Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Unbeatable mustard algae

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Unbeatable mustard algae

    First, I am a long time user. I started using the TFP method about 5 years ago, and it helped me get some impossible pools under control (I maintain three pools because I have rental houses). For a few years, all was well. I used my Taylor kit to measure my CYA, alkalinity, PH, etc., and maintained a consistent free chlorine level using store bought bleach. This worked great. Until it didn't.

    I live in Austin, TX, and mustard algae is a much bigger problem than green algae. Green algae is a joke to control if you just maintain any level of chlorine in the pool. But the mustard algae can arrive even with a decent FC level, and once it is there it is much harder to get rid of. And yes, I know the difference between pollen and mustard algae.

    The first arrivals of mustard algae (due to laziness on my part) were easily handled using the SLAM method. Get the FC level up high enough and keep it there, and the algae goes away. Get it high enough, and you don't even need to brush. This worked. Until it didn't.

    One day the mustard algae arrived that wouldn't go away. So I hit the forums and looked for alternatives. Everyone said SLAM would work, but if it didn't you could - in case of emergency - try an ammonia product like Yellow Out. So I tried this and followed the instructions exactly. No effect.

    So I kept looking at the forums. The other emergency method mentioned was bromine. So I went and bought a bunch of bromine. Applied at the recommend level; no effect. Applied at twice the recommended level; no effect. I followed this up with tons of shock to eliminate the bromine.

    I was lost. So I went to a dark place: copper. And you know what? That annihilated the mustard algae. No scrubbing, no effort. It also decreased my overall chlorine utilization by about 75%. This worked. Until it didn't.

    The copper approach kept up for about a year. Then the mustard algae returned. No problem, I thought. So I added more copper. The full recommended dose. Twice the recommended dose. Four times. Eight times. No effect. I have now added 4 quarts of various liquid store chelated copper compounds. No effect.

    Alright, the copper wasn't working, so I thought I'd give the chlorine method another try. Since I had a CYA of about 20-30 (low, since I hardly ever add stabilized chlorine), my mustard algae shock level was something like 15. I added some chlorine and measured after an hour: 0.5. So I added some more. After an hour, 0.5. Repeat. This is a 12,000 gallon pool. Over the course of 8 hours, I added 20 gallons of liquid 6% chlorine and 4 pounds of dichlor. Still had zero residual. At this point, I had to give up; I don't have infinite chlorine and money.

    So. . . what do you do when your pool just eats infinite chlorine and copper? Here are my numbers:

    CYA: 20
    Alkalinity: 70
    Calcium: 200
    pH: 7.4
    Chlorine: 0

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Santa Ana, CA
    Posts
    523

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by canthony View Post
    First, I am a long time user. I started using the TFP method about 5 years ago, and it helped me get some impossible pools under control (I maintain three pools because I have rental houses). For a few years, all was well. I used my Taylor kit to measure my CYA, alkalinity, PH, etc., and maintained a consistent free chlorine level using store bought bleach. This worked great. Until it didn't.

    I live in Austin, TX, and mustard algae is a much bigger problem than green algae. Green algae is a joke to control if you just maintain any level of chlorine in the pool. But the mustard algae can arrive even with a decent FC level, and once it is there it is much harder to get rid of. And yes, I know the difference between pollen and mustard algae.

    The first arrivals of mustard algae (due to laziness on my part) were easily handled using the SLAM method. Get the FC level up high enough and keep it there, and the algae goes away. Get it high enough, and you don't even need to brush. This worked. Until it didn't.

    One day the mustard algae arrived that wouldn't go away. So I hit the forums and looked for alternatives. Everyone said SLAM would work, but if it didn't you could - in case of emergency - try an ammonia product like Yellow Out. So I tried this and followed the instructions exactly. No effect.

    So I kept looking at the forums. The other emergency method mentioned was bromine. So I went and bought a bunch of bromine. Applied at the recommend level; no effect. Applied at twice the recommended level; no effect. I followed this up with tons of shock to eliminate the bromine.

