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Thread: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

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    Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    I have been experiencing a lot of problem with black algae for the last few months. It seems that every time I brushed them away and vacuumed out all the dead algae, it keeps coming back. I even had the crazy idea of bringing my pressure washer into the pool to wash it off. It actually worked but it takes a long long long time so here I am seeking for help.

    By the way, I had the same problem last summer and a pool service guy came by and dump a load of chemical into the pool and after some vigorous brushing, the stains were gone. He told me that it shouldn't be back if I put 2 pucks in the skimmer every week and do some light vacuuming. I did that until we had to close the pool for the winter. We opened it up this spring and the problem is back.

    I would do the same thing again except I don't want to repeat this every year. Is there some way that I can get rid of it once and for all? Like draining the pool and power washing the whole thing? I have a cement plaster pool. I only have a few hundred dollar budget to get this thing over with.




    Thanks guys.
    30K IG Sapphire Ansylbrite Plaster - Jandy Plus HP 2.0 HP Pump - Jandy DEV-48 D.E. Filter

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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    If you follow the BBB method, you can probably get the problem resolved, and have enough money left over for a party within your budget.

    We first need your test results:

    FC (Free Chlorine):
    TC (Total Chlorine):
    pH:
    TA (Total Alkalinity):
    CYA (Stabalizer):
    CH (Calcium Hardness):

    Also might be helpful if you provide an inventory of chemicals you have on hand.

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    Welcome to TFP...your algae issue is most likely due to inadequate FC levels. Your solution may be as simple as shocking the pool.

    1st you will need to post us some test results and read through pool shcool on how to defeat algae

    we'll nee the following measurements

    FC
    CC
    PH
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    and any pool specifics you can provide
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    That doesn't look like black algae to me. When you touch it, is it slimy? Can you scrap any off with your finger nail?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    That doesn't look like black algae to me. When you touch it, is it slimy? Can you scrap any off with your finger nail?

    agreed...looks like some sort of stain.

    the chemicals added in the past by the pool guy may have temporarily bleached these stains, or the source of the staining is still in or being added to the pool by a nearby source.
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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    Have you ever used an algecide that contains copper? Maybe pucks that have copper? Could also be manganese. Try holding a vitamin C tablet on the stains and see if they lighten up any.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    thanks guys for the feedbacks. I will get my water tested tomorrow.

    I can't scrape it off with my finger nail and it's not slimy. Does that mean it's not black algae? I am able to scrape it off with wire brush. However, it comes back very fast after a few days of rain.
    30K IG Sapphire Ansylbrite Plaster - Jandy Plus HP 2.0 HP Pump - Jandy DEV-48 D.E. Filter

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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    Welcome to TFP.

    I would expect that if it is metal staining it would be on the step too. Note that it is on the uprising to a step but not the step. How is your circulation near the steps?

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    Definitely metal stains. Try the vitamin C tablet and see of that has any effect.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    Hi, sorry guys for the late reply.

    I used my own kit to test the water, I'm not sure how accurate they are though.

    FC >1 ppm
    CC >1 ppm
    PH 6.8
    Hardness 100ppm
    Alk 20 ppm

    I'm not sure about the stabilizer, it wasn't included in the kit
    Also, the black spots are only on the uprising of the steps because I pressured wash the rest off. It took a long time though.

    The tiles around the water mark are falling off, do you think it has anything to do with the water content?
    Also, would it be wise to drain the pool and pressure wash it? The water hasn't been changed for a really long time, about 10 years I think, and so tiles are falling off. So I want to replace it and maybe paint the pool a different color so it will look cleaner.

