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Thread: Mustard Algae: To SLAM or not?

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    HouTX's Avatar
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    Mustard Algae: To SLAM or not?

    Background:

    1. Based on research on this forum I have had Mustard Algae for over 2 months now. It is on the walls and bottom of about 10% of the pool that sees some shade during the day. It is "stable" in that it is still concentrated in the same area, no better or worse. Since the pool has seen no use I have not addressed this issue, however, I have maintained it otherwise and all the readings are in line with what is recommend on this forum.
    2. Pool water is clear
    3. I have no CC and OCLT is less than 1
    4. Current readings are:
    FC-7
    CC-0
    CYA-55
    PH-7.6
    Water Temp-mid- 70’s
    5. Pool will not be used again until around April/May
    6. SPA will see some use during winter months

    Question:
    1. Under the scenario described above should I SLAM the pool or try the “boost” with SWG?
    2. If I should SLAM the pool the instructions say that I am done when “CC is 0.5 or lower; You pass an OCLT (ie overnight FC loss test shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less); And the water is clear." Since I am starting with this scenario how do I know I am done with the process?

    Suggestions sincerely appreciated
    30k Gal, IG, PebbleTec, Jandy: CL460 Cartridge Filter, SHPM2.0 Pump (Filter+Spa), SHPM1.5 (Waterfall), spill-over SPA, PLC1400 SWG, LXi400 Heater. Polaris Caretaker Infloor Cleaning system, Jandy PDA-PS-8 remote, Taylor K-2006 Test kit

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    robdac's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard Algae: To SLAM or not?

    How sure are you that you have mustard algae? I ask because you state the water is clear, you have no CC's and the OCLT is less than 1. They sound mutually exclusive.
    11K gal IG screened-in plaster pool w/ spa
    pentair 150 cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump,
    Aquarite AQR15 SWG, AquaCal Heatwave Heat Pump, TF-100 test kit

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    HouTX's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard Algae: To SLAM or not?

    Does not make sense to me either, but I am going by my research on this forum and apparently they are not mutually exclusive, and I have ruled out pollen.
    30k Gal, IG, PebbleTec, Jandy: CL460 Cartridge Filter, SHPM2.0 Pump (Filter+Spa), SHPM1.5 (Waterfall), spill-over SPA, PLC1400 SWG, LXi400 Heater. Polaris Caretaker Infloor Cleaning system, Jandy PDA-PS-8 remote, Taylor K-2006 Test kit

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    Re: Mustard Algae: To SLAM or not?

    2. Pool water is clear
    Anytime there is visible algae ANYWHERE in a pool, we do not consider the pool water clear for our purposes.

    Several years back, a member reported his pool was perfectly clear but unusable because if he attempted to get in the pool, the 6" layer of algae and leaves and junk on the bottom was disturbed and made the water murky.
    Since I am starting with this scenario how do I know I am done with the process?
    When the pool no longer shows ANY visible algae.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    HouTX's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard Algae: To SLAM or not?

    When I first noticed algae a few months back, I brushed all that was visible (water got cloudy) and kept the pump running, about 8 hours later the pool had no visible signs of algae and remained that way for a week or so.

    Under the circumstances my plan to SLAM is as follows:

    Reduce pH to low 7's
    Add bleach to required level using Pool Math
    Brush Pool
    Run filter and maintain Chlorine at designated level for 12 hours (since I am expecting "done SLAMing" conditions to be met well before 12 hours)

    Any issues with the plan above and should SWG be off during the SLAM process ?
    30k Gal, IG, PebbleTec, Jandy: CL460 Cartridge Filter, SHPM2.0 Pump (Filter+Spa), SHPM1.5 (Waterfall), spill-over SPA, PLC1400 SWG, LXi400 Heater. Polaris Caretaker Infloor Cleaning system, Jandy PDA-PS-8 remote, Taylor K-2006 Test kit

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    Re: Mustard Algae: To SLAM or not?

