Introduction to Algaecide
Watching your pool turn green with algae growing all over it is very annoying. This is a problem that a lot of pool owners have to deal with every year. Algae usually start small, but the minute they appear in your pool, they will spread rapidly and could very quickly end up covering your entire pool surface and walls.
To stop this menace, you have to use a chemical known as an algaecide. These are chemicals formulated to deal with algae and other plant-like organisms in swimming pools and spas. The chemicals don’t just remove algae from your pool, but they also create an environment where their future growth is impossible. With algaecide, therefore, you will get yourself an algae-free and super clear pool that is fun and safe to swim in.
Unlike most other pool maintenance chemicals, algaecide isn’t affected by sunlight, water temperature, pH or mineral content. This allows the compound to last longer in the water which consequently means that it will have enough time to work on your pool.
Its only through understanding the various types of algae existing that you will know the best possible algaecide that will work for your specific pool. In this review, we will be discussing the basics of algae and algaecides to make your shopping experience a lot simpler.
Types of Algae
- Green Algae (blue-green) – This is the most common type of algae. It thrives in warm and moist surroundings that are exposed to sunlight.
- Yellow Algae – Yellow algae is another form of blue-green algae. It has yellow carotenoids that give it its distinct color. This stubborn alga is chlorine resistant, and it doesn’t even require sunlight to grow or spread in your pool.
- Black Algae – The black algae are commonly found in plastered pools. The plaster provides the perfect platform for the algae’s roots to grow. Black algae are usually covered with several thick layers which protect it against chlorine and certain types of algaecides.
- Red Algae – Red Algae is not very common but once it shows up dealing with it can get really difficult. This is because it doesn’t need sunlight to survive and it is also chlorine resistant.
Types of Algaecide
There are different types of algaecides, and each one of them is formulated to work in a unique way that allows them to get rid of certain kinds of algae effectively. The following are the best types of algaecide:
Quaternary Ammonium Pool Algaecide (quat algaecide)
Quaternary Ammonium Algaecide is microbial disinfectants that bind onto the negatively charged segments of the algae. The chemical then destroys the outer layers of the algae thus leaving them exposed for chlorine to come in and kill it. These chemicals are available in different concentration levels from 10 to 50%. Since the chemical functions as a detergent, using it in excess can lead to the formation of foam on your pool.
- Metallic Pool Algaecide
Metallic pool algaecides have been used in water treatment for centuries. The algaecide is positively charged. Once it is introduced into your pool, it attaches itself to the negatively charged part of the algae. This weakens the algae allowing for chlorine to penetrate and destroy it. The copper ions in this algaecide are chelated or bonded to amino acids, and this helps in minimizing staining even when you use the chemical for extended periods.
- Polymer Pool Algaecide
This is hands down the best algaecide in the market. The chemical is designed with poly-quat elements and long carbon chains. This makes them twice as effective as quat algaecide, and they also last longer in the pool. What makes them even more ideal is the fact that they will never cause any staining or foaming in your pool regardless of how long you use them.
Polymer pool algaecide is also positively charged and attach on the negative algae while spreading all around the organism. This smoothens the algae allowing for the penetration of chlorine to kill the algae cells.
The downside with this chemical is its cost. Polymer pool algaecide is the most expensive algaecide in the market.
Algaecide Buying Guide
Since you now know the various types of algaecide available, here are a few factors that will help you identify the perfect chemical for your pool:
- Inspect the color of algae – Use the information we provided above on the types of algae to know which algaecide will work best for you. In some cases, you may find that your pool is infected with red color or pink algae and this is a clear indication that there are bacteria in your pool. You should, hence, look for an algaecide capable of dealing with bacteria.
- Look for a pool friendly product – we already mentioned that some algaecides tend to cause staining or foam formation. Try as much as possible to get friendly chemicals that won’t interfere with the appearance of your pool and its water. This may be expensive, but it is more convenient as it allows you to use the pool in no time and it also preserves the lining of your pool.
- Effective and long-lasting – The best algaecide start working immediately they are introduced into the swimming pool. Make sure that you buy a fast-acting chemical because there are some algaecides which generally take days to start working. The ideal algaecide should also be long-lasting. This helps to keep your pool protected for extended periods.
- All seasons – Some algaecide is more effective in certain seasons than others. Always go for chemicals that work through all seasons as this ensures that your pool is kept clean and safe throughout the year.
- Cost – Finally you have to take into account the amount you are spending on the algaecide. The best algaecides are not always the most expensive. You can get incredible chemicals at an affordable price you just need to be keen while shopping.
Here are the top three algaecides in the market at the moment:
Kem-Tek KTK-50-006 Pool and Spa Algaecide 60% concentration
This Kem-Tek pool and spa algaecide is one of the most effective and versatile algaecides in the market. The chemical can remove different types of algae and also prevents their formation in the future. With this algaecide, you also won’t have to worry about foaming in your pool thanks to its super friendly formula.
With the 60% concentration, you can also expect excellent results, and you won’t even have to use too much of the chemical. The chemical will also stay active in your pool for extended periods.
Something else we loved about this chemical is its ability to deal with other organisms that attack swimming pool floor and linings. The algaecide can also be used with saltwater pools, and it comes at a very affordable price.
- Long lasting
- Safe for use with different filters and pools
- Effective for both prevention and treatment
- You have to wait for some before using your pool after you’ve applied this algaecide
In The Swim Super Pool Algaecide
The In The Swim Super Pool Algaecide is yet another highly concentrated chemical that can help you clean massive pools with small doses. With just 4 ounces, you can clean up to 10k gallons. If you are only doing maintenance, then 2 ounces is enough for 10k gallons. The algaecide is copper-based making it highly effective to deal with all types of algae both in swimming pools and spas.
You will also appreciate the non-foaming nature of this chemical. Its perfect formula makes it very safe. After using it, you will only need to wait for a few hours before you can get into your pool.
In The Swim Super Pool Algaecide is available in different sizes. You can, therefore, get just the right amount for your pool and it also makes sure that everyone can get the quantity that they can afford.
- Very effective
- Perfect for both prevention and treatment
- Safe for use
- It’s quite expensive
PoolRx Algaecide Unit
The PoolRx Algaecide comes in four distinct units each of which can support between 7.5 to 20k gallon pools. This highly rated algaecide is ideal for above ground pools. It is formulated with a proprietary blend of minerals that are effective in removing and keeping algae away from your pool.
The PoolRx algaecide is also very popular because it can last up to six months. With this chemical, you’ll, therefore, get the best value for your money.
- Highly effective
- Lasts for six months
- Dissolves into the water quickly
- Frees-up chlorine thus making it more active
- It’s more effective for preventing the formation of algae than killing algae
- It works best with above ground pools alone