How To Kill Black Algae In Your Pool
Its bad enough to discover your pool is infected with regular ol green algae. Luckily, thats usually pretty simple to address. But if you discover black algae in your pool, get ready because you have some work to do to get your pool back to normal. And for safetys sake, no one can swim in it until you do.
What Are The Types Of Algae And How Do You Remove Them
- Green algae can cling to the wall or float in the water. Get rid of it by brushing the pool, shocking, and adding Algaecide 60.
- Black algae looks like black spots and feels slimy. Get rid of it by aggressively brushing the algae and adding Algaecide 60.
- Mustard algae looks like sand in the bottom of the pool. Get rid of it by aggressively brushing the algae and adding Algaecide 60.
- If the pool is full of algae, add a flocculant to the water and vacuum up the coagulated algae that settles on the bottom of the pool.
What Causes Black Algae In Pools
Black algae usually arent introduced into pools through your local water supply or through rainwater. Instead, it is carried into your pool by people. When someone swims in a natural body of water like a pond, river, lake, or pool with black algae, the spores cling to your swimwear. These spores are then carried into your pool when someone swims in your pool when wearing the same swimwear.
Black algae can be carried into pools through airborne spores but this is a rare occurrence. You can also get black algae when floodwaters carry these spores into your swimming pool.
Fungal spores are usually killed by recommended pH and chlorine levels. But if the levels are not strong enough to kill the fungi, they will quickly deposit on your pool surfaces and grow. As it grows, it will become more resilient against algaecides and pool shock treatment.
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Tip 4 Clean The Pool Regular Basis:
A pool cover and a filter system are very good means of keeping the pool clean. Nevertheless, you should regularly pick up a net and remove leaves from the surface of the water.
A cleaning robot, on the other hand, is best for removing dirt from the floor, walls and steps.
Otherwise, you have to go to work with pool brushes to clean the pool.
Use Chlorine To Kill The Algae
If you notice your pool water is green or has visible algae clumps, it only means that the pool does not have enough Chlorine. Adding Chlorine can kill the algae and keep your water into its cleanest condition. It can last within one to three days, but if your pool has a poor condition, it may take a week to clean it.
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How To Identify Black Algae In Your Pool
Before getting ready to make your pool black algae free, it is good to identify whats ailing your pool so that you can pick the appropriate course of action. Heres how to do it.
Black algae typically grow in the areas of the pool that are in shade. They are a bigger problem for those who have pools with concrete or plaster finish. It is a great growing place for black algae because of the rough edges.
The top layer of the black algae is heavily slimy and accommodates skeletal growths on it which cannot be destroyed by regular chlorine treatment. This type of bacteria also doesnt change the clarity of your pool water but creates black spots on top of it.
Now that you know what it looks like, heres what you are supposed to do as treatment.
As mentioned before, they are tough to get rid of but easy to prevent. So, you might want to start there, if not now then for future reference. Here are a few tips.
Swimsuits that have been in the ocean have the tendency to carry back some of those little spores back into your pool. Be sure to bleach swimsuits after a dip in the ocean.
Make sure your pool is checked regularly so that the pH levels, alkaline and chlorine levels are balanced. They usually do a good job keeping the bacteria at bay.
Run your pump for eight to 12 hours every day so that any remaining spores are filtered off.
Make it a habit to brush the surface of your pool and vacuum it at least once a week to keep bacteria and debris to a minimum.
Clean Your Pool Filter
Next, youll want to clean your pool filter to remove any black algae. This will help reduce the likelihood that the pool system will reinfect the water. If the problem is extensive, you might want to replace the filter altogether. With smaller problems, you can often get away with cleaning the filter with a filter-specific cleaner or by backwashing it.
What Is Black Algae And What Causes It
Black algae is a type of algae that gets its name from the color that it exhibits on the surface of the water.
Other types of algae include red algae, green algae, and others. Black algae is slightly more stubborn than the other types and is harder to kill and remove vis-à-vis its more colorful counterparts.
As with other algae, black algae loves dirty water.
They thrive in such waters, multiplying, and growing quickly. It is a common occurrence in pools, which are not regularly cleaned, whose filters have broken down, and there is no proper water circulation, especially in warm waters, which get plenty of sunlight.
Once the black algae has established itself in a pool, it can take hours of manual labor to take it out.
But how does it get there in the pool in the first place?
Well, rarely the black algae is carried into your pool through airborne means, but mostly it is simply as a result of someone carrying the algae into the pool through their contaminated body or bathing suit. You see, black algae is present in many natural bodies of water.
When someone goes swimming in a lake or a river, and then enters a swimming pool, without rinsing off first, they carry the black algae from the natural water bodies to the pool.
