Although convenient and easy, chlorine is not the best option available for water features. There are many other options that can keep your water features looking clean and pristine.
Chlorine, although effective in keeping water features clean, cause erosion and damage to the concrete. Fortunately, there are algaecides designed specifically for water features; which keep your water features clean just like chlorine, but without erosion and the other side effects.
With this in mind, let’s see what algaecides are and how they can be used to keep water features clean.
What Algaecides are
An algaecide is a biocide (a chemical substance used to deter or destroy a harmless organism) that acts as an agent in protecting and preventing the growth of algae by hindering cellular growth in algae. It can also aid in controlling unwanted slime, mollusks, and even fish pathogens.
Types of Algaecides
There are two categories of Algaecides: natural and synthetic. Natural algaecides, such as barley straw and copper are convenient but come with their own downsides. Barley Straw is more scarce and has been found to be less effective in preventing the growth of algae. Similarly, copper, although more common, has been proven to be more effective but also leaves permanent stains.
Synthetic algaecides, on the other hand, are more abundant, cheaper, and more effective than natural algaecides. In fact, some of the newer synthetic algaecides, such as Green Clean Pro Granular Algaecide, can actually kill algae on impact, in addition to effectively preventing algae growth for up to four weeks at a time. Due to these benefits, a synthetic algaecide is undoubtedly a preferable option.
Polymer Pool Algaecides
These are composed of long chains of carbon combined with Poly-Quat compounds. These negatively charged compounds spread over the surface of the algae and kill the cells. These are ideal because they are non-staining and also do not foam up when used.
Additionally, they are among the longest lasting algaecides. The only downside to using this type of Algaecide is they tend to be more costly relative to the alternative algaecides available.
Metallic Pool Algaecides
This algaecide is composed of copper ions attached to amino acids, which help prevent potential staining. These prevent algae growth by attacking the enzymes and poisoning them. This type of algaecide is most effective against black algae, but can be used against other algae as well. It has also been shown to be the most effective of all algaecides in fighting cyanobacteria.
HTH 67032 Super Algae Guard Swimming Pool Algaecide Cleanser
Made specifically for swimming pools, this algaecide will kill off green, black and mustard algae. It will also help prevent algae growth in the future, making it a great preventative method as well as a treatment plan for the algae in your pool.
After you’ve put it into your pool, you can be back into your pool and get swimming as soon as fifteen minutes later. Click here to view this product on Amazon (FYI – we receive commissions on qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you).
How to use algaecides
- Select the appropriate type of algaecide. There are many different types of algaecides available depending on the type affecting your water feature. Silver-based algaecide, for example, is most effective in treating green and black algae. If you are unsure of which type of algae you have, no worries. There are all-purpose algaecides that you can apply to any algae, regardless of what type it is.
- Determine how much algaecide to use. The appropriate amount will be based on how much water, and algae, in circulating in your water feature. Dosage is generally per gallon of water, and the algaecide will inform you of the correct ratio of algaecide to the gallon.
- Pour the Algaecide into your water feature. If the algae growth is minor, wait at least half an hour before touching the water. If the algae growth is more severe, wait at least twenty-four hours. Doing so earlier may cause skin irritation for the newly introduced algaecide into the water.
- Scrub the water feature twenty-four hours after pouring the algaecide to remove any leftover dead debris. If there is still visible algae, repeat the process again. This prevents the water from looking unclear or murky after the algaecide takes effect
- Once the Algae begins clearing up, read the manufacturer’s instructions on how often to use the algaecide. Generally speaking, in warmer temperatures, algaecide should be used every three to six days.
How to dechlorinate water
Install a water filter system. This can help you quickly and effectively remove both chlorine from the water. There are many different types of water filters, each with its pros and cons. The only downside to these is they tend to be much more expensive than the other methods.
Dechlorination tablets. There are various types of Dechlorination tablets and is also one of the most environment safe methods to get rid of chlorine. They are generally used for removing chlorine from water prior to it being flushing water into streams or ponds.
One of the simplest and most basic ways to to dechlorinate water is to let it sit out in the sun in the heat for at least 24 hours. The heat from the sun will cause the gas to evaporate from the water. This method is easy and effective, but only works in warmer climates.
While you wouldn’t want to use these methods on something large, like a pool, there are a number of smaller home algae remedies that are perfect for smaller water features, especially the indoor ones, or the small fountain you might have on your porch.
Vinegar can be put into the fountain to help curb algae growth. If algae has become a problem before you had the chance to treat it, you can empty your smaller fountain, take a brush, and scrub it out using vinegar. Once you’ve used vinegar to scrub out the fountain, spray it over with vinegar and let it dry to kill any remnants of the algae living there. Once it has dried, rinse it out with water, and you’re good to go.
If you’re dealing with algae that seems to just be stuck to the surface of your fountain, baking soda might be the best way for you to loosen it without a trip to the store. It isn’t quite as effective as vinegar at killing the algae, it’s more useful for removing it. Think of it like picking a weed, as opposed to spraying it with something that kills it.