Algae and Phycology

Algae is a group of aquatic plants. They are considered simple due to the fact that they do not grow into distinct parts, like land plants. Seaweed is a type of algae. Phycology is the study of algae.

2,080 Questions
Swimming Pools
Pool Care and Cleaning
Algae and Phycology

How do you get rid of black algae in your pool?

Black algae is a serious problem, particularly during the summer. In the semi-private pool we had, the technician tried to fix the problem with the water in the pool. We ended up [hired a new pool company] having to empty the pool, do the remedial things to the pool surface, replace the sand filter. It was expensive and probably would have been easier to do it the hard way first.

If it is at the bottom, brush with s/s brush turn pump off and add trichlor on top of the algae, let it seat for 2-3 days, brush again. If it is in the walls add silver based liquid algaecide as per manufacturer's recommendations.

"Black Algae" (actually blue-green algae) forms in cracks and crevices on pool surfaces, especially plaster finishes. We normally find black algae growing in, but not limited to, shady areas of the pool.

Black algae is more typically found in concrete or plaster finished pools; it is very uncommon to find it in vinyl liner pools. It is known for a heavy slime layer and "skeletal growths" that make it impervious to normal chlorine levels (1.0 - 2.5 ppm). Black algae can grow "condominium style" providing layers of algae one on top of the other. Slight cracks in plaster or fiberglass walls are perfect breeding grounds for black algae especially when the pool is not properly maintained.

Two ways to get rid of black algae, algaecides typically do not work, mainly just a waste of money. First way is to spread either cal hypo or granular triclor directly on the algae. Lower Ph so the killing form of chlorine is more effective generally 7.0 to 7.4. You first should brush the spots with a ss brush. Do not do this on a dark plaster or vinyl liner pool, chlorine will either bleach or stain color. When doing this turn off pool sweep for a few days. Second and most effective way is to get two cases of liquid chlorine 8 gallons, and two gallon of ammonia hydroxide (most pool stores can order this for you) and muriatic acid. Close the pool for two weeks. Do not let anyone swim or animals drink from the pool for at least two weeks (diarrhea). Lower pH to around 7.0 Add the 8 gallons of chlorine around the pool. Turn on filter pump let run for 24 hours at least. Now you have to add the amonia hydroxide. When you do this make sure that no one hangs around the pool for a few hours (there are some gasses from the mixture of chemicals). let your system run as normal after the 24 hours. Brush pool with ss brush as often as possible. And make sure that the pool is not use. can not stress this enough. Wait till the chlorine residual has lowered to safe levels to reuse pool. At least two weeks. May have to add more chlorine after week one depends on the amount of BA, may have to try method one during this process. What this does is with the combination of ammonia and chlorine raises the residual to around 50 ppm and burns out the BA from the root. Once this is done there will or may be etching in the plaster from were the BA was, to help with this get a sanding block from your local pool store or professional, and sand the areas were the BA was to make the plaster more uniform.

I am a pool professional and have done this on a few pools and works like magic. I have done this to a pool that was covered with black algae, tried everything on this pool and nothing else worked also did the first way that i talked about, only helped a little just slowed down.

Do not scrub the pool with acid, will do nothing other than burn plaster. You can use liquid chlorine to scrub pool, this works to kill the algae and helps to bleach the plaster and disinfects the pool when a pool was not properly sanitized. Muriatic acid is not going to kill the algae, only will temporarily make the algae disappear. If you have your pool re-plastered make sure that the plasterer cuts away the spots were the algae was. I have seen pools that had Black algae before being re-plastered and soon after new plaster was applied it came back. Some times you have to remove the gunite as well.

Caution

Mixing Any type of chlorine product with amonia hydroxide is asking for a dangerous out come. Don't Do It.

Balance your pool water, brush the algae spots with a stainless steel algae brush to break the outer shell, in a vinyl liner pool use a 3M black scrubber pad. Having done this, super shock raising Free Available Chlorine to 5 to 10 ppm add a good copper or silver based algaecide, make sure the product is chelated which will prevent staining and follow the instructions to the letter. These are products that more is not better.

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Algae and Phycology

How do you get rid of pool algae?

