Do You Need Algaecide for Salt Water Pools?

By Algal Web

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Salt water pools are pretty easy to maintain compared to your average chlorine pool. With these pools, natural salt is converted into chlorine to combat algae and other bacterial growths in your pool. These pools usually only require a couple of chlorine tablets every now and then to keep them crisp and clear. 

But even saltwater pools can occasionally become all green and slimy. If the water is unattended for too long or if contaminated swimsuits carry algae spores into your pool then you can experience an outbreak. 

It is possible to clear the algae outbreak with shock treatment and a lot of pool cleaning and care. But the best way to keep your pool clean is by preventing the growth, to begin with with a good algaecide for salt water pools. 

WhatIs Algaecide for Saltwater Pools?

Algaecide is a biocide that is used for killing and preventing the growth of algae in swimming pools. This biocide is a chemical substance or microorganism that destroys and renders algae growth harmless. Algaecides are perfect for preventing outbreaks because they clear these growths from your pool before the algae can take to surfaces or create a protective barrier. 

There are quite a few different types of algaecides available on the market such as black spot algaecides, starver algaecides, saltwater pool algaecides, and more. 

It is important to choose an algaecide that suits your pool water source, your pool size and that is designed for the type of algae you are most likely to experience in your swimming pool. 

Do You Need Algaecide for Salt Water Pools?

Saltwater pools still do need algaecide products because the saltwater systems convert salt into chlorine which means you basically have the same pool water as any other chlorine pool. The water might be softer and isn’t as likely to get green algae or black spot algae as other pool types but you can still get a breakout under certain conditions.

Algaecide isn’t a critical product for cleaning your pool. You can effectively get rid of algae with a good pool shock treatment, pool brushing, or scrubbing and filtration. But a good quality algaecide will keep algae from infesting your pool water and keep certain growths from attaching to the pool sides so you won’t have to use shock treatment, to begin with, or so you can keep the water clearer for longer after using a shock treatment. 

How to Use Algaecide in Salt Water Pools?

When you have a bad algae breakout in your pool, you will first need to clear up the pool.

Start by treating your pool water with a saltwater shock treatment. This treatment will kill the algae. You can also brush the sides of your pool daily while running the pool filter so the dead algae particles can be cleared from your pool water. 

Technically speaking, it is just about impossible to kill all traces of algae in water bodies. The shock treatment will eliminate most of the algae spores but it won’t completely eliminate all algae in the water.

This is where pool chlorine comes in. Algae don’t fare well in chlorinated water. The chlorine produced by your saltwater system kills off algae spores and other bacteria. But it sometimes isn’t strong enough to keep a new breakout from starting. You are especially likely to see rapid algae growth during warmer summer months since these growths flourish in sunlight and warm water. A pool algaecide will assist in weakening and killing algae spores to prevent these growths from taking over.

Once your pool is treated with shock treatment or if your pool is already algae-free, you can continue with the following steps for introducing algae to your pool.

If the pool is still green then you should repeat the shocking process again or up to three times and run the filter for longer to kill the algae before proceeding to the next step. 

Step 1

Shock treatments increase your pool pH levels dramatically so these chemicals can kill algae. It is important to wait for 24 hours after adding a shock treatment before you introduce algaecide to the water. Algaecides can produce harmful chemical reactions if they are mixed in with high chlorine level pool water. Wait for the pool chlorine levels to return to normal before you proceed. 

Step 2 

When the algae dies and 24 hours have passed, you can test the pool pH level. A good quality chlorine testing kit should give you an accurate reading on your current pH level. A pH level between 7 – 7.6 is ideal for swimming pools. If the levels are still too high then you should wait a little bit longer before adding an algaecide. Pools with low chlorine levels should also be restored with chlorine tablets or the algae can return to your water.

Step 3 

Find a good quality pool algaecide to use in your pool.

There are quite a few different types of pool algaecides. Copper-based algaecides are the most common type but these can stain your metal pool components and won’t work properly if your pool has a high pH level. Quat and polyquat algaecides are terrific alternatives but they are not as strong as copper-based algaecides. 

It is better to start off with a quat or polyquat algaecide to eliminate algae in the pool. If these products do not work then you can try a copper-based product. 

Step 4

Read the instructions on your pool algaecide carefully and follow them precisely. The application process can vary for different types of algaecide products. 

Your pool can stay clear from algae breakouts for up to six months if you chose a good product and were careful with your application.

Step 5

It is important to keep maintaining your pool because some algae strains can be pretty resilient. Keep your pool pH levels regulated and maintain an alkalinity level of 8/0 – 120 parts per million. This water level should be enough to keep algae from returning. 

Step 6

Regular algaecide treatments will increase your pool clarity and will keep algae out for longer. Follow the recommended follow-up dosage. With some algaecides, weekly application is recommended but some products will stay effective for up to six months. 

