How to Keep My Garden Fountain Clean
Having a fountain has its list of benefits, but like everything else, they require some maintenance. The one thing that could ruin your water feature’s looks and function are algae.
The green slime is bad for many reasons, and algae growing in your indoor or garden fountain is not what you would want. Preventing the accumulation of algae in your fountain can be achieved by following a few simple steps.
How To Prevent Algae Growth in Your Fountain
The first and main source of algae’s nutrition is photosynthesis. Thus, the best advice is building your fountain in a shady place. This will prevent the fast accumulation of algae, and drastically lower the fountain maintenance chores. However, if you already have a fountain and it is bathed in the sunlight, you will have to double the efforts included in the list below.
Fountain Cleaning Chores
A sparkling clean fountain requires its share of scrubs and cleaning every few months, or every month if your fountain is exposed to prolonged hours of sunlight. The cleaning of the fountain will require you to disassemble its components and clean each one separately with clean water, a soft sponge and a mild soap.
Step 1. First, you will need to remove all decorations and plants. Disinfecting and cleaning decorations can be done with soap and clean warm water, or even vinegar and baking soda if it will not damage their color. After you have soaked them for a bit and scrubbed them with a soft sponge, rinse them with clean water and let them dry out.
Step 2. Plant disinfection requires you to clean the plants of all dying or decaying leaves and roots since those too provide the nutrients algae feed on. Rinse them with a soft sponge and clean water to remove all insect life. It will be fine if you change at least part of the soil of the potted aquatic plants with fresh, disinfected media.
*If you want to know how and why you should disinfect new plants before adding them to your water feature, you can read the following article: How and Why Should I Disinfect My New Pond Plants.
Step 3. Remove the pump and all of its components. Cleaning the water circulation and filtration system of your fountain is very important. You should clean all filters, and scrub clean the plumbing components with mild soap, warm soapy water, and a non-abrasive sponge. Then you can rinse them with clean water. Let them dry out before you assemble them once again.
Step 4. While all those parts, aquatic plants, and decorations are left to rest, you can clean the fountain itself. Thoroughly scrub off and clean the tiles of your fountain using a non-abrasive sponge, warm water, and a mild soap or even bleach-like cleaning detergent if you do not have any decorations, fish or aquatic plants.
Step 5. Rinse your fountain to remove any trace of cleaning detergents and bad water. Let it dry, rinse again and return the pump and other water circulation and filtration components back into their place.
Step 6. Fill with fresh clean water, and rearrange your decorations and plants back in your fountain. Your fountain is once again sparkling and algae free!
Regularly removing all organic and decaying matter from your fountains like fallen leaves and such will greatly decrease, and even prevent the fast accumulation of algae and bacteria. If you do not feel like having a day of fountain cleaning and tile scrubbing, you can contact your local fountain cleaning and maintenance specialist.