Concrete Trough Cleaning

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SarahJB's picture
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/09/2018 - 1:17pm
Concrete Trough Cleaning

Hi there, A thousand apologies if this question has already been covered......... if it has, I couldn't find it.
Complete newby to farming - a whopping big 4 months - just loving it!!!
I have 130 acres split into 16 paddocks with 16 concrete troughs, all about 1000 ltr capacity with 30 cattle moving daily between them. I am very fussy with their water and when we first moved here, each trough was a hell of a mess. I've drained, scrubbed and refilled them all several times. I'm also skimming bugs, hair, and other ookies etc every day with a pool skimmer, sometimes two, three times a day, from the trough they're using. However, with water shortages as it is, I just can't afford to drain and completely clean all troughs every couple of weeks. Is there a hard and fast rule for cleaning? How often should I empty and scrub and as mentioned, not being able to spare the water (well, not really wanting to if I can avoid it), is there something else I can do. Is there any merit in goldfish (yeah, I know :) ).
It is ok if I have to completely drain and scrub but was just wondering what others do and how often.
I've a hundred other really stupid questions but will not bother you with those just yet - getting the hang of it slowly!! It's just the water situation is/may be affecting my babies - I really do love them and just want them be the happiest and healthiest they can possibly be.
Thanking you all and really sorry if this question has already been posted and answered - happy to be pointed in the right direction.
Thanks a mil

Littlerayosunshine's picture
Last seen: 1 month 4 weeks ago
Joined: 16/09/2018 - 2:39pm

Hi Sarah, By all means it's good to know there's no 'prior use' issues (oil or chemical etc) in the troughs, but after that, I think you can relax a little on the cleaning. As long as you have clean water coming into the troughs, your cows should be ok. If you are super worried about algae, (particularly blue green floating growth or colouring the water like cordial) you could put shade on your troughs, or put your troughs in shade. Reduce light (and temperature) and nutrients and you reduce the chance of growing algae. And if they are drinking from troughs rather than a dam, it sounds like they cannot poop nutrients into their water. But otherwise a little biofilm (a thin sort of slimey feeling coating on the walls) is actually natural. Every freshwater stream has biofilm. Even the inside of your rainwater tank has it. If you are concerned, you can send off a water sample to get tested. Sounds like your cattle are in good hands.

SarahJB's picture
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/09/2018 - 1:17pm

That's a relief LROS, thankyou so much. With the exception of a couple, all our troughs are in full sun - I have been a little concerned about that but will now try and get them shaded, although there doesn't appear to be any algae in any of them, cool water would be more palatable. I have a couple of troughs where the water tends to be a bluish tinge (ink blue) but think that's from very purple currawong casts (lots of) being dropped in - who knows what they're eating. All troughs are auto filled from a tank which is pumped from a creek so the water they're starting with is pretty good. And I've noticed just today that a couple of troughs have frogs, that's gotta be a good sign.
Thankyou for the reassurance LROS. So much to learn and always areas to improve but I'm getting there - where do the days go?
Thanks again

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