Why you should “GreenClean” the “Blue-Greens,”

Why you should “GreenClean” the “Blue-Greens,” (or “Never in Blue-Greens, Babe”)


Tom Warmuth

Aquatics Technical Representative – BioSafe Systems

Because of its ability to overwinter, it’s important to understand “blue-green algae;” what it is and ways to prepare and control it.

First, the two names blue-green algae and cyanobacteria are often used to describe what many would group into “algae”.  We should really stick to one name, CYANOBACTERIA.  This classification or phylum of bacteria is more or less that, a bacteria…..and not so much an algae.  They are green like algae because they contain the chlorophyll which they use to produce their own food utilizing energy from the sun.  They both also live in water, but that is about where the comparisons or differences will end for the purposes of this article.  To the naked eye, when observing a pond with algae, they certainly look the same, the water is green because of their presence (planktonic, pea soup) or the green hair like (filamentous) material and mats growing on the shoreline all looks similar.  But again, they are much more like bacteria than algae, and they should be treated as such.

So, how does one or should one treat bacteria, or in this case a cyanobacteria?  I would say treating bacteria would best be done with a powerful, effective, and yet sustainable bactericide.  BioSafe Systems has an extensive line of products for several markets that are designed to do just that, treat bacteria.  In the aquatics market BioSafe Systems has its GreenClean line of algaecides, GreenClean Liquid 5.0 and GreenCleanPRO.  These algaecides work to effectively treat nuisance algae and cyanobacteria.  The GreenClean chemistries work by breaking down and penetrating the defenses of the target, the cell wall and the thick protective mucilage coating outside.  These two barriers of many cyanobacteria are often where other algaecides fall short. The GreenClean Liquid and GreenCleanPRO algaecides not only work effectively, but after they are put to work they harmlessly break down into oxygen and water.

Additionally, these chemistries will also still work effectively in varying water chemistries (high alkalinity, high hardness, a wide pH range, and temperature). Early control of some algae and cyanobacteria may have water temperature as one more factor to consider when choosing GreenClean Liquid 5.0 for treatment. Its chemistry can be effective in colder water temperatures.  When you know that nuisance algae in your pond will become more and more of a problem as the spring and summer gets warmer, you should plant to treat at the first signs of the algae growth.

As you can see in the picture, the chemistry works quickly.  In this microscope image a sample of cyanobacteria, Oscillatoria, was treated with GreenClean Liquid 5.0 using a standard field use rate. Within 8 minutes, the Oscillatoria is showing signs of chlorosis (bleaching of the chlorophyll). These are sure signs that the GreenClean Liquid 5.0 chemistry has penetrated the cells and that this algae sample has been effectively controlled.

Osc. before&after

Application method of the product can also be important when using either the granular or the Liquid formulation.  Depending on what kind of algae you are treating and the water chemistry of the water body, you may want to adjust your method, possibly the adjuvants or think about using a tank compatible partner with the GreenClean Liquid 5.0.  We have several users of our commercial algaecides in Florida.  In many other areas across the country, including Florida, high alkalinity and hardness can vary and these water chemistry conditions can greatly reduce the efficacy of copper based algaecides.

GreenClean Liquid 5.0 can be used in a wide range of water chemistry and conditions. Hardness, alkalinity, pH, salinity, and temperature are all non-factors with GreenClean Liquid 5.0.  One Florida lake manager had their first experience using our GreenClean Liquid 5.0 on the cyanobacteria, Lyngbya, and they were quite satisfied with the fast results.  The application was made; the site was observed five hours later where it was clear that the Lyngbya had been effectively treated as it was showing clear signs of chlorosis. By one week after the treatment the treated area was looking excellent. The floating mats were well controlled and great progress made in getting ahead of this nuisance cyanobacteria.


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