How To Prevent Black Algae From Invading Your Pool
The first line of defense is to always, always wash your swimsuits, aquatic shoes, toys, anything you may have used in a natural body of water before you allow it to even touch your pool.
And just rinsing isnt enough. Everything must be washed. Its fine to put swimwear through your washing machine, but pool toys must be scrubbed with a solution of one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water to not only clean, but sanitize them. You can also use a spray cleaner that contains bleach. Either way, rinse everything thoroughly before putting it back in the pool.
After those preventive measures, keeping your pool properly balanced and sanitized is the next step to keeping all forms of pool algae from growing.
- Keep your alkalinity, pH, and sanitizer levels in the recommended ranges at all times.
- Run your pump and filter for 8 to 12 hours a day, every day, all season long.
- Keep your pool clean by regularly vacuuming and brushing it.
- Shock your pool at least every week. More often if youre using it more often, or more people are swimming in it, or both.
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Scrub Your Pool Surfaces
Black algae are resilient against algaecides because it creates a protective layer on top of the growth that shields it from pool treatments. Before you can start treating your pool water, you will need to scrape that slimy layer from the black spots. Grab a pool brush and scrub the entire pool surface and floor area thoroughly.
Does Chlorine Shock Kill Black Algae
Unfortunately, though, black algae is a rather stubborn pest to get rid of. While other algae can mostly be treated by a chlorine shock to the pool, black algae develops a protective layer that makes it largely immune to chlorine shocks.
To kill black algae entirely, you must first remove this coating off it, so the chlorine shock can do its job.
Chlorine shock is part of the remedy that you give to a swimming pool, but a chlorine shock alone will not do much against the resistant coating that protects the black algae. For the chlorine shock to work, you must first scrub off the top coating.
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What Causes Algae In A Swimming Pool
Algae are plant organisms that grow where it is warm, wet, and sunny. Of course that’s a perfect description of most swimming pools in the summertime, yes?
Algae spores can drift into the pool on the wind, or people can bring spores into the pool via dirt and leaves they’ve come into contact with. Certain nutrients often found in pools, like phosphate, can actually help the algae grow. Phospate can enter the pool through people, dirt, leaves, and even some chemicals.
Some organisms that we call algae, such as blue-green algae, black algae, and pink algae, are actually bacteria. Either way, algae is also a breeding ground for bacteria, which means it is potentially not safe to come into contact with it.
During those hot summer months when the sun is beating down on your swimming pool, algae is given the perfect environment in which to grow. This is especially true when the pool has not been cleaned or treated.
Unbalanced Pool Ph And Not Enough Sanitizer
An unbalanced pool pH and lack of sanitizer will make it possible for black algae to multiply in the pool.
When the pool pH and water chemistry is unbalanced, the effectiveness of pool chemicals like chlorine will be reduced. This will allow black algae bloom. pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6.
And for pools to kill off all bacteria, its essential the correct level of chlorine is maintained 1-5 ppm with 3-5 ppm being ideal. If you have a saltwater pool, its possible the chlorinator isnt working correctly. Check out: 13 Reasons Why Saltwater Chlorinator IS Not Working or Generating Chlorine
So now you know the cases of growth and spread of black algae in pools. Now how do you get rid of black algae?
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Good News It Can Be Prevented Heres How:
The trick is to keep your water properly balanced and clean.
Be sure to:
- Keep pH, alkalinity and sanitiser levels in the recommended range.
- Run your pump and filter all day long .
- Clean your swimming pool thoroughly and regularly by brushing it, vacuuming it and hosing it down.
- Add pool-shock once a week .
- Maintain your pool equipment by keeping it sanitised this includes any floats or toys that are likely to make contact with the water.
You could also shop around for some algaecide. This is a chemical formaula that attacks algae and prevents a reoccurance.
While chlorine is the all-round best method, this stuff is still worth trying. Unlike chlorine, it doesnt get affected by mineral content, water temperature, sunlight or pH levels.
Treatment Of Black Algae In Pools
When I was growing up, in Central California, we had a bad case of Black Algae. It was my job to dive in the pool, first with a putty knife and later using a chlorine tablet, and while holding my breath, scrape off as many black algae heads as possible.
Part of the problem was that we never closed our pool, it stayed open year round, as all pools do in this area. But we stopped using it in the fall, and ran the filter only 4 hours / day, with small amounts of Chlorine.
Our pool guy, Bob, of Bobs Pool Service, tried everything. We had the pool drained and acid washed, pressure washed, chlorine washed, all of which removed the visible algae at least for a time. But always, the black algae would return once again. I remember Bob saying one time, Black Algae its like Herpes, once you get it, youve got it forever. Not necessarily true, as you will find if you read on.
