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Distilled water is the best way to prevent algae build up in tabletop fountains. However, if distilled water is not available, rain water or tap water can be used if treated to remove harmful minerals and chemicals. About every three months, indoor fountains should be emptied and thoroughly cleaned on the inside and outside. Periodically cleaning pumps and filters keep them operating at maximum capacity and extends their operational life. Between periodic cleaning, watch for early signs of problems like algae, slime, white scale and foam.
Avoid using bleach in an indoor fountain -- it contains chemicals that may harm pets and children. Bleach may also cause fountain deterioration and it smells bad. Fountec is one popular choice for treating fountains. Just a drop a week typically keeps most fountains sparkling. Barley is another preventive maintenance alternative. And there are also a wide variety of fountain care products and fountain cleaning kits for preventive maintenance and easy cleaning. Look for No More Algae, No More White Scale and No More Foam. Care Free Enzymes Fountain Protector is a natural fountain care product completely safe for pets and wildlife. And, the Fountain Acscents Cleaning Kit comes with everything you need for keeping fountains clean.