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How to Prevent Algae in Garden Fountains

Garden fountains require regular cleaning to keep them performing properly throughout the growing season. Garden fountain maintenance includes tackling incidences of algae blooms. Algae thrives with abundant water, sunlight and nutrients. Control algae blooms with regular maintenance and without the use of harsh chemicals.

Empty the water out of the fountain at least every other day.

Remove tree, flower or leaf debris daily from the fountain. Organic material creates the perfect environment for algae to form.

Scrub the sides of the fountain with a stiff brush after emptying, rinse and then refill the fountain. Water quality should be perfect and clear until the next water change. Water becomes stagnant if left to sit more than a day or two.

Remove and rinse clean the fountain pump and tubing with every other water change to remove algae residue. Soak the tubing and pump parts for 15 minutes in 2 cups of white vinegar mixed with 1 gallon of water.

Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the fountain to discourage algae buildup if water replacement doesn't clear the algae problem. Perform daily water changes and soak the pump and tubing in white vinegar more frequently to kill residual algae.

Remove And Prevent Algae In A Fountain

Water features add the relaxing sound and movement of water to help create a peaceful oasis in your home. The algae can eventually clog the fountain's filter. What makes algae grow in your fountain? It's a combination of water and light. With the addition of light, the algae can grow. If the water appears especially dirty after you knock the algae loose, you may wish to replace that water with fresh water. Although this light cleaning routine leaves the fountain basin clean, the algae builds up in the filter, which will eventually require a deeper cleaning. Unplug the fountain's filter, and set it aside. But use bleach with caution because it can be toxic to kids and animals. Some cleaners can damage the fountain material. Use the pressure from running water to dislodge debris stuck on the filter. Algae is photosynthetic and thrives on sunlight, although it doesn't grow leaves or have roots like plants in a garden. Without sunlight, algae can't grow. If your fountain has a light, shut it off at night. The water becomes foamy as the algaecide begins working against algae, but it eventually becomes crystal clear. If you have regular algae growth, a simple commercial or DIY algaecide can do the trick to stop or slow the growth so you can enjoy clear fountain water.


Add a cup of household bleach to the fountain to discourage algae growth. Bleach won't harm most fountains as long as it's diluted properly and doesn’t come in direct contact with the fountain surface. Don't use bleach in fountains where birds bathe or animals drink.

Tablet algaecides can also be used to help reduce algae formation in fountains. Some formulas contain enzymes that eat the algae but are harmless to wildlife.

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