Identifying Black Algae in a swimming pool:
1. Black or Blue-Green spots with raised heads, not Free-Floating.
2. Harbors in rough areas of the pool plaster.
3. Does not Brush off the wall easily.
4. Found in pools even with proper filtration and sanitation.
5. Dont confuse with mineral stains, some cause black stains that wont scrape off.
Where does Black Algae come from?
How to Remove Black Algae from a Swimming Pool
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How To Treat Green Algae
Green algae is the most common type of algae youre likely to encounter in your swimming pool. This type of algae forms free-floating clouds that make the water appear murky, with a greenish tinge. Green algae also sticks to the pool floor and walls, making them slippery. Green algae is the easiest type of algae to treat and prevent.
To remove green algae from your pool, follow these steps:
- Use a pool water test kit to test your pool for chlorine, stabilizer, and pH level.
- Add a pool shock product to boost any residual chlorine in the pool. Follow the label directions carefully.
- Use a pool brush to vigorously scrub any pool surfaces covered in algae, including the walls, floors, and steps.
- Apply a green algaecide according to the directions on the label.
- Let the water circulate for 24 hours, then brush the pool surfaces again.
- Vacuum or backwash to remove any remaining dead algae.
Once youve performed these steps, test your pool water again to make sure all levels are within the ideal range:
- Free chlorine
Whats It Doing In My Pool
If youre recently taken a dip in the ocean, a lake, or other natural body of water and then jumped into your pool, youre at risk of introducing black algae to it. From chic bathing suits to swim-happy pets, black algae has a whole host of vehicles it can use to hitch a ride to your backyard swimming hole. Its way easier to transfer from a pond or lake than you probably ever realized.
A black algae infestation can happen if someone uses a pool float in a lake or the ocean without spraying it off thoroughly with a garden hose. The aquatic pest can even get into your pool if airborne spores of the species happen to be wafting your way .
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How To Treat Black Algae
Black algae is tough — and if you want to remove it, itll take more than a quick scrubdown. Heres what youll need to do to get rid of it for good:
Scrub your pool. Use a high quality nylon brush and give the black algae a good scrubbing. Remember, youll need something tough and sturdy if you want to get past that built-in protective layer. And dont be fooled by appearances. Even if the black spots disappear, there may be roots beneath the surface, which is why scrubbing alone wont take care of the problem.
Use chlorine tablets. Break a tablet in half and rub it directly onto the surfaces affected by black algae. This will help kill the roots and prevent it form growing back.
Remember to wear gloves and protective eye gear before you handle chlorine or other swimming pool chemicals. Although theyre great at removing black algae, some pool cleaners and chemicals can be a little harsh on your skin and eyes.
Clean your filter. Black algae flourishes when swimming pool water is in less-than-pristine condition. Keeping your pool filter clean and in tip-top shape should be part of your regular pool maintenance routine.
Beyond the pool: Scrub down accessories, toys, and more.
Black algae spores can get into your swimming pool by hitchhiking on other items. To prevent re-introducing black algae to your pool, wash pool toys and accessories with bleach, and run your familys swimsuits through the washing machine.
How To Get Rid Of Black Algae In Your Pool
But if it is too late for now, heres how you can get rid of the black algae that are already in your pool. First, make sure you have all the supplies to get through the process without interruptions. Heres what you will need.
- Pool brush and pole
- Chlorine tablets
- Granular chlorine
There are 10 steps in this process. Like mentioned before, it is not an easy task to get rid of black algae.
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Identifying Black Algae In Your Pool
For many individuals, green algae are the most common type of algae seen, and it is the easiest to treat and remove. On the other side of the spectrum, black algae have a more aggressive aspect to it. Similar to the black mold that can be found inside homes and moisture filled areas, black algae typically forms on the surface of the pool in the form of spores and black spots. It can be very difficult to get rid of black algae. Like black mold, black algae often roots itself within the tiniest of cracks which is why shocking your pool alone doesnt always get the job done.
Scrub The Black Algae Spots
Use a putty knife, a pumice stone, or a hand-held wire brush to get all the spots you couldnt get with the big brush. You can even use a chlorine tablet because not only does it have a scrubbing surface, but the chlorine gets applied chlorine directly to the bacteria. This kills its roots and prevents it from coming back.
To scrub with a chlorine tablet, youll need to wear chemical-resistant gloves and protective goggles. Break a three-inch tablet in half and hold it firmly while you scrub the bacteria with the broken edge.
If you cant reach a spot, place one-half of the tablet in a chlorine tablet holder with the broken part facing outward. Attach the holder to your telescoping pole and scrub the formerly unreachable spots.
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