    Thanks again.
    30K IG Sapphire Ansylbrite Plaster - Jandy Plus HP 2.0 HP Pump - Jandy DEV-48 D.E. Filter

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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Definitely metal stains. Try the vitamin C tablet and see of that has any effect.
    Do you mean any OTC vitamin C tablet? Or is there a special product for pools? Sorry I'm fairly new to this.
    30K IG Sapphire Ansylbrite Plaster - Jandy Plus HP 2.0 HP Pump - Jandy DEV-48 D.E. Filter

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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by Simple
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Definitely metal stains. Try the vitamin C tablet and see of that has any effect.
    Do you mean any OTC vitamin C tablet? Or is there a special product for pools? Sorry I'm fairly new to this.
    Yep, an OTC vitimin C tablet. Hold it on the stain for at least 30 seconds to see if the stain lightens or disappears.
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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly
    Quote Originally Posted by Simple
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Definitely metal stains. Try the vitamin C tablet and see of that has any effect.
    Do you mean any OTC vitamin C tablet? Or is there a special product for pools? Sorry I'm fairly new to this.
    Yep, an OTC vitimin C tablet. Hold it on the stain for at least 30 seconds to see if the stain lightens or disappears.
    I did the vitamin C tablet test and there were no noticeable improvements. It's pretty dark outside though, so I'll try again tomorrow.
    30K IG Sapphire Ansylbrite Plaster - Jandy Plus HP 2.0 HP Pump - Jandy DEV-48 D.E. Filter

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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    Yes, your PH and CH are both too low.
    I don't necessarily think this is metal - it doesn't sound like it based on your description.
    Hold a trichlor tablet on the stains and if they fade, they are organic in nature.

    Your CYA/stabilizer level is key to knowing if you are maintaining a proper FC level. Consistently low FC will allow organics/algae to get hold and that could be what you have here. It could also be copper staining which the Vit C may not have an affect on.

    I suggest trying a trichlor tablet on the areas and see what happens there.
    In the meantime adjust your ph up to the mid 7s asap. The CH can wait until we resolve this other issue.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    Sadly, you can never get rid of Black Algae. It's a pest. You can do things to keep it at bay, but you can never get rid of Black Algae.

    Sorry

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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    Well, I have doubts about "never".

    I know it's very tough but I'm sure you can keep it from ever bothering you with proper water management.

    I have a vinyl pool and have never gotten it but I believe a continued long (perhaps a couple of seasons worth) exposure to high levels (but swimmable) of FC would probably do the trick.
    Dave S.
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by cannonball.pools
    Sadly, you can never get rid of Black Algae. It's a pest. You can do things to keep it at bay, but you can never get rid of Black Algae.

    Sorry
    Sorry to contradict, but we've had many members successfully beat Black Algae.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    A word on Vit C tabs. DH buys the vitamins and puts them in a container so I don't always know what brand they are. He doesn't often look at prices. He had gotten some that seem to be denser and have a more "polished" exterior, like a glazing almost, that takes forever to dissolve in my pool. Others have dissolved more readily.

    The "coated" one actually leaves yellow goo at the spot where is is placed and has to be brushed off.

    Just wanted to let anyone know about that. Sorry I can't give a recommendation for the best Vit C to use but probably the most costly one (which is probably what these "coated" ones are) might not be the best to use for stain testing in the pool.

    When I did my first stain test, last summer, the Vit C tabs dissolved totally in about 10-15 minutes. These "coated" ones may not even start appearing to dissolve for 20 minutes, or more, and then turn into a tan/yellow blob.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Black Algae Driving Me Crazy

    Green, black, yellow algae are opportunistic, just as many disease causing agents are. They just hang around waiting for the chance to "invade" when resistance is lowered.

    For instance, if I have a bad upper respiratory allergy to something, approaching anaphylaxis or anaphylaxis, thank goodness not too frequently, I, more often than not, get some kind of viral infection, usually upper respiratory, sometimes a cold and occasionally a full blown flu. I'm not "infected" all the time by these viruses, but they certainly are hanging out somewhere near by waiting to get me.

    Of course black algae can be killed. You just have to get through the outer barrier so the killing agent will kill it. Quat algaecides don't kill the algae, or so I have read, they just assist in wetting the barrier so that the killing agent, chlorine, for instance, can get into the cells, to then kill.

    gg=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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