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Thread: What happened to my Algae?

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    H2O_Keeper's Avatar
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    What happened to my Algae?

    I understand the core concept that the various methods for sanitation creates FC in the pool and that creates a disinfecting mix that dissolves the algae. I have two questions about this process:

    1. Going back to laws of "you can't create or destroy matter"....If the FC created has transformed the matter where does it go? IE does it just leave the pool as a gas? If you have a lot of algae is this gas hazardous?

    2. Is there any byproducts that are known that can be created from the matter transformation process of killing algae. Both with FC or using other algae killing methods.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: What happened to my Algae?

    Dead algae is basically dust, which gets vacuumed up or filtered out.
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    Re: What happened to my Algae?

    Quote Originally Posted by H2O_Keeper
    I understand the core concept that the various methods for sanitation creates FC in the pool and that creates a disinfecting mix that dissolves the algae. I have two questions about this process:

    1. Going back to laws of "you can't create or destroy matter"....If the FC created has transformed the matter where does it go? IE does it just leave the pool as a gas? If you have a lot of algae is this gas hazardous?
    It's a swimming pool, not a nuclear reactor!!!!!! Then again, some of the pools I've seen... (just couldn't resist that one!
    2. Is there any byproducts that are known that can be created from the matter transformation process of killing algae. Both with FC or using other algae killing methods.
    Algae is a plant and when it is killed it loses the chlorophyll just like any other plant and becomes white (think of the chlorine bleaching it out as it kills it). It does't really 'dissolve' the algae. The dead algae is still in the water until your filter filters it out. If it didn't it would stay in the pool and make the water cloudy! Some types of algaecides actually help the dead algae clump together into larger particles for easier filtering (think polyquat).
    Hope this helps.

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    Re: What happened to my Algae?

    In fact, for most chemicals in the pool, oxidation by chlorine either doesn't happen or is incomplete. Chlorine can break up some longer molecules and have substitution reactions allowing the resulting substances to more readily dissolve in water. In that sense, chlorine can "hide" some chemicals. For a smaller number of substances, such as ammonia and urea from sweat and urine, oxidation is mostly complete with the main product being nitrogen gas (and for urea, carbon dioxide gas in addition to nitrogen gas). When such gasses are produced, they mostly leave the water.

    With algae, you've got a large mix of different chemicals so some of them remain insoluble and will get caught in a filter while others get broken down or modified to become colorless and dissolve in the water while yet others get converted to gasses that escape. You regularly clean your filter not only to remove particles so that the filter doesn't get too clogged, but also to lower the chlorine demand since particles that react with chlorine slowly will continue to consume chlorine as water passes through such particles in the filter.

    Richard
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