Algae is a common problem for all types of water feature. It seems harmless most of the time, but this typically green gob is pretty resilient. It grows back every couple of weeks or so, even with the use of algae prevention products. Aside from making stone outdoor fountain designs look unsightly, algae can also make the fountain area slippery and affect the smell of the water.
Getting rid of algae once it has started growing in the fountain can be a frustrating task for many because it just keeps on coming back. Once it builds up, algae can block the pump and prevent it from functioning properly. Common algaecides can be an option, but they sometimes contain ingredients that can be harmful to animals like dogs, fish, and birds. If you have pets, it’s best to use a more preventative approach for keeping algae out of your outdoor water fountain.
Here are some of the things you can do to prevent algae growth and buildup:
- Use distilled water. The water that you’re using in your fountain may be rich enough in minerals to support the growth of algae. Using mineral-rich water may also lead to the buildup of mineral deposits in the fountain and pump. In addition, evaporating water leaves behind a stronger concentration of minerals, which can lead to an algal bloom. Use distilled water or chlorinated water to prevent this from happening. Also, don’t forget to periodically top up the water and partially replace it every six months.
- Deep clean the fountain every 1 to 3 months. Deep cleaning your fountain is an important step in preventing the growth of algae. First, you need to empty the fountain completely, and turn off and place the pump in a bucket of water. Next, use mild soap, water and a sponge to remove any buildup inside the fountain. Clean the fountain pump of debris and rinse it with a stream of water before returning it to the fountain, along with the other fountain accessories you’ve removed beforehand.
- Keep the water feature under a shade. A generous helping of sunlight also promotes the rapid growth of algae in water. If possible, set up your fountain in a shaded area. If not, you can place a cover such as an umbrella over the fountain to reduce the level of sunlight that’s available to it. As an alternative, you can also use aquatic dye, which can make the water blue. Often used in hotel fountains, this reduces the level of sunlight that can penetrate the water, removing a major contributor to algae growth.
- Add algae-prevention products to the water. To prevent algae growth, add algae-prevention products to your fountain right after setting it up. If you weren’t able to do this the first time around, you can always add it to the water after you’ve deep cleaned the fountain. It’s been mentioned before that some products can be bad for animal health, but there are also products that are animal friendly. Just make sure to check the label of the item before you use it.
Water fountains can greatly enhance the look and feel of any home. Just like any eye-catching centerpieces, however, outdoor water fountains and water gardens need to be taken care of in order to retain their look and appeal for a long time. More often than not, cleaning a water fountain is a simple task, but it needs to be done regularly. By cleaning your fountain every month or every quarter, you not only preserve the look and functionality of your courtyard centerpiece, but you also retain the pleasant atmosphere of your home.