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Thread: Sphagnum moss?

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    Sphagnum moss?

    Anybody have any opinions on using sphagnum moss (specifically Pool Naturally products)?
    35K In-ground, vinyl liner, cartridge filter

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    To do what?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    The only polite thing I can say about it is that it is completely unnecessary. handy link
    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: Sphagnum moss?

    I used sphagnum moss in art class a long time ago. It was fun!

    Seriously though, you won't find anyone here that'll have anything good to say. As Jason said, it's not necessary. I perused the site, it looks really expensive, and it feeds off of peoples fears to sell their product with statements like, "no more chlorine smell!" I've never had chlorine smell from my pool, and if I did, because of troublefreepool, I know how to get rid of it really quick. Other statements like no more burning eyes, and save six hours of maintenance time over three months... Again, never had burning eyes. I also think it would be extremely hard to save six hours of maintenance time over three months when I'll be lucky to put in three hours over the entire pool season!

    However, I am going to my cottage by my bazillion gallon pool today for some much needed water skiing. The sphagnum moss most certainly has it's part in filtering that pool!

    Rob B
    My $100 pool finally died after 6 years.
    Totally got our monies worth!
    Butterfly made me do it...

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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    I'd use this sphagnum moss on my pool though!



    Rob B
    My $100 pool finally died after 6 years.
    Totally got our monies worth!
    Butterfly made me do it...

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    gboulton's Avatar
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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    It's pretty awesome stuff...

    In an aquarium.
    -Gordon
    Pool School helps me maintain my 13,500G 24' x 48" ASP with Sand Filtration using a TF100 Test Kit and Pool Calculator.
    Remember, the Shock Process should be followed until : 1. CC is less than 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less and, 3. The water is crystal clear.
    --I didn't buy my pool to swim in it. I bought my pool to watch my wife swim in it. :wink:

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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    For fun i read their website. For even more fun i followed some of their links. One link didn't work....and one is to the University of Montana. Now the University verifies the existence of "biofilm", however nowhere could i find an explanation on exactly how the moss helps break down biofilm. IF it actually did that I could see how in a low chlorine situation it could be beneficial, however I don't see any reason to try and create a super low chlorine pool. My guess is in a properly maintained pool there is no biofilm to deal with......
    18'x43' Sport Pool
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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    Moss works to solve a problem that a swimming pool should not have. If you are keeping fish, you'd have nitrates and ammonia to deal with in the water, from fish food and fish poop. Fish keepers use things like moss, plastic mesh, ceramic spools, sponges, or little green army men, to provide a home for the bacteria that process that waste. But that is why an aquarium is slimy to the touch, that bacteria is the biofilm on everything. So the moss is just allowing a home for the bacteria, so that less has to be on the other surfaces.

    Pool keepers prefer to not put food and poop into the water. we net out leaves and use skimmers to clean debris. Then we use chlorine to obliterate organics like algae. No bacteria, no biofilm. I prefer that bacteria be killed in my pool, I remember all too well swimming with a mask and snorkel in the neighborhood pool and seeing strings of snot float past after the swim team practice.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    seeing strings of snot float past after the swim team practice.
    Ewwwww! One reason I try to avoid wearing masks in a pool.
    Rob B
    My $100 pool finally died after 6 years.
    Totally got our monies worth!
    Butterfly made me do it...

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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    Thanks for the feedback. I was just curious after I saw a local newscast spotlighting their product.
    35K In-ground, vinyl liner, cartridge filter

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    gboulton's Avatar
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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kias
    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    seeing strings of snot float past after the swim team practice.
    Ewwwww! One reason I try to avoid wearing masks in a pool.
    Because snot is so much better when it gets in your eyes?
    -Gordon
    Pool School helps me maintain my 13,500G 24' x 48" ASP with Sand Filtration using a TF100 Test Kit and Pool Calculator.
    Remember, the Shock Process should be followed until : 1. CC is less than 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT shows a loss of 1.0 ppm or less and, 3. The water is crystal clear.
    --I didn't buy my pool to swim in it. I bought my pool to watch my wife swim in it. :wink:

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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    Definitely better, cause I'll never know it happened in the first place!

    Rob B
    My $100 pool finally died after 6 years.
    Totally got our monies worth!
    Butterfly made me do it...

