Heating a Bucket Nipple Watering system.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jaymejojos, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. jaymejojos

    jaymejojos Out Of The Brooder

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    Has anybody had problems with bacteria growth in your heated waterers? We have two 5 gallon buckets with 4 nipples each. We cleaned the buckets with bleach and then filled them and added Apple Cider Vinegar. And since it is winter we have a fish tank heater in each (the kind that you buy for 5 gallon fish bowls). We usually have to refil every two weeks or so and we went to fill them up the other day. The hose that goes into the bucket had frozen so we we pried the lids off (they are sealed to keep dirt out) and we found something awful....

    Jellyfish. Oh rather what looked like jelly fish floating in the water. Bacteria had bloomed up around the heater... One also looked like the mother in the unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar.

    My question is what did we do wrong?

    Are those heater too warm for the 5 gallon buckets? How warm should the water be? Just above freezing or warmer?
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  2. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well id say the problem here is that you are only refilling your water every two weeks. The water will go stagnant after a couple days, and with a heat element added, its no surprise that there is some nasty growth going on in those buckets. My opinion is to dump them out and give them a good scrubbing again. Fill them up and completely change out the water every day. Hopefully that will get rid of the problem.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    If you used unpasturized ACV then it is a 'mother'......you've provided the perfect environment for one to grow.

    Clean all components again....not sure about bleaching the heater, go light with bleach..and put plain water back in.
    No need for the ACV, or if you feel you must give it, give it in another container once in a while.
     
  4. jaymejojos

    jaymejojos Out Of The Brooder

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    I was told that Apple Cider Vinegar would help keep DOWN bacteria growth.

    We've had no problems with changing it every two weeks before (in the summer). I was told to add the ACV to get rid of a small amount of film on the inside of the bucket. But it only seemed to make it worse. (Could have been from the addition of the heater as well.)

    The fish heaters (try) to maintain a constant temp of 78 degrees - didn't realize that before. Might try to get a thermostaticly control heater - like a birdbath heater- to keep in thawed but not heated.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    If you'd used pasteurized ACV, the acidity may help to deter organism growth.....but some organisms can thrive in an acidic environment.
    But he unpasteurized ACV already has live organisms in it....which is the whole point of it.
    The acidity can be corrosive to the metal parts of the nipples, yes' they are usually stainless steel but probably a fairly low grade of it.

    I don't worry much about a little biofilm or bacteria inside of waterers.
    I rarely even rinse mine out maybe twice a year to get the rust out, just top them off everyday....
    .....and in winter it's heated to 68 with aq heater, never seems to be a problem.

    ACV can inhibit calcium uptake, so not good to use it all the time anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  6. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    You didn't mention how much ACV did you added.
     
  7. jaymejojos

    jaymejojos Out Of The Brooder

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    We used 1 tbsp per gallon. It's a 5 gallon bucket but since we don't fill it all the way up I put 4 tablespoons per bucket.
     

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