This is a question that might baffle some of us because algae seems to be useful in some things. It is very true that algae are very important to living organisms. But are pool algae harmful to humans or not? Will shocking a pool get rid of algae?
Pool algae can be killed and removed with chlorine. However, some pool owners are not comfortable with too many chemicals in the pool. The question now should be: what naturally kills algae in a pool?
There are many considerable options through which algae can be killed naturally in a pool. Some of which are:
The use of pool vacuum:
This is a way of removing algae from a pool, though it is not a very fast way to get rid of them. A fun fact is that people who do not have the chance to purchase chemicals can prevent them by using this method.
Through the use of a vacuum, substances that serve as food for algae (e.g., dirt) are sucked out of the pool. As a result of this, algae will not be able to feed, which will definitely lead to their death.
The use of natural cleaning agents:
Natural cleaning agents like borax or baking soda (or sodium carbonate) also help to get rid of algae in a pool. These agents contain substances that can break algae and give way to cleaning algae from the pool.
The application of remedies naturally:
People also treat their pools naturally by using salt instead of using delicate chemicals like chlorine. Looking at chlorine, we can say salt is less expensive, natural, safer, and readily available.
Salt functions in the pool by breaking down dirt and bacteria that algae feed on through a process known as electrolysis. Without a food supply, the algae will find survival and growth difficult. As a result, they are most likely to die.
Overview on Algae
Algae, a protist, with plant-like characteristics found in aquatic areas, has been the bedrock of the food chain. They are eukaryotic organisms that are involved in photosynthetic processes.
Also, algae form organic food from carbon dioxide and water by trapping energy from the sun through a process called photosynthesis. Without algae, there would be no living ocean organisms because all plants evolved from them.
Fish and animals will not even exist because they depend on algae for survival. An interesting fact is that there are more algae in natural water bodies than the whole world’s stars put together.
Therefore, when we talk about the existence of this microscopic variety of aquatic organisms, their sizes and shapes differ, even though they are mostly very small. They are so essential in different areas of this world.
We should note that almost half of the oxygen we breathe in is produced by algae (about 30 to 50 percent). Algae produce oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis.
In truth, we take deep breaths, not knowing that it is with the help of algae. We find algae mostly in swampy areas, but we do not know the qualities this variety of organisms possesses.
Just so you know, should the last of all the earth’s algae die today, I do not think we might last any longer.
Also, there are different kinds of algae in the universe. Like plants, they are eukaryotic organisms that contain chloroplasts for photosynthetic processes.
Like animals too, some algae possess flagella and centrioles, which aid in the movement of the cell and the organization of the microtubules during the division of cells, respectively. They are of different sizes, from unicellular to very large multicellular species.
They live in various environments with favorable conditions to which they can adapt. Big algae are the ones referred to as simple aquatic plants.
Algae can be classified into seven essential types, each with different sizes, colors, and functions. They include:
- Euglenophytes (also known as euglenoids)
- Chrysophytes (also known as golden-brown algae and Diatoms)
- Pyrrophytes (also known as fire algae)
- Chlorophytes (also known as green algae)
- Rhodophytes (also known as red algae)
- Paeophytes (also known as brown algae)
- Xanthophytes (also known as yellow-green algae)
What causes Algae in pool?
Algae are living, microscopic organisms that multiply significantly under warm conditions. They are mostly found in pools in what we can call “colonies.”
Also, algae need food for their survival, and in the pool, there is no shortage of food for them. All refuse and waste from production firms, particles of dust that pollute pools, can feed pool algae to a large extent.
In pools with big bather add up, or pools with a high level of wastes, algae have varieties of beneficial foods. Even the dead remains of former algae parts help to sustain future pool algae.
The question is what causes algae in a pool or why are algae found in pools? Algae spores entering into the pool are due to many factors; rain, wind, infected swimsuits, or pool cleaning instruments.
When the condition is favorable, an algae bloom can happen in a matter of hours. Favorable conditions like extremely warm conditions, carbon (iv) oxide. This simply implies that poor water flow, treatment, and chemical balance are some of the main causes of pool algae.
Does Vinegar really kill algae in pool?
There is a saying that vinegar is a safe and cheap way of keeping algae away from the pool. Unfortunately, this is wrong. Vinegar is not good for preventing algae from growing in a pool, nor is it a safe way of keeping algae away from the pool.
