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Thread: Critical Algae Mass

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Toms River, NJ

    Critical Algae Mass

    Has there ever been a study on the rate of algae growth in a given volume of water? I'm wondering if the rate tapers off at some point as the volume of algae increases, such that the advantage of treating sooner rather than later is negligible.

    Not that I ever plan to have this problem, of course. I'm just curious.
    45,180 gallon 26' x 53' IG Vinyl, irregular shape. Hayward sand filter / pump. Polaris AutoClear SWG, supplemented with a Hayward Automatic Chlorinator (In-Line). Hayward 400K BTU heater. Paramount "turnover" system. Polaris 480 PRO cleaner.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Critical Algae Mass

    At first the algae doubles every three to six hours. After a couple of days it maxes out and stays relatively constant. If you catch it before it maxes out it will be easier to kill than if you wait. Once it has already been a couple of days, it won't get any worse and waiting longer doesn't make much difference to how hard it will be to get rid of.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: Critical Algae Mass

    I agree except that the first day of nascent algae growth it may not even be visible. By the time the water gets dull and then cloudy, then another day it is usually green. So it's probably around 3 days from the true start of algae growth to a fairly green pool, when conditions are suitable to growth. As for when it tapers off to a limit, it might continue to grow if there are sufficient nutrients, but usually there are limits to either phosphates or nitrates that put a cap on alage growth. Over time, with more nutrients blown in, the algae can keep growing and result in the truly disgusting pools we've sometimes seen on this forum that have been left for months or even years of neglect.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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