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Thread: Struggling with Algae

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    Struggling with Algae

    My pool has algae. I need a few tips.

    Saturday evening, I added enough bleach to bring Chlorine to around 15 - 20 ppm. CYA was 50. No help.

    Sunday morning, I added 5 lbs. 73% Cal Hypo. Pool is around 20,000 gal. No help.

    This morning, I see some dead algae has fallen to the floor. Pool is still very green, though.

    I don't have a test kit to measure above 5 ppm. This is labor day, and so I need to do it by guess-work.

    What I am wondering is how much Cal Hpo should I add and how long should it take before you see a change in the appearance of the water? Should I just add a pound every hour until water color starts changing?

    I have never had to do this before.

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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    You can use the pool calculator (poolcalculator.com) to calc your first dose. After that, it is simply guessing without a test kit to measure your existing FC.

    Careful with those huge doses of Cal Hypo......it can cloud your water if your CH is already somewhat high.

    Sooner or later, you must have a kit capable of measuring your parameters precisely if you want to follow the methods we suggest. It takes that guesswork out of the equation and helps you clear your pool without damaging anything.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    I used the pool calculator. I agree it is guessing after that.

    What I am trying to find out is what is the behavior I should be looking for? Any short-term signs? Like keep adding a pound an hour until you see the water clear?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    Use the dilution method mentioned here to test the FC. 4:1 should do it until you can get a good test kit. You should go ahead and order the TF-100 & a SpeedStir from tftestkits and it'll ship early tomorrow.

    Keep checking and adding enough FC each hour to get back to 20 ppm. Do that until you pass the OCLT and the water is clear.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    Jeff,

    Don't start these new threads. People reading this post (including me) have no idea that you posted with information that could be helpful before.

    Keep your posts under one thread so people can see your whole "history" and give you better advice.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    OK. Dave, will do.

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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    Which post contains instructions on how to do the dilution method. I almost bet I could guess how it is done, but I want to be sure.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    You just use 3 parts of chlorine free water and 1 part pool water and run the test & multiply the result by 4.
    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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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    Got it. Chlorine is nice and high. How long should it take before the water starts to clear. I load the pool up heavy as can be with it, but it is as if it has no effect on water color or clarity. In fact, exposure to the sun makes it a but more soupy, and this is AFTER I just put 5 more pounds of 73% Calcium Hypo.

    Is this the type of thing that takes a few days, or is it supposed to take an hour or so before I see changes in color/clarity?

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    A day to three days. If you are persistent and maintain a proper level of chlorine, you'll usually see a color change the next day. Clearing may take a week, depending on how bad the bloom is and your pump and filter.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    It's clearing up.

    Here's a note that maybe could be added to the stickies that address using borax and dealing with algae.

    My pool was nice and clear on Friday. I checked and saw that both Chlorine and pH were very low. I tried first to bring up the pH using borax. Within 20 minutes, I had a bad algae bloom.

    I think it is a bad idea to add borax when Chlorine is low. The acid was probably keeping the algae in check, and raising the pH allowed it to grow.... fast!

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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    My pool was nice and clear on Friday. I checked and saw that both Chlorine and pH were very low. I tried first to bring up the pH using borax. Within 20 minutes, I had a bad algae bloom.
    I think it is a bad idea to add borax when Chlorine is low.
    If your pool turned green within 20 minutes that was not algae......that was metal precipitating out of your water.

    Adjusting the pH into a normal range has nothing to do with algae and it is generally the parameter to adjust first when making multiple changes.


    Did your pool turn back to clear? When?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    I thought it might be metal, too. Copper test showed 0.

    It is not perfect yet, but noticeably bluer than yesterday. It was green from Friday afternoon through the time I went to sleep last night. When, the sun would come out, it was almost so bad, you could not see the drain at the bottom of the deep end. Yesterday morning, I noticed piles of algae that died and fell out of suspension to the floor.

    I feel quite sure this was algae. Maybe it was a fluke that it bloomed so fast right after adding the borax.

    I know this.... I am going to be very leery of adding borax when chlorine level is low.

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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    Algae growth is not related to pH changes. (for our purposes, anyway)

    Algae grows in a pool that has inadequate chlorine
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    Algae only doubles in population every 3-8 hours. Any sudden change in color isn't from algae growth. Though copper would look green, even iron that is yellow will look green against a blue background (such as a blue vinyl liner). Of course, if you see piles of what you believe to be dead algae on the floor, carefully scoop some up and feel it -- if it's slimy, it's algae; if it's squishy, could be pollen; if it's hard/rough, it's metal precipitate or rock/sand. If it dissolves in water that has acid added to it, then it's metal (if it fizzes/bubbles, it's calcium carbonate).
    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
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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    Back to square-one. I wish I had some of the stuff at the bottom to test like you suggested. It was all vacuumed away.

    However, I am back to having metal stains on the floor.

    History: Metal stains on floor. Treated with ascorbic acid. Added RAM Metal Hold. Metal dissolved. 10 days later, chlorine and pH were low. I added the Borax. Immediate green. I though, "copper." I bought metal chelation stuff the store told me to buy. Applied it. No real difference. I asked pool store to test for Copper. They did and said it was 0. I shocked pool hard. Chlorine through the roof. pH went through the roof, too. A few days later, water is now nice and blue. Metal stains are showing up exactly in the same places as before. It's de ja vu.

    I have 11 lbs. of ascorbic acid, and I can put some more in. But what's the point? If you can't get the metal out, I will go through all this whenever pH needs to be raised. Right? I don't want to be chasing my tail like this. Is there a way to get the suspended metals out for good without draining?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    The only reliable way to remove the metals is to drain and refill with metal free water.

    You can use one of the phosphonic acid derivative sequestrants reccomended here and if you keep the proper dose in the water the metal will stay sequestered and not stain. But you have to keep the maintenance dosing up as long as there are metals in the water.
    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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    Re: Struggling with Algae

    Thanks. I was just now reading various posts on the topic. It seems CuLator is a product that boasts such a promise but there is not much indication by way of reviews to confirm whether it is true. My concern is that we are on a subdivision well. Even if I drain and refill, I might be getting new metal. If I bring in water (which I will not), I still deal with adding subdivision water to compensate for evaporation. With this kind of craziness, I can see how getting a Pebble-Tech job would be good. The pebbles would just camouflage the metal (I think). But anyway, it looks like pools are a hassle when it comes to dealing with metals. Probably just best to have stains and forget about it.

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