Cupricide provides outstanding, effective, low cost control of a wide spectrum of filamentous and planktonic algae. It is suitable for use in irrigation canals, farm dams, ponds, ornamental lakes, and potable water supplies. 

Its intended use is in potable water reservoirs, farm and fish ponds, lakes and fish hatcheries and on golf courses. Water treated with Cupricide may be used for swimming, fishing, watering livestock and for irrigating turf, fairways, putting greens and ornamental plants immediately after treatment.

How does Cupricide work?

The species of algae treatable by Cupricide are

Planktonic Algae (suspended, colony forming)

Filamentous Algae (mat-forming, thick-walled)

Chara and Nitella

Sunlight, a form of energy, is collected by chlorophyll molecules in the thylakoid membrane and is used to drive a complex sequence of reactions, involving electron transport between molecules, including water, oxygen, hydrogen ion s, several proteins and quinones.  

Cupricide works by penetrating the algal cells and inhibiting photosynthesis.

Based on the fundamental principles of photosynthesis, Cupricide is a potent inhibitor of photophosphorylation in the chloroplast cells of algae and destroys the thylakoid membrane, causing loss of the chlorophyll necessary to harvest sunlight.

As a result, the algal cell ceases to function and literally starves to death within a few days.  

Causes and Effects of Excessive Nuisance Growth of Aquatic Algae

Algae are primitive plants which often have no true leaves, stems or root systems. They can develop to the pond of complete pond suffrage within weeks, affecting water quality, especially for irrigation and leisure activities including swimming.

Blue-green algae may cause illness, sometimes fatalities, in pets, livestock and wildlife.  Exposure to or ingestion of blue-green algae may also cause a variety of discomforts in humans.  Algae contamination of drinking water may discolour the water and create unpleasant tastes and odours.  Excessive algae growth may also impart distasteful flavour to fish.

Decomposition of algae may deplete dissolved oxygen in bodies of water and kill fish.  Excessive algae may block the intake of water from ponds and irrigation systems.  Algae in wastewater oxidation ponds may elevate solids contents and biological oxygen demand.  Scenic lakes, ponds, lagoons and shorelines may become unsightly with excessive algae growth.

The complex copper in Cupricide is longer lasting than copper sulphate solutions and remains in solution for extended control. Unlike copper sulphate, Cupricide is not corrosive to equipment.  It also has a long shelf life

Planktonic Alge

Also known as suspended algae this type includes forms such as Microcyctis, Oscillatoria, Anabaena, Euglena, Aphanizomenon.  They are generally found suspended in the upper 1 – 1.5m of water, imparting a green or brown colour to the water. 

Some species may be toxic to livestock and wildlife or impart a foul taste to fish.

2. Filamentous Algae.

Filamentous algae such as Spirogyra, Cladophora, Chlorella, or Oedogonium typically form greenish scum mats on the water surface or appear as a furry growth on logs or rocks.

For effective control with Cupricide, large algae mats should be broken up prior to application if possible. Only the upper 1 – 1.5m of the water body needs to be treated.

3. Chara and Nitella

These types of algae are most prevalent in hard water. The may be green, yellow or grey in colour.  For best treatment results it is important to apply Cupricide early in the season.

The Benefits of a Chelated Copper Algicide

Cupricide is supplied as a mixed copper alkanolamine complex.

In this form, Cupricide provides maximum algicidal efficiency but with low toxicity to fish. The organic complexing agents used in Cupricide ensure that the key active ingredient (Copper), remains in solution and does not precipitate out like some other copper algicides, namely copper sulphate.

Although copper sulphate has been used extensively throughout Australia as an algicide, it has several drawbacks associated with its use including:

a. it can be quite toxic to other aquatic life, e.g., fish when used at high concentrations

b. if the water contains a high concentration of carbonate ions, the copper ions will preferentially combine with the carbonate ions and form an insoluble precipitate of copper carbonate.

c. this precipitate sinks to the bottom of the water body where it forms a toxic slime.   

d. The formation of this precipitate also renders the copper essentially unavailable for the control of algae. To compensate, higher levels of copper sulphate are used which may seriously threaten other aquatic life.

e. Finally, sulphate containing algicides also have the disadvantage that they combine with hydrogen ions in aqueous solution to form sulphuric acid which is highly corrosive.

For these reasons Cupricide is a much more cost effective and efficient product for algae control than copper sulphate.



Cupricide is most effective when it is applied in bright, early morning sunlight under calm conditions when water temperature is at least 150C.  Apply at the first sign of an algae bloom, if possible. Algae control will occur in 3 to 7 days following application. Re-apply if regrowth appears.

Withholding Period

This type of copper application is not injurious to humans, livestock, fish and aquatic birds and normally no with-holding period is required.

However, certain algal species, especially blue-green algae, will release powerful toxins from their cell contents, even after the organism has been destroyed.  This toxin release stems from the breakdown of the algal cell membrane, which then releases organic toxins contained within the cytoplasm.

A typical withholding period is 7 days or in cases of heavy blue-green algal blooms, up to 14 days, during which time any organic toxins will have been destroyed.

Residual copper in treated water will not be harmful to live stock and will not be accumulated in the meat.

How Long Does Cupricide Last?

The results of Cupricide application will usually observed after just a few days in lakes, ponds, reservoirs and quiescent (slowly moving) waters.

Normally, one application of Cupricide is sufficient to eradicate an algal infestation; in cases of heavy algal blooms, a second application of Cupricide may be beneficial after 3-4 weeks, to prevent any re-growth of residual algal cells.

In flowing streams, canals, ditches and irrigation conveyance systems, the copper concentration will be diluted from the recommended concentrations. Under these conditions, it is recommended that Cupricide is applied weekly for a period of 5 – 6 consecutive weeks to ensure adequate exposure of algae to the desired dosage.