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Thread: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

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    Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    Been dealing with this for a number of years. Let me start with some background first. Discovered mustard algae problem about 5 years ago and have been unsuccessful with killing it with the "store methods" while wasting a ton of money on it as well. Have tried it all. Been a frequent visitor of this site and finally have broken down and bought a test kit. Specifically the Taylor-2006. Store values have been all over the place. Even drained half my water when they told me my CYA was 167! Had a new liner installed about 4 years ago, had DE filter acid dipped and spayed the pump down with bleach, never put any ladders, toys, etc in the water after liner was installed. Within a week, algae was back. Needless to say I am a very frustrated person and looking for any help to once and for all get rid of this stuff. Numbers below:

    FC-15
    CC-0
    CH-250
    TA-180
    PH-7.6
    CYA-90
    Salt-3400
    Borates-35

    Using a SWG at 50% running 24/7
    Have 4gllons bleach at 10% on hand and 2 bags of Cal-Hypo. Willing to shock to mustard level. My only concern is at what level of chlorine is too high and at what level (if any) you can run into problems of bleaching the liner. Thank you all for responding.

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    First have to ask does the algae grow up the side of Pool? If it came back immediately after the new liner install...im going to guess that it is a Brownish substance that settled on the bottom of the pool called tree pollen. I've had it for years. FC holds and if I don't brush or vacuum it piles up. Does your chlorine hold say overnight?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also if your FC is at 15 and c.f. is 0 I don't believe it's algae at all.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Your liner is going to fade from Sun light long before it fades from bleach. Just pour bleach in at the return...itll be ok.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    Abaker6468, I think before you do anything else, or waste anymore chemicals, you might want to consider replacing some of that water. That CYA of 90 is simply too high to manage. Even to perform a TFP "SLAM" (link below) to remove the algae would require an exceptionally high FC level of 35. Just not ideal at all. So if I were in your shoes, I'd exchange at least half of your water (65% might be better) in hopes of bringing your CYA back down to around 50. At least then you have a much more manageable FC/CYA ratio to work with.

    From there, post some new test results with your K-2006 and we can help you defeat that algae. Oh, and if you are testing FC with a 25 ml sample, I would recommend changing to the 10ml sample, then add ONE heaping scoop of powder, Count drops until clear and divide by 2 (i.e. 14 drops = FC of 7). Save some reagent.
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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    Your CYA is high but Ok for normal use with a SWG. Its really to high to do a SLAM

    So do you have Mustard Algae clinging to the walls or like dust hovering above the floors or steps? Is it in a shady location?

    Send us some pictures.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    Your CYA is high but Ok for normal use with a SWG. Its really to high to do a SLAM

    So do you have Mustard Algae clinging to the walls or like dust hovering above the floors or steps? Is it in a shady location?

    Send us some pictures.
    I have had the algae sticking to the walls when I first opened until I got the chlorine level up and then it dissipates over time. Now it is hanging in the seams (mostly shady areas) of the liner and turns a milky white color when dying which is the behavior of the algae so I have read. I have a done a lot of research and reading about this algae including on this forum and the characteristics of this stuff is what I have been seeing happening in my pool. It has become very chlorine resistant over time which is another trait. I have read about the SLAM process and am ready to do the Overnight Free Chlorine test but wanted to get the CYA in the correct range which brings me to my next dilemma. I have done a ton of reading about CYA and the chlorine relationship mostly on this site and have gotten into numerous arguments with the pool store employees about it. And some have no clue what you are talking about in which case I just walk out instead of wasting my time. The dilemma is what level is the correct level for CYA? I have read on this site about keeping it at 60-80 with a SWG or 30-50 with a normal chlorinated pool. I just switched to a SWG this year hoping it would eliminate the algae a bit easier and hoping it would not like the salt. Initially it disappeared and then came back within a week. Same situation when adding the borates. Anyhow, upon reading the owners manual of the Hayward Salt and Swim 3C, it has a chart for the water chemistry that they say is recommended by the APSP (Association of Pool and Spa Builders). The levels they suggest are that CYA be at 30-50 which goes against everything I have read here and elsewhere about keeping it between 60-80 for a SWG. Funny thing is that on their control panel it says to keep it at 60-80. So upon that confusion, I decided to call Hayward (4 times I might add to try and see if they were consistent with their answer) and every time they told me to keep it at 30-50. I then called the APSB looking for answers on the CYA issue since Hayward quoted their values and their answer was that that they only give out the water chemistry values for commercial pools and not residential. However they did also tell me that they are in the process of putting together a committee for residential pools and that will email me once the committee is finished and decides on chemistry values for residential pools. So, as you can see I have been digging everywhere for answers on this CYA issue. I just want to get it right before I plan my attack on this algae and know this CYA number is the utmost important factor in killing this stuff.

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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years





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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    How often do you brush your pool?
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
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    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    Been brushing more then I brush my teeth lol. At least 3 to 4 times a day. Same result. Goes away for awhile and then comes back. Doing the OCLT tonight and will post results tomorrow. But I have read in some posts that the OCLT test is not a perfect test and some people who came out clean on the test actually did in fact have mustard algae once they decided to start the SLAM process. I have had this stuff for so long, I am wondering if I may be in the same boat. Also read that most novices that test CYA get it wrong and the results are usually 10-15ppm lower then what they think. So I am at 80 now on CYA running a SWG. If I come out needing to SLAM after the OCLT test, do I adjust the CYA to a lower level or not? Right now I am armed with 6gal 10%bleach and 2 bags of Cal-Hypo. Also curious about what level to set the SWG while doing a SLAM. Do I set it at MAX level to help get the level up or at a lower level? Or for that matter do I hit the Super Chlorinate button?

