Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Teach Me About Algae

  1. Back To Top    #1
    Holydoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Navarre/FL
    Posts
    256

    Teach Me About Algae

    First off, thanks everyone for being so helpful on this site. I love the TFP way and love my pool. So to continue with my education I thought I would ask the experts.

    How do you know when you have a cause to SLAM?

    I am a new pool owner. I am not familiar with terms like "I had an algae bloom". I do understand when someone says my pool turned green. But I am still unsure about when you have an algae problem. For instance:



    1. If the floor of your pool feels a bit slimy in a certain spot. You brush it, and it now feels clean. Is that an algae problem? Do you need to SLAM?
    2. If you have a small yellow spot started on your white plastic ladder that you can easily brush off. Is that an algae problem? Do you need to SLAM?
    3. If you have small lines of green on the bottom of the pool. Is that an algae problem? Do you need to SLAM?


    Obviously if your water is cloudy, or you have a higher than 1ppm CC, or you are losing more than 1ppm FC at night, or your water turns green you should SLAM. But where is the line drawn at choosing to SLAM as compared to just regular pool maintenance/cleaning?

    Just to be clear, I did not post any test information here because this is not about my pool (members like Needsajet and Kim would smack me silly if I messed up after they have been so helpful to me), I am just curious in general. I know that one day I may be facing this question or asked it and want to at least be knowledgeable enough to answer.

    Thanks in advance for everyone's time and generous help.
    19328 Gallon Above-Ground Pool. Clean&Clear Pentair Cartridge Filter. Opti-flo 2 Stage 1.5hp Pump. Dolphin Nautilus Plus "Flipper" Robot. Established April 2016. Taylor K-2006. Chlorine Based. 340gallon Marquis Spa. Bromine based. Established 2007.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Land O Lakes, FL
    Posts
    526

    Re: Teach Me About Algae

    If their is no visible indicator such as a green pool, failing the OCLT, overnight chlorine loss test would indicate that it is time to SLAM.
    Matt
    2016 Pool Build: 12k IG Blue Granite Pebblesheen, Travertine Coping & Pavers, Pentair IntelliFlo, Intellichlor, Easytouch, Clean & Clear 320, Heliocol Solar - TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    SWG Run Time Calculator

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Holydoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Navarre/FL
    Posts
    256

    Re: Teach Me About Algae

    So the only time you would worry about doing a SLAM is if the pool was green or you failed an OCLT? So a little green patch or yellow spot on the stairs would not warrant a SLAM?
    19328 Gallon Above-Ground Pool. Clean&Clear Pentair Cartridge Filter. Opti-flo 2 Stage 1.5hp Pump. Dolphin Nautilus Plus "Flipper" Robot. Established April 2016. Taylor K-2006. Chlorine Based. 340gallon Marquis Spa. Bromine based. Established 2007.

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Divin Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Longview, Texas
    Posts
    4,926

    Re: Teach Me About Algae

    Hi I will throw in a couple of comments.

    First, I think it's helpful to understand a bit about the algae plant. Algae are single cell organisms that reproduce rapidly when the conditions are right. The warmer the water, the faster it will reproduce. The more light thats available for photosynthesis, the quicker it will grow. It will grow in places where it doesnt get much light, but will be much slower in those areas, such as behind pool lights and in an unused pipe or perhps an abandoned autofill.

    Since the algae are initialy so small, its impossible to see them with your eyes until they have substantially multiplied to a stage where we can see it. Pools do not get algae and turn green overnight. By the time it turns green, its been there for a while already.

    Every day, algae spores are blown into our pools by the wind, carried in my swimsuits that may have been in the lake, dogs that may have swam in creek water and then the pool and other such methods. It's there, just lurking like the big green swamp monster. But if we maintain our CYA/FC relationship along with basic brushing, we can eliminate the repoduction of algae.

    Algae can hide and reproduce in areas of poor circulation, such as in sharp corners, in nooks and crannies, on the bottom of molded steps, benches, behind lights, in unused water pipes and other places where circulation of the chlorinated water may not be optimum.

    Part of keeping the pool algae free is brushing the pool on a regular basis. This will break loose any of the invisible algae that may be trying to get a foot hold and brushing also will destroy the biofilm which algae grows as a mechanism of self preservation. Its this biofilm which makes algae feel slimy to the touch. The biofilm also acts as a resistance to chlorine, so its an important to brush to break it up.

    If you see any visible algae in places of poor circulation, you may well still be able to pass the CC and OCLT test, but since you see it, you failed the 1st step, which is of course seeing it. If you can visibly see algae anywhere in the pool, it's recommended to do a SLAM. It may only take 1 day or 2, but it should still be done. If you dont, then likely sooner than later, the water will loose its sparkle and just not be crystal clear. Then one morning you wake up, and the water has turned green.

    So, some symptoms of having algae
    1. The walls may feel slimy.
    2. The water has lost it's sparkle and maybe not cloudy, but not perfectly clear.
    3. You can visibly see any algae.

    If any of this happens, even though you may pass the CC and OCLT, you should raise the FC to slam level until no visible signs are present, and you pass the CC and OCLT.