    I was lost. So I went to a dark place: copper. And you know what? That annihilated the mustard algae. No scrubbing, no effort. It also decreased my overall chlorine utilization by about 75%. This worked. Until it didn't.

    The copper approach kept up for about a year. Then the mustard algae returned. No problem, I thought. So I added more copper. The full recommended dose. Twice the recommended dose. Four times. Eight times. No effect. I have now added 4 quarts of various liquid store chelated copper compounds. No effect.

    Alright, the copper wasn't working, so I thought I'd give the chlorine method another try. Since I had a CYA of about 20-30 (low, since I hardly ever add stabilized chlorine), my mustard algae shock level was something like 15. I added some chlorine and measured after an hour: 0.5. So I added some more. After an hour, 0.5. Repeat. This is a 12,000 gallon pool. Over the course of 8 hours, I added 20 gallons of liquid 6% chlorine and 4 pounds of dichlor. Still had zero residual. At this point, I had to give up; I don't have infinite chlorine and money.

    So. . . what do you do when your pool just eats infinite chlorine and copper? Here are my numbers:

    CYA: 20
    Alkalinity: 70
    Calcium: 200
    pH: 7.4
    Chlorine: 0
    Welcome!

    How are you getting your numbers? As you probably know we base our recommendations on the test results of only 2 kits : TF100 or K2006. The rest proved unreliable so far.
    0 chlorine is bad news not only from algae point of view. Is water replacement an option?
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    Taylor K2006.

    Water replacement is an option - the only option, really - but I'd like to understand why this is happening.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Santa Ana, CA
    Posts
    523

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by canthony View Post
    Taylor K2006.

    Water replacement is an option - the only option, really - but I'd like to understand why this is happening.
    Usually high FC consumption is caused by: not having high enough CYA, FC loss to killing algae or some other much more rare reasons. You need to measure your overnight FC loss to see if it's algae and address that by doing SLAM.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

  5. Back To Top    #5

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,085

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    Everyone said SLAM would work, but if it didn't you could - in case of emergency - try an ammonia product like Yellow Out.
    The other emergency method mentioned was bromine. So I went and bought a bunch of bromine
    I certainly hope you did not get any of that information from this forum. Both of these ideas are completely bogus.
    So. . . what do you do when your pool just eats infinite chlorine and copper?
    You drain the pool and start over. We would never suggest the use of copper in a pool and the only way to get it out is to drain and refill.

    Candidly, you have made some big-time blatant mistakes with this pool. If you want it fixed you are going to HAVE to start by doing your own testing and stop wildly throwing double and triple doses of anything into your pool.

    We can help but your commitment to doing your own testing (with one of the suggested test kits) has to come first. Keep reading. Others will verify the necessity of a good kit but you'll have to make that decision if you want to use our methods.

    What's different about what we teach?? It works.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    Truth...
    Helen
    Dallas Area, 16,000 gal IG, Easytouch 8 computer, Intelliflo 3HP Variable Speed pool pump, Pentair Smart Pump 4x160, Pentair 3/4 HP Booster Pump, FNS 60 DE 60, Mastertemp 400, Rainbow 320, Dual Timer w/ freeze protection, Intellichor SWG, TF100 Test Kit, POOL FILLED AUG 3, 2012, ORDER YOUR TF100 KIT FROM http://tftestkits.net
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/under...ie-t49936.html

  7. Back To Top    #7


    TFP Guide

    domct203's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,375

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by canthony View Post
    So. . . what do you do when your pool just eats infinite chlorine and copper?
    Pools do not consume copper, if you put it in there, it's still there. As mentioned, the only way to remove copper is to drain and refill.

    Excessive copper can stain pool surfaces and turn blonde hair green.

    Same goes for Bromine, 'once a Bromine pool, always a Bromine pool'.

