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Thread: Losing an Algae Battle!

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    Losing an Algae Battle!

    We have an Intex 18' x 52" Ultra Frame Pool, approx. 8400 Gal. - This is our 2nd summer with it in AZ. Last summer we had relatively few issues, but this summer has been quite different. We had what I believe to be Mustard Algae appear in June, and tried repeatedly to get rid of it through shocking methods listed on TFP with little success. We shocked, and brushed like crazy, but it always came back almost immediately. We were out of the country during July, Monsoon season here with a lot of dust and rain, and came back to a bigger mess. Nothing seemed to work, and we couldn't keep chlorine in the pool, even after adjusting CYA just above 50. I could add 2 or 3 gallons of 10% liquid and it would be gone in less than 24 hours. Finally, since we own a pump, we decided on Monday to drain and refill. We drained down to about 4 inches, treated all hoses, equipment, pump etc. with a bleach solution and refilled. The material re-appeared on the bottom before it was even 1/2 full. We added chlorine(Liquid 10%) as we filled, and added conditioner to get CYA back up. Pool was filled last night, I shocked again and chlorine was off the charts this morning. I tested again this afternoon, and I am at approx 2ppm. Seems like nothing has changed. I seem to be fighting a losing battle and will take any advice to try and get a handle on this. I am attaching a pic, in case it may help.

    CYA - 45
    PH 7.5
    FC - 5ppm and dropping fast
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Intex Ultra Frame 18' x 52"
    8500 gal.
    Intex 633T Cartridge Filter & Pump

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Losing an Algae Battle!

    Welcome to TFP. It could just be dust settling. Perform the overnight FC loss test to confirm if it is algae or organic. You will need a good test kit to perform the OFCLT

    pool-school/overnight_fc_test

    pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison

    pool-school/shocking_your_pool

    pool-school/defeating_algae
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: Losing an Algae Battle!

    Hi, I have a suggestion. Try putting a sock over your return when you vacuum and see if it catches any of the stuff. I think that a great deal of us that have the intex cartridge filters have the issue of never having a completely clear bottom of the pool due to the fact that the smaller particles get through the filter and back to the pool. Recently someone posted about the sock trick and I tried it when vacuuming, and lo and behold the junk was all in the sock not going back in the pool. You could try this as you are following the other suggestions listed above with regards to pool chemistry.
    18x52 Ultra Frame with 1600 gph sand filter and intex skimmer

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    Re: Losing an Algae Battle!

    Thanks. I will try both suggestions and get back.
    Intex Ultra Frame 18' x 52"
    8500 gal.
    Intex 633T Cartridge Filter & Pump

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Losing an Algae Battle!

    You say on the last fill and bleach addition, you were "off the charts", Can you tell us how high that is, and what test you are using? Not being critical of you here, but trying to get specific so we can help. I have a feeling that even though you've hit hard, it hasn't been hard enough for long enough. Please let us know some specifics, the test you are using, actual FC and CC numbers if you can and go from there. If you are using the yellow OTO Chlorine test, we will be suggesting you get another type called FAS-DPD test. It goes high and tests FC and CC very accurately, and it is a must for shocking. Welcome to the forum BTW and let us know what happens. Would love to help however we can.
    TFP Moderator
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  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Losing an Algae Battle!

    I have to admit my "sin"! We broke down and used a copper based algaecide in a desperate attempt to gain a foothold. As a beginner here, I see now where that isn't recommended. Along with that, I took Carolina's suggestion and put on a skimmer sock as well as a sock over the discharge. After vacuuming this morning, there is a marked improvement, as not nearly as much sediment is showing on the floor. I am still using an OTO test for chlorine, as I haven't had time to purchase a better test kit. Based on that, I did a crude overnight test and believe that I failed and did lose chlorine overnight. Before adding the algaecide, I was over 10ppm, I believe well over, but hard to tell with the cheap test kit. The color was a fairly dark rust, not yellow. One hour after the algaecide, most of the chlorine was gone. I have brought it back up over 10ppm with 10% liquid, but should my pool now hang onto chlorine? I have gone through 16 Gallons or more in a couple of weeks, trying to maintain high enough shock levels, and again after refilling. As of now: PH 7.2, CYA just under 50, FC I believe at shock level, but can't say exactly until I get a better kit. Thanks for all your help. We will get a handle on this yet, and hopefully get to strictly a BBB plan.
    Intex Ultra Frame 18' x 52"
    8500 gal.
    Intex 633T Cartridge Filter & Pump

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    Re: Losing an Algae Battle!

