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Algae is a general term for a large group of loosely related photosynthetic organisms; they may be unicellular or multicellular and can vary in color. Most people understand algae to be the sort of slimy scum that grows on the surface of pools and ponds. In order to prevent this wide variety of organisms from growing on and in your pool you will need an algaecide, a specific chemical used to kill and prevent the growth of algae.

Types of Algaecide

Use of an algaecide weekly is highly recommended, but one algaecide might not cure all. Just as there are different kinds of algae, there are different kinds of algaecides. What kills one type of algae might not kill another. The most common forms of pool algae include green, yellow, black, and pink algae.

One type of algaecide is copper-based. These use the metal copper to fight algae and are most effective against yellow and green algae. These types of algaecides will not cause a pool to foam; however, they may result in stains if the product is not used correctly. Do not use if you have a copper ion system like Nature2®.

“Quat” or “polyquat” algaecides use ammonium compounds instead of copper. They are safer for your swimming pool in that they will not cause stains, but they can cause foaming if not used correctly and tend to be more expensive than other types of algaecide.

Types of Algae

Algae is caused by a number of things, but few most common are filtration issues in the pool or low sanitizer levels. Weekly maintenance doses of a quality algaecide and shock treatments can help keep algae blooms at bay. Especially in hotter weather when chlorine tends to dissipate more quickly.

Green algae are very common. They are often free-floating and can result in sheets of green slime covering the pool surface when they get particularly bad. For the treatment and prevention of green algae we recommend a Pro-60, polyquat algaecide.

Yellow algae or mustard algae, form in the shaded parts of the pool. They also appear in areas with poor circulation like around steps, ladders and coves. Yellow algae will cling to the walls of the pool. They can form sheets across the pool and can be very difficult to get rid of. For yellow or “mustard” algae we recommend a sodium –bromide based algaecide.

Black algae appear as small, dark spots on the plaster or grout of your pool. Because of their deep roots and tough blooms, they can be the worst of the algae to eradicate. For swimming pools with signs of black algae it is recommended to use a silver algaecide. Use caution when using this product as it can cause staining to hands or deck if spilled. In addition, we do not recommend this product if you use a mineral ionizer such as Nature2®.

Pink algae, though called an alga, are actually a strain of bacteria. They form in the crevices of the pool. Pike algae can be brushed away, though algaecides should be used to make sure it stays away. A special algaecide specifically formulated to treat pink algae is recommended.

Each of these different types of algae has a special formulated algaecide to help treat the pool. In conjunction with the right pool shock, ridding the pool of the algae can be a little easier.

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