Algae Problems

Algae Problems

Algae consumes a lot of pool chemicals and relies on phosphates to survive. Before adding chemicals to fix the problem we need to understand what type of algae we are treating.

Algae are microscopic plants and like all plants they require nutrients to exist. The main source of these nutrients is phosphate which comes from incoming mains water, however leaves, rain, plants, grass clippings, fertilizers, bathers and poolside cleaners. There are in excess of 30,000 different species, and in an effort to make their identification easier, the swimming pool industry classifies them as:
Green Algae – This can be blue green in appearance, tends to be patchy on pool walls and floors and suspended in the water.
Mustard Algae – This is yellow in colour, hence the name, and can be stubborn to move as it tends to cling to the pool surface via cracks and crevices.
Black Algae (also known as Black Spot) – This is black in colour and clings to the pool surface via cracks and crevices in small patches.
Pink Algae – This is not really an algae, but in fact bacteria which forms a pink layer or clear slime over surfaces.

Which Product Is Best For Eliminating Green Algae?

For swimming pools that cannot use copper based algaecides then we recommend our Knock-Out Algaecide, which is copper free and can be dosed on a weekly basis. For pools that can use copper based algaecides and if you are looking for long term protection (a minimum dose of once every 3-6 months) then we recommend our Lo-Chlor Algaecide. Both products can be used as a CURATIVE or PREVENTATIVE treatment.

Which Product Is Best For Eliminating Mustard Algae?

If you just want to kill the mustard algae and/or you cannot use copper based algaecides in your swimming pool then we recommend Knock-Out Algaecide. If you can use copper based algaecides and/or you want longer term protection against future mustard algae growth then our dual action Total Algaecide should be the choice.

Which Product Is Best For Eliminating Black Spot Algae

Black Spot algae can be one of the most difficult algae infestations to cure. Lo-Chlor Black Spot Algaecide is a concentrated formulation specifically designed for treating clinging algae, particularly Black Spot, in all types of pools.

See Below For More Information About Algae Treatments

Green Algae Treatment

Using our extensive knowledge of algae, we have summarised some key points on how to deal with green algae:

  1. Thoroughly backwash your filter – This ensures efficient filtration during the treatment period.
  2. Lower the pH to between 6.8 – 7.0 – At this level the outer waxy coating becomes weakened or liaised.
  3. Thoroughly brush all walls and floor surfaces using a suitable algae brush – This action further destroys the cellular structure. Pay particular attention to the steps and where the walls and floor meet
  4. Superchlorinate the pool water – Use liquid chlorine (20L per 50,000 litres of pool water: 19L in the pool and 1L directly in the skimmer) as this is both cheaper and quicker in reacting with the algae. You should see any green colour bleach out within 2 hours. If there are still green patches, add more liquid chlorine until the colour has been bleached out.
  5. Add Hydrochloric Acid – At a rate of 1L per 50,000 litres of pool water in order to neutralise the alkalinity that you have just added with your liquid chlorine.
  6. Test Phosphate Level – Preferably the next day, however, if you are sure that all the algae are dead this can be completed no sooner than 2 hours after adding your liquid chlorine.
  7. Add a Lo-Chlor Phosphate Remover – Your choice will be dependent on the level of phosphate however in most circumstances Starver® X would be the best product to use at this stage.
  8. Filter & Backwash – You should continue filtration for a period of 12 hours as most of the dead algae would have collected in the filter during this period. After 12 hours thoroughly backwash and rinse the filter and then turn the circulation pump off. If there is any residue present of the floor of the pool, then vacuum to waste.
  9. Add Algaecide – Turn the circulation pump back on then add your Lo-Chlor Algaecide of choice.
  10. Re-Balance Pool – It is important that post treatment you re-balance your pool ensuring all parameters are within the recommended levels. We suggest ongoing regular use of Starver® Phosphate Remover to ensure phosphate do not make the algae reappear.

Please note: During this treatment process the use of the pool is prohibited until the pool water has been correctly re-balanced in line with the recommended parameters.

