4 Ways to Keep Algae Out of Your Garden Fountain

4 Ways to Keep Algae Out of Your Garden Fountain

Algae is a common problem for all types of water features. 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 it 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. If your fountain is with a swimming pool you must ensure the cleaning of the pool water.  But is your pool really that clean?  To ensure the deep cleaning of your pool you may want to use a Robotic pool cleaner, it will save you time and effort.
  • Keep the water feature under a shade. A generous helping of sunlight also promotes the rapid growth of algae in the 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 also retain the pleasant atmosphere of your home.


  1. These are great tips! I’ve always wanted to incorporate a water feature into our yard – I’ll definitely keep your suggestions in mind for when we get ready to start one.

  2. I don’t have a fountain, but will pass this along to other family members that do!

  3. Definitely good tips to keep in mind, will need to change our strategies.

  4. These are great tips for a garden fountain! I didn’t know that distilled water would help with this.I’ll have to pass it along, thanks for sharing!

  5. These tips will come in handy in the future as we are planning to create a garden fountain. I love how relaxing garden fountain looks.

  6. Algae is the absolute worst! Such great tips!!

  7. great tips. i was just looking at a fountain the other day. i’ll have to remember this.

  8. Great info! I’m not sure I’ll ever have my own garden fountain, but in case I do…

  9. Ohh this makes me want a garden fountain. I think this would spruce my yard up and perhaps take the focus off of my overgrown grass.

  10. I love water features. This is great advice to keep the algae out and enjoy your water feature. We have a lot of talks about algae at home, since many of our lakes in Alberta and Canada are affected by blue-green algae too.

  11. Algae in a fountain definitely takes away from its beauty. I didn’t know distilled water helps. Will try that!

  12. We don’t have a garden fountain but plan to have one in the future hence this is an informative post to read.

  13. Great tips to remember if I ever get a fountain. I would love a water feature in my yard

  14. valerie christie

    These are great tips for the summer season. The tip with distilled water is one we never thought of before. Thanks!

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