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Thread: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

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    buzzbait00's Avatar
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    Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    I'm seriously considering pulling the plug on this pool if I have to keep going like this. I don't have a lot of money and I have poured more chlorine in this pool in the last couple years than i care to think about.Last week I went through 30lbs of 73% cal-hypo and I'm right back where i started!I've worn out a brush brushing.Everything that enters the pool has been soaked in chlorine. Light cover has been removed. At recommended MA shock levels.. I can see the stuff settling on the steps an hour after i brush. SHOCKING THE POOL WITH CHLORINE ISN'T WORKING. AND according to local pool place..Copper is at highest recommended level??. I thought copper killed anything!? PLEASE HELP!
    36x18,MAYBE 27000gal?,VINYL.3/4 HP,PAC-FAB SUPER FLO SAND FILTER

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    What is your CYA level?
    18'x43' Sport Pool
    19,000 Gallons Vinyl Liner 3'-3.5'-4'
    SWCG and D.E. Filter
    Test Kits - Pool Calculator - Chlorine/CYA Chart - Pool School

    Secret Weapon for Pool Chemistry Testing

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    buzzbait00's Avatar
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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    FC- 5.7
    CC- .2
    ph- 7.8
    hardness-140
    alk- 96
    cya- 15 at last cheak but added 4lbs since.
    copper- .3
    tds- 600
    36x18,MAYBE 27000gal?,VINYL.3/4 HP,PAC-FAB SUPER FLO SAND FILTER

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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    I sounds like you posted because you want some help. If so, you are going to have to learn some things. Sorry for sounding harsh (and it might get worse, but I am going to be very candid)

    SHOCKING THE POOL WITH CHLORINE ISN'T WORKING.
    That simply isn't correct. You are not shocking the pool properly. Your water and your algae is no different from the thousands who have been successful clearing their pools so there is something wrong with your methodology.

    1. read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School

    2. read "How to Shock Your Pool" up in Pool School

    Once you have gained a thorough understanding of the procedures involved, following those procedurescompletely will result in a crystal clear pool.

    Stay out of the pool store....that's only making your problems worse.

    Copper is the worst thing you can put in your pool.....stop using it.

    We'll help get your pool clear but, if after three years (really?) of not doing things correctly, you are going to have to commit to some big changes in the way you try to clear your pool.

    If you are not willing to learn and make those changes, your pool will never be clear.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    My recommendation would be for you to completely
    drain it and just start all over. I've got a
    36,000 gallon pool and over the years I've done
    that when it really turned green. Water is generally
    cheaper than using massive amounts of chemicals!

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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by drgoodson
    My recommendation would be for you to completely
    drain it and just start all over. Water is generally
    cheaper than using massive amounts of chemicals!
    It cost me less than $100 and a few hours to fill my 18' AGP - this seems like a really good suggestion but it doesn't get thrown out much... risk of liner shrinkage?

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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    Sorry, I've got a concrete bottom with
    gunnite sides, so I can't help you with your
    question about the vinyl liner. Good luck
    with your problem!

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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    The question was to the forum about why a recc. of a drain and fill isn't reccomended more often - not a liner question..

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    Drain and fill typically only works for those of us lucky enough to have inexpensive, clean, non-metallic water and a low water table. Not everyone has this.

    If you are on a pump or spring, you may get nasty metals and you only want to deal with them once and then maintain them.
    Some have very slow pumps like the drain and fill that the user is on third day of filling the pool and she is less than 50%
    Some have water tables so high is they take the water out of the pool, it will float and ruin everything.

    Drain and fill work for some but not all. I happen to be blessed enough to be one of the lucky ones.
    -- 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

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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    That explains that then! I've always lived with city water so ...I guess I'm lucky too.

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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzbait00
    FC- 5.7
    CC- .2
    ph- 7.8
    hardness-140
    alk- 96
    cya- 15 at last cheak but added 4lbs since.
    copper- .3
    tds- 600
    During this time, have you ever purchased a test kit that has a FAS-DPD chlorine test? If you don't have a good test kit that is drop-based, has a FAS-DPD chlorine test, can test for CH, CYA, pH, and TA, you are going to keep spinning your wheels. In order to properly shock a pool, you must have a FAS-DPD chlorine test. The test results that you have posted appear to have come from a pool store.

