Water fountains are lovely additions to any garden. They provide an aesthetic focal point and offer a place for birds to drink and bathe, which is perfect if you want to attract wildlife. But if your water fountain collects algae or moss, the birdbath function becomes less attractive.
This article will discuss how to keep fountain water clean for birds with ten simple tips that can be implemented anytime during the year!
Tips for Keeping Your Fountain Water Clean
Fountain water is amazing because it is moving from one place to another. This element works to your advantage in cleaning up green water because water currents will help to break up the algae and moss that grow at the fountain’s base. Following are ten ways in which they can keep fountain water clean for birds, described.
Keep The Fountain Intact
If your water fountain has a large crack or hole, it will be difficult to keep it clean and free of dirt and debris. This can cause algae growth more easily in the water, which is undesirable for birds’ health. But if you already have one with a flaw like this, there are still things you can do to keep fountain water clean for birds.
Keep The Pump Filter Cleaned
If your pump filter is dirty, it will be harder for the current in the water to move around and break up algae or moss blooms. Removing any residual dirt, dust, leaves, or debris with every cleaning session will allow you to have cleaner birdbath water more quickly by allowing better airflow through the pump chamber.
Keeping this area of your water feature clean may mean just snipping off larger clumps of dust when you are cleaning it up for winter.
Leak-Free Fountain Setup
Leaks are an invitation to nature’s tiny creatures that enter our homes looking for a cozy place to live. Leaking fountains will provide homes for the likes of mosquito larvae and algae and moss that can clog up your decorative water feature even more quickly.
Water Fountain with Attached Reservoir
One way to reduce algae buildup in your water feature is to have a nearby reservoir that can hold some of the water. This will mean less time for algae or moss spores to grow, as the container which holds most of the water needs to be cleaned much less often.
You will have cleaner birdbath water more quickly simply because you are only scooping out dirty water every so often instead of cleaning up all dirty water frequently. But if bacteria do form in this area, it’s very important that you clean this reservoir frequently too, as poultry are susceptible to illness from contaminated water sources.
Scoop Out Green Algae Regularly
If you notice green slime on top of your decorative fountain’s water and don’t scoop it out and remove the dead insects that form around this green slime, the smell will be harder to get rid of. If you see moss or algae growth in areas where water sits for an extended period of time (such as under a waterfall), use a flathead screwdriver to scrape off any fully-established colonies of algae or moss.
Keep Your Reservoir Near a Light Source
Algae need sunlight to grow, so keeping your reservoir near a light source such as a porch light can help to prevent algae from taking over. This means you may only need to clean your fountain water every few months and much less frequently than you would without this added measure to keep fountain water clean for birds.
Clean The Fountain Regularly
Cleaning your water feature is an important step in keeping your bird bath water clean for birds. Simply rinsing off any dirt or debris that accumulates on the sides will be enough to keep this visual cue present.
Just wiping away animal droppings can be enough to prevent algae blooms sometimes, but if you see moss or algae growing in areas where water can typically sit (such as under a waterfall), use a flathead screwdriver to scrape off these colonies when they start out small and manageable because scrubbing them later could damage the material of your decorative fountain.
Add Chlorine Bleach
Adding chlorine bleach to your birdbath water or reservoir can help keep algae out, or at least keep it under control. Chlorine bleach is often easy to find in grocery stores and other shops, so you won’t need to order online to get this product which will also help keep your decorative fountain’s water clean for birds.
But if you add more than would typically be needed for disinfecting a pool, then you could risk damage to the material of your fountain itself. Use extreme caution when using this method to remove algae from your birdbath. Consider getting a separate reservoir for this purpose so that you won’t need to worry about whether it is safe to add chlorine bleach to your water.
Add Barley Straw or Copper Sulfate
Barley straw or copper sulfate can help keep algae, moss, and even mold from taking a foothold in a water feature’s design. These compounds will keep wildlife from denaturing the material where it could start growing for birds that drink from the fountain.
One of these products needs to be added to a bucket full of warm water and then poured into your decorative water feature for this purpose, which means repeatedly doing this every day until you notice that there is no more algae or moss growth occurring. At that point, you’ll only need to do this treatment once per month.
Algae Control Organic
Finally, there are some products on the market that are designed to both keep your water feature looking sharp and to prevent algae buildup. Algae Control Organic, for example, can be added directly into a birdbath and promises not only an attractive appearance but also the prevention of slime growth, and algae blooms can occur without regular cleaning.
Benefits of Having a Clean Water Fountain for Birds
A clean water fountain is important as it provides a drinking source for wild birds. They can also use water fountains as part of overall bird feeding and habitat improvement plans to attract more wild birds.
A clean drinking source is especially important during the hot summer months when standing water may evaporate quickly and leave wild and domestic birds without access to this vital resource.
Maintaining a Healthy Fountain Environment for Birds
Maintaining a healthy bird fountain environment is important for your bird’s safety. Anytime you introduce foreign elements into the water, it increases the risk of harm to wild birds.
Microorganisms, metals, minerals, or other substances can be hazardous to wild birds if they come in contact with water in your birdbath. So make sure that any cleaning materials, drinking and feeding equipment, and food you introduce into the water are not hazardous to wild birds.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should I Change The Water in My Bird Fountain?
You should change the water in your bird fountain every 2 to 3 days so that there is always clean water available for drinking. If you notice algae or other growing material in your decorative fountain, then you may need to do it more often. Just make sure you use a smart approach and do nothing that would harm the wild birds that are drinking from it.
Does Chlorine Bleach Harm Fountain Materials?
Chlorine bleach can harm fountain materials if used in a concentrated form. But diluted chlorine bleach only kills the bacteria and algae that may grow in your birdbath, so you shouldn’t have to worry about using this product for cleaning.
Can I Use a Net to Keep Debris And Mosquitoes Out of My Birdbath?
Yes. You can attach a fine mesh net to the inside of your birdbath, and this will keep debris, insects, leaves, etc., out of your birdbath.
So, if you want to keep your fountain clean and be sure that it’s a safe drinking source for wild birds, consider using the methods mentioned in this post.
And if you follow this advice, you should be able to properly maintain your water feature so that the birds always have a clean source of drinking water.