Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the five ultrasonic devices?

Although the ultrasonic algae control devices function the same way (killing algae by breaking various cell walls and attachment membranes with under water sound vibrations), they all have a different capacity and range of action. Each algae control device is specially made for a certain field of application.(pond, lake, pool, watergarden, industrial applications, etc.)

Which kind of algae are killed by which device and how quickly?

There are over 70000 kinds of algae and some experts estimate there could be as many as 100000 including sub-species. Each react in various ways after their being affected by the ultrasound. Blue-green algae, that can create toxins under heavy bloom conditions are the most easily affected by breaking hundreds of gas vesicles found in each cell. This action makes the most common of them heavier than water so they sink out of light within a few days and then begin to slowly die out of sight. The most common green algae are the so-called single celled "roaming algae". The sound vibrations causes these types to develop a tear between the outer contractile vacuole and the inner cell wall liner called the plasmalemma. This causes the plasmalemma to collapse inside the cell where it can no longer get sufficient fluid transfer and it begins to die. For full death, this may take a couple of weeks as it slowly browns out. Even though some algae die rather fast, others such as heavy filamentous string algae may take up to six weeks before the effects are visible to the naked eye. Remember that once your Sonic Solutions unit has killed all of the existing algae, regrowth will not occur as long as your Sonic Solutions unit remains in your water.

Which algae are the most difficult to kill?

This depends on the application, in other words, the type of water body in which the Sonic Solutions is being used. In swimming pools for example, the toughest ones are the black algae which mostly grow in the joints of the tiles; however, they surely will be killed in due time. Another hard type is filamentous algae. Some patience is definitely required here, as they bond together forming masses which asborb the ultrasonic vibrations hindering the overall effective range. They will be killed, it just takes longer. If you would like to speed up the process remove the masses as the wind blows them to the edge of the water. Filamentous algae rises and sinks, so this process may need to be repeated a few times. Just remember this will be the last time you will have to remove algae because with the Sonic Solutions unit in continuous operation the algae can't return.

  • There are certain types of algae that are not affected by ultrasound such as those exhibiting plant-like characteristics (Chara, Nitella) and those exhibiting animal or protist type characteristics (Euglena). Also, certain types of blue-green algae without gas vesicles can be difficult to eradicate. If you are having trouble with these types, please contact us for alternate control methods.

    After having the ultrasonic device in operation a couple of weeks it looks as if there is more algae than before. What happened?

    Of course this is not the case, it only looks that way! There are two reasons why it appears like that:

    1. Sometimes roaming and filamentous algae do not sink to the bottom after being killed, but are buoyed to the surface with various gas bubbles (CO2, methane, etc) that causes them rise to the surface. This can give the the impression that they have multiplied. If you push the dead algae aside, you can see the clear water underneath. After a heavy rain shower the bubbles will break and the dead algae will sink to the bottom. If you prefer, use a rake or net to remove the dead algae, as this will speed up the cleaning process.
    2. Dead filamentous algae are loosened from bottom and sides and they fall apart, "giving the appearance" that they have increased in volume. Dead filamentous algae should be taken out because they block the water surface and absorb the sonic vibrations.

    Should I have the device continuously operating?

    Absolutely! The electrical cost of operating any Sonic Solutions device is less than $20 a year. Our strongest device (Sonic Solutions SS600) uses less than 15 watts average, the smallest (Sonic Solutions SS-100) uses less than 7 watts average. By having the ultrasonic vibrations permanently operating in your water volumes they prevent new algae from causing an algal bloom.

    Can I lengthen the transducer cable?

    Yes, up to a total of 200 feet. It comes with a 50 foot cord and 50 and 100 foot extensions are available. The cables have water tight connectors making this an easy modification. This causes no loss in power compared to other types of ultrasonic systems. This is because the SJTOW cable (heavy service rated) can transfer the 24 volt DC voltage to the frequency generator in the transducer assembly without loss of power. Additionally, if distance to your water body is an issue, a 12 gauge wire carrying the 120 vac power supply to the units power supply box can be extended up to 900 feet without loss of operating voltage for the unit (as long as no other devices are run on the extended service). This can give you up to 1100 feet of service distance from the main 120 vac power supply to your pond.

    Can I shorten the transducer cable?

    This is not recommended. However, if it is a problem, please contact AlgaeControl.US and we will assist in shortening the cord to your requirements.

    What is the best place to position the transducer?

    Usually the best position is in a corner facing out. The Sonic Solutions SS-600, SS-500, and SS-400 units are equipped with a specially designed float, which keeps the transducer permanently at the right depth.

    How do I know if the transducer is working?

    There are two green LED lights on the control box. Then the bottom light is on, it means that the control box is receiving power. When the upper light flashes, it indicates that the frequency generator in the ultrasonic head is operating. If you desire, a dB meter can be purchased that will indicate the sound power level. This can be used to assure that the sound output level is correct and if any restrictions are present that may be limiting the sound intensity level.

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