Algae Treatment

Why is it important to treat algae?

Algae can impede water flow, create an environmental nuisance and may even be toxic to humans and stock.

Successful eradication of algae depends firstly on the correct identification of the species. Secondly, it is important to use an algaecide that does not harm aquatic animals, livestock, plants, humans and is specific to algae and no other plant life.

Treatment of Algae

There are a number of algae treatment technologies currently available on the market, from multiple brands of algaecides to ultrasound products. Each of these have varied efficacy which we’ll look at below, however we recommend Coptrol, a product owned and manufactured in Australia.

Coptrol is a water-soluble chelated copper compound which utilises organic chelating agents, resulting in a uniquely effective algaecide action. Chelation is a process which chemically binds metal ions to other molecules (known as chelating agents) making the final compound very stable. Algae actively seek Coptrol for the nutrient value of the organic chelating agent. Once ingested, however, the active copper kills the algae.

Some of the other common alternative treatments are:

Copper Sulphate (commonly know as "Bluestone")

Bluestone has often been used as an algaecide in many circumstances. Similar to Coptrol, the copper component kills the algae though with some downsides.

Copper Sulphate doses need to be measured extra-accurately to avoid delivering a lethal dose to fish. Additionally, algae treated only with Bluestone has a tendency to return very quickly. The breakdown of the algae after killing it with Copper Sulphate provides ideal water conditions for the regrowth of any remaining algae cells.

Lastly, if using Bluestone as a treatment for decorative ponds, there is the potential for colour staining (due to the bright blue colour of the compound).

Algae ultrasound treatments

These devices transmit inaudible (to us) sound pulses into the water using different frequencies, all within the ultrasound range. The ultrasound waves inhibit algal cell reproduction, but the sound waves are not algicidal. Various species of algae react differently to the waves and some, notably the Chara group, are not affected by the sonic waves at all. Under any conditions where algae can grow rapidly, often into thick clumps or masses, it is common for the algal challenge to overwhelm the sonic waves.

Wavelength devices can be useful for inhibiting further growth of an algal bloom, but will not necessarily kill it. Warm summer conditions in particular require Coptrol to eliminate the algae.

Coptrol Algaecide

Coptrol is a soluble liquid concentrate that is easy to measure and use. It is ideal for the control of most types of algae, including blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). Coptrol will clear up existing algae and prevent future growth, keeping water clear and bright. It works in all kinds of water, hard or soft, salt or fresh, turbid or clear. 

The use of Coptrol is safe for many applications, including;

  • Agriculture such as irrigation canals, farm dams, raceways and rice paddies.
  • Potable water supplies. 
  • Industrial ponds and ornamental ponds.
  • Can be used in aircraft spraying equipment. It will not corrode metal surfaces such as water tanks, irrigation equipment, valves and pumps. 

Coptrol has been specifically designed for safe and effective use in agricultural and industrial environments. It is suitable for potable water supplies. Additionally, Coptrol will not harm domestic pets, if used as directed.

How is Coptrol different from other chelated products?

It is important to note that Coptrol is not the same as other chelated copper products.

Copper is the active ingredient that kills the algae; the chelating agent is the method used to deliver copper into an algal cell. Most importantly, the chelating agent protects copper from reacting with other chemicals and the environment.  

Coptrol has a unique formula which makes it more effective, as reducing the chelating agent available will potentially reduce the stability of the compound. The difference can be observed by comparing the viscosity of the products. Coptrol has the consistency of honey, compared to other treatments that have a watery consistency.

Unlike Coptrol, competitive products have up to 20% water added to their formulations. The effect of this extra water is:

  1. The product will have a reduced ability to protect a crop from algal growth when used as a preventative.  
  2. Lower levels of chelate will mean tank mixes with other products will be less stable and more likely to react with the other chemicals included in a mix. 
  3. It is less effective when dealing with brown slime.
  4. It cannot be used with the compatibility agent.

Developed and tested in Australia by RCI, Coptrol is also manufactured in Australia for both the domestic and export markets.

Given the risk of treating blue-green algae that possibly contain toxins, it is recommended that you contact RCI on 1800 257 193 (Australian toll free number). 

For more information, visit Coptrol algaecide by RCI

Coptrol is a water-soluble chelated copper compound which utilises organic chelating agents, resulting in a uniquely effective algaecide action.

Chelation is a process which chemically binds metal ions to other molecules (known as chelating agents) making the final compound very stable.

Algae actively seek Coptrol for the nutrient value of the organic chelating agent. Once ingested, however, the active copper kills the algae.

A soluble liquid concentrate that is easy to measure and use, Coptrol is ideal for the control of most types of algae, including blue-green algae. This includes irrigation canals, farm dams, industrial ponds, ornamental ponds, raceways, rice paddies and potable water supplies.

Coptrol will clear up existing algae and prevent future growth, keeping water clear and bright. It works in all kinds of water, hard or soft, salt or fresh, turbid or clear.

It will not corrode metal surfaces such as water tanks, irrigation equipment, valves and pumps. Coptrol can also be used in aircraft spraying equipment.

Coptrol has been specifically designed for safe and effective use in agricultural and for potable water supplies. Coptrol will not harm domestic pets, if used as directed.

It is important to note that Coptrol is not the same as other chelated products.

Copper is the active ingredient that kills the algae; the chelating agent is the method used to deliver copper into an algal cell. Most importantly, the chelating agent protects copper from reacting with other chemicals and the environment.  

Coptrol has a different formula which makes it more effective, as reducing the chelating agent available will potentially reduce the stability of the compound. 

The difference can be observed by comparing the viscosity of the products. Coptrol has the consistency of honey, compared to other treatments that have a watery consistency.

Unlike Coptrol, competitive products have up to 20% water added to their formulations. The effect of this extra water is:

  1. The product will have a reduced ability to protect a crop from algal growth when used as a preventative.  
  2. Lower levels of chelate will mean tank mixes with other products will be less stable and more likely to react with the other chemicals included in a mix. 
  3. It is less effective when dealing with brown slime.
  4. It cannot be used with the compatibility agent.

Other algae control products include ultrasound products.

These devices transmit inaudible (to us) sound pulses into the water using different frequencies, all within the ultrasound range. The ultrasound waves inhibit algal cell reproduction, but the sound waves are not algicidal. Various species of algae react differently to the waves and some, notably the Chara group, are not affected by the sonic waves. Under Australian conditions where algae can grow rapidly, often into thick clumps or masses, it is common for the algal challenge to overwhelm the sonic waves.

Wavelength devices are used to inhibit algal bloom, but Australian summer conditions require Coptrol to eliminate the algae.

Developed and tested in Australia by RCI, Coptrol is also manufactured in Australia for both the domestic and export markets.

For more information, visit https://rci.com.au/coptrol-algae-control/

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