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Thread: Sand or algae ?

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    Sand or algae ?

    Hi. I'm new to the forum and I know this has been asked before but I just wonder if someone can clearly say whether the stuff in the picture is sand or algae. No matter how much algae killer or filtering of my pool there is always a fine layer of uniformly spread sand coloured matter over the bottom of the pool. I put my dolphin robot cleaner on fine filter and this is what came out . Is this sand from my filter or algae?


    Sand filter
    10.5 X 2m pool
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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    Welcome to TFP!! We are very glad you stopped by.

    The easy way to tell is to feel it, if it's gritty it's sand, if it 'slimy', slippery, it's algae. You could collet some on a papertowel, and let it dry. If it's gritty, it's sand.

    But you said something that concerns me. Why are you using algae killer? Or more to the point, which algae killer are you using? I'm assuming that the Melbourne you list, is the Australia one, right? If so, you most likely have a SWG. Is that correct?
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    Thanks for your quick reply. That's a good idea I was just going to allow it to dry overnight on the robot filter but I'll use a paper towel instead. I'm using a SWG with a zodiac chlorine generator . I sheepishly admit that I often forget to add salt to the pool. Infact I think the zodiac is saying low salt at this very moment. I am very new to pool maintenance

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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    Not a problem. You know what I'm going to say next, though, right? Think of a pool like a pet. There are a few things that you need to do everyday, and some other stuff you need to do, a little less often. But they need to be done, even if you aren't going to 'play' with it that particular day. This is a good link: Basic Pool Care Schedule



    Since you are using a SWG, once you get the salt in there, you really shouldn't have to add more. Unless you get a lot of rain, or if the pool users like to splash a lot. So get that salt in there.

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    How does the water look? Is there green anywhere that there shouldn't be? How are you doing your daily testing?
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    I've just had a feel of the matter and it doesn't seem gritty. More like the consistency of wet mud. Slightly slimy.!Ill see what it feels like when its dried out. You'll laugh but I test the pool water every couple of months !
    thanks for the link. Can't believe they recommend testing the ph every day


    no green anywhere . Water looks relatively clear

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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    Welcome to the forum.

    That does not look like filter sand in that picture, is it slimey or gritty?

    How do you currently test for Free Chlorine? What level of FC do you normally target and what is your CYA (stabilizer) level?

    I recommend you have a read through Pool School, especially The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry, so that you are familiar with the terms used here.

    Dom

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    I just saw you said it feels somewhat slimey. This is not consistent with pool filter sand.

    what do you have for a test kit?
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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    Thanks for the resources. I think my testing kit is just one of the cheapo testing kits off eBay like Five WAY Pool SPA Test KIT Chlorine Bromine PH Acid Total Alkalinity $$$ | eBay . I'll have to check in the pool shed in the morning to be exact. I do very little testing though. Last time I made the pool quite acidic to prevent algae growth and after this forgot about it for a couple of months.

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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    What type of pool is this? A liner pool or gunite pool? If you have a manual vacuum head attached to a pole that can be hooked up to the skimmer, then try vacuuming manually. Before you do this, cover up the skimmer basket with a sock or a double layer of socks. If you vacuum up everything off the floor, what is left in the sock will tell the story. If it is algae, the vacuum will break it up and run it right back through the filter.

    If your water is crystal clear, then shut off the filter for 24 hours to make sure that the sediment is not coming from the pool itself. If there is none, then turn filter back on to determine what this could be. You may be loosing sand from your filter, but probably unlikely. Are you in an area where there is a lot of wind and this could be settling in your pool from the outside elements?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandypools View Post
    Thanks for your quick reply. That's a good idea I was just going to allow it to dry overnight on the robot filter but I'll use a paper towel instead. I'm using a SWG with a zodiac chlorine generator . I sheepishly admit that I often forget to add salt to the pool. Infact I think the zodiac is saying low salt at this very moment. I am very new to pool maintenance
    There is a company that sells a test kit similar to the TF-100 in Australia. Once I locate the information, this will be sent over immediately.
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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    You get that stuff every day? Can you post a pic of your pool before you clean it? This is going to be a neat one to work and learn on.