    Hi sveninga and welcome to TFP!
    I'll try and go over just a couple of things and my experience with my smaller, but similar Intex pool.
    I went through a hard time using my local pool store for testing and suggestions buying all kinds of stuff, never really was happy with the water quality last year.
    I started this all over with a drain, scrub down w/bleach and refill this year. I decided I would try to learn water chemistry by doing a Google search and found TFP.
    After a lot of reading posts of stories about how to fix pool problems it was evident that it is a must have to get a better test kit than the OTO kit the pool store sold me.
    I'm a machinist by trade and know the value of proper tools, so I got the best one here, the TF-100 w/XL option. It has been the best tool in my toolbox! It can fix any pool water problem I will have.
    I posted my test results here as I was instructed to do here:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/what-...ns-t10341.html
    I got a lot of overwhelming amount of help and knew I found my home here for all my pool problems!
    This link is one of my favorites now:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/becom...orter-f27.html

    I did the filter socks on the skimmer and that helped too.
    I just got tired of cleaning the small cartridge filter from Intex and have upgraded to a much better and bigger system with a used 1 HP - 150 LB sand filter system I found on Craigs list for $100, another $100 rebuild, lid, o-ring kit and new sand and $25 misc. hose and fittings.
    This upgrade has been very nice for me, backwash every 2 weeks, vacuum 2-3 times a week and that's it besides keeping my FC in the 3-7 range for my CYA at 40. I have never used anything but liquid chlorine, muriatic acid, borax, CYA and polyquat 60 (if we get a big storm and get a lot of tree debris in the pool) in my pool water. Never put anything in your pool until you absolutely know the ingredients, what effect, and what it will leave in the pool permanently. ASK here first, if your not sure.
    Others here have upgraded to the small Intex sand filter system and also are getting great results.
    I did have some PH rise up to 7.8 once a week, so I lowered my TA down from 120 to 80 following pool school instructions.
    Now my PH stays pegged right on 7.5 all the time.
    #1 get your kit as soon as possible and post the complete set of #'s and we're here to help.
    My pool stays perfect all the time now and screams every minute for us to come swimming!
    Here's what you'll will get doing this the TFP way!

    Chuck
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    Swim n Play 21' round, expandable 72" liner, 6FT deep center, buried 14", 12,750 Gallons
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed with 22" Sand filter
    TF-100 test kit
    Thanks to TFP my pool is perfect all the time :party:
    I now suffer from Sparklypoolitis! :whoot:
    I am a Platinum contributor because I want everyone who comes here to Trouble Free Pool to have the same success that I enjoy with my pool and family.

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    Re: Losing an Algae Battle!

    Supertune -
    Thanks for your advice. I am learning, and making progress. Pool held chlorine better today, and I will get a better test kit first of the week. I had planned to upgrade to a sand filter this summer, but had issues with a defective unit and didn't have time to resolve before we were to leave for a month in Sweden. The pool took a lot of hits between rain and dust storms while we were gone. I ended up hooking up the old filter, and am now looking to upgrade either this season, or before next. Money is tight, so we may have to wait. Hopefully I can get a handle on this thing and get balanced again. I'll check everything again in the a.m. and go from there. I would be happy to never set foot in a pool store again at this point, as they are really excited to take my money, but seem to know very little about what they sell, or in some cases, pool chemistry at all. Thanks again.
    Intex Ultra Frame 18' x 52"
    8500 gal.
    Intex 633T Cartridge Filter & Pump

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Losing an Algae Battle!