Getting Rid of Pool AlgaeHere are several opinions and answers from FAQ Farmers:
  • Algae is a constant problem especially for someone who has trees around their pool. One great preventative is Sodium Tetraborate Pentahydrate (like pureblue Primo). You have to add a great deal in the beginning, but unlike chlorine, it doesn't evaporate. You only lose it from dilution by splash out. For a pool that is about 20,000 gallons, you need to add like 65 pounds to start. But it does more than prevent algae, it helps you use less chlorine and the water feels better, softer on the skin and eyes.
  • Try triple shocking with liquid chlorine, 3L for every 10000L of water in your pool. If the algae keeps returning, have your water tested for Phosphates, which come from decaying leaves or inadvertent fertilizer put into your pool. If phosphates are your problem getting rid of them will fix your problem guaranteed. Just add the phos removal chemical and triple shock....problem solved.
  • I had a similar issue with stubborn algea. If shocking the pool doesn't work, try Calcium Bromine. It cleared my pool right up in a couple of hours. You can purchase Calcium Bromine in tablets and use a floater to dispense it.
  • Liquid Chlorine (Sodium Hypochlorite) works the fastest to kill your algae infestation. You can also use a powdered chlorine (calcium hypochlorite). Either way...you need to shock the pool, brush it with a good pool broom, and let the filter clear it up. Then clean your filter once that is done.
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Algae and Phycology

Is it safe to swim in a pool that has algae in it?

The Algae won't hurt you. But if the chlorine isn't killing the algae, then other microorganisms might be present also. But then, we grew up swimming in ponds and streams. After shocking the pool, the algae will take longer to dissipate, so I'd let the kids in 24 hours after shocking, even if the water is green.

No it is not!!!!!! We just returned from a trip to Mexico and stayed at a high end Resort. The pool was beautiful but on three of the days there we saw algae in the pool. It was cleaned out with manual sweeping and I suppose chlorinated or shocked. When we got home I had this horrible itching that was unbearable. Nothing could be seen on the skin, but it was so intense I could not not stand it even to sleep. The doctor prescribed a cortisone cream and said it had caused a severe dermatitis that may lie dormant and will be activated by heat, hot water, and WAS caused by the unsanitary conditions that let the bacteria and such grow in this pool. Do not swim in algae filled pools

Is there a mycologist in the house???

Greetings! I read this letter and replies quite closely as Oregons Willamette valley gets hit with the worst algae outbreak in recent memory .

This is the first I've heard of algae causing dermatitis related problems. I remember coming out of streams and ponds covered with it down in S.C. Perhaps a strain that won't survive this far north?

Allergic reaction I could understand. But those are immuno-specific and tied to the patient, not the organism present in the pool.

But I am a lot more inclined to cast the questioning eye toward the sparkling water and filtration of the pool.

The definitive answer is "it depends."

Europeans swim in pools that have algae on the walls, yet also have a high ORP (oxidation reduction potential- as measured in millivolts of conductivity).

The high ORP is usually due to the use of ozone, which kills viruses, bacteria and pathogens, and oxidizes bather waste (urea - sweat, urine & cosmetics - suntan lotion, hair gels, cream rinse, etc.). The short half life of the ozone does not allow the ozone to remain in the vessel (pool/spa) long enough to kill the algae. Thus their pools are sanitary & safe to swim in (no pathogens and sparkling clear), yet they have algae.

The reader who got sick probably swam in a pool which had bacteria, viruses, and algae due to poor water chemistry maintenance.

The best piece of advice that I can recommend... carry your own pool water test strips when you travel, and perform a test before swimming. I do this when ever I travel, and especially when using a public spa/hot tub.

2 rules to remember:

  1. 1: If your eyes burn after swimming, it's not due to TOO MUCH chlorine, it's from too little (chlorimines). (Or improper pool water pH).
  2. 2: If you smell "chlorine" when you approach the pool or spa, turn around & go golfing. What you smell are chloramines (chlorine that's combined with bather waste, aka. combined chlorine), and that is an indication that there is not enough chlorine in the pool!! A high level of chlorine in a pool (even as high as 10 ppm) barely has a smell. And yes 10 ppm is safe to swim in - only hyper-sensitive folks might itch and cheap fabrics may bleach/fade.

Remember: Most water chemistry problems, eye irritation complaints, and murky water are a result of too little chlorine!

If it's a public pool and it's green, I wouldn't dip my finger in it. If it's your private pool, then it depends, I am not going to repeat the valid points above..

If you are a pool owner and looking for a solution to the algae problem, please check out my web site www.poolbutlerswimsafe.com

190191192
Swimming Pools
Pool Care and Cleaning
Algae and Phycology

Can you get rid of algae in a saltwater pool by shocking it with liquid chlorine?

yes so long as it isn't too bad, otherwise you may need an algaecide and at worse an clarifier or floculent.

123124125
Child Safety
Pool Care and Cleaning
Algae and Phycology

What do you do if your son ate pool algae?

Probably not a problem, it is a plan after all, but if you are concerned, call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

969798
Pool Care and Cleaning
DIY Projects
Algae and Phycology

How do you remove green algae from the bottom of your pool and how can you stop it from returning?

Shock the pool with chlorine (your Pool shop will tell you how much to add). Run the filter constantly, cleaning as necessary, for a couple of days. Brush pool walls as well. Then install a salt water system and you won't get that algae coming back.

959697
Plumbing
Pool Care and Cleaning
Algae and Phycology

How do you get rid of algae growing in a toilet tank?

