead. A few hours later, there are frantic facebook posts with pictures of his fountain with an impressive amount of foam. The comments were interesting and ranged from suggestions of other things he needed to add (some horrifying) to "drain all of your water NOW! It's eating up your fountain!" I chime in and say I'd bet a million dollars that he used splashless bleach, which he (of course) confirmed but not before several people called me stupid because there's nothing in splashless bleach that would cause THAT. :rolleyes:

Good on your brother for being willing to take some good advice!
 
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Dirk

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I remembered to share the bit about bleach with no additives. I recommend 6%, as at his rate of consumption it'll go bad before he uses it all, so 6% is supposed to last better than 10 or 12%. And to keep the squirt bottle cool and dark.
 

Dirk

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I'm seriously considering starting my own website. TFF.com. But now I'm not sure if that'll be Trouble Free Fountain, or Trouble Free Fondue...
 
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JoyfulNoise

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Trouble Free Fondue is simple - just add sodium citrate to whatever cheese/liquid mixture you want and you’ll get perfectly smooth cheese sauce every time.

I like smoked Gouda, white cheddar and beer.
 

jseyfert3

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Has anyone ever tried something like this? O
No but I've considered it. I've had it in my massive list of "projects that would be fun to do" making a few of those jumping fountains. You know, the ones that shoot a clean stream of water into the next one with no splashing? And at night you can have cool lighting effects? Anyway I found some instructions on how to DIY, since commercial ones are super expensive, but the person who wrote it gave up because they used sponges to help straighten the water to get the straight stream and they would constantly plug up with growth. So I figured if I made jumping fountains I'd put a little Stenner or similar to keep the water chlorinated and keep the growth buildup from happening on the sponges.

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.
Hey now! Nothing weird about it. Except maybe the whole stick 6 barely clothed people side-by-side so close you're probably gonna touch, that is a bit weird if you think about it...moreso than the water care at least! :ROFLMAO:
 

Dirk

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My fountain is usually green. Because of the filler I rigged up, I don't go to it, ever. And now it's trapped in some landscaping that makes that more of a trek. So I rarely dose it with chlorine. What I should do is concoct a mini-injector of sorts, back at the hose bib that feeds the fountain-filling hose. Some way to squirt some chlorine into the fill water, before it gets to the fountain. Maybe just a quick-connect fitting: pop it off, squirt some chlorine into the hose, pop it back onto the bib and fill. Truth be told, I don't really care if it's green or not. Birds don't care. What harm is it?
 

Lilypad

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Nov 12, 2016
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They added hydrogen peroxide to it to prevent algae and mosquitoes.
I tried the chlorine route in my fountain before I knew about the FC/CYA ratio. I cratered two pumps
and angered many flowers! It also bleached out some of the fountains color. I switched to Hydogen
Peroxide and it works amazingly well. You can find it at Walmart for 88 cents a bottle.
 

Dirk

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Do you mean you think the chlorine ruined the fountain pump? I wonder what your FC was, if you were just overdoing the chlorine...
 

Lilypad

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Yes, I think the chlorine was way too high. As mentioned, it was before I found TFP and understood
the ratio. Pumps have been fine since I switched to the HP.
 
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