How do I clean algae out of a bladder?

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 09:00
ThreadID: 70021 Views:4565 Replies:10 FollowUps:4
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G'day all, I have just purchased a second hand Opposite Lock water bladder for our upcoming lap around Lake Eyre & it has algae I can see around the fillers, hopefully not too much inside. What can I treat it with to make it useable, any suggestions will help, thanks, aussiedingo
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Reply By: Member - The Bushwhackers -NSW - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 09:24

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 09:24
Hi Dingo, I asked the same question at a camping store, got a knowledgable lady that advised a product called Tank Kleen, (not sure of the spelling). I had bought a second hand campervan, and was unsure of the cleanliness of the water tank. Unfortunately she didnt have any, so can't comment on how good it is, but I have seen it recommended since. Try google on the words Tank Kleen, Tank Clean etc, I remember I did, and it showed up, should do the job.
Cheers, Dave
AnswerID: 371129

Reply By: Member - Malcolm (Townsville) - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 09:43

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 09:43
A good dose of chlorine should fix it followed by a good flush.

What about those shower cleaning sprays?

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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 09:53

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 09:53
Tank Kleen is available from caravan accessory outlets and many camping stores, but it is quite expensive at around $18.

Somewhat cheaper, but still very good, is Miltons Baby bottle wash.
The reason why I am recommending this product is that it displays on the bottle, the quantity you need to mix per litre of water. Knowing, or obtaining the bladder's capacity, it is a simple matter of adding the required amount of solution., fill with water and leave for a period of time, then flush the bladder and refill.



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Reply By: toyotabits .........VKS-737 2629 - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 10:07

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 10:07
Thanks everyone, I will try those - maybe one after the other to be sure, thanks again, dingo
AnswerID: 371138

Reply By: glids - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 10:42

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 10:42
You can also use White King or similar bleaches. Look for any product that has sodium hypochlorite as the main constituent, and avoid products with detergents etc.

A solution strength of at least 50 parts per million (ppm) should kill off any algae so you don't need to be too fussy about solution strength, but if you can calculate the required dose for the volume of your bladder then all the better - at least you can determine that you have enough concentrate.

Wear rubber gloves and goggles when handling the concentrate.

Partially fill the bladder with water, add a slug of concentrate and move it around / 'slosh it' so the solution mixes well. Add more water and slosh it around again. Then completely fill the bladder removing all air - or as much as you can. The more you get an even mix of solution the better, as you want all surfaces of the tank to be treated.

Leave the solution in the tank at least overnight. Empty the bladder and flush several times with clean water.

I use this method on our caravan water tank, and recirculate the solution using the on-board pump, then pump out onto the lawn.

AnswerID: 371141

Follow Up By: Roughasguts - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 11:30

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 11:30
Yeah ain't that the truth! don't use detergents with algea the phosphates in most detergents are like fertiliser for algeas.

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Follow Up By: toyotabits .........VKS-737 2629 - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 11:54

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 11:54
Thanks glids, I have some of that bleach here already, can you have the mix too strong? or it doesn't matter. The bladder looks about 60 litres (3 x 20 lt drums end on end) in length, thanks again, dingo
FollowupID: 638438

Follow Up By: lancie49 - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 13:47

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 13:47
Going back a few years,........yeah OK, a lot of years, when we had the vinyl above ground pool for the kids, we were told not to allow undiluted chlorine to come in contact with the vinyl.
Apparently it dries out the material and it can begin to breakdown.
May be worth keeping that in mind.
Perhaps mix the chlorine before putting it into the bladder.
FollowupID: 638453

Follow Up By: glids - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 14:39

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 14:39
Hi toyotabits,

The only problems with making the solution too strong are:
* possible effects on the bladder material
* wastage of concentrate
* possible dangers to environment when disposing / emptying the tank.

Check the 'use by date' on the bleach you have, as it loses strength reasonably quickly.

If you have a bad case of algae, a strong dose may be needed as the chlorine in the diluted solution is used up in killing the algae.

At the end of the 'overnight' treatment, you should be able to smell some chlorine in the tank. If you cannot smell chlorine, give it another, weaker, dose. Beware when smelling, though, as chlorine is not good for your health - DON'T take a big deep sniff!
FollowupID: 638465

Reply By: Harb - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 10:56

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 10:56
drink lots of 'bundy'
AnswerID: 371143

Reply By: Serendipity of Mandurah (WA) - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 13:01

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 13:01
I bought some of that Tank Kleen - it works well but it is a bit expensive. It is basically bicarb soda and you can buy an entire kilo at the supermarket for a fraction of the cost. After using the Tank Kleen and deciding I needed to do it again as I could still see black floaties in my water I used biCarb soda from the supermarket.

Worked a treat as would the tank kleen if I used it 3 times. I have heard most household cleaners can be substituted with bicarb soda or vinegar.


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AnswerID: 371159

Reply By: paulnsw - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 15:37

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 15:37
ordinary White King bleach will do the job tops. Make sure the White King Bleach is not scented. You want the plain White King. Follow directions on bottle and let soak for 24h and then repeat and rinse. Does not matter if you don't rinse it well a bit of bleach in the gut does no issue.
I only put treated water into my bladder. If no treated water I add White King plain bleach so I don't get algae. To 100L bladder we put in 2 desert spoons if water is reasonable and 3 desert spoons if water is not the best looking.
AnswerID: 371181

Reply By: landed eagle - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 16:33

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 16:33
I used Home brewing bottle wash powder in the tank of a Jayco Eagle C/T a few years ago. Clean as a whistle and no 'taste' after a good rinse.

I figured it works for plastic homebrew bottles, why not watertanks/bladders?

AnswerID: 371188

Reply By: Ozboc - Monday, Jun 22, 2009 at 08:04

Monday, Jun 22, 2009 at 08:04
as one of the other posters have said -- chlorine is the go - if you have a pool just use the liquid chlorine you may purchase - this is called Sodium hypochlorite - maybe 1 cup worth with about 20 litres of water ( and one of the main ingerdiants of bleach)

let sit overnight - drain and rinse a few times - if possible also let it dry - this will evaporate any chlorine left over

its beter to not use plain bleech as it has a bunch of other chemicals added to it that are hard to wash away ( i used to work where they make the domestic bleech you buy from coles woolies and so forth and assisted in making batches when all machinery was running and i had nothing to fix )

AnswerID: 371277

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