I'd say pour in a cup or so of bleach, brush it a bit, maybe let it sit a few minutes, and flush a couple of times.

909192
Swimming Pools
Pool Care and Cleaning
Algae and Phycology

How do you get rid of pink algae in the pool?

You need to kill it first then prevent it from happening again. Brush the pool down. Shock the pool with 3 times the normal amount. Then start a phosphate treatment. When doing this treatment make sure you place everything including toys into the pool so it get treated as well. A great phosphate program is Natural Chemistry or LoChlor Starver Treatment. See your local dealers for more information!

Some times you can get it from the ca being to hi in the pool

888990
Algae and Phycology

What do you do if your pool has green algae and black algae spots?

If it is genuine 'black algae' it is very difficult to remove without emptying the pool and gouging the black algae out of the pool surface. Other algae can be removed by shocking the pool, filtering continuously and brushing walls while maintaining a good sanitizer level.

858687
Swimming Pools
Pool Care and Cleaning
Algae and Phycology

Why would algae form on the boulders of the waterfall if your salt water pool is in chemical balance?

The most important factor to inhibiting algae growth is the amount of free chlorine, not so much the other water balance factors (except temperature and pH). You could have alage on the boulders for the following reasons: 1) The amount of free chlorine in your pool is enough to inhibit growth of alage in your pool, but not in the different conditions on the boulder (see below). 2) The boulder and water flowing over it may be at a higher temperature, especially towards the bottom boulders, if they are exposed to the sun. Higher temperatures promote more algae growth that could outstrip the available free chlorine. 3) If the boulders are exposed to the sun, then this may be reducing the amount of available chlorine, especially if you do not use any conditioner (Cyanuric Acid). 4) The bubbling and aerating of water may convert much of the chlorine to gas via HOCl + Cl- --> Cl2(g) + OH- which is more likely in a salt pool due to the extra chloride ions from the salt to begin with. Do you notice a chlorine smell near the top boulders? 5) Areas near the edge of the water flow do not get enough continuous exposure to the pool water for the chlorine to kill the algae, but get enough water for algae to form. Also, if the water pools so that chlorine is released to the air faster than the pool is refilled with new water, this could promote algae growth. This is similar to poor circulation in a pool. As for what to do, the easiest thing is to treat your boulders with an extra "shock" of 5-10 ppm chlorine (which could be done when you shock your pool with liquid chlorine). Do NOT shock your pool with just the chlorine generator as this will not build up enough chlorine fast enough to kill some more aggressive algaes. Use liquid chlorine to shock your pool, or at least your boulders.

828384
Environmental Issues
Microbiology
Food Chains and Food Webs
Algae and Phycology

Is algae a food resource?

Algae is a microorganism that engages in photosynthesis to produce stored energy, and therefore is a source of food for many other organisms such as fish and recently even humans.

798081
Ecosystems
Taxonomy
Algae and Phycology

What is the scientific name for Algae?

Pediastrum boryanum

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Swimming Pools
Pool Care and Cleaning
Algae and Phycology

What causes an algae outbreak in a pool?

Algae are a very simple type of plant, and like all plants they need water, food, and sunlight. There are different types, the most common being one of the varieties of green, but there is also yellow "mustard" algae, and the dreaded "black" algae which is hard to get rid of. Chlorine, Bromine, or an alternative like Baquacil is added to a pool to make it a hostile environment for algae and bacteria. If the chemical composition of the water is kept properly, algae shouldn't be able to grow in a pool. However, if the chemical level drops too far, algae can grow. They feed on phosphates and other trace chemicals in the water, and use the energy from sunlight to "power" their food-making process. One way that algae can get a "jump-start" is if there is organic debris in the pool like leaves, grass clippings, flower petals, etc. This organic debris is a prime source of fresh algae spores, and it will also react with the chlorine or other purifying chemical in the water, in effect using it up, causing the chemical levels to drop. To avoid this double-whammy, daily get organic debris out of the pool and skimmer baskets. If you have an algae problem in your pool, see your local pool store for chemicals to "shock" the pool by boosting the chlorine content briefly, an algaecide for the specific type of algae you have, and a treatment to remove the phosphates from the water to prevent future algae growth.

NEGLECT.

676869
Algae and Phycology

What color is algae?

Algae comes in many different color but the most common is green

656667
Penguins
Centipedes
Algae and Phycology

What do Marine Worms eat?

Marine worms are vary picky eaters and will only eat decaying lions. Unless they are starving this is the only food they eat!

Or Marine worms eat the organic debris in the bottom of water environments.

656667
Algae and Phycology

Where does carrageenan grow?

Red algae (Protista Rhodophyta) grows on the continental shelf in tropical, temperate, and cold-water regions of the world. It is especially admired in Asian cultures for the extract Carrageenan.

