Mold in newly cleaned dish


New member
Dec 20, 2016
In my parents house
A cockatiel, a bourke, and three budgies
Today (about an hour before this post) I found mold in Elvis's and Chrissy's water dish! I don't know how long the mold was in the dish, all I know is that it wasn't there yesterday. I cleaned it immediately!

I'm now terrified that my birds might have been drinking water with mold in it!
Is it anything too serious?
My parents forbid me from taking them to a vet, and I can't take them myself because I don't have a license let alone money!
I'm scared, I'm always concerned about the health of my birds. I've had many false alarms with Elvis before. He's always making weird noises, and scare me because the first thing I think of is an illness.
Anyway, this is their water tank after I cleaned it.

I know that plastic isn't the best choice for food/water dishes, should I replace this?
What do I do if mold appears again tomorrow?
I know mold is a killer, I don't know how long it was there.
Is it something serious?
Jordan's dish doesn't have mold, could it be the type of dish?
I may not know how long it was there, but I can say it hasn't been there for 24 hours.
The mold was blackish, and there was also white mold which I believe might have been fungi?
Is this any serious threat to my birds health (I know I've ask this 5 times already, I'm really concerned!)

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Well-known member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
May 14, 2016
Cleveland area
The Rickeybird, 38-year-old Patagonian Conure
My personal recommendation would be for a stainless steel open cup. I would think that enclosed water suppliers have a greater tendency to be unhygienic... a breeding ground for yuck? Let's see what others say...


Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
Greater Orlando area, Florida
JoJo, 'Special' GCC, Bongo, Cinnamon GCC(wife's)
I agree with the stainless steel cup idea! For your water bottle, you will probably have to soak it in a mild bleach solution. Making very sure that you rinse it very well and give it adequate time to dry out! Remember, the mold is there long before you can see it! Hopefully you have a small bottle brush to help in the cleaning.


Staff member
Super Moderator
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Nov 22, 2015
Isle of Long, NY
Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
Get rid of the water tower and use a stainless steel, open cup . And change the water at least 2x a day. Once when you get up, and once when you get home, more often if you see anything in the water. The best rule of thumb - if you wouldn't drink the water, your parrots shouldn't have to either.


Supporting Member
Aug 21, 2010
San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Agree with all of the above. Stainless is the best for water, plastic can be used for dry food with some limitations.

Impossible to know if past exposure to mold presents a problem. Birds do have an immune system and can fend off many challenges. You'll have to watch carefully for any symptoms of distress, keeping in mind birds tend to hide illness. The only well to know for sure is to have a vet perform various tests, and you suggest that is not possible.


New member
Dec 23, 2014
I suspect your birds are fine however I would let that sit in some bleach for a while to kill whatever is growing in it. I mean 10 minutes or so and then rinse well. Let it sit in clean water for a while to make sure no more bleach remains and rinse again. I haven't had budgies for quite a while but when I did, I used those sort of waterers because open dishes would foul within a day. My birds would get in the open dish for a bath, and food and droppings would contaminate the open dish.
The issue with that sort of waterer is that you may miss that it is contaminated with something in the bottom where an open dish will be every time you change it daily.
You know yourself. If you will change an open dish daily, then that route is fine. If not, the one you have is likely a better choice.
Ceramic, glass, and steel are all nonreactive if you go the open dish route.

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New member
Dec 20, 2016
In my parents house
A cockatiel, a bourke, and three budgies
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I guess I can go for an open dish.
Also, this is a weird thing to say, I have no bleach.

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Supporting Vendor
Oct 9, 2016
Middle of nowhere (kentuckianna)
Roommates include Gus, Blue and gold macaw rescue and Coco, secondhand amazon
You can use a 50% solution of vinegar in water to wash bird dishes, it won't disinfect like bleach but it does a good job. The problem with the bottle is the birds touch the water in the drinking part, and get germs in it, and then the germs or spores or whatever float into the main reservoir and contaminate it. Since the reservoir is clear, the light encourages plant growth. With a water dish, you just throw out the old water, rinse the bowl, and refill with fresh water, so you don't accumulate microbes. I got a few metal bowls and switch them out, so I can soak the dirty one after I take it off.


New member
Aug 15, 2013
Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Avery, a GCC born on March 5th, 2013 & Shiko, a blue IRN born on February 25th, 2014
I have to add for anyone else that sees this post - those water towers are NOTORIOUS for producing mould. Please do not invest in them unless you are willing to clean them 2-3 times a day with a proper dish soap and scrub thoroughly by hand, and even then I doubt they'll stay perfectly clean due to lesions forming in the plastic.


New member
Aug 20, 2016
State College, PA
Senegal Parrot named "Kane"; Yellow-Sided Green Cheek Conure named "Bowie"; Blue Quaker Parrot named "Lita Ford"; Cockatiel named "Duff"; 8 American/English Budgie Hybrids; Ringneck Dove named "Dylan"
Are you sure it was mold? The reason I ask is because I have basically the same water cups for my budgies, and I change them twice a day because somehow, and I don't know how, they manage to poop in the dish part, and it gets up into the water in the holder. They're gifted I guess, but I'm constantly wondering how they poop in those little drinking wells...But they do, every day! And it definitely looks like it could be mold!

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