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Thread: Mustard Algae Question

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    Mustard Algae Question

    I've read that mustard algae tends to grow on walls and in the darker spots in the pool. I'm trying to figure out if I have an algae problem or just dirt. I live next to a golf course (in California) and the grass and trees are all blooming, so it could be pollen. Basically, the entire floor of my pool (but not the sides) has a fine yellow-green powder on the bottom. The powder appears to be uniform in depth. It brushes away easily, either by a brush or of the pool sweep, but it makes the pool very cloudy. After a day or two, the pool is clear again, but the powder is back on the floor, again uniform in depth. I have a SWG, but my chlorine levels dropped due to my inattentiveness. I shocked the pool yesterday and the man at the pool store said my "organics" were low.

    Any ideas if I'm dealing with dirt/pollen or some sort of algae bloom?
    35k / Hayward Swim Clear C4025 Cartridge Filter / Aqua Rite SWG / In ground / Pebble Tec

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard Algae Question

    Welcome to TFP!

    That sounds like pollen to me. Mustard algae tends to clump and grow up the walls, especially on the shaded side of the pool.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard Algae Question

    Welcome to TFP.

    I'll second what Jason said. It's most likely dirt/pollen. When I first started with my pool I worried greatly because I almost always had stuff on the bottom. Turned out it was dirt and pollen. I still have it from time to time but now, I don't worry about it!

    If you want a difinitive test. Perform an Overnight Free Chlorine Drop Test.

    While you're at it start reading through Pool School. It'll help you a lot in keeping a Trouble Free Pool! Also, a good test kit is in order if you don't already have one.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Mustard Algae Question

    Thanks for the quick replies!
    35k / Hayward Swim Clear C4025 Cartridge Filter / Aqua Rite SWG / In ground / Pebble Tec

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    Re: Mustard Algae Question

    One more question. How do I get rid of it? I have a cartridge filter and my cartridges are shot. I'm putting in new filters this week. Do I just run the filters? Or do I need to pay someone to come vacuum the pool?
    35k / Hayward Swim Clear C4025 Cartridge Filter / Aqua Rite SWG / In ground / Pebble Tec

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard Algae Question

    Since you're putting in new cartridges that'll most likely take care of your problem for you. You'll probably have to clean the cartridges sooner than nomal but that should be ok.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard Algae Question

    If it settles to the bottom, you need to vacuum it up.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard Algae Question

    Quote Originally Posted by DMD
    One more question. How do I get rid of it? I have a cartridge filter and my cartridges are shot. I'm putting in new filters this week. Do I just run the filters? Or do I need to pay someone to come vacuum the pool?
    Put a skimmer sock or even a doubled skimmer sock onto your skimmer basket...that saves a lot of it from going through your cartridges. You will be surprised at how much the skimmer sock picks up.

    WIth this dust...does it settle along the bottom all across the pool or does it just seem to settle in the divets on the bottom of the pool. If it just settles in the low spots or divets in the liner on the bottom and doesn't spread from there it is pollen/dust...my guess is that since you live next to the golf course you will pick up a lot of tree and grass pollen this time of year...Skimmer socks will help...I use my wife's old nylon knee highs...they work just as well.
    Beave
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    Re: Mustard Algae Question

    WIth this dust...does it settle along the bottom all across the pool or does it just seem to settle in the divets on the bottom of the pool. If it just settles in the low spots or divets in the liner on the bottom and doesn't spread from there it is pollen/dust...my guess is that since you live next to the golf course you will pick up a lot of tree and grass pollen this time of year...Skimmer socks will help...I use my wife's old nylon knee highs...they work just as well.
    It coats everything along the bottom, but not the sides. Does that argue in favor of algae?
    35k / Hayward Swim Clear C4025 Cartridge Filter / Aqua Rite SWG / In ground / Pebble Tec

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    Re: Mustard Algae Question

    Quote Originally Posted by DMD
    It coats everything along the bottom, but not the sides. Does that argue in favor of algae?
    I would think it argues the opposite... bioorganisms, unless they're encapsulated and dormant, will grow anywhere favorable conditions exist -- walls and crevices with sufficient nutrients being happy spots. Pollen and dirt are going to follow gravity, and are more subject to circulation patterns in the water.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard Algae Question

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    Quote Originally Posted by DMD
    It coats everything along the bottom, but not the sides. Does that argue in favor of algae?
    I would think it argues the opposite... bioorganisms, unless they're encapsulated and dormant, will grow anywhere favorable conditions exist -- walls and crevices with sufficient nutrients being happy spots. Pollen and dirt are going to follow gravity, and are more subject to circulation patterns in the water.
    I would agree with Polyvue...the only way to know for sure is to test your numbers and see if they hold after shocking. Do your jets point downward and do they circulate water on the bottom...or is it just a surface circulation. I would try shocking and holding it there for 24 hours. there has been some discussion of mustard algae that is resistant to normal shock levels...but it seems to be very rare. If you hold at shock and the stuff doesn't die, it is likely just dust. I have had it for two summers in my pool...It doesn't start until the end of june up north...
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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