I have seen it several magazines where you can buy barley balls, etc, to put in your ponds to keep the algae and all down. I found one the other day at Tractor Supply for putting in your livestock barrels. Well, I bought one hoping it would keep the water clean for my horses, but that thing was disgusting in about a week. Has anyone else used these for their pond or anything?
Anyone have any suggestions on keeping algae out of the livestock water?
I use barley straw that comes in mesh bags in my pond to help keep algae down. In our cow waterers I scrub them with stiff plastic brush every once in a while as they get nasty with algae. In my birdbath I keep 2 copper pennies and it keeps algae out very well. Not sure if a horse would eat up a penny but if they did I'm sure it would pass right through LOL.
My pond at home stays pretty clear, because there are lots of good filter plants in there especially iris. But we did use a barley ball to clear up murky water in a pond at a display garden I used to volunteer at. It worked like a charm. That water was not clouded with green algae, though. The brown mucky stuff from the pond bottom was being stirred up somehow, so the water was always thick dark brown looking until we put in the barley ball. Maybe it was brown algae?
I think the penny idea is fantastic for your horse troughs. Copper is death to algae, but not harmful to mammals - our potable water is/was supplied through copper pipes for years, right? I use pennies in my washing machine to keep the rubber gasket around the door from getting moldy.
You could also look at where it's situated - if it's in the shade it would grow a lot less algae. Like any plant, algae needs sun, and fertilizer to grow. Could the raccoons be using your horse trough for you-know-what? That could be the fertilizer . . . I can't think how you'd prevent it, but . . maybe a 'scarecrow' sprinkler would keep them away? You'd have to remember to turn it off in the daytime so the horses wouldn't be scared away, too.