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Thread: New, algae finally under control, looking for guidance!

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    Join Date
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    New, algae finally under control, looking for guidance!

    Hello! I have been nosing around TFP for a couple weeks now, and thanks to the information here I managed to get our swampy frog and snail habitat back to the pool I wanted. I still have some minor balance issues to figure out between when I stopped listening to the pool store's varied advice and started educating myself here, so any help is appreciated.

    I bought a K-2006 test kit which showed up last week, and I have tested several times since then until I was confident I was getting pretty consistent numbers. We have been battling horrible recurrent algae since my fiance opened the pool in early April, and this Sunday was the first day I felt everything was good for swimming, after passing an OCLT. However, as we got in, we realized that a small amount of algae came out of the weep holes in the ladder. That afternoon, we pulled the ladder out, did a massive cleaning on it, flushed the weep holes until they ran crystal clear, and then sprayed bleach along all surfaces and inside each weep hole (a process I repeated on Monday morning, just to be safe!) We have not returned the ladder back to the pool, yet, but Sunday evening I shocked the pool based on our previous CYA level (from the pool store) of 35 - I didn't know at the time how high our CYA had gotten. I put the FC level up to 14 Sunday night, and continued that on Monday, and again yesterday.

    I realize high FC probably makes my other results off, but I did them anyway. My test results from last night (at 1730) were:
    FC - 13.5
    PH - 7.4
    TA - 170
    CH - 180
    CYA - 180 (pool store yesterday told me 200, I used the extended test kit directions and got 180, repeated several times in a couple mins, and feel pretty confident in this for the first time!)

    I retested FC this morning at 0940 and got 13.0. Water is clear, and getting to be a little sparkly.

    Prior to my reading up on your forum, the pool store had us battling algae, very low PH, low TA, plus a CYA level of 0. After reading up in Pool School, I knew we would have high CYA, because they told me on two trips a few days apart to add x pounds of CYA, PLUS several bags of shock to clear up algae. I didn't know at the time it could take a week to show up.

    Before I make this too long, I should point out that we are a full sun pool - the only shade our pool gets is from its own sides in the early morning and early afternoon. We are on the Gulf Coast, so evaporation has always been a problem. We add water about once a week in the summer (but haven't had to add water during the winter, so no leaks I don't think!) We have ALWAYS had trouble keeping our chlorine stable. For the last two years, we have also had someone coming by occasionally to throw dirt clods, sticks, and large (palm sized) rocks into our pool.

    Finally, my questions! I got myself this far, now I just want a little bit more guidance. First, even though I think I've done everything OK, is there anything I've done wrong or that I should do better? Second, I know that CYA will go down as we lose/replace water over the next couple weeks due to vacuuming/evaporation, but what is a good target level for CYA for my full sun pool? I think I saw it mentioned somewhere, but I honestly can't remember where. Also, will our high TA change as we replace water?

    And my last question - we leave for vacation on Sunday, and will be gone for a week. I'm not asking for a perfectly balanced pool by then, but what can I do to make sure I don't come back home to a swamp, and all my hard work down the drain? We don't have a cover at the moment - fire ants took it over when my fiance put it on the ground. Would it be rational to put the pool up to shock level before we leave?

    Sorry for the novel - I just figured too much information was better than too little. Thanks in advance!
    24' x 4' round AG (13.5k gal) full sun
    Sand filter with 1.5HP pump

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New, algae finally under control, looking for guidance!

    Welcome

    First, the high FC will only affect the pH test ... now on to more important things.

    How did you get the CYA level of 180? The test only goes to 100.

    Keep reading Pool School and some of your answers are there: Recommended Levels. You want your CYA around 50 ppm. If your CYA is truly that high, you MUST replace a lot of water. It will not come down at all due to evaporation .. only water change.

    According to the poolcalculator, if your CYA is 180pp, the minimum for your FC is 14ppm ... that is just not realistic.

    Do not worry about TA until you have your CYA/FC straightened out.

    Shock level for your CYA is something in the 40s ... you can try, but it will drop before you get back. Normally for vacations people bump up to shock, use pucks to maintain FC, and cover. But, the pucks will be just adding more CYA.

    I think I would leave the pool and then start draining when you get home if you want to have a decent shot at a clear pool all summer.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Gautier, MS (Gulf Coast!)
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    Re: New, algae finally under control, looking for guidance!

    Thanks for the reply! I used the extended test kit directions for high cya -fill to first mark with pool water, fill to second mark with fresh water, mix, then empty half until back at the first mark. Test as normal, then multiply results by 2. When I performed the test prior to that, the dot was obscurred well before the 100 mark.

    I should have thought about evap not affecting CYA. Makes sense! We vac to waste, and may vac one more time before we leave, so that may help CYA a little when we refill. I was surprised to sees it that high at the pool store, which is why I tested it again myself.
    24' x 4' round AG (13.5k gal) full sun
    Sand filter with 1.5HP pump

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New, algae finally under control, looking for guidance!

    Sounds like you did the CYA test correctly. Unfortunately, the only way to get it down to a reasonable level is by replacing water.

    If you want to keep it clear, you have to keep FC above 14ppm ... but I would strongly suggest a LOT of water replacement.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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