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Thread: DREADED BLACK ALGAE/copper sulfate/rate?

  1. #1
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    DREADED BLACK ALGAE/copper sulfate/rate?

    I'm new to this forum and I hope that I can find an answer.
    Just spent most of yesterday on google identifying my latest pool problem......'the dreaded black algae' , often refered to as 'the herpies of swimming pools' because it's so hard to cure.
    Read a lot of conflicting info on how to combat it and it seems, short of draining the pool and scrubbing it down completely, the two recomended cures are super shock cholorine [done that and still have the algae] and the other cure was copper sulfate which I have a couple of kilos of.
    I then googled dosage retes? of copper sulfate and couldn't find any definate rates of application.

    to illustrate the conflicting and misinformation I found....please read the following as an example of what I found.....

    CONTROL OF ALGAE AND BACTERIAL ODOR IN SWIMMING POOLS
    Apply 1 to 2 lbs. of Copper Sulfate Crystal per 60,000 gals. (3,000 cu. ft.) of water. This will result in a concentration

    of 0.5 to 1.0 ppm of dissolved copper. Dissolve the required amount of copper sulfate in a plastic container and pour

    the solution into the pool. Use the higher rate where visible algae are present. For maintenance dosages, use the

    lower rate. Repeat the lower rate to control the recurrence of algae and avoid the buildup of copper. Copper Sulfate

    Crystal may be used to help control pool odors and algae during the winter months. Apply the higher rate while the

    pool is not being used during the winter. Treated pool effluent should not be discharged where it will drain into lakes,

    streams, ponds, or public water.



    Don't know if you caught the conversion mistake "60,000 gals. (3,000 cu. ft.)".....it don't add up, so who can you trust?? 60000 gallons (US) is equal to 8,020.83 cubic feet

    Does anyone out there have any experience with black algae and/or copper sulfate dosage rates??
    my pool is tile, 84 cu mtrs =22,000 US gal
    Please share info.....

  2. #2
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    Re: DREADED BLACK ALGAE/copper sulfate/rate?

    Most of the forum members around here try to avoid putting any copper in their pools as much as possible, as it can cause other problems and is hard to eliminate from the water.

    Chlorine should kill your algae. You may be missing a key link between how much chlorine is needed and how much CYA or stabilizer you have in your pool.

    Please see the Chlorine/CYA Chart... chlorine-cya-chart-t2346.html

    You'll need to test the amount of CYA in your water, and base the chlorine amount on that according to the chart.

    Also read the Defeating Algae article... pool-school/defeating_algae

    What kind of chlorine are you using (liquid, powder, tablets)?

    You'll receive a lot of great information here, but it is going to take a lot of work to get rid of this algae.

    Good luck!
    28K IG Vinyl lined pool - 1 skimmer, 2 returns
    Hayward DE 60sqft filter; Polaris 280 vacuum with booster pump

  3. #3
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: DREADED BLACK ALGAE/copper sulfate/rate?

    Sbluhm is right. Copper isn't thought very highly of around here.

    Please post a full set of numbers.
    FC
    TC
    pH
    CH
    TA
    CYA
    ETC.

    Also please tell us where you're located.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 1.5hp Dynamo pump. 24" Pentair Sand Dollar Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit
    You can stop SLAMing your pool when you pass the OCLT (You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & You have .5ppm CC's or less) & your water is clear.

  4. #4
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    Re: DREADED BLACK ALGAE/copper sulfate/rate?

    The other key thing with true black algae - it has a tough outer shell that is resistant to chlorine. You have to scrub the spots with a stiff brush to knock the heads off so that the chlorine can get to the insides or roots and kill them. This means frequent brushing while at shock level, until the spots fade or vanish. Shock level is determined by your current CYA - see the chart as advised above.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  5. #5
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    Re: DREADED BLACK ALGAE/copper sulfate/rate?

    I'm located in rural Thailand and don't have access to the testing and chems that you guys have. fool to have a pool here....but I do and have to deal with it. interesting to hear the negaivity on copper sulfate.....maybe why I've been reluctant to use it and no info on google.
    I normally use granulated trichlor 90% but have been lax with it this last hot summer....maybe that's why the 'dreaded black' came on so strong.

    Brushing is not that easy, as my tile pool has a 45 degree bevel on the floor/walls, where most of the black is and hard to get a brush in there. wish there was a safe cheap chemical way to deal with it......but you're saying there isn't??

    maybe should super super shock cholorine and close off the pool for a couple of weeks??

  6. #6
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    Re: DREADED BLACK ALGAE/copper sulfate/rate?

    You have to brush black algae to kill it.

    TFtestkits.net ships worldwide except to Canada. We have other members from exotic ports of call and they successfully use the TF100.

    If you use trichlor it's likely that your CYA is too high and shocking won't be effective whether you brush or not. Without a way to confirm your CYA level it will be impossible to know how high you need to shock to.

    I would suggest in the meantime, if trichlor is your routine source, that you do a partial drain and refill, probably half for now, and see if that helps some, and try to use liquid chlorine or clorox bleach...do you have access to a liquid product such as this? Because Trichlor lowers PH/TA and raises CYA and once the CYA gets too high the amount of chlorine needed becomes impractical. If you do a partial drain you can lower the CYA levels and maybe the chlorine will be more effective, but I wouldn't use more trichlor. Maybe switch to cal-hypo if you can access that and regardless you will still have to brush to knock the heads of the Black Algae.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  7. #7
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    Re: DREADED BLACK ALGAE/copper sulfate/rate?

    Thanks a lot guys....this forum is great for us pool dummies off in the wilds of asia. Lots of info to chew on and digest and sorry to hear there are no easy cures or magic potions. The main problem I have with the suggested cures is scrubbing down the pool with my bad back. That has got to be the most stressful positions to be in .....brushing walls with lower back problems.
    Will look into doing the recomended testing and where do I get one of those test kits and how much $'s???

    Anyone wanna buy a swimming pool....cheap??

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Re: DREADED BLACK ALGAE/copper sulfate/rate?

    Quote Originally Posted by thaijack
    and where do I get one of those test kits and how much $'s???
    http://www.tftestkits.net/
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member taekwondodo's Avatar
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    Re: DREADED BLACK ALGAE/copper sulfate/rate?

    I have a friends pool I took over care of early in the summer. Her pool had significant M/A and large and many B/A spots.

    When we shocked the pool per the CYA chart (her CYA was pretty low, 30-40, IIRC), the M/A cleared up. We then borated and maintained the recommended FC per the CYA level the rest of the summer.

    There was an almost immediate difference in the size/presence of the B/A "spots". I told her to have her kids hit them with a brush whenever they went swimming (not sure if the did every time) and I hit them on occasion. It's taken a while, but almost all of the B/A is now gone. Just traces here and there, and they are becoming fewer and far between.

    Time, Chlorine, and some elbow grease... My results, YMMV.

    - Jeff
    ~45Kg Pool with attached Spa, NSP-72 DE, Minmax 400 Heater, Tahoe Blue Pebbletech, Jandy SWG via Aqualink RS-8, The Pool Cleaner (black)
    Pumps: X3 Hybrid Pump (switches to SPA), 2HP Spa (additional, when SPA is on), and a 1HP For Waterfall
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