636465
Swimming Pools
Pool Care and Cleaning
Pollution
Algae and Phycology

If your pool has had shock treatment to remove algae what could be another cause of a green pool?

It could still be yellow or mustard algae. Chlorine is not always the only antidote to an algae bloom. You must use an algaecide, as well. Copper- and silver-based varieties are effective. When the algae is dead and sinks to the bottom, it may appear grayish in color. Vacuum that out to waste. If the green stuff is only on the bottom and not forming on the ladder, skimmer parts, walls, etc., perhaps you don't have an algae problem. Perhaps you have a calcium problem. Does the greenish stuff "poof" and easily disperse when you disturb it with the vacuum head or a brush attachment? Is the water generally clear except for the ick at the bottom? If so, it could be calcium buildup. If you use a calcium-based chlorine product and have been doing so awhile, then it's quite possible your problem is calcium. You need to very carefully vacuum that precipitate out to waste, replace the water you ejected with fresh water, and switch to a non-calcium-based product. The answer above neglected to mention an important part of the pool - THE FILTER. Without the proper length of filter run time you will get nowhere in having a clear, quality pool.

636465
Algae and Phycology

How do you get rid of Chara algae?

Get on the INTERNET and locate a company that sells pond chemicals. Call them and ask about Copper Sulfate and Cutrine Plus. Both will eradicate the algae.

636465
Algae and Phycology

Where does algae grow?

rocks, limestone, animals, ice, trees, water, springs, soil, trees

555657
Swimming Pools
Pool Care and Cleaning
Algae and Phycology

Is a pool safe to swim in if patches of the plaster have turned bright blue?

If you are getting bright color patches on plaster hmmm, what is happening to the equipment also? You could have a chemical imbalance in your pool. Are you actually using a test kit to determine the readings of chlorine and pH? You may have reduced the life of the pool plaster and the equipment by many years. The stain may be caused by some water treatment that you have recently added or excess muriatic acid. However, muriatic acid usually produces a copper color to black stain on plaster. Be sure that you are not mistakingly using the muriatic acid instead of chlorine. Staining of sorts can be caused by a pump that is producing more GPM than the equipment can safely handle. Best bet is to hire a service tech for a one time evaluation of the color and plaster. He will test chemical parameters and advise. The nominal service charge will be well worth his professional advice. Someone will need to visually see the problem to determine a direction.

Ken

606162
Sanitization and Germs
Botany or Plant Biology
Protists
Algae and Phycology

How does one remove algae or mold from slate?

Try 1 oz. of bleach to a pint of water. Soft scrub brush in a circular motion to get into the grooves. May need to repeat cleaning a second time to kill the algae or mould. However if it an exterior slate you must seal it as it will always get moulds, mosses and algae.

Do not attempt to add a higher concentration of bleach as it may discolour the slate.

585960
Swimming Pools
Pool Care and Cleaning
Algae and Phycology

How do you get rid of green algae without draining the pool?

There are a wide variety of algaecides (algae killers) available. Your local home improvement store, or pool store, has them. Most pools can be treated for about $20.

You will want to use an algaecide, and "shock" the pool which briefly brings the chlorine level up to an insane amount, and then use a clarifier which will cause all the dead algae to clump up and sink to the bottom, where it can easily be vacuumed out.

All of these chemicals evaporate in a day or two, leaving the pool ready for swimming.

575859
Swimming Pools
Pool Care and Cleaning
Algae and Phycology

What can you do if you add shock to the pool so it is clear enough to vacuum but the vacuum stirs up the algae and it turns green again?

We have had several problems w/our pool water and it seems that whenever we purchase ANY Bioguard products it clears it up right away. Bioguard has a website www.bioguard.com and you can locate a dealer near you. Their products are great for any problem. We are using their 3 step program to maintain our pool and it's simple and great and we have crystal clear water. Good Luck.

AnswerYou have this problem because you are trying to vacuum microscopic particles that are small enough to slip through the pool filter. What you want is a product that clarifies by causing the particles to clump together and sink. These larger clumps won't stir up so badly, and will be caught by the filter as well. Answeranother thing you can do is vacume your pool on the waste setting which will pump all small particles you pick up that are too small for your filter out of your pool forevcr. It takes longer though because you have to make sure you keep your water level up above the skimmer line if it is an in ground pool.
545556
Freshwater Aquariums
Goldfish
Algae and Phycology

You have four goldfish and one algae eater will the goldfish eat the algae eater?

The only algae eaters that are safe with goldfish are bristlenose plecos. Weather (dojo) loaches can also be placed with goldfish, but they are not comparable to a pleco for cleaning algae (though they do clean some).

535455
Swimming Pools
Pool Care and Cleaning
Algae and Phycology

How do you clear up a pool with sand and mud in it?

they have something that's called a vaccum and its a special type that's used for pools. i don't know exactly what its called but you will have to ask and find out.

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