What are the best Algaecide's for Pools?

There is something pool related that can cause an immediate pit in your stomach when you walk out to your swimming pool.  That evil villain is algae!  It comes in many forms and which one you use is partially preference and partially what said algaecides can kill.  Let’s have a chat, shall we?  As a Certified Algae Prevention and Eradication Specialist, I am trained in the prevention and removal of all types of algae.  There is also an awesome book available by author, Rudy Stankowitz, called “How to Get Rid of and Prevent Swimming Pool Algae.  This was the book used for my certification. You can get it on Amazon here

How Did I Get Algae?

I think it is a good idea to briefly discuss possible causes of algae in a swimming pool.  It is the nemesis to our pool maintenance.  There are different types of algae.  They is green, yellow and black.  There are also a fungus called “White Water Mold” which looks like little pieces of toilet paper floating in the pool.  Usually this means a decaying matter in the pool system such as a dead rat.  Gross, but true.”Pink Algae” is  very rare and very dangerous, but also not an algae.  It is a biofilm which you treat the same way as white water mold.  Please check out our blog on what type of algae treatment is needed and more in depth descriptions of the different types. 

     Algae can be caused by one or more of these things.  

  1. Having too low of a sanitizer
  2. Not brushing the pool every week (Good brushes available here) https://poolpartstogo.com/collections/pool-brush
  3. Not running your pool pump long enough
  4. Air in the system
  5. A dirty filter

Different Types of Algaecides

  • Quaternary (quats)

  • Actually a quaternary ammonium compound is a liquid algaecide.  These types of algaecides are honestly better for algae prevention rather than removal.  Some pros of this type of algaecides are usually less expensive than other types of algaecides.  Since they are not metal based, you don’t have to worry about excess metals in your water which can cause staining if the level gets too high.  Don’t frown too much on metal algaecides as they can combat certain types of algae. Some negative things about quat algaecide is it can cause foaming in the water.  I also learned that it can have a bad chemical smell with regular use.

  • PolyQuats

  • Want to hear a mouthful?  Polyquats are actually polymeric ammonium compounds. This type of algaecide also comes in liquid form.  When adding a polyquat it is advisable to add around the edges of your swimming pool.  This type of algaecide can be used to kill a current algae bloom.  Essentially, green and yellow algae.  Polyquats are longer lasting and you don’t have to worry as much about foam.  Since it is not metal based either we don’t have that worry.  I also learned that polyquats are TWICE as effective as quat algaecides.(Thank you, My Sutro!)  This is because they were born to kill!  You’ll feel a bit bigger hit in your pocket book due to this.

  •  Copper-based

  • Obviously this type of algaecide contains copper.  It actually is copper ions.  It can come in a few different forms.  There is liquid or a product, such as Pool RX, which goes in your pump basket.  There are also solid forms that you place in your skimmer.  These are great ways to kill green, yellow and some say, black algae.  (Some pool pros say nay, only silver based.)  If using a solid method, it needs to be continually replaced as it is used for algae prevention rather than removal.  Liquid copper-based algaecides also go around the perimeter of your swimming pool.  Unfortunately, it builds up copper in the water.  When the copper level gets to be 3.0ppm or higher, use a metal sequestering agent to remove.  If we don’t, we can get staining.

  • Silver-based

  • This algaecide comes in liquid form and is great for treating black algae, which can be a pain to get rid of.  It gets added a day after you brush the pool and shock it.  It is a bit more expensive than other algaecides, but what choice do we have? Continue to brush the swimming pool every day for 5-7 days. 

  • Sodium Bromide

  • This is my favorite type of algaecide., mainly the brand Yellowtrine.  It is good for green and yellow algae.  This algaecide is a powder and is added with copious amounts of chlorine to do the trick.  It is close to the same price of metal algaecides, but doesn’t add metals to the water.

    So there you have it.  Those are the main types of algaecides.  If you are still unsure which one is right for your algae bloom, talk to a professional.  Also, check out our blog on how to kill algae.  See you poolside!