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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    It's usually recommended to turn off the SWG to save the wear and tear on the cell.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    Got it, thanks. Results from OCLT were 14 before bedtime and stayed at 14 this morning. So, back to scratching my head.



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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    Abaker, re the Hayward cya recommendations...just my 2 cents. The pool industry is now starting to catch up with the decades-old research upon which TFP's resident founders added and refined and based TFPs recommendations.

    The "new" industry awareness of high cya being problematic may be being misapplied out of ignorance in this case. And frankly, could possibly be profit-motivated in the case of SWGs. Without as much cya, you will need to produce more FC from the cell, which shortens the lifespan of the cell, which is rated for a fixed amount of FC over its life.

    At TFP, we can say to keep FC at 4-6 ppm when cya is 80. But with pool industry guidelines, they're always saying "under 4" and generally "1-3 ppm" so the research on the FC:cya ratio would mean they end up telling you a lower CYA to match the lower FC.

    See what's happening here? Just stick with the TFP reccs -- TFP is ahead of the curve on this, and is profit-agnostic

    Secondly, can you post pics of the suspicious Mustard Algae? Pollen will also bleach in high FC.

    With repect to the FC levels for mustard algae, there are specific instructions in pool school and the pool calculator will tell you the Mustard level of slam need for the 24 hour period following the regular slam.
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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman View Post
    Abaker, re the Hayward cya recommendations...just my 2 cents. The pool industry is now starting to catch up with the decades-old research upon which TFP's resident founders added and refined and based TFPs recommendations.

    The "new" industry awareness of high cya being problematic may be being misapplied out of ignorance in this case. And frankly, could possibly be profit-motivated in the case of SWGs. Without as much cya, you will need to produce more FC from the cell, which shortens the lifespan of the cell, which is rated for a fixed amount of FC over its life.

    At TFP, we can say to keep FC at 4-6 ppm when cya is 80. But with pool industry guidelines, they're always saying "under 4" and generally "1-3 ppm" so the research on the FC:cya ratio would mean they end up telling you a lower CYA to match the lower FC.

    See what's happening here? Just stick with the TFP reccs -- TFP is ahead of the curve on this, and is profit-agnostic

    Secondly, can you post pics of the suspicious Mustard Algae? Pollen will also bleach in high FC.

    With repect to the FC levels for mustard algae, there are specific instructions in pool school and the pool calculator will tell you the Mustard level of slam need for the 24 hour period following the regular slam.





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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    Quote Originally Posted by Abaker6468 View Post




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Pics as requested. As you can see, as the sun comes around, it disappears mainly in the seams and then comes back when shady. Had a perfect pic that the diving board split it in half from the shade but it didn't come out right. New numbers as well:

    CYA-60
    FC-12
    CC-0
    TA-140
    PH-7.4
    Borates-30
    Phosphates-under 100ppm

    Did not run SWG all day and only lost 3ppm. Still confused on what this stuff is although convinced it is mustard algae. How it is surviving in those conditions is beyond me. Any thoughts, please post.



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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    I'm having a hard time seeing it as well as I'm sure you can in the pool
    Have you collected some and smeared it on a white paper towel?

    If you operate at normal parameters, does it grow, as in, cover a larger area?

    Have you ever pulled out that adder and looked inside the pipe (removing the feet)?

    Sorry I don't have much of use to contribute.
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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    Never used a paper towel on it. But when I open it is usually on the walls as well. Got my CYA at a good level now so gonna do a SLAM once I get enough powder to check chlorine levels.



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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    Have you done an overnight chlorine loss test? If not I would try that before I went into a SLAM.
    18' x 36' saltwater inground vinyl pool

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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    Quote Originally Posted by ouachita View Post
    Have you done an overnight chlorine loss test? If not I would try that before I went into a SLAM.
    Yes I have and lost no chlorine overnight. Only lost 3ppm during the day from sunlight. Phosphates are below 100ppb as well. Only going to SLAM because of what I read from other comments on this site and the algae being sneaky somehow not showing up on the OCLT and thinking it was pollen. Upon them doing the SLAM however, once they reached a certain threshold, the chlorine loss started showing up. I have done the process of elimination to try and figure out what this stuff is and it all points to Mustard Algae. But with the passing of the OCLT, it had me very confused.



  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    I have been in your boat and understand your frustration. I do not believe I had actual mustard algae after my go round. If I were doing it over again I would do the following since you did not lose any on the OCLT:

    1. Pull everything you can out of the pool and look it over well. Ladder, light, return jets, skimmer and stair trims. Pulling the light is important as well as turning the ladder over and checking the underside of the rungs.
    2. Turn the pump off overnight to let as much fine debris settle as possible.
    3. Vacuum to waste while disturbing as little as possible. I took my hose and zip tied it directly to the end of my vacuum pole. That way I didn't end up just brushing the fines into a cloud to resettle later.
    3. Do the OCLT again and leave the pump off again overnight to see if anything settles out of the water.
    18' x 36' saltwater inground vinyl pool

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    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    Ok will try that then. Did you ever figure out what the problem was?



  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Mustard Algae problem for past 4 years

    Something dark tan (pollen or dust ) that for some reason my sand filter wouldn't pick up. It was just getting brushed around and resettling in the same areas. Little divots in the liner and seams.

    If your numbers and oclt are good and your water super clear I bet you are dealing with something similar.
    18' x 36' saltwater inground vinyl pool

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