The Best Algaecide for Your Salt Water Pool

We have already mentioned that there are quite a few different types of algaecides available on the market. To make it easier for you to find the best one, we are now going to do a quick review on the top …. products to get for your pool.

HTH Algaecide Salt Swimming Pool Cleanser – Specially Developed for Saltwater Pools

Salt and Pool Care by HTH is our top pick because this product is specially developed for saltwater systems. It won’t alter your pool pH levels as much and it won’t affect your saltwater system. This product is ideal for pool owners who want to maintain soft water that is free from extreme chemicals.

This algaecide isn’t practical for all algae types but it will combat the most common type; green algae in your pool. 

The product is extremely easy to use but you will need to add the recommended dose of algaecide every 3 – 5 days to keep your pool nice and clear. 

You should notice dead algae particles on the pool floor within 24 hours after adding this product. It is best to clear these particles from your pool with a pool vacuum so you can keep your water from getting all murky. 

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Qty bottle – 1 Quart bottle

Compatibility – Salt pools and spas

Features – Non-foaming formula

Algae species – Green algae control

Maintenance dose – 3 – 5 Day Intervals

Plenty of buyers love this product because it doesn’t change the soothing and soft feel of the pool water and it doesn’t cause any eye irritations. 

You do however need to be careful with the dosage. Too much algaecide can cause foaming and your pool can turn green again if you skip out on treatments. 

But as long as you are careful with the management, the algaecide will make a huge difference in your pool water and it can also be beneficial for keeping your pump nice and clean. 

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PoolRX 6 Month Algaecide – The Best Low Maintenance Algaecide

The algaecide by PoolRX is ideal for people who don’t have a lot of time on their hands. This product is sold in capsule form and slowly releases algaecide into your pool over the course of six months. You only have to pop one capsule per 7.5 – 20k gallons of water into your pool skimmer and it will take care of all the rest for you. 

The PoolRX algaecide is perfect for killing any type of algae in the pool and it is practical for use in any type of pool including saltwater pools. 

It is a perfect low-maintenance solution but you should consider your pool size before adding the product. It might be a bit too powerful for tiny pools. You will also need to keep an eye out for stains on metal pool components since the copper sulfate solution can sometimes create buildup on these surfaces. 

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Qty bottle – 1 Unit

Compatibility – Chlorine and saltwater systems

Features – Copper sulfate solution

Algae species – All algae species

Maintenance dose – One unit every 6 months per 7.5 – 20k gallons

Buyers absolutely love this low-maintenance product. Over 5000 Amazon buyers bought and rated this product and most people found it to be a terrific product for keeping pools nice and clean. 

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Easy Care PoolTec Algaecide – The Budget-Friendly Saltwater Algaecide

The Easy Care PoolTec algaecide isn’t as low maintenance but it is an ideal product to use if you are on a tight budget. This product is sold in a huge 2-quart product and just 4 oz per 10k gallons of water per week is enough to keep your pool nice and clear. 

This algaecide is designed to reduce your chlorine use by up to 65% and it is practical for killing all types of algae species.

You can also use this product in any pool type including saltwater pools, chlorine pools, or vinyl pools. It is a good all-around product if you need an affordable algaecide. 

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Qty bottle – 2 Quart bottle

Compatibility – All pool types

Features – Poly algaecide

Algae species – All algae types

Maintenance dose – 4 Oz per week per 10k gallons

Lots of buyers found this product useful for clearing up a green pool and many feel that this poly algaecide is perfect for treating pools with rapid algae growth. 

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HTH Super Algae Guard – The Best Saltwater Algaecide for Instant Swimming

People with sensitive skins and those who do not have a lot of time waiting around for their pool water levels to restore can consider HTH’s super algae guard. This algaecide is perfect for young children or for families because it is gentle on your skin and you can get back to swimming just 15 minutes after adding the product to your pool. 

The non-foaming algaecide is pretty simple to use. You can simply pour 4 oz of algaecide per 10,000 gallons of water into your pool once a week and swim almost as soon as you added the product. Keep the pool running for a couple of hours after adding the product so your filter can clean out dead particles and your pool will be nice and clean in no time at all.

HTH Super Algae Guard is practical for all types of pools. You can use it along with saltwater systems, chlorine systems, and in above-ground pools, inground pools, or even vinyl pools. 

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Qty bottle – 1 Quart bottle

Compatibility – All pool types

Features – Non-foaming formula

Algae species – Green, black, and mustard algae

Maintenance dose – 4 fl. oz. per 10k gallons of water once a week

The HTH algaecide has over 5,800 buyer ratings on Amazon and most buyers love this algaecide. It is a huge help for cleaning pools without exposing little ones to too many chemicals. 

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Final Thoughts

We do hope that this guide helped you find a good algaecide for salt water pools. But if you are still having a tough time clearing this type of pool then you should have a look at some of our other guides. On AlgalWeb, we are constantly working hard to review the best and latest algae products so you can keep your pool fresh and clean throughout the year.

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