    As far as why this is happening, it's because somewhere in the pool your FC fell below the minimum. This can happen in low/poor circulation areas, even when testing shows otherwise (unless you are drawing water from the 'dead spots').

    Frequent and thorough brushing in these poor circulation areas would help to circulate these areas and break the biofilm that algae will create to protect itself.

    How often do you brush & vacuum?

    Dom
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    I feel like no one actually read my post. I have a Taylor K2006 test kit. I have followed the SLAM instructions. I am measuring CYA and overnight chlorine loss. As a side note, the information on bromine and ammonia came from TFP threads that included Chem Geek.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Dom, your points are correct - the mustard algae bloom was caused by low FC. However, in this case I am much more interested in how to FIX mustard algae blooms than how to prevent them.

  9. Back To Top    #9


    TFP Guide

    domct203's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,375

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    I really don't think you have any 'special' form of mustard algae..... You need to complete a proper SLAM, then raise your FC to mustard shock level for 24 hours.

    BTW- it really is all about how to prevent the algae. It has been proven that once you complete a SLAM & 24 hours at mustard shock level that the algae will be eliminated.

    Now it is about keeping it from re-occurring.

    I'll ask again, how often do you brush & vacuum?

    Dom
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

  10. Back To Top    #10

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,085

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    I read your post thoroughly. Can you show me the link to chem geek's posts? I'll be quite surprised.
    So. . . what do you do when your pool just eats infinite chlorine and copper? Here are my numbers
    After reading this and the rest of your post thoroughly, my reply was to drain and refill...simple.

    If you are here for the argument, TFP is not interested. We are a teaching forum and have taught thousands how to successfully care for their pools.
    However, in this case I am much more interested in how to FIX mustard algae blooms than how to prevent them.
    The fix is to drain your pool as suggested.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    Duraleigh, here is the main link:

    High CYA Levels, Shocking, Yellow/Mustard Algae

    You said the fix is the drain the pool, but you said that was in order to get rid of the copper; that is a separate issue. I still want to know why nothing is working; why I am able to put 20 gallons of 6% and 4 pounds of dichlor into my pool and still have a FC of zero. Isn't there a bit of scientific curiosity here?

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    11,625

    Unbeatable mustard algae

    If your water has bromine in it, then you will not likely ever be able to hold chlorine in your pool. Chlorine converts the bromide in your pool to bromine. The bromine then becomes the primary sanitizer. However, bromine is completely unstable to UV light and will get used up very quickly (there is no bromine version of CYA). So you completely messed up your pools by using bromine.

    Also, adding as much copper as you did likely caused copper staining. Can you tell the difference between mustard algae and copper stains? Sometimes they can look alike. If the copper has not stained your pool, it will as soon as you SLAM it.

    Your only option right now is to drain the pools. The water has so many contaminants in it (bromine and copper) that there's no point in wasting time and money on trying to salvage it.

    And please don't blame Richard (or this forum) for your mistakes. I know him well enough to know that he would never advise anyone to do what you did nor would any of the mods, experts or guides here on TFP. This forum has a specific procedure for dealing with mustard algae and we would never, let me repeat that, NEVER advocate wildly throwing in double and triple doses of any chemical into a pool. It does not sound like you followed the methods here and then you made the poor choices to go on your own and add all that junk to your pool. You are the only one responsible for the mess you are in.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Jackson, NJ
    Posts
    123

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    Can't you get rid of the bromine w/ excessive chlorine over a period of time? Else anybody who used a yellow treatment would be irreparably harmed? I know bromine creates a huge chlorine demand, but eventually you get past that point.
    42' natural free-form pool, vinyl lined, 6' deep end, 21,400 gallons
    2 HP Hayward Superpump, Hayward Aquarite SWG, AquaComfort 125k btu heat pump, 350lb Hayward Pro Series sand filter
    2 skimmers, 2 floor drains, 10 returns (6 in the pool, 2 in the steps, 2 in the swim-out)
    TF-100 Test Kit

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    Yeah, s1njin - that's what I'm thinking. It's been a year and a hundred gallons of chlorine since I used the bromine, so my understanding is that it should no longer be a problem. One quote from Chem Geek: "Eventually, over weeks (or longer), the bromine dissipates. . ."

