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Thread: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

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    Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    Here I am again with a new post looking for some advice please, I only posted on my previous thread a couple of days ago saying how wonderful my pool looks and how happy I am. This is still true but thought I should start a new thread for this query.

    I will try and keep this as short as possible to make it easier to read (and not get you bored with my drivel)

    Ever since we acquired our pool with the house nearly 2 years ago we have (what I thought maybe mustard algae). Having recently shocked the pool and got all my levels correct following some great advice on here, I let the FC level drop to 7 to get an accurate Ph reading. Had to go to work and when I came back, IT WAS BACK. Brownish spots all over the steps and pool floor, and today I noticed the dusty brown when I was brushing.

    The walls appear clear (and from what I have read Mustard algae clings to walls) mmmmm confused. It has always been this way with the brown dusty stuff just poofing up when I brush, it did ease off last winter but came back noticeably at the start of the summer period. The spots or areas are more noticeable now that my pool is clear and also probably because I have not been using the automatic pool cleaner (X7 Quattro).

    I have read many threads on here regarding Mustard algae and yes have considered pollen from nearby trees etc. We don't get a cold winter here and its green for 12 months of the year. But since it practically disappeared during my last shock which I tried to keep at FC 30 it all but vanished. As soon as FC levels dropped it returned.

    So I now believe I have mustard algae (rightly or wrongly) or some other horrible living thing in my pool and have started the shock process again with brushing and vacuuming to waste. I will continue with the shocking at least until monday morning when we go away for 5 days pre Easter, work permitting, I have the time to really hammer it until friday afternoon after which my time at home will be very limited.

    My real question / concern is that, given I have used the pool cleaner pretty much continually when the pump has been running, I don't now. How much of this horrible stuff is in my filter. Is it worth me taking off the top and hosing out the sand, I have seen this mentioned in a few posts. I have a multi valve fitted to the top of my filter which was all new including sand when we moved in.

    I am guessing at this point that if it is required then I just have to unscrew the pipes that are attached and then unscrew the multi valve and follow the instructions which are posted on TFP.

    7pm (AEST)
    Ph 7.5
    FC 32
    TC 32
    TA 80
    CYA 45
    CH 230

    Am I right to brush or does this just spread it around or should I just shock till it turns white then Vacuum and then brush. I vacuumed all that I could see this morning before I started to shock again, so its pretty minimal the amount that is settling and appearing.

    Thanks again for any advice on this new post, I go into this with confidence and minimal stress, time is my enemy this week

    Just to clarify the colour of the spots/areas is a sort of light browny grey, the dusty stuff seems to be slightly darker though.

    I wish I had taken pictures this morning
    12,000 Gln / 45,000 Ltr IG Freeform Fibreglass.
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    T600 Sand filter nominal dia 647mm
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    That does sound like mustard algae, which does tend to come back.

    Algae in the filter is not a problem. Shock levels of chlorine will kill anything in the filter even more effectively than it kills the stuff in the pool, and the lack of light in the filter means that new algae can't grow back inside the filter.

    To kill mustard algae you want to use shock level and lots of brushing to get rid of anything you can see and then when things seem under control go to an extra high shock level for 24 hours to make sure you really got it. It is important to brush everywhere, wash bathing suits, and clean pool toys with diluted bleach solution or soak them in the pool for a few hours at the extra high shock level. Mustard algae can hide out in various places, even if they are dry at the moment.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    Thanks Jason, speedy reply as always

    I have thrown out all of the pool toys as they were only cheap inflatables which can be replaced next year easily enough. All equipment is in the pool so hopefully should be clean by the end of it.

    according to the CYA/Chlorine chart my shock level should be 30 for mustard algae, how much higher would you recommend I go at the end when I think its gone.