    My opinion is that you are trying to rush it, abiding by the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law. The Maintain in Shock Level And Maintain is there so that the process is different from a Shock which you describe. Maintaining the shock level of chlorine gives the chlorine time to interact with all algae in your pool, it's recesses and be worked into the microscopic algae that is attached to the many tiny surfaces of the shell. Brushing regularly, read daily or more often, helps to penetrate the outer layer of the algae (biofilm as those smarter than I refer to it as) and attack the tender bits of the algae beneath. So a few days of "extra" SLAMming would seem wise and a conservative approach.

    Disclaimer: Non-expert here but successful follower of TFP methods for three years.

    I'm no expert but that's my take on the process.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
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    robdac's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard Algae: To SLAM or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by HouTX View Post
    Does not make sense to me either, but I am going by my research on this forum and apparently they are not mutually exclusive, and I have ruled out pollen.
    Looking at the mustard algae info I'd have to agree with your research. I've never had it so I can't be of help. Sorry. The folks here are awesome and I'm sure if you follow the mustard algae advice to a "T" you won't have any problem getting rid of it. Take your time, there are no shortcuts. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    11K gal IG screened-in plaster pool w/ spa
    pentair 150 cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflow VS pump,
    Aquarite AQR15 SWG, AquaCal Heatwave Heat Pump, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Mustard Algae: To SLAM or not?

    Have you checked for phosphates?
    It's never good to leave algae as it can destroy pool finishes, fortunately you have pebble tech which stands up the best as algae 'roots' into the finish.
    Is it a 'dead' area or is there little water movement there?

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    Re: Mustard Algae: To SLAM or not?

    "
    Quote Originally Posted by HouTX View Post
    When I first noticed algae a few months back, I brushed all that was visible (water got cloudy) and kept the pump running, about 8 hours later the pool had no visible signs of algae and remained that way for a week or so.

    Under the circumstances my plan to SLAM is as follows:

    Reduce pH to low 7's
    Add bleach to required level using Pool Math
    Brush Pool
    Run filter and maintain Chlorine at designated level for 12 hours (since I am expecting "done SLAMing" conditions to be met well before 12 hours)

    Any issues with the plan above and should SWG be off during the SLAM process ?
    I can almost promise that the SLAM, if conducted properly will NOT be done in 12 hours. My recent SLAM with clear water/no visible algae (just a high chlorine demand) took over four days to pass all three criteria to discontinue the SLAM.

    Quote Originally Posted by pooloperator View Post
    Have you checked for phosphates?
    It's never good to leave algae as it can destroy pool finishes, fortunately you have pebble tech which stands up the best as algae 'roots' into the finish.
    Is it a 'dead' area or is there little water movement there?
    Welcome to TFP, thanks for jumping in.

    Following our guidelines we tend to ignore phosphates. While pool stores will tell you they are "algae food" that doesn't matter in a properly chlorinated pool. Few of us here ever have our water tested by a pool store to get a phosphate/TDS number, and some folks that do report high phosphate numbers but a beautiful clear pool. I invite you to read thru Pool School (link above). starting with the ABCs of Pool Water Chemestry would probably be the best.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Mustard Algae: To SLAM or not?

    It's never good to leave algae as it can destroy pool finishes, fortunately you have pebble tech which stands up the best as algae 'roots' into the finish.
    I think I might put a caveat onto that and say that SOME algae could conceivably do harm to a finish but it would have to be a badly neglected pool over a long period. Black algae comes to mind that it can root into a pool finish over a couple of years but most normal algaes are harmless enough to your pool surface......they may need some extensive cleaning but there should be no permanent damage.

    Phosphates are simply not relevant to a healthy, chlorinated pool. Phosphates CAN be an issue if you have algae but the whole idea we teach is not to get algae.

    If you do, chlorine can remove it whether or not phosphates exist in the water.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Mustard Algae: To SLAM or not?

    Houtx,
    1. Under the scenario described above should I SLAM the pool or try the “boost” with SWG?
    I believe I would first brush the affected areas up into the circulating chlorinated water. That may be all you need. To be even more sure, I would elevate the FC up to around 10 ppm or so and brush for at least the next 3 days. There should be no trace of algae left.

    If there is, you need to SLAM your pool. (which is impossible to do in 12 hours.....the OCLT takes that long alone)
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard Algae: To SLAM or not?

    How is this pool doing? Did you get rid of the MA?
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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