Galvanized vs. Plastic Water Troughs - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 05-31-2020, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Galvanized vs. Plastic Water Troughs

So we have 2 horses. One has a galvanized round trough and the other has a plastic trough. I'm getting ready to toss both and replace them with two smaller galvanized tanks but I'm curious about a couple things and wanted to know if anyone else has seen this.

1) The plastic tank grows algae much quicker than the galvanized. I assume the metal is not as conducive to the algae as the plastic.

2) The plastic tank attracts flies and the galvanized does not.

I clean both out about every 2 days. Mostly with a strong water hose and then once every 2 weeks or so I get in there with a firm brush to clear the growth out more fully.

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post #2 of 28 Old 06-01-2020, 12:55 AM
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I've had both galvanized water tanks and a Rubbermaid tank. Never had issues with Rubbermaid tank attacking fly's. Does seem to get algae in it if in the sun. If I keep it in the shade not much algae grows in it. This time of year I only fill it less then half full it's a 100 gallon tank.

Not a fan of the galvanized tanks one I had always seemed to leak at seams. Sealed it every year and after a winter of use by spring time it was leaking.

I put it at end of driveway for free last weekend along with cages I had. All was taken within 3 hours.
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post #3 of 28 Old 06-01-2020, 06:44 AM
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I have a Rubbermaid trough. 20 something gallons and a float device so always full...
I won't have galvanized metal where my horses can stomp on or in it breaking it forget getting cut on a edge.
They rust and split seams as I see from my friends tank. We bought troughs at the same time, mine still is in great condition, galvanized one needing replaced this week at it is seeping.
My trough does get algae in it but it also sits in the hot sun daily.
I clean my trough 2x a week regardless so makes no difference to me...algae or not, slimy or not, green or not...the brush is headed your way.

I was told by a friend to put a piece of real copper pipe, not big, a fitting will do and that will near stop the algae growth...lightly scuff the metal if it is new as a coating is on it, wash well then plop in the tank.
In my case, I'm going to suspend it on a fishing line so my horses not play or lose the fitting on me.
This is a new one for me, never heard it so no idea if it works or not...we shall find out.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #4 of 28 Old 06-01-2020, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info.

The copper fitting sounds interesting. I have enough of those to fill the bottom of the tank. We have had this galvanized tank for about 10 years. Some rust but that is on the bottom side for now and the lip is rounded and not one a horse could cut its mouth on. I replaced the seal about a year ago on the drain but otherwise it seems to be a great tank.

Both tanks sit in the shade.

Maybe I will look into the rubbermaid version. The Behan tank I use is a Polyethylene Stock Tank. The other issue I have with the Behan is that the lip is hollow and not sealed. So when I dump the water the dirty stuff coming out at the end drains into the lip (that is about 3" wide). When I sit it back down the dirty water pours back into the tank. I could seal it but that is a dumb design.
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post #5 of 28 Old 06-01-2020, 10:00 AM
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Another fan of rubbermaid. Don't like and won't purchase the metal for the reasons listed above. They destroy the hay rings over time.

Have to try the copper. The barley bags I think actually encourage the algae. Fish work great if your set up is right but I have a horse fisher or would that be fisher horse? She loves to catch them and swish them around in her mouth before spitting them back in the tank. Kind of like apple bobbing only live apples. Torture to the poor fishies.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #6 of 28 Old 06-01-2020, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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That is sad and funny at the same time. Thanks
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post #7 of 28 Old 06-01-2020, 01:49 PM
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Maybe the copper might work in a different region with different weather.. but I can tell you here in PA, the copper didn't do a thing. I experimented some last summer as DH gets various copper scrap from work, and even using a giant section of pipe in our 100 gallon rubbermaid tank didn't make any difference.

We prefer the plastic tank for safety reasons.

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post #8 of 28 Old 06-01-2020, 02:53 PM
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Location: Virginia
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Plastic cracks, metal rusts through.
I wish they had larger flexible rubber troughs! I use them for sheep and they're great. Have two metal 50g that have rusted through, even though they're lifted off the ground. Have 2 left that will probably spring a leak if I ever move them....Plastic will crack first winter, as I always forget the heaters...
For algae, shade helps a lot. I also don't worry about wall algae, it's not the dangerous blue-green algae in ponds.
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post #9 of 28 Old 06-01-2020, 04:23 PM
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If you buy the junk plastic tanks they crack well because there junk. If it isn't Rubbermaid it isn't worth the money spent.

Rubbermaid troughs are indestructible one I have has frozen solid. When tank heater quit at 50 below zero. That has happened quite a few times ,tank isn't cracked or compromise in anyway.

My Rubbermaid trough is going strong 20 plus years ,been through many brutally cold Minnesota winter's.
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post #10 of 28 Old 06-01-2020, 04:38 PM
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I like the Rubbermaid troughs, too, but I wouldn't call them indestructible. Just ask my cribber. She's been working on this trough a couple of years and has torn it down the sides in several places. I have to keep it tied to a post so she doesn't pull it over when the water level drops. It only holds about 3/4 the water it used to hold. All things considered, she can have the trough as long as she leaves my barn alone. In another year or so, I might even have to replace this trough. I'll get another Rubbermaid.
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algae , flies , galvanized , plastic , trough

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