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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by drgoodson
    My recommendation would be for you to completely
    drain it and just start all over. I've got a
    36,000 gallon pool and over the years I've done
    that when it really turned green. Water is generally
    cheaper than using massive amounts of chemicals!
    What you are recommending is wasteful and not necessary. If you are needing "massive amounts of chemicals" to keep your pool water in check, then you would probably benefit from purchasing a high quality test kit and reading pool school. What we teach here works, unless you don't follow it to a tee.

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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    I just cleared my pool of mustard algae and it took about $100 of chlorine and a LOT of scrubbing. I did purchase "yellow out" which seemed to help me and it was a reasonable expense. If you stick with shocking at the appropriate levels long enough...it WILL die! BUt if you go through all the trouble to shock and clear your pool (A PROCESS, NOT A ONE TIME THING) and then don't maintain properly then you are wasting your time and money.
    32x16 -16,500 gallon plaster pool with connected spa and spillover, Hayward RS 1 HP pump, 2 Hayward Cartridge filters. 10 hours of direct sun a day and a first time pool owner!!

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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    With yellow/mustard algae, a drain/refill won't help unless you get behind light niches, under removable ladders, and clean all pool equipment (poles, brushes, etc.) and it sounds like you've done the latter (clean equipment). The algae likes to hang out in shady areas and takes higher levels of chlorine to kill so if you don't get rid of all of it then it will come back (unless one maintains a higher FC of around 15% of the CYA level, but that can become impractical).

    From what I can tell from previous posts about this pool, you started taking charge of your pool in August, 2007 getting a TF-100 test kit. The pool was like pond water when you opened in May, 2008 because I assume you let the pool go for closing. Then there were some filter issues where a sock over a return captured live sweat bees.

    In August, 2008 you mention fighting some algae that looked like dust/pollen. You and several people reported similar issues in the 2009 thread Algae I.D. PLEASE! though some seemed to have pollen (on covers and in skimmer socks) while others may have had yellow/mustard algae. One person got some from the bottom of the pool and looked under a microscope to find spores which is more like pollen than algae.

    There were no reports of problems in 2010, but I assume from your "Year 3" subject title that you had the same problems but did not report them here.

    In June, 2011 it was reported that the pool was a swamp in the spring (again, I assume the pool is "let go" during the winter).

    So in everything I read, I only saw shocking being done and nothing about getting behind light niches, under removable ladders, though you did clean pool equipment and perhaps some of these are not applicable to your pool. Also, from pictures early on, it didn't look like yellow/mustard algae. And if you've truly got high copper levels in the water, then maybe it is just lots of pollen since we know there were serious filter problems in the past that didn't catch the "dust". Also, if this green dust settles in sunny areas, then it is unlikely to be yellow/mustard algae.

    Did you ever get the filter in good shape so that it would capture finer particles properly? Does your pool have submerged lights or a removable ladder that you could check? I know you said you cleaned equipment. If you have yellow/mustard algae, then it will almost certainly be lurking in those areas in copious quantities. Also, it sounds like your (vinyl) pool probably does not have a floor drain so how is the bottom circulation? Are the returns pointed in a way to ensure that chlorine reaches the bottom of the pool?
    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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    buzzbait00's Avatar
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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    "Did you ever get the filter in good shape so that it would capture finer particles properly? Does your pool have submerged lights or a removable ladder that you could check? I know you said you cleaned equipment. If you have yellow/mustard algae, then it will almost certainly be lurking in those areas in copious quantities. Also, it sounds like your (vinyl) pool probably does not have a floor drain so how is the bottom circulation? Are the returns pointed in a way to ensure that chlorine reaches the bottom of the pool?"


    I've replace the sand with required amount and found a small hose that was not functioning properly(cant remember at this time what it was but i fixed it).The filter appears to be working properly now.

    The pool does have a submerged light and a fixed ladder. I will be sure to clean them wile at shock level.

    Returns are pointed down. At one time i had pvc piped to the bottom of the pool.

