- Aquarium fish have special water requirements. That is why there are whole shop aisles dedicated to water tests for mineral content, PH levels, disease treatment and water treatments. City water can have chlorine or fluoride. Well water can be too high in mineral content like iron, copper, or sulfur.
- Fish don’t like sudden temperature changes. Depending on the type of fish, some thrive in cold water, others in warm. That is why pet stores sell aquarium heaters. Is your trough sitting in the sun all day? Does your trough freeze at night or during the winter? Neither of these situations are kind to the fish.
- Fish, especially bright colored ones, will attract birds, raccoons, opossums, and other predators to the trough to try and eat the fish. Opossums specifically, carry EPM and can contaminate your horse’s drinking water with it’s feces.
- Fish die for a lot of reasons. You might not realize there is dead fish at the bottom of the trough, because you think the fish are keeping the water clean. You don’t want your horse drinking water with something dead in it, do you?
- Fish don’t keep algae from growing. It is quite the opposite. Fish poop will increase the nutrients in the water that cause algae to grow. That is why you have to clean fish tanks all the time.
- When you do dump the water trough out, how will you get the fish out? Catching them with a net is not the easiest and dumping them out with the water and then catching them is kind of cruel.
- Goldfish specifically do not eat algae. They may keep the mosquito population down, but they don’t care much for plant matter.
What is the best way to keep your water trough clean? Dump the water out, scrub the sides, rinse it out and fill it up. Depending on the season and the horse’s water drinking habits, you might have to do this every couple of days or weekly.