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    Matt, as you can see, I originally followed the standard method for treating mustard algae. I need to know why it stopped working to prevent a similar problem in the future. Here is the link to Chem Geek and others discussing ammonia and bromine (and other alternatives) for difficult mustard algae situations: High CYA Levels, Shocking, Yellow/Mustard Algae

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Jackson, NJ
    Posts
    123

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    I put "Yellow Treat" in my pool last year on the advice of the pool store. I couldn't hold chlorine either, but I certainly can now. Took a lot of shock though.
    42' natural free-form pool, vinyl lined, 6' deep end, 21,400 gallons
    2 HP Hayward Superpump, Hayward Aquarite SWG, AquaComfort 125k btu heat pump, 350lb Hayward Pro Series sand filter
    2 skimmers, 2 floor drains, 10 returns (6 in the pool, 2 in the steps, 2 in the swim-out)
    TF-100 Test Kit

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Amarillo, Texas
    Posts
    38

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by canthony View Post
    Duraleigh, here is the main link:

    High CYA Levels, Shocking, Yellow/Mustard Algae

    You said the fix is the drain the pool, but you said that was in order to get rid of the copper; that is a separate issue. I still want to know why nothing is working; why I am able to put 20 gallons of 6% and 4 pounds of dichlor into my pool and still have a FC of zero. Isn't there a bit of scientific curiosity here?
    Any chance you have ammonia? This year I went through 55 gallons of 10% before I was able to get FC off of zero. I used a test kit for my aquarium to test for it.

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    San Marcos, CA
    Posts
    110

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    I strongly suggest you just drain and refill and be done with it. There's nothing to gain by trying to salvage the stew you currently have.
    16 x 32 IG plaster pool, 23k gallons, built 1992, DE filter, Pentair VS pump, IoThyngs controller, Taylor 2006 test kit, SoCal water restrictions
    Newbies with green pools, see SLAM and Recommended Test Kits. My company: IoThyngs

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Santa Ana, CA
    Posts
    523

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by canthony View Post
    Matt, as you can see, I originally followed the standard method for treating mustard algae. I need to know why it stopped working to prevent a similar problem in the future. Here is the link to Chem Geek and others discussing ammonia and bromine (and other alternatives) for difficult mustard algae situations: High CYA Levels, Shocking, Yellow/Mustard Algae
    it is hard to say now as you ended up with quite a mix in your water. I'd be very hard pressed to add anything besides chlorine if my own pool gets 'chlorine resistant algae' and would try to eliminate all other possibilities first.

    After reading the linked thread I'm even more sure about this- while it was clearly stated as discussion thread and participants were simply brainstorming the particular problem of killing mustard algae at high CYA levels it was clear all of that is not readily applicable as 'common practice' and it is rather some corner case requiring a lot of prerequisites to be met. My reaction- make sure my pool remains 'common practice' and stay away from that corner.

    In your case it seems replacing the water would take your pool(s) there as well.
    44k plaster pool, Pentair 011018 pump, DE6020 filter, LED lights, K2006 test kit

  20. Back To Top    #20

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,085

    Re: Unbeatable mustard algae

    It's just silly that you thought chem geek was suggesting to you to use ammonia and bromine in that thread.

    I suggested drain and replace because water across the US usually runs about 4-8 dollars per thousand gallons. There is probably no cheaper way to get your pool fixed.

    You (in all caps) said you wanted a FIX......that's my suggestion. Another would be to read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School.

    Unless this thread moves forward with new information, I plan on closing it. No point in arguing where there really is no valid argument.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •