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Thread: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

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    Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    Hi, I have been reading this wonderful website for a couple weeks now and I am still at a loss over my pool, and I need to clear this up as it is time to cover it for the season. ( BOO)

    Weeks ago I found a mustard algae problem, didn't know about this site then, and went to the pool store where they of course told me to put yellow rid and 5 gal of 12% chlorine and I should be all set! Well, low and behold, that didn't work and back it came again and again. I then went to the web and started research and found you (oh great pool people) and started reading and learning.

    I didn't have a good test kit, only had strips and oto/ph kit to work with. I ordered the TF-100 and it arrived yesterday and I ran the tests but I'm not sure of the results but here they are.

    CYA-60-90 3 tests all a little different
    FC-72
    CC-1
    TA- couldn't get accurate reading, was greenish then turned yellow after 5 drops
    CH- no accurate reading, 0 maybe
    PH-off the chart, orange in color

    While I was waiting for the kit I began dumping liquid chlorine in to get the levels up to shock level but I think I went too far and now I am at a loss at what to do.

    I also might have leak as I had to put water I again this AM so my cya level should come down after that. I am only seeing dead algae on the bottom, I think, it settles into the center of the pool. I have been running my filter non-stop for weeks now.

    I know that I need to do the OCLT test to prove no loss of chlorine to see if I still have algae but what else do I need to do?

    I would appreciate any help from the experts!

    Thank you
    Upstate NY, 21 ft AG, 10,500 gal, 10 years old, sand filter with new 1 hp pump this year

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    Welcome to TFP

    The CYA test takes some getting used to. On the FC test, and assuming you used a 10ml sample, did you actually have to add 144 drops for the pink to turn clear? That's a very high FC level, unless 72 is a typo?

    CC of 1ppm would indicate you should continue the shock process, which can take a few days.

    I am suspecting your TA is low as well as PH. Add Borax to adjust PH to at least 7.2.

    CH is not important in an AGP, but would be surprised if if it were actually zero. I live in Dutchess county and our fill water has at least 300ppm CH. Does your sample turn red indicating presence of calcium?
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    On my FC TEST I gave up and did it with the 5 ml sample and yes it took 72 drops, I thought I was crazy with that!

    Continue my shock process, but at what level since I can't quite figure out the cya correctly?

    For the CH the sample did not turn red, the last test I had done at the pool store the level was 122.

    This is the first year I have ever had problems like this and I have had a pool for 25 years, live and learn I guess!

    Thanks
    Upstate NY, 21 ft AG, 10,500 gal, 10 years old, sand filter with new 1 hp pump this year

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    With CYA it is best to average your readings. Perform the test outdoors at around the same time of day in sunlight but with your back turned to the sun. Even if you are at 90, you are well above mustard algae shock level...which is about 50-52ppm at CYA of 90.

    Please refer to the link below for more detailed instructions on CYA as well as an illustration on how to perform the test

    extended-test-kit-directions-t25081.html

    Please refer to the attached for advice to attack MA...especially the link FC chart for MA

    pool-school/mustard_algae
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    Thank you for all your help. I need to head to work right now, but I will test when I get home and then again tomorrow morning to see how things are going.

    Will post results for you to look over and let me know what to do next.
    Upstate NY, 21 ft AG, 10,500 gal, 10 years old, sand filter with new 1 hp pump this year

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    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    Readings for tonight:
    OTO- still orange
    PH-7.5
    FC-72 still
    CYA-80 I did the test twice and got the same result

    Upon reading, shouldn't the FC reading be more than sufficient with a CYA reading of 80 to keep all algae at bay?
    If that is the case, why am I seeing what looks like new algae beginning tonight? I thought I was understanding this but I am beginning to think that I don't! I don't want to cover this without solving the situation but time is running out as I have LOTS of trees around and the leaves are turning.

    I can only imagine what the high levels are doing to my liner. Of course, my husband would love to blow the pool up with the amount of money I have spent on trying to solve this via the pool place, YUCH!!!!

    I will retest tomorrow AM and see what they say, but I need advice and I hope that you will help me as I have read from the other posts.

    Thanks to all!
    Upstate NY, 21 ft AG, 10,500 gal, 10 years old, sand filter with new 1 hp pump this year

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ybertrand
    On my FC TEST I gave up and did it with the 5 ml sample and yes it took 72 drops, I thought I was crazy with that!
    Don't test anything but FC/CC until your FC is back down to rational levels. The pH in particular will not read accurately until you are below FC of 10. OTO will show dark orange at this level and down to about FC of 20 if I recall correctly. Between 10-20 it will get lighter orange if I recall correctly.

    Slow down for a moment. How much bleach have you put in the pool while you were waiting for the test kit? With a 10,000 gallon pool starting from say 3ppm of FC to get up to 72 you would have needed to add more than 11 gallons of 6% bleach - not accounting for the losses due to sunlight and algae.