Black Spot Algae Treatment

Black Spot Algae can be one of the most difficult algae infestations to cure. Prior to treating you should consider the following:
a. How many Black Spots are there: For the average pool owner this will be a wild guess but it is important that you add enough Lo-Chlor Black Spot Algaecide to kill all the Black Spot. If you only kill half, the remaining spots will multiply and in two weeks the pool will look the same as before treatment.
b. How long the Black Spots have been present: The longer the Black Spot has been present, the longer the treatment time can take. With Black Spot the key to dealing with the problem is to act quickly – as soon as it appears. Black Spots have a root which grow back into both pool surfaces and grout which is why if the Black Spot has been there a long time it may take weeks to kill it. Even after water blasting or acid washing the roots will not be killed so use of an algaecide is essential.

  1. Thoroughly backwash your filter – this ensures efficient filtration during the treatment period.
  2. Lower the pH between 6.8 – 7.0 – This ensures that the outer waxy coating of the algae is weakened.
  3. Thoroughly brush all wall and floor surfaces – Always use a suitable algae brush. This action will enable the algaecide to destroy the black algae cells.
  4. Add the required dose of Black Spot Algaecide – This is a copper based dual action algaecide. If copper based algaecides cannot be used, then dose Knock-Out Algaecide.
  5. Test Phosphate Level & Add a Lo-Chlor Phosphate Remover – Your choice will be dependent on the level of phosphate however in most circumstances Starver® X would be the best product to use at this stage.
  6. Re-Balance Pool – It is important that post treatment you re-balance your pool ensuring all parameters are within the recommended levels. With mustard algae you should maintain Free Chlorine levels at 3.0ppm and pH at 7.2 to 7.6 for the next month. We suggest ongoing regular use of Starver® Phosphate Remover to ensure phosphate do not make the algae reappear.

Please note: During this treatment process the use of the pool is prohibited until the pool water has been correctly re-balanced in line with the recommended parameters.

Mustard & Pink Algae Treatment

Mustard Algae is a fine yellow-brown dust which can be easily brushed off the floor and walls of the pool. Typically, when brushed, the dust disappears for 24 hours but returns to the pool mostly in the same place. Whilst mustard algae is fairly easy to kill its spores remain viable, dry, for months so the pool is continually exposed.

Pink algae are pink to bright red filaments, which are slimy and sticky to the touch. They tend to form in clumps and can be “pink slime”. It often forms inside pool lights, pool ladder or filter, and is more prevalent in vinyl and fibreglass pools. It can be easily brushed off the walls but like Mustard Algae the problem is in re-infestation.

  1. Thoroughly backwash your filter – This ensures efficient filtration during the treatment period.
  2. Add Lo-Chlor Knock-Out Algaecide at the recommended dose for the volume of your pool water.
  3. Lower the pH – For this treatment between 7.0-7.2.
  4. Thoroughly brush all wall and floor surfaces – Always use a suitable algae brush.
  5. Add Miraclear Pool Clarifier – This will help bring together all fine particles and continue to filter for a 12-hour period. Turn the pump off and vacuum any visible residue to waste.
  6. Sterilise Filter and Other Pool Equipment – For a sand filter add 2 litres of Liquid Chlorine into the filter via the inlet quick connector. (If this is not possible add the Chlorine into the skimmer with the pump running and count to three and turn off the pump). For cartridge and D.E. filter, soak overnight in a 1:10 Liquid Chlorine solution.
  7. Sterilise hose, vacuum head, pool toys and anything else that has been in the pool by soaking in 1:20 Liquid Chlorine solution for at least 2 hours. Wash all bather costumes.
  8. Test Phosphate Level & add a Lo-Chlor Phosphate Remover – Your choice will be dependent on the level of phosphate however in most circumstances Starver® X would be the best product to use at this stage.
  9. Add Algaecide – Turn the circulation pump back on then add your Lo-Chlor Algaecide of choice.
  10. Re-Balance Pool – It is important that post treatment you re-balance your pool ensuring all parameters are within the recommended levels. With mustard algae you should maintain Free Chlorine levels at 3.0ppm and pH at 7.2 to 7.6 for the next month. We suggest ongoing regular use of Starver® Phosphate Remover to ensure phosphate do not make the algae reappear.

Please note: During this treatment process the use of the pool is prohibited until the pool water has been correctly re-balanced in line with the recommended parameters.