    Here is where things get odd. I am 99% sure this is algae.It has most of the characteristics of mustard algae except it covers the whole bottom eventually. Not just shady areas. I believe its algae because i have had periods were i was temporarily rid of it and at shock levels there is not much of it at all and is only in a few places in small piles and stays that way wile chlorine levels are high.When levels come down there is more and more of it. I can brush it and it comes back more and more til the entire bottom is greenish yellow. It doesn't stay in the water at first only on bottom of the pool.The watter is clear the bottom of pool is greenish yellow.Eventually it gets so thick on the bottom that when i brush it the entire pool turns into a swamp. It does not matter what the pollen count is or any other environmental factors that exist.

    I have read all the abc's and other how to's on here over and over. I know that chlorine will kill algae given enough of it but my problem is the HUGE chlorine demand it takes to try and hold THIS pool at MA shock levels for days upon days hoping it will hold chlorine over night.

    Maybe I should clarify my "SHOCKING THE POOL WITH CHLORINE ISN'T WORKING" statment...I was just hoping there might be another way!!! Some method of shocking paired with something else that would be more cost effective giving the circumstances. Please forgive me ; )
    36x18,MAYBE 27000gal?,VINYL.3/4 HP,PAC-FAB SUPER FLO SAND FILTER

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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    Using chlorine is the first line of defense, but if for whatever reason you find it doesn't work in your situation and you don't want to (or find it cost effective to) have higher chlorine levels to make up for whatever is going on (say, poor circulation) you can always look at the standard algaecide and phosphate remover products. They all have their individual pros/cons. If you haven't tried 50 ppm Borates, you can see if they help -- they won't kill algae completely, but might let you have "normal" chlorine levels. As for algaecides, Polyquat is better against green algae and for yellow/mustard a standard linear quat (ADBAC) would be better, but they tend to foam. Sodium bromide products will turn your pool into a bromine pool, at least for some time, which can result in high chlorine demand if the pool is exposed to a lot of sunlight and eventually when returned to a chlorine pool the algae might still come back if reintroduced or if not completely killed (say, behind a light niche). A phosphate remover might work until your phosphate levels rise again so you might have expensive maintenance if, for example, you've got phosphates in your fill water.

    It's these side effect reasons that we normally recommend trying chlorine and complete eradication first, but it's your pool and you should do what you think is best for you, just armed with the knowledge of pros/cons for each method.
    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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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    I am following your thread because I am having a similar problem this summer. Even after mustard shock process to the letter 3 weeks ago as soon as chlorine decreased to 6 with a cya of 55 (first time below 9.5 in 3 weeks!) IT had spots of algae on shady wall of pool this morning. Will do OFCL test and likely shock again but this time I will try Polyquat as I don't want to have to keep chlorine so high permently and water clarity beautiful otherwise. We have an algae filled pond 50 yards from our house which may be an issue.

    Keep us posted with your progress!
    30,000 gal 20x 40 inground vinyl, 3.5 to 8.5 ft deep, intellichlor SWG, pentair 48 sq ft vertical grid DE filter, 1 hp pentair pump+ booster pump for kreepy krawly pool vac, sun ledge, diving board, intellibrite LED pool light, tf100 test kit

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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    Could someone please clarify the following. To shock for ma you maintain the pool at shock level until you pass the oclt and have .5 or less cc. Then you raise it to ma shock level for 24 hours. Correct? It is not necessary to stay at ma shock levels for the whole process.
    18' x 36' saltwater inground vinyl pool

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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    Also. Have you scrubbed out the light niche or just removed the light? Are you sure the ladder is not removable?
    18' x 36' saltwater inground vinyl pool

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    Vette's Avatar
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    Re: Year 3.. Still fighting Mustard Algae HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by hayabusa3
    Quote Originally Posted by drgoodson
    My recommendation would be for you to completely
    drain it and just start all over. Water is generally
    cheaper than using massive amounts of chemicals!
    It cost me less than $100 and a few hours to fill my 18' AGP - this seems like a really good suggestion but it doesn't get thrown out much... risk of liner shrinkage?
    If you have a vinyl pool, draining is the worst thing you can do. Liners are more expensive than chlorine, and I'd rather purchase chlorine than patch kits.
    11,700 gallon 21' round 54" deep all-resin AGP - June 2012
    Waterway 1HP 2-speed pump / 100 sq ft cartridge filter
    Hayward 150,000btu Natural Gas heater
    I use and recommend the TF-100 for testing

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