    Was there sunlight today? Even with high CYA your FC of 72 should have gone down some. At this point you may need to use some Sodium Thiosulfate to reduce the levels to rational levels before you damage your liner. That FC is off the charts high.

    To drop the 72 to a more normal 31 like the CYA chart recommends for a CYA of 80, you would add about 6.7 lbs of Sodium Thiosulfate - but before you do that get some advice from Chem Geek or someone else here with more understanding of the impact of doing that.

    As for the algae - what makes you think it is growing? Is it color or powdery wispy dust or ? Sometimes pollen or dust can look like algae, sometimes metals will discolor water strongly and add to confusion.
    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: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ybertrand
    I am only seeing dead algae on the bottom, I think, it settles into the center of the pool. I have been running my filter non-stop for weeks now.

    I know that I need to do the OCLT test to prove no loss of chlorine to see if I still have algae but what else do I need to do?
    Do you have a manual vac? Because I think you need to get the **** off the bottom. Stuff sitting on the bottom of your pool can't get filtered out. Vac to waste if you can, and your filter won't even have to deal with it. Keep the chlorine at shock level as long as you can, and don't test anything else (except maybe CYA if you are still unsure)

    HTH!!!
    IG Plaster 20,000gal, attached spa w/ spillover, hayward C12002 cart filter, 1 1/2hp pump w/ polaris 360
    6/16/12 - PH 7.6, FC 6, CC 0, CYA 30, TA 80, Calcium 310

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    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    Ok, Good morning to all!

    I have test results for this AM as follows:

    Only testing FC and CC as suggested.

    FC-56
    CC-2

    Based on this, I know that I still have algae, but at the high levels of chlorine I have had, how is that possible?

    What do I do next? I have put nothing into the pool and it is supposed to be sunny today but since the sun has gone south, my pool does not get much sun during the day now as the trees block it.

    I will vacuum this morning, there are dark brown deposits as well as new yellow patches also. I will vacuum to waste and then add more water that hopefully will bring the CYA down as well as the chlorine level.

    I am at a loss with this, I have read and read and if my levels have been high since the weekend (since I dumped lots of chlorine in it) how do I still have live stuff in there?

    Very frustrated and disappointed at this point.

    Thanks for listening.
    Upstate NY, 21 ft AG, 10,500 gal, 10 years old, sand filter with new 1 hp pump this year

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ybertrand
    Weeks ago I found a mustard algae problem, didn't know about this site then, and went to the pool store where they of course told me to put yellow rid and 5 gal of 12% chlorine and I should be all set! Well, low and behold, that didn't work and back it came again and again. I then went to the web and started research and found you (oh great pool people) and started reading and learning.
    5 Gallons of 12.5% would push that pool to a FC level of 60 - about where you are now. I don't think a one time peak like that (or now) would eliminate all algae instantly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ybertrand
    I have test results for this AM as follows:

    Only testing FC and CC as suggested.

    FC-56
    CC-2

    Based on this, I know that I still have algae, but at the high levels of chlorine I have had, how is that possible?

    What do I do next? I have put nothing into the pool and it is supposed to be sunny today but since the sun has gone south, my pool does not get much sun during the day now as the trees block it.
    CC's can show up from non-organic sources also. There is something in the pool - algae may be all but there may be more things - that the chlorine is breaking down. The sunlight helps with the CC levels by helping break them down - so this may go more slowly without as much sunlight.

    Are you brushing? Have you removed lights and ladders and checked in every nook and cranny for places algae may hide? It can cover itself with a coating and protect itself from chlorine in some cases. It should not thrive at these FC levels - but it might survive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ybertrand
    I will vacuum this morning, there are dark brown deposits as well as new yellow patches also. I will vacuum to waste and then add more water that hopefully will bring the CYA down as well as the chlorine level.

    I am at a loss with this, I have read and read and if my levels have been high since the weekend (since I dumped lots of chlorine in it) how do I still have live stuff in there?

    Very frustrated and disappointed at this point.

    Thanks for listening.
    Hang in there - this can take many days.
    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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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    CCs (aka combined chlorines aka chloramines) are the byproduct of chlorine - more specifically hypochlorous acid - oxidizing nitrogen compounds. The byproduct of killing algae isn't CC, it's algae carcasses.

    Point being, it is possible to have a ton of algae in your water that you're making progress on killing, but not ever test for CC. From what you posted above, it souns like you're on the right track, keep on trucking.

    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    I removed my ladder last week, I have no lights or anything else. I have brushed daily.

    So, do I add anything else or just let it go and to what point do I start again?

    I appreciate the advice telling me it's a process, I get that but I'm not sure what to maintain my levels at. I think what I have is becoming resistant. Is that even possible?

    With combined chlorine, is the level of FC doing any good? Or does it need to break down first in order to work properly?