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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    I am new to this site...we had a sphagnum moss filter installed on our pool in early June of this year. The goal was to reduce chlorine use as much as possible. It looks like it is helping keep the pool from getting bad....as we have had a lot of problems with ammonia/low fc this year for the first time. The problems started before the moss unit was installed. I think I am close to getting the contaminant problem cleared up and I look forward to seeing how the moss works in a normal pool water situation.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    Quote Originally Posted by valerieS
    I am new to this site...we had a sphagnum moss filter installed on our pool in early June of this year. The goal was to reduce chlorine use as much as possible. It looks like it is helping keep the pool from getting bad....as we have had a lot of problems with ammonia/low fc this year for the first time. The problems started before the moss unit was installed. I think I am close to getting the contaminant problem cleared up and I look forward to seeing how the moss works in a normal pool water situation.
    Welcome to TFP!

    You can easily maintain chlorine and keep ammonia out of a pool with no filter at all. The filter has no effect on chemistry, it simply removes dirt and debris.

    Reading the web site makes it look like a typical scam product. My pool doesn't make my eyes red, smell like chlorine, use algaecides, stain removers etc., and I use a plain old sand filter.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    Can you say "snake oil"? I didn't know I needed to oil my snakes! I thought they got along quite well keeping the rodents out of my yard without oiling them!

    However, the local snakes don't seem to care too much for my BBB pool! Like so many others here, I've never had water so clean and sparkly with only bleach, muriatic acid, and a little P.O.P. -- and the occasional sweep/vacuum.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    Quote Originally Posted by valerieS
    The goal was to reduce chlorine use as much as possible.
    Out of curiosity, why do you want to reduce your chlorine use?

    Is it because of burning eyes? (caused by low pH)

    Is it because of the smell? (caused by chloromines)

    Is it because of green hair concerns? (cause by copper)

    Is it because of faded swimsuits? (caused by lack of stabilizer)

    It seems every reason someone gives to reduce chlorine is a problem not caused by chlorine. It's almost as if people selling "chlorine alternatives" are misleading people, but I just don't understand why any of them would do $uch a thing...
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    While we are at it... can we have the water district stop using any chlorine products to clean the water? Maybe that can use moss to clean it all?
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    To be clear, what sphagnum moss does is release some chemicals that are likely to be powerful surfactants or related compounds that disrupt bacterial biofilms. It is similar in its effects to what products such as AquaFinesse, Ahh-Some, Spa System Flush and Multizyme do (the latter uses mostly enzymes).

    The main place where such products find some reasonable use is in high bather-load commercial/public pools that tend to get bacterial biofilms in their sand filters. The other place some of these products are useful is in removing existing biofilm in new or poorly maintained residential spas where wet-testing from the factory can leave some water in the pipes where bacterial biofilm can form. However, for residential spas, once the biofilm is removed, it can be kept away by proper chlorine maintenance.

    In residential pools, significant biofilm problems are a rarity and can almost always be prevented by proper chlorine maintenance. Note that in residential pools, the majority of chlorine loss is from breakdown from the UV in sunlight. Actual measured overnight chlorine loss is typically very low. Any products that kill bacteria or algae or prevent biofilms are going to have a negligible and unmeasurable effect on a properly chlorinated residential pool such as those maintained by the tens of thousands of members of this forum (and the hundreds of thousands who look at the forum but do not register).

    As to whether the sphagnum moss would prevent bacteria from growing to convert CYA into ammonia if a pool is "let go" with zero chlorine (say, over the winter), I do not know. Unless the chemicals in the moss cut down bacteria growth to very, very low levels, the months over the winter are a very long time for bacteria so that even a slow growth could consume voluminous amounts of CYA and turn it into ammonia. Simply inhibiting biofilms is not enough since bacterial growth outside of biofilm formation is enough for such conversion. So my hunch is that it won't help, but I can't say for sure. There are other ways of making sure you don't get a CYA-to-ammonia problem, namely maintaining a chlorine or algaecide level in the pool over the winter, closing the pool when the water is as cold as possible and opening in the spring before the water warms up significantly.
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    So chem geek, you are saying I should close my pool just before ice forms on the top, and open it as soon as the ice melts?
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Sphagnum moss?

    That would be extreme, but would minimize chlorine loss if you added chlorine and Polyquat 60 in a closing procedure. If you close when the water is 50F or below and open when it is 50F or below, that is usually OK. It also depends on whether you have an opaque cover on the pool, at least for the chlorine loss. I don't close my pool over the winter since it doesn't freeze, but I can tell you that the chlorine loss rate when the water hits around 50F goes down to around 1 ppm FC every 2 weeks. At 40F it would likely be around 1 ppm FC per month. So should be slow enough to get you through the winter and the Polyquat 60 breaks down even more slowly than that so should help prevent both algae and bacterial growth even if the chlorine did get to zero.

    I understand that you really can't close or open the pool when it is near freezing since you don't want to risk damaging your equipment as the weather tends to gyrate during the transition on both sides of the winter season.
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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