    Is it worth going higher now whilst I have more time as after friday afternoon I will be pretty much at work and will only get to brush maybe once a day. Then we go away monday morning.
    12,000 Gln / 45,000 Ltr IG Freeform Fibreglass.
    Onga 1hp 2800 rpm single speed pump.
    T600 Sand filter nominal dia 647mm
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    Jason would it also be worth hosing out the filter anyway, as I have never backwashed for more than 45 seconds at a time up till a couple of weeks ago

    strict instructions from the pool shop when they fitted it.
    12,000 Gln / 45,000 Ltr IG Freeform Fibreglass.
    Onga 1hp 2800 rpm single speed pump.
    T600 Sand filter nominal dia 647mm
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    as I have never backwashed for more than 45 seconds at a time up till a couple of weeks ago
    Cha-ching! Your filter has very likely NEVER been properly backwashed or, importantly, RINSED correctly.

    You should backwash until you can observe the waste water running clear and then you should then rinse until it runs perfectly clear again.

    A thorough backwash on my pool takes about 3-4 minutes and then at least 60-90 seconds on rinse. Yes, that's a lot of water.....that's the nature of a sand filter.

    Please disregard whatever advice the pool shop gave you.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh

    Please disregard whatever advice the pool shop gave you.
    Dave believe me I started disregarding all advice I have received from them as soon as I started taking the sound advice of all you guys.

    Never again, never.
    12,000 Gln / 45,000 Ltr IG Freeform Fibreglass.
    Onga 1hp 2800 rpm single speed pump.
    T600 Sand filter nominal dia 647mm
    TF-100 (love it)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    When I said extra high shock, I mean the Yel/MstrdShock column from this chart.

    If the filter is more than five years old then it is worth opening up and rinsing out the sand. Regardless of how old it is, do the through backwashing that duraleigh suggested first.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    When I said extra high shock, I mean the Yel/MstrdShock column from this chart.

    If the filter is more than five years old then it is worth opening up and rinsing out the sand. Regardless of how old it is, do the through backwashing that duraleigh suggested first.
    Gottya

    I am shocking at that level now and will maintain for at least another 24 hours with continuous brushing, there is nothing showing this morning. which is good to see.

    Before I leave for work tomorrow I will do the thorough backwash as suggested by Duraleigh.

    I'll post back here before we leave for hols on monday.

    Once again Cheers guys.

    The filter is only just under 2yrs old but I was just concerned that I had been sucking all this stuff into it via the auto pool cleaner for all that time with no effective backwashing. Anyway will see how we go. If I don't have to do it then its fine by me.
    12,000 Gln / 45,000 Ltr IG Freeform Fibreglass.
    Onga 1hp 2800 rpm single speed pump.
    T600 Sand filter nominal dia 647mm
    TF-100 (love it)

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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    If you've got light fixtures in the water, get behind them as mustard algae likes shade and often hang out there. Same with removable ladders. You've got to expose this algae to high chlorine levels wherever it is hanging out.
    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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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    Not to refute the other guys replies(they know far more than I), but it sounds more like dust/pollen to me that makes it back through your filter and into the pool. Do the spots seem to collect in the grooves and wrinkles of the floor first? Does the problem seem to overwhelm you more in the spring/early summer? what kind of trees are nearby?
    I have the same problem here in the panhandle of Florida. Sand filter and oak trees all over my neighborhood and some close to the pool. I deal with this every year and cuss it up and down. I have in the past shocked the pool as if it was mustard, but it never really went the way the guys said. It seems like it took so much chlorine that I finally bleached the pollen till it became oxidized and got rid of the bulk of it through backflushing, and then throughout the summer I would have clear water and a few brown spots in the dips. They always come back after vacuuming but this seems to become a big problem for me every spring(right about the time these oaks are doing their thing).

