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I just watched this story on the news last night, so this morning I figured I'd find the website version and post it here:

POLK COUNTY (Bay News 9) -- Winter Haven Mayor Jeff Potter says the city just paid a few hundred dollars to use fish to fight one of the nastier sides of foreclosure.

"We want to make sure for the safety of everybody in the area that the property is maintained, so that we have a better view of it," Potter said.

Three days ago 20 algae eating fish were dumped into a pool behind a bank-owned home.

"Cafeteria is open. They're just having a heyday right there," said Dave Hoy with Shiner Shack Fish Farm. "They're loving it."

It will take the janitor fish, called plecos, several weeks to eat their way through the job.

"We've worked with the University of Florida, and we're just trying to provide a service that is a temporary service," Hoy said. "Hopefully our economy will start booming."

Hoy says it's a green approach and is cheaper than chemicals.

Smaller versions of the fish are more commonly used to clean up household fish tanks.

Hoy deployed his algae eating fish to 30 pools at foreclosed homes in Palm Beach County this summer.

He says once the fish finish at the home in Winter Haven, they'll be ready to start another job the next day.

The cost is $350 for each pool.
Taken from http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2009/12/14/558815.html


Anyway, I think this is a pretty cool concept because, having lived in several houses with pools throughout the years, it gets expensive and uses way too much energy sometimes to clean up an algae outbreak. This is as green as it gets!!! :)
 

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What do they do to the pools before they put the fish in? Chlorine is common in pools around here and in all of the ones Ive been in while on vacation in Florida.

Lots of people with pools around this area have converted to salt water. Im not sure of the expense, but it is supposed to be easier to maintain once you add the salt.
 

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What do they do to the pools before they put the fish in? Chlorine is common in pools around here and in all of the ones Ive been in while on vacation in Florida.

Lots of people with pools around this area have converted to salt water. Im not sure of the expense, but it is supposed to be easier to maintain once you add the salt.
IF the chlorine hasnt't been added recently it is gone. It has to be added regularly or it evaporates.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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They just need to twist the banks' arms to clean up and maintain their pools. There's companies that do that, and the banks usually have departments that are supposed to oversee this type of issue.

It's what Property Preservation is all about (we're working in this industry right now and clean up at least one pool a month on a foreclosed home...)
 

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it wouldent be that green if chlorine was added regulary.
chlorine disipates in a pool in about 24 hours. the sun soaks it up rather quickly.
the homes are all forclosed on so i odubt there is any one adding chemicals to a pool in a forclosed house.
but i do think that is a rather good idea...
 

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Children Boogie
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Why not just drain the pools in these foreclosed homes?

Using plecos is a cool idea but only for southern states obviously. I personally would turn those pools into plants ponds.
 

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Just think about the breeding potentials... That maintenance fee could turn into a bit of revenue for the aspiring entrepreneur! A few pairs of plecos, a few pairs of some fish that likes mosquito larvae (what fish doesn't!) and you'd be in business.

Neat story. I've heard of plopping guppies and mosquito fish in pools in LA but never plecos...

-Andrew
 

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Kids falling in trying to grab fish, liabilities with an open pool. This is a bad idea.

I'd use them if I had pool instead of Chlorine, I'd use a small wetland and O3 then a post degassing unit.

But not for foreclosed homes.
Already an invasive species and kids will pull them out and put them elsewhere.
These pools are not locked up.

There is also the smell of a pool with out chlorine or circulation.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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What are they going to put in there to scoop up the pleco poop? Take the plecos out, leave the poop, and what do you get .. some more algae. Good business plan, lol.
 
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