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Thread: Wierd issue after Borate addition-now have algae??

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    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    houston
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    Wierd issue after Borate addition-now have algae??

    Good morning,

    I looked through borate posts and could not find someone with this problem, so wanted to pick any brains with ideas.
    A month back I added borates to my pool, using Natural Chemistry's "Foundation". I added until I got to a level of 50 ppm

    My pool was resurfaced last year with River Rock, and I use bleach for chlorine, baking soda for PH, and the pool is pretty much trouble free, easy to maintain, and I didn't have a spec or smear of algae in the past year. Never even really had fluctuacting chemistry, my chlorine lasts long due to pool getting shade and I guess having little organics to kill. I had a typical PH rise for a few months as plaster cured, but that leveled and it all stays steady at these readings:

    Chlorine- 5-6
    CYA 35
    Alk-80
    PH-7.5-7.6
    Cal-285
    Phosphates - 0
    Metals-0


    I have a 60sq ft DE filter, 1.5 HP variable Raypack pump, and Polaris 380 with new pump. And a chlorinator.

    I decided to add Borates for the "feel" of the water, both from swimming in friends pool who did it, and common sense from experience with what Borax does to laundry when you add to water. I also liked the idea of even more sparkling water, even though my water was clear all the time and shined.


    So anyways I added the Foundation in stages, like you are supposed to with any chemical, and all went great. Actually wasn't even huge PH fluctuactions. For the pricing and convience, I thought was a great product. It does contain that phosphate remover Landantheium (Sp?) so I backwashed my filter after a day, then a few days after that. After a week my Borate level tested at 50ppm and has held there, I don't lose much water.

    Well a week after that, so about two weeks post adding, I started getting green algae at the surface water tiles, top of steps, under the top tile in some spots, and a ring around the attached spa.

    I brush 3-5 times a week and run cleaner daily even if not a lot of visible debris. I figure more circulation mix of water never hurts, and to keep the dirt and grit off my pebbles!

    So I started shocking. Algae came back. I tried Bacquicil per instructions, it comes back. Basically with no other changes in my pool care except adding Borates, I now have an algae problem. Which is impossible in theory according to what it does, and with my other chemistry being good?? My filter has new grids at beginning of this season, and I opened filter anyways to see if they got clogged from the Landantheium stuff, or a hole somehow, or just any weirdness. Nothing. I don't have debris just sitting in pump strainer or pool strainers, I clean daily. There is no constant organic load on pool either of debris, and right now its usually only me or me and my son swimming.

    Its annoying.

    Anyone a lot smarter than me have any ideas?
    20K gallon chlorine pool/spa,RiverRok Lucayan Blue, Aztec Cobalt tile, Sea Shell Spray deck, real Flagstone coping-main deck, moss rock wall, Aquabot cleaner. Penair FLS 60 DE filter, Pentair Superflo 2HP pump, Jandy 200btu gas heater, and currently a WHOLE LOT OF BRUSHING GOING ON!

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    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    South Texas
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    411

    Re: Wierd issue after Borate addition-now have algae??

    That is strange. How often do you check your FC level? With a CYA of 40 (rounding up, the CYA test is not that definitive), your FC should stay at 6 and never dip below 3. Any chance it did? It has been soooo hot in Texas, my FC burns off pretty quick, and I bet with a CYA of 40 yours burns off super fast. Just a guess.

    I'm assuming you're using a TF-100 to test?

    How are you chlorinating? (I see you have a chlorinator, but have added "shock")

    Best option is to perform an OCLT to be sure, but you certainly seem to be fighting something.

    I have no idea what Landanthium is?!?!
    15,000 gallon free form Viking fiberglass pool. Hayward Star-Clear Plus C12002 cartridge filter. Hayward Swim Pure Plus T-15 SWG. Testing with TF-100 Kit. 2 speed 1.5HP Supreme pump. Dolphin Nautilus robotic cleaner

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    Re: Wierd issue after Borate addition-now have algae??

    I tried Bacquicil per instructions,
    Now I am quite confused. You changed your pool to a baquacil pool? No? How did baquacil get in the picture? Read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School....baquacil has no place in a chlorine pool.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Jul 2015
    Location
    houston
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    Re: Wierd issue after Borate addition-now have algae??

    It's never been below 5 since March when I was getting it all ready for my son's swim season and swim team practices. It really is never "closed" here, we just don't use as much on the occasional cold days here!
    I have always been amazed, as have 2 pool companies we used in the past when I didn't know much about pools, on how the chemistry just stays steady in our pool. My guess and theirs was due to it being surrounded by the house (its like in courtyard), then our house having tall tress and building on the east side. So it doesn't get full direct heat and sun till 1-2 in the afternoons in summer. Long story short, I just don't lose chlorine that fast.
    I have kept the cya low since we had it redone. The old pool , the previous owners must have been dumping tabs or sticks in because cya was 100. So I was using a lot of chlorine to fight non stop algae. But not one bloom or spec since remodel ...until the Borates.

    I love the way the water feels (my wife esp because sensitive skin and a big reason I did it) and it looks sparkling as can be, but I keep having these bloom outs here and there and its just driving me nuts.

    The lowest FC has been is 5, I usually try to keep it around 8 when I am adding bleach. I took it to 15 when I shocked it. And my pump has great turnover rates, plus being variable, I leave it on really low speed a lot to keep water circulating, with some high speed power cleans in the day.

    Honestly I am just stumped. I thought at first it may be pollen, as the River Rock is Lacuyna Blue, thought maybe yellow on blue pebble/plaster would look green, but I rubbed it and collected it and its green. Plus backwashing I see some of the green come out.


    I even pondered the stupid thought that maybe I got a "bad" batch of DE, like that is even scientifically possible.!! Maybe it just wasn't grabbing microbes and particles. The grids themselves can't really clean, without a good media. I don't know if anyone has ever had bad DE or bizzare issues with DE

    - - - Updated - - -

    I bought a bottle of Baquacil for an algaecide. Used it one time per instructions on the bottle to kill algae.
    20K gallon chlorine pool/spa,RiverRok Lucayan Blue, Aztec Cobalt tile, Sea Shell Spray deck, real Flagstone coping-main deck, moss rock wall, Aquabot cleaner. Penair FLS 60 DE filter, Pentair Superflo 2HP pump, Jandy 200btu gas heater, and currently a WHOLE LOT OF BRUSHING GOING ON!

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