    Hey again and good to hear some good new from you! Keep at it, you're on the right track. I understand the funds believe me, but your good test kit will pay for itself before you run out reagent. One less trip to the pool store can do that. Keep after the FC levels and let us know if we can help.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Losing an Algae Battle!

    Shocking at what I believe are high enough levels (I am shooting for 29ppm based on Pool Calculator #'s, but should have new kit tomorrow to be sure), but while reading about a million things on the topic, I have come across several posts on TFP that say MA normally grows in shaded areas and on the sides. My pool has no shaded areas, and is in direct sun (112 today) basically until it goes down. I have never seen anything on the sides of the pool, although I have brushed them vigorously as well as the bottom. I also, have 2 very large pine trees in front of my house, much taller than the house. We get a lot of wind this time of year also. That being said, the more I shock, the cloudier the water gets. It is very cloudy right now. The picture of the bottom of the pool at the top of this thread would no longer be possible. Wouldn't that indicate dead algae, or could it be something else causing the cloud? I'm just trying to cover all of my bases.
    Intex Ultra Frame 18' x 52"
    8500 gal.
    Intex 633T Cartridge Filter & Pump

  11. Back To Top    #11
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Losing an Algae Battle!

    Wecome to the forum Sveninga!

    I would keep your shock at normal shock levels, and not MA shock levels, at least until you get the test kit. I am not an expert on mustard algae, but until you eliminate more common algaes (those that are treated at lower FC shock levels) as the cause, I would not assume MA. Staying at MA shock levels too long might damage your liner. Have your read: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-.../mustard_algae?

    Once you have the test kit, then you can tackle this head on
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Losing an Algae Battle!

    The Intex filters do not do a good job of clearing dead algae. The cartridges themselves are incapable of filtering fine particles.

    BUT... Walmart makes a cartridge filter that can do the job. It gets plugged up very quickly, if you're shocking and clearing algae I'd guess 2-3 cleanings a day would be necessary with these filters. But they do work well on fines. They come in a two pack, distributed by walmart and the media looks "dotty" like a miniscule bubble solar cover. The Intex filter media looks more like a dryer sheet.

    I have been running a walmart filter on the secondary pump that pulls from the bottom, and an Intex filter in the skimmer pump (because they plug so fast, skimmer needs to skim) with fairly good results. The one day I had to shock, I ran two Intex filters to keep the water moving well at first but once I switched them to the walmart cartridges the pool was crystal clear by the next morning when the pool passed the OCLT.

    FWIW... I have not vacuumed but maybe once a week (or less) since I started using the walmart cartridges. Prior to that it was every day, and within a couple hours the fines were back on the bottom. They are a mixed blessing, they work well but the frequent plugging up is a PITA.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Losing an Algae Battle!

    Thanks -

    I agree about the Intex filter, but can't seem to locate the Walmart filter anywhere. Do you buy them in-store or online?
    Intex Ultra Frame 18' x 52"
    8500 gal.
    Intex 633T Cartridge Filter & Pump

  14. Back To Top    #14
    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Losing an Algae Battle!

    On the shelf at walmart. Or online, they may sell them online too.

    The rubber is a darker blue than the Intex filters, the media "dotty" looking.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Losing an Algae Battle!

    Did something great Thursday! We swam in our pool again! Water is once again clear and balanced. No more extra chemistry for us. Back to BBB. Extra filtering is making a huge difference, as we have skimmer sock on , plus a tube sock over the discharge when we vacuum. Chlorine, PH, and Alkalinity are all back in line. Testing daily to ensure we don't have a repeat. I also figured out the deal with the filters. I have the larger Intex filter that takes the B cartridge. The A/C cartridges at Walmart are the ones with the different media, but the B cartridges have the same old dryer sheet looking pleats. Will upgrade to a sand filter next season and avoid the cost of replacements. Thanks for all the help!
    Intex Ultra Frame 18' x 52"
    8500 gal.
    Intex 633T Cartridge Filter & Pump

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