The good thing is that vinegar is not a poisonous solution and, as such, poses less danger when mixed with water. When it comes to killing algae, it is very effective only after it has been mixed with water.
Vinegar is acceptable for killing and cleaning algae only when the pool is drained. Vinegar is a liquid containing acetic acid. Hence, the acidic substance is very good at clearing the hard algae sediments and stains.
When it is applied in moderate quantities, the remains of the vinegar residue will not change the degree of acidity or alkalinity in the pool.
How do I get rid of algae in my pool?
In the world today, technology has made life easy. It has opened different ways in which algae can be combated easily in pools.
Algae could be tackled quickly by vacuuming and brushing the walls and ground of the pool, balancing the chemicals present in the pool water.
Afterward, shocking comes in handy; which can be followed by filtering the water in the pool. Being extremely careful here is very essential because making the mistake of leaving a small number of algae spores will not take time before they re-develop and bloom again which makes all effort wasted.
Shocking of the pool is the process of adding a lot of chlorine, either granular or liquid to a pool to keep it safe and clean. It is also known as “super chlorinating,” and it is a better approach to get rid of algae in a pool.
By shocking a pool, you basically increase the level of chlorine for a period of time to kill the bacteria and sterilize the pool.
Note that using chlorine that is not stabilized without the addition of a separate stabilizer is not recommended because the disinfecting properties of the chlorine will be diminished quickly in the sun.
How to prevent pool algae?
Nearly all pool owners have had the need to deal with algae problems at a time or another. Even with the preventive measures, pool algae problems are still challenging for most pool owners.
As said earlier, algae enter the pool due to many factors. So, keeping algae spores out of the pool is almost impossible. Therefore, it is important to keep and prevent those spores from developing into irritating algae blooms.
There is a popular saying that “prevention is better than cure,” which means it is preferable to hold a bad thing from happening than to repair it once it has happened.
It can be deduced from that that the pool algae need to be tackled before they turn algae blooms.
. Ensuring that your pool’s circulation system is perfectly in order is very necessary. Regular checking and cleaning of important pool components (like the skimmer, pump, filter, etc.) will help in the prevention of pool algae.
. Cleaning (and shocking) the pool weekly is important. Chlorine can be used to make the pool sanitized. The level should be between 2 and 4 parts per million (ppm) to help attain an effective and safe level of chlorine in your pool.
. Make sure that you create and maintain a regular brushing pattern. The most common places to find pool algae are the pool walls, floors, or steps. To prevent this, brushing those parts at least once in 7 days or more if necessary, would help to prevent the spread of algae in the pool.
. Apply algaecide and other anti-algae products daily. The constant use of an algaecide in a clean and free algae pool would stop algae from gaining control of your pool. Of course, we have different kinds of algaecides, all designed to fight some particular types of algae in the pool. When used in the pool, they all work by stopping the algae eggs from developing into full-grown algae blooms.
Lastly, you can use products that remove phosphorus from water. When the phosphates on which algae feed are all destroyed, the pool algae will not be able to survive, thereby leading to their death.
How to remove dead algae from the pool without a vacuum?
Sometimes when algae die, they accumulate at the bottom of the pool and they tend to make the pool dirty and cloudy if proper precautions are not strictly adhered to.
To evacuate the dead algae as soon as possible, the work of a garden hose and a telescopic pole should be employed. These tools would help to remove dead algae from the pool without a trace.
A garden hose is just like a tube to wipe out dead algae and other dirt from the bottom of a pool. The telescopic pole is used with different attachments to clean pools of different sizes.
To set up these devices for use, you have to attach the telescopic pole to the garden hose’s end and also connect the other end to a vacuum port to clear out water from the pool.
Also, attaching a bag to collect the dirt should make the process easier. Afterward, the garden hose can be used to reach the bottom of the pool to remove the remains of the dead algae and dirt particles.
How long does it take to kill algae in a pool?
Here, we will be considering the application of shock to the pool (by the addition of a large quantity of liquid chlorine) to kill pool algae. Shocking causes the algae to die within 24 hours of application, and with this, it will start to turn a white color rather quickly.
The time of algae death also depends on the number of algae in the pool. As a result of the shock, the pool could become very dirty during this process. It can take a few days for the effect to be put in place and also to attain crystal-clear pool water.