    I have taken a different approach this year. The water(right on cue) got overwhelmed again a couple weeks ago. This year, I have been using a small cup of DE in the filter. vacuum till the filter almost clogs, backwash, repeat. Once the floor is clean, add DE again and run filter till pressure goes way up(only takes a few mins) and backwash again. I did this probably 10 or more times in a 2 day period. Never used more than a normal daily dose of FC Never showed an overnight FC drop either. My water is now pretty clear. Just a few spots on the bottom but I flushed a TON of that mess out each time. The DE is the only thing that seems to really catch it...
    I am going to replace my Sand filter with a Pentair quad DE when I decide I can afford it. Good luck...
    24' AGP vinyl, 3/4hp Pentair 2-speed, Pentair Quad DE 60
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    Yellow/mustard algae prefers shade and does not like direct sunlight. So if this "dust" shows up even in sunny areas and follows "dead spot" circulation patterns, then it's probably not yellow/mustard algae. For pollen, many people have used skimmer socks with great success.
    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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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Yellow/mustard algae prefers shade and does not like direct sunlight. So if this "dust" shows up even in sunny areas and follows "dead spot" circulation patterns, then it's probably not yellow/mustard algae. For pollen, many people have used skimmer socks with great success.
    the pool is in full sun from about 9am thru to 5/7pm depending on time of day. the only corner that does get some shade more from the pool sides than anything doesn\t seem to get it worse than any other part. so maybe pollen is right.

    will pollen turn white if I am shocking at Mustard algae levels ??, the worst side is probably the side which gets most sun and also has the closest bushes, trees from next door.

    Not quite sure exactly what you mean by "dead spot" circulation patterns, but it does seem to follow the flow from the return jets which are at the shallow end, the area just by these jets is the heaviest and first to show any signs and it spreads down the pool becoming more spread out, by the time it gets to the deep end its not really noticeable until you brush. I have always felt that it is something in the filter, and as I am typing it seems clear as mud that pollen is the logical answer. the pool has a very lasrg fig tree and a huge mango tree next door plus loads of others that I dont know the names of.

    Any way I am going away tomorrow first thing and I will see what I return to. I have been using a sock by the way since finding this site.

    Thanks again Chem
    12,000 Gln / 45,000 Ltr IG Freeform Fibreglass.
    Onga 1hp 2800 rpm single speed pump.
    T600 Sand filter nominal dia 647mm
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by budysr
    Do the spots seem to collect in the grooves and wrinkles of the floor first? Does the problem seem to overwhelm you more in the spring/early summer? what kind of trees are nearby?
    Hi budysr

    yes our fibreglass has some dimples in the bottom and steps and these seem to be the first places it catches, immediately after the return jets is the worst area.

    We have some big trees including Fig and Mangoe, Palm trees and Others I don't know. Its green here 12 months and never really drops below 10 degrees at night in winter, but it is noticeably worse in the warmer summer months.

    Chem Geek says mustard doesn't like full sun and the areas that are worst get full sun all day, so i am now thinking Pollen.

    I'll see how it looks at the end of the week when I get back from camping. If it's terrible again I may be able to hget some pictures and post.

    Cheers for the input
    12,000 Gln / 45,000 Ltr IG Freeform Fibreglass.
    Onga 1hp 2800 rpm single speed pump.
    T600 Sand filter nominal dia 647mm
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    I did give the filter a good 3 minute backwash yesterday and will try to do so again if I can before I leave.

    I'll post a full set of results and state of pool next weekend.

    thanks to everyone who has offered advice its most welcome. Have a good week
    12,000 Gln / 45,000 Ltr IG Freeform Fibreglass.
    Onga 1hp 2800 rpm single speed pump.
    T600 Sand filter nominal dia 647mm
    TF-100 (love it)

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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    I too have noticed the same thing. Spots of dirt/pollen or whatever on the bottom of the pool that collects each and every day. Then, when we get in, it gets stirred up into a fine powder that causes the water appearance to suffer because it turns it a bit cloudy. Even being super careful vacuuming, I still tend to stir it up and the water clouds up. I have a lot of trees around and I feel they are the culprit. I have tried elevating the chlorine level to try and battle it, but it still happens. I am going to try a skimmer sock to try and catch some of the finer particles that may be causing this. Good Luck, this happens to me every season.
    24' Round AGP | 13,600 Gallons | Waterway Cartridge Filter | Waterway 2 Speed Pump | K-2006 Test Kit
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    When I shocked at Mustard Al levels in the past, The pollen would turn white from so much bleach. Of course that could also be dead algea according to the guys here that know more about that. I still think that both you guys have the same problem as me with pollen that is so fine it gets back through your filters. The skimmer socks didn't work very well for me personally but I know others praise their results. The DE is the only thing that seems to really catch this mess. I will soon be switching to a DE filter
    24' AGP vinyl, 3/4hp Pentair 2-speed, Pentair Quad DE 60
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by TravisD
    I too have noticed the same thing. Spots of dirt/pollen or whatever on the bottom of the pool that collects each and every day. Then, when we get in, it gets stirred up into a fine powder that causes the water appearance to suffer because it turns it a bit cloudy. Even being super careful vacuuming, I still tend to stir it up and the water clouds up. I have a lot of trees around and I feel they are the culprit. I have tried elevating the chlorine level to try and battle it, but it still happens. I am going to try a skimmer sock to try and catch some of the finer particles that may be causing this. Good Luck, this happens to me every season.