    With yourself as a new pool owner, you may not quite fully comprehend what we mean by "the water just doesnt look right". Give it a season or two though and you will learn what we mean. It becomes very evident to those of us with a few years in when things arent quite right. And usually in those cases, we dont even have to test to know it!

    hope in some way that this helps,
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Holydoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Navarre/FL
    Posts
    256

    Re: Teach Me About Algae

    Dave,

    Wow! Thank you. That helps immensely.

    Yes, even just having my pool a short time, I can definitely tell the difference in my pool water look than my friend's pool. Mine is definitely crystal blue as opposed to dull clear.

    My friend asked me to watch his pets while he was on vacation. During this time, I have watched green streaks start taking hold at the bottom of his pool. I asked him if he wanted me to take care of it, but his response was to not worry with it. Happens every time he goes on vacation. All he has to do when he got home was throw a bit of shock in it and vacuum it out.

    I was not sure what to say to him. He knows I just got a pool and am learning as I go. I am not knowledgeable enough to "play the part of a pool snob", but I do want to help him understand what could happen if he doesn't address the situation. His wife did say how much nicer my pool water was compared to theirs, but my friend blew it off by just telling his wife, it was because my pool was new.

    Sorry for such a long post, but I am trying to learn enough so that I can help others by understanding the "WHY" as well as the "HOW".
    19328 Gallon Above-Ground Pool. Clean&Clear Pentair Cartridge Filter. Opti-flo 2 Stage 1.5hp Pump. Dolphin Nautilus Plus "Flipper" Robot. Established April 2016. Taylor K-2006. Chlorine Based. 340gallon Marquis Spa. Bromine based. Established 2007.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    26,654

    Re: Teach Me About Algae

    When you do talk to someone about the TFP way make sure to say "chlorine" instead of "bleach" yeah it is the same stuff but........"bleach is for clothes! NO way I am putting that in my pool!" LOL Just changing that word can make a difference. IF they are still interested you can tell them about bleach if that is the easiest for them to get at the best price.

    It is so neat to see you really getting it AND wanting to pass it on!

    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

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Divin Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Longview, Texas
    Posts
    4,926

    Re: Teach Me About Algae

    Its very very difficult to convince people that their method of pool care could be improved. For various reasons.
    Pride - no one wants to admit they have learned methods that are less than effective, and spent tons of money doing it, and failed.
    Laziness - lots of people thing proper pool care is very time consuming. The opposite is true using TFP method.
    Internet pool sites - Most pool sites list pool care procedures that all say the same thing, so how could all those sites be so wrong?
    Wives Tales - ususally spread by the general public...a friend of a friend had an experience type of thing.... these stories are like the rumor that starts at the back of the bus and by the time it gets to the front, its nothng like the original comment. The one that really gets me is "rain will mess up the pool chemistry". This in particular is so widely belived by the general publict that it just has to be true. How could so many people be wrong? Ack!

    I am not a chemist and all I remember from science class in school is H20 and a girl named Julie.
    But, I do belive in chemistry as an exact science. You dont have to understand the chemical formulas and conversions, but if you are like me and curious about the "why" - there is some interesting information available about why we reccomend the FC/CYA levels that we do. Its worth a read if you're so inclined to try and further your knowledge about the chemistry. Pool Water Chemistry
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Diane T.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    55

    Re: Teach Me About Algae

    image.jpgI took this photo yesterday to remind me what my water is suppose to look like!
    IG 15,000 gal vinyl Grecian SW, Hayward SWG, Pentair whisper flow pump, sand filter, Aquacal ice breaker heat pump. Finished August 2015, screen enclosure, TF 100

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Holydoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Navarre/FL
    Posts
    256

    Re: Teach Me About Algae

    Dave,

    The link you posted where Chem Geek talks about the chemistry of the FC/CYA relationship was very interesting though hard to put in Layman's terms. I graduated with a Bachelor's in Chemistry (many years ago) and still had a tough time following. Of course my Masters was in Software Engineering so SO MUCH for my interest in chemistry. /laugh Thanks again for your help.

    Diane,

    That is why I trust this site is water just like yours.
    19328 Gallon Above-Ground Pool. Clean&Clear Pentair Cartridge Filter. Opti-flo 2 Stage 1.5hp Pump. Dolphin Nautilus Plus "Flipper" Robot. Established April 2016. Taylor K-2006. Chlorine Based. 340gallon Marquis Spa. Bromine based. Established 2007.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Seacoast, NH
    Posts
    248

    Re: Teach Me About Algae

    His wife did say how much nicer my pool water was compared to theirs, but my friend blew it off by just telling his wife, it was because my pool was new.

    [/QUOTE]

    Almost everyone who swims in my pool comments on how nice the water feels and how clear it is. My pool is on its 9th season and, although there's been some water replacement because of a leak, rain, and closing over the winter, there is still plenty of water in there that is has been there for over 8 years.

    You got this.
    19,000 gallons, Well Water
    Stay-Rite System 3 Cartridge filter
    IG vinyl, MasterTemp 400 Propane heater
    Intellichlor 40 SWG, 2006 Taylor Test Kit with Speed Stirrer
    1.5 HP Pump

Posting Permissions

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