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Thread: What is it: Mustard Algae, Pollen, Dirt, or Some of Each?

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    What is it: Mustard Algae, Pollen, Dirt, or Some of Each?

    I have read as many mustard algae threads as I could find but I am stumped, maybe I am overlooking something.

    About a month ago I could see a dry yellow ring around the entire pool above the waterline and with the rake I could scoop up a bunch of yellow stuff. Wow, what a year for pollen, I thought.

    Not pollen, but algae says the pool store. I then went through some things that didn't work: 8 pounds of shock poured through the skimmer; Yellow Treat; "Heavy Duty" algaecide. This emptied my wallet. The problem kept returning. Money for nothing.

    Finding this forum, I obtained the TF test kit and 48 pounds of 73% hypochorlide. Have gone through 28 pounds of the stuff. There is no equipment in the pool, no lights and no ladders. I've brushed all surfaces repeatedly, including the walls and floor even though I've never seen any algae on the walls or floor.

    I could never adequately thank the many posters for the advice that is available her. I'm posting now because I am stumped.

    Having kept the FC at above 44 for a few days, I'm now at FC 35 and what do I see? Some dusty yellow something-or-other mixed with grit around the water line. I wipe it with a finger and it rolls up into a brown mini-lump, with a little bit of grit. It is not slimy. Some of the yellow has a bright yellow core, about a quarter of the size of a grain of rice, surrounded by a thinner skin that extends outward, like a fly's wing, only yellowish.

    Here are today's numbers:
    FC 35
    CC 0.5
    TC 35.5
    PH 7.2
    TA 90
    CYA 40
    CH 710 (did this twice, is this a number in the realm of possibility?)

    The sand is 3 years old.

    What is this yellowy stuff that is ringing the water line of the pool?
    22,500 gallons
    Vinyl
    Sand
    Northern NJ

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: What is it: Mustard Algae, Pollen, Dirt, or Some of Eac

    It most certainly isn't algae.

    Have you passed the OCLT?

    I would start looking for an environmental cause. Sounds like something blowing into the pool.
    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
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: What is it: Mustard Algae, Pollen, Dirt, or Some of Eac

    Re: your CH ... that is possible depending on your water source and how long you have been using the cal-hypo.

    That 28 pounds you just used added 76ppm of calcium (CH).

    With CH that high, you will have to keep close eyes on your pH and keep it low to avoid scaling problems. Only way to lower it is through a drain and replace with lower CH water ... and then avoiding the cal-hypo and sticking to liquid chlorine.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: What is it: Mustard Algae, Pollen, Dirt, or Some of Eac

    The pool has passed the OCLT and I am not seeing an increase the yellow stuff, which I am understanding to be something vegetative though I've not determined what. Yes, the pool does appear algae-free.

    Liquid chlorine: I've begun the search for liquid chlorine, with one shop telling me that they had it. I went to the shop and read the label, it is "liquid chlorine shock" that is sodium hypoclorite (12.5% and 87.5% "other chemicals"). I did not purchase it, not knowing whether it is truly liquid chlorine.
    22,500 gallons
    Vinyl
    Sand
    Northern NJ

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    Re: What is it: Mustard Algae, Pollen, Dirt, or Some of Eac

    I've just read now under the BBB for Beginners thread that sodium hypochlorite is liquid chlorine --- question answered!
    22,500 gallons
    Vinyl
    Sand
    Northern NJ

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: What is it: Mustard Algae, Pollen, Dirt, or Some of Eac

    realize that bleach is the same chemical at a lower concentration. Shop around as the beach may be cheaper chit a given FC ppm rise.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    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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    X-PertPool's Avatar
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    Re: What is it: Mustard Algae, Pollen, Dirt, or Some of Eac

    If it only collects at the water line it sounds like it could be something blowing into the pool. Here is a list of stuff I would try.
    clean the water line with wipe out or mr. clean magic eraser.
    use a scum bug or two in the skimmer to collect stuff before it sticks to the vinyl
    you can put the winter cover back on to see if it's something that is blowing into the pool (the cover would be like a lid and prevent stuff from coming in)
    you can collect that stuff you found on the water line and put it in small jar with a solution of 1/2 bleach 1/2 water. If it doesn't break down or change color in the jar then it's not going to be affected by any amount of shock.
    -Kevin
    X-Pert Pool Service
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    22,000 gal / 16' x 32' / Vinyl / Hayward s244t /Pentair SuperFlo 1 hp

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