Learn How to Keep Algae from Growing In Your Outdoor Fountain!
There are pros and cons to adding an outdoor fountain to your backyard or outdoor space. The sound of running water certainly creates a relaxing and tranquil environment, but that lovely fountain can also quickly transform into a hot mess. The growth of algae is not only unsightly, but it can affect your fountain’s filtration system, which interferes with your ability to enjoy the fountain. The good news is that, with regular maintenance, you can eliminate algae growth before it begins.
- Give your fountain a thorough cleaning every 1 to 3 months, depending on your fountain’s size. Cleaning your fountain prevents nutrients from the water and waste materials from accumulating on its surfaces. Water, a mild soap, and a non-abrasive sponge should be all that it is required to give your fountain a thorough cleaning. The fountain pump will need to be removed and placed in a bucket of warm water to soak (which loosens debris) before being scrubbed itself.
- Place your fountain in the shade – away from direct sunlight. When nutrients in the water are exposed to direct sunlight, algae growth occurs. Nutrients can be found in water naturally. They usually result fish waste, plant waste, or other types of debris. By placing your fountain in a shady location, you can reduce the chances that algae will form and grow.
- Fill your fountain only with fresh water. If you have a small to medium sized outdoor fountain, try filling it with distilled water only. This will give it a distinct advantage in the water against algae. Because the water has been distilled, it has already had its impurities and debris removed. This will assist in preventing algae from forming. For logistical and financial reasons, using distilled water in larger fountains is not always practical, but if you would prefer to use distilled water in a larger fountain, then you are encouraged to do so.
- Use a preventative agent to help combat the growth of algae. Having fish or plants in your fountain will naturally help prevent the formation and growth of algae; however, if you do not have these additions, adding a preventative agent can be just as effective. “Preventative agents” run the gamut from barley extract to a few capfuls of bleach to specialized algaecides. Naturally, if you have plants or fish in your fountain, then you must ensure that you select a product that will not kill the plants’ roots or the fish.
Algae prevention begins before you even purchase your fountain. Take special care when buying a fountain to ensure that you are purchasing one with an appropriately sized pump that is capable of properly aerating your water. Because water aeration increases the levels of oxygen within the water, it provides an extra layer of defense in the fight against algae.
- Candace Osmond