Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Keeping Algae Out of Fountains Without Harming Dogs

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Algae, of the taxon Eukaryota, is a common problem in fountains in all U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones. These photosynthetic organisms occur in most habitats including oceans, freshwater, aquariums, sand, snow and yes, even fountains. While it's possible to use harsh chemicals to prevent the buildup of algae, these additives are not always safe for thirsty pets who may sneak a few gulps from the fountain. You can take a few steps to keep algae out of fountains in a pet-safe way.

Step 1

Place your fountain in a shaded area. Algae grows quickly in bright light, and you can help reduce some of this growth by keeping your fountain out of direct sunlight

Step 2

Change the water in your fountain once a month to prevent the buildup of algae. Small algae spores may begin to form in your fountain before you even notice them, but this preventative measure will ensure that they do not grow and spread

  • Algae, of the taxon Eukaryota, is a common problem in fountains in all U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones.
  • Algae grows quickly in bright light, and you can help reduce some of this growth by keeping your fountain out of direct sunlight Change the water in your fountain once a month to prevent the buildup of algae.

Step 3

Move your fountain away from trees or thick vegetation. Leaves and twigs that contain algae spores can fall into your fountain and transfer the algae into the water.

Step 4

Use distilled water -- not tap water -- to fill your fountain. Tap water contains minerals and additives that encourage algae growth, such as high levels of phosphates.

Step 5

Remove all debris such as dirt, sand, leaves and grass out of your fountain regularly to prevent the pump from clogging, which can encourage algae growth.

Step 6

Clean your fountain once every one to three months with a scrub brush, dish detergent and warm water. Small fountains will need more frequent cleanings, while large fountains may only need to be cleaned once or twice per operating season. To clean, drain your fountain and scrub the base thoroughly with warm water and a quarter-sized dot of detergent. In addition, take your pump apart and clean the inside to remove any algae or mineral deposits. Rinse your fountain thoroughly until no soapy bubbles remain.

  • Move your fountain away from trees or thick vegetation.
  • Remove all debris such as dirt, sand, leaves and grass out of your fountain regularly to prevent the pump from clogging, which can encourage algae growth.

Warning

Do not allow detergent to remain in your fountain after cleaning; this can get into the water and could possibly be harmful to your pet.

Related Articles

How to Clean an Outdoor Concrete Fountain
How to Clean an Outdoor Concrete Fountain
Water in My Outdoor Fountain Keeps Turning Green
Water in My Outdoor Fountain Keeps Turning Green
How to Get Colored Water for Fountains
How to Get Colored Water for Fountains
What Causes Mustard Algae?
What Causes Mustard Algae?
How to Remove Algae Stains From a Concrete Pool
How to Remove Algae Stains From a Concrete Pool
How to Convert a Bathtub Into a Fish Pond
How to Convert a Bathtub Into a Fish Pond
The Best Ways to Kill Mosquitoes in Birdbaths
The Best Ways to Kill Mosquitoes in Birdbaths
How to Seal a Birdbath
How to Seal a Birdbath
How to Clean a Concrete Birdbath
How to Clean a Concrete Birdbath
How to Waterproof a Fountain
How to Waterproof a Fountain
Can You Have a Small Outdoor Pond Without a Pump?
Can You Have a Small Outdoor Pond Without a Pump?
How to Winterize an Outdoor Fountain
How to Winterize an Outdoor Fountain
Algae in Bird Bath
Algae in Bird Bath
How to Make an Oak Barrel Water Feature
How to Make an Oak Barrel Water Feature
What Kind of Fish Eat Pond Algae?
What Kind of Fish Eat Pond Algae?
How to Kill Black Mold in a Swimming Pool
How to Kill Black Mold in a Swimming Pool
How to Get Rid of Water Striders
How to Get Rid of Water Striders
Garden Guides
×