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Thread: Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need help!

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    Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need help!

    Per local pool store (I know, I know), they are claiming (without seeing it) that I do in fact have mustard algae. It has turned from a medium brownish fine dust to a lighter brown. I vaccum it up, it's gone only to return the next day. Its been a very warm summer for our neck of the woods and my FC levels have been lower than they should be this summer as well, below 1.0, FC is now reading 3.8 (SWG), and all other numbers are in line with what is acceptable ranges. Borates also finally increased from 15 to 80 after adding 35#'s of boric acid. I'm also looking at replacing our Jandy cartridge filters at 3 years old which were quite dirty after my last cleaning. I'm just not convinced its mustard algae but do believe it is algae of some sort. I'm really unsure how to treat the situation. Pool store has said I need to vaccum to waste, replace water as necessary, treat with mustard algae black magic,8#'s of zip chlor and 4 oz of severest algae treatment throwing in all pool toys, brushes, etc. What can I use other than the expensive zip chlor?

    I would also like feedback and a good test kit. I can spend hours looking at them, but I really don't know what I'm looking for and just want something user friendly, accurate/reliable so I can break free of the pool store games.
    2010 18' x 40' IG, SWG
    27,000 gal, vinyl liner
    Jandy Aquapure salt chlorinator
    Mineral Springs Salt Sanitizer
    Jandy CL460 cartridge filter system
    Polaris pool cleaner
    Coverstar auto safety cover

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need h

    Bleach kills all :>)

    We need some test results. Have you performed an overnight chlorine loss test? Have you tried rubbing/brushing the affected area?
    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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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need h

    As for the test kit just order the TF-100 from tftestkits. There's no finer kit out there.

    I suspect that it's not mustard algae. Does it grow only on the shady side of the pool on the walls? If it doesn't, it's most likely either green algae or just dust and dirt.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need h

    I'll have to pull my numbers and post - I don't have them here at work. This only appears along the creases, depressions of the liner and along the steps, in corners and around the drain. It's very fine and I can't use my polaris to vaccum it as "ALEX" just moves it around. No scrubbing at all necessary, poof and it's gone. I am siding more with dirt/dust as we are still excavating around the pool. We do keep our autocover on whenever the pool is not in use because of this. I'm wondering if the cartridges became so dirty (altough my Jandy meter wasn't reading anywhere near this) and now just need replacement. (At night, it appears fine particles are blowing in from the jets.) Another beef I have with pool store - don't clean them until the meter tells you it's 'dirty'...Wrong! Will be cleaning at least twice a season with my new set no matter what it reads. Thanks for the advice on the kit, I will review this one.
    2010 18x40 IG, SWG
    2010 18' x 40' IG, SWG
    27,000 gal, vinyl liner
    Jandy Aquapure salt chlorinator
    Mineral Springs Salt Sanitizer
    Jandy CL460 cartridge filter system
    Polaris pool cleaner
    Coverstar auto safety cover

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    Re: Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need h

    There is nothing wrong with waiting until your filter's pressure tells you it's time to backwash. That's what I do. I went the whole swim season last year without backwashing, then when fall hit I had to a few times due to what leaves were putting into the pool.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need h

    We don't backwash, but remove the 4 cartridge filters entirely and spray them off. They were literally caked with dirt, hair and bugs. We pulled out the pressure washer to gently get them decent looking while I order new ones. At clean, the meter reads 10, dirty is around 24. This was reading 18, but they looked terrible.
    2010 18' x 40' IG, SWG
    27,000 gal, vinyl liner
    Jandy Aquapure salt chlorinator
    Mineral Springs Salt Sanitizer
    Jandy CL460 cartridge filter system
    Polaris pool cleaner
    Coverstar auto safety cover

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    Re: Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need h

    I couldn't tell what kind of filter you had.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need h

    Quote Originally Posted by SwimMNgirl
    We don't backwash, but remove the 4 cartridge filters entirely and spray them off. They were literally caked with dirt, hair and bugs. We pulled out the pressure washer to gently get them decent looking while I order new ones. At clean, the meter reads 10, dirty is around 24. This was reading 18, but they looked terrible.
    Read the section on filters in pool school. The basic advice is that you clean each time you have a 25% rise in pressure. That would mean that around 12.5-13 lbs you should be cleaning.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need h

    Posting latest test results:
    TC/FC = 3.8
    pH = 7.6
    TA = 130
    Calcium Hardness = 300
    Stabilizer = 40
    Copper = 0.0
    Salt = 3000
    Borate = 80
    2010 18' x 40' IG, SWG
    27,000 gal, vinyl liner
    Jandy Aquapure salt chlorinator
    Mineral Springs Salt Sanitizer
    Jandy CL460 cartridge filter system
    Polaris pool cleaner
    Coverstar auto safety cover

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    Re: Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need h

    Reading your first and last post, I think you may have algae but what you are seeing is actually dead algae that accumulates as it dies.

    Do you have your good test kit yet so you can shock the pool correctly?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need h

    I don't have a good test kit (yet) - I'm working on that - reviewing the TF-100. Is that one people seem to be happy with?
    2010 18' x 40' IG, SWG
    27,000 gal, vinyl liner
    Jandy Aquapure salt chlorinator
    Mineral Springs Salt Sanitizer
    Jandy CL460 cartridge filter system
    Polaris pool cleaner
    Coverstar auto safety cover

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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need h

    The test kit Dave sells is great. It uses the same test reagents and tubes as the Taylor kits but in larger but less expensive versions. I thought it would be more complicated than the color blocks and the ilk but it's actually easier.

    My example is when looking at the yellow OTO CL test this week. I did the color block test and using several different background colors (white card, sky, pool...) I could not tell if I had 3 or 5 PPM. I knew I wanted to get it right as it was going to be hot.

    So, I got out my test kit. I added the water, added one big scoop of powder, swirled it until I got a nice rich pink color. I then added drops one at a time until all the pink color was gone... 5 drops, 2.5 ppm CL. I knew exactly how much CL I needed... all done. The nice thing about the test kit is most of the color changes are easy to see. Pink->clear, Green->Red

    Late edit: This is the TF-100 test kit. You will be very happy.
    -- 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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need h

    Quote Originally Posted by SwimMNgirl
    I don't have a good test kit (yet) - I'm working on that - reviewing the TF-100. Is that one people seem to be happy with?
    Yes

    See the link in my signature for a comparison of the K-2006 and the TF-100 ... you get much more of the reagent you need with the TF-100. You will quickly run out of some of the reagents with the K-2006 (if a test requires 5 drops from one bottle and up to 40+ drops from the other bottle ... why would they come with the same quantity???)
    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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    Re: Treating algae - can't identify what kind it is - need h

    Thank you for the comments - I appreciate it!
    2010 18' x 40' IG, SWG
    27,000 gal, vinyl liner
    Jandy Aquapure salt chlorinator
    Mineral Springs Salt Sanitizer
    Jandy CL460 cartridge filter system
    Polaris pool cleaner
    Coverstar auto safety cover

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