    I know I need a dose of POP, but time is short around here.

    Thanks to all.
    Upstate NY, 21 ft AG, 10,500 gal, 10 years old, sand filter with new 1 hp pump this year

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ybertrand
    I removed my ladder last week, I have no lights or anything else. I have brushed daily.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ybertrand
    So, do I add anything else or just let it go and to what point do I start again?

    I appreciate the advice telling me it's a process, I get that but I'm not sure what to maintain my levels at. I think what I have is becoming resistant. Is that even possible?
    I would maintain the level recommended on this chart. Then after the water is clear, the cc's are <= 0.5, and your overnight loss is <=1.0 I would follow the Mustard Algae recommendations and crank the levels back up to whatever is recommended for MA and hold them there for 24 hours as recommended.

    HOWEVER this assumes that what you have is algae and Mustard Algae in particular. Is this only showing up in the shade? Can you post some pictures? Have you tried capturing some and feeling it? Can you get some into a bucket and let it sit without additional chlorine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ybertrand
    With combined chlorine, is the level of FC doing any good? Or does it need to break down first in order to work properly?
    Actually FC is more effective than CC's at killing things. However CC's are a good proxy to show that FC is getting converted (oxidizing something) and seeing more than 0.5 indicates you need to keep going.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ybertrand
    I know I need a dose of POP, but time is short around here.
    It is hard to pass on a dose of POP via the web but try this:
    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

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    Thanks for laugh, need it!
    Will maintain FC around 30 for now and will bring it up to MA level after I pass the test.
    I can't take pics, no underwater camera, and when I brush it, it just poofs away.
    I did drain down as I vacuumed today, at least 2 inches, the added water. I will test later when I get home

    Vanya, thanks for helping me.
    Upstate NY, 21 ft AG, 10,500 gal, 10 years old, sand filter with new 1 hp pump this year

  15. Back To Top    #15
    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ybertrand
    I can't take pics, no underwater camera, and when I brush it, it just poofs away.
    I did drain down as I vacuumed today, at least 2 inches, the added water. I will test later when I get home

    Vanya, thanks for helping me.
    Try vacuuming to waste or using a garden hose siphon into a bucket and see if you can capture some of the ick.

    You can take a surface picture and see if that helps. Is it really hard to see from above?

    You can also put a camera into zip lock bags to get a shot if you really want to. I'd double bag it.

    You are welcome.
    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

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    9/13 PM readings:

    FC-43, OTO still orange
    CC-0

    9/14 AM readings

    FC-43
    CC-0
    CYA-80 same as last test, even though I replaced 2 inches of water. I am on a well, so I cannot drain off half of it.

    Now, since my readings stayed the same overnight, do I now take it back up to MA level for 24 more hours?

    I believe the level Is between 46-51 for a CYA level of 80.

    When should I be looking at the PH for closing?

    I have to leave for work again in 1 1/2 hours so if someone could let me know if I need to dump stuff I. Before I go that would be great!

    Thanks for all the great advice!!!
    Upstate NY, 21 ft AG, 10,500 gal, 10 years old, sand filter with new 1 hp pump this year

  17. Back To Top    #17
    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ybertrand
    9/13 PM readings:

    FC-43, OTO still orange
    CC-0

    9/14 AM readings

    FC-43
    CC-0
    CYA-80 same as last test, even though I replaced 2 inches of water. I am on a well, so I cannot drain off half of it.

    Now, since my readings stayed the same overnight, do I now take it back up to MA level for 24 more hours?

    I believe the level Is between 46-51 for a CYA level of 80.
    Do you see any sign of algae (Cloudy water, clinging nasties, etc.)? If the answer is no, then you passed all three criteria for shocking and if you suspect Mustard Algae then you should follow the process documented here. Those directions send you to this post for the levels to use, and 46 looks like it is right on target.

    If however you see any sign of algae, you continue shocking as normal until you see no signs of algae - at that point you will have passed all three criteria. Two of these are objective - OCLT and CC's - one is a bit subjective - presence of algae/water clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ybertrand
    When should I be looking at the PH for closing?
    Don't adjust pH until your FC drops to below 10.
    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

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    Thank you Vanya.

    Water is crystal clear, always has been.

    I will take it up to MA level for 24 hours and hopefully that will work!
    Upstate NY, 21 ft AG, 10,500 gal, 10 years old, sand filter with new 1 hp pump this year

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Ongoing algae and HELP!!

    Well, I found some not so good looking stuff in the center and along the ripples of the side opposite of the return.
    I Am taking it back up to MA level and holding it (or trying to as I have to go to work) to see if that will beat it dead. I found my leak, it was in the skimmer basket and I patched it, hope it holds. Anyone replace a skimmer, it looks like I will have to replace the skimmer next year.

    Here we go again, I have to beat this or