Starving Out Algae: Alternative Approach

Algae blooms can be a great detriment to your pool and can also be incredibly difficult to get rid of completely once present in your waters. As a single-cell plant that is able to live in and out of water, it can adapt to a variety of conditions making it a nuisance and headache to treat.

Over the years, a new approach to treating algae blooms has been gaining interest as an alternative to the typical chemical treatments. This new school of thought seeks to completely remove the food supply that algae needs to survive in order to starve it into submission and eradication. The logic behind this idea is that instead of turning to a number of specialized products designed to eliminate algae blooms chemically, instead it is possible to remove the phosphate supply from your waters, which is the food source that algae sustains itself on. Without the presence of phosphates, algae should simply die off.

Although there is speculation of complications in regards to the particular type of algae your pool has and its own unique eating habits, since each algae species has its own dietary needs. These dietary needs differ in terms of the level of starvation and phosphate presence necessary to sustain. If you attempt to take this approach, it may be difficult to diagnose your specific algae and adjust your phosphates accordingly to find success. It is, however, scientifically possible.

Phosphate removers can help bring the level of phosphates in your pool down to where you need it. When it comes to stimulating algae growth, typical growth rates do not escalate until your phosphate levels reach above the 1000 ppb zone. The principal sources of phosphates in your water are from scale and stain products. Generally used for lifting stains from pool surfaces, descaling, or scale control, many of these products contain phosphoric acid which can release excess phosphates into your water concocting the perfect environment for algae blooms to take root. When using these types of products, be sure to check the labels for low or non-phosphate labels to help keep your pool water pH within the proper range.

You can always look to algaecides to treat persistent algae blooms if this alternative approach doesn’t work for you!