    I have been using a sock and I think it did help but unfortunately last one got ripped by sticks leaves etc. I will be getting some more though as I am sure it made a difference.

    FC - 7
    TC - 7
    TA - 80
    Ph - 7.5
    CYA - 45
    CH - 230

    Sorry for the delay in getting back, we got back and the pool looked great apart from some stuff blown in.

    Been back for a week and been so busy but have vacuumed up the bottom and then gave another good back wash, maintaining all levels.

    At the moment the pool looks great and I am only adding 1.25ltr of Chlorine every night and very happy with that.

    I have also seen a dramatic reduction in acid since getting the TA down, I now just add about 500mls per fortnight. More money saved

    Great site love all the advice
    12,000 Gln / 45,000 Ltr IG Freeform Fibreglass.
    Onga 1hp 2800 rpm single speed pump.
    T600 Sand filter nominal dia 647mm
    TF-100 (love it)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    Congratulations
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    For what it's worth, when I had mustard algae it was different than what you describe. When I brushed, it was a yellow-green cloud that would rise around the brush, not brown. I had to hold mustard algae shock level for several days to get rid of it. I may have missed it, but I never saw a post with your overnight drop levels. I did see you had no CC (TC and FC numbers were the same).

    The reason I bring this up is because I just resolved a similar problem like yours. Brown clouds. When you fire up your pump, do you get brown clouds out the returns? Turns out my old sand filter had gone past it's useful life, and was spitting sand out every time the pump fired up, and most likely in small amounts the entire time it was running. I'm still working to get the sand out of my pool, but I'm almost done. This isn't a gritty sand like what is in the filter, it is more like a very fine dust.

    In regards to needing a DE filter to get rid of mustard algae, I disagree. I've successfully rid my pool of it with my sand filter.
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    Re: Mustard algae in my filter ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH
    For what it's worth, when I had mustard algae it was different than what you describe. When I brushed, it was a yellow-green cloud that would rise around the brush, not brown. I had to hold mustard algae shock level for several days to get rid of it. I may have missed it, but I never saw a post with your overnight drop levels. I did see you had no CC (TC and FC numbers were the same).

    The reason I bring this up is because I just resolved a similar problem like yours. Brown clouds. When you fire up your pump, do you get brown clouds out the returns? Turns out my old sand filter had gone past it's useful life, and was spitting sand out every time the pump fired up, and most likely in small amounts the entire time it was running. I'm still working to get the sand out of my pool, but I'm almost done. This isn't a gritty sand like what is in the filter, it is more like a very fine dust.

    In regards to needing a DE filter to get rid of mustard algae, I disagree. I've successfully rid my pool of it with my sand filter.
    CC - 0 sorry forgot to post that one.
    I haven't done an overnight test for a while now (about 4 weeks) and in that time it has continued to improve which is why I have not bothered, but on that occasion it passed.

    But good point, maybe I will get a chance to do one over the weekend.

    I'm going to try hanging a sock in front of each return for a while and see what I catch, I saw that mentioned in another post.
    12,000 Gln / 45,000 Ltr IG Freeform Fibreglass.
    Onga 1hp 2800 rpm single speed pump.
    T600 Sand filter nominal dia 647mm
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