    When you do test your water how do you test it?

    Once I learned my pool I tend to test the PH about times a week. If it rains to we have a lot of swimmers I test right afterwards as well.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sandypools View Post
    Thanks for the resources. I think my testing kit is just one of the cheapo testing kits off eBay like Five WAY Pool SPA Test KIT Chlorine Bromine PH Acid Total Alkalinity $$$ | eBay . I'll have to check in the pool shed in the morning to be exact. I do very little testing though. Last time I made the pool quite acidic to prevent algae growth and after this forgot about it for a couple of months.
    Chlorine is what sanitizes your water and prevents algae growth. Period.

    Acidic water will destroy your pool and equipment.

    What is your current pH?

    Dom
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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    Well. It's definitely not sand. I took the manifold off the sand filter and compared the brown stuff in the robot and the sand was a 100 X coarser . When I let it dry it had the consistency of very fine mud. I presume that's algae and there's no chance dirt could be getting in the system ?

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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    It almost sounds like either clay or pollen. Usually algae has no 'feel' to it. It might feel squishy or slimy.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    Agreed, I don't think algae will "cake-up" like mud when it dries out, and will usually rub out easily between the thumb and finger.

    Also, please don't ignore your pH. Acidic water can wreak havoc on your pool & equipment & make swimming uncomfortable (stinging eyes etc).

    Dom
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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    image.jpgThis is what it looked like when all dried out. My pool has a couple of trees just to the side of it. It crumbles very easily and has no gritty consistency despite appearances

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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    You have me stumped!

    Okay lets work on this. You stated in one of your first posts you have a sand filter. Can you please put all of your pool specs/info in your siggy? Pretty please? It makes our job so much easier.

    Also Melbourne? Is that in FL or??

    -Have you vacuumed to waste?

    -How long have you had this pool?

    -Who put the sand in?

    -when did they put the sand in?

    -have you done a deep clean of the sand?

    -have you put a sock or such in front of your returns to try to catch this stuff that way?

    I am sure I will have some more questions as I think this through.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    Are you sure it's pool sand that was used in the filter. We've had a few folks find out that their replacement sand was not made for pools and caused issues.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    Is this an inground pool? Any chance this could be ground run-off getting into the pool? Any construction nearby? Are you getting a lot of rain?

    Please put the details of your pool into your signature as requested. It helps tremendously when trouble shooting. See my signature as an example.

    Dom
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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    Could that be DE put in the sand filter accidentally?
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    I will update my signature when I've found the model numbers of my gear. I'm pretty sure now it's algae. I had a look at a few pictures of dried algae on google and it seemed to look similar. Also now the waters a bit cleaner after using the robot multiple times(and adding salt and acid to correct the pH which turned out to be very alkaline) I can see confluent areas of mustard coloured patches on the bottom of the pool which so far a have been unable to scrub off. I think mine is a concrete pool partially lined with glass tiles. Any idea how to get the algae stains off.?
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    Re: Sand or algae ?

    If the stain is algae, it's should lessen as time passes, in some cases it goes away pretty quickly. If you want to test it you could use a chlorine tablet and see if it will lighten it up. Just kinda rub it/ hold it on the stain, if it's organic it should lighten up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandypools View Post
    I will update my signature when I've found the model numbers of my gear. I'm pretty sure now it's algae. I had a look at a few pictures of dried algae on google and it seemed to look similar. Also now the waters a bit cleaner after using the robot multiple times(and adding salt and acid to correct the pH which turned out to be very alkaline) I can see confluent areas of mustard coloured patches on the bottom of the pool which so far a have been unable to scrub off. I think mine is a concrete pool partially lined with glass tiles. Any idea how to get the algae stains off.?
    Wow! That must have been a lot of algae to make the piles you showed earlier. I guess that's why we were looking in a different direction, Never seen that much dead algae before. Usually it gets picked up by the filter and flushed out before we get to see it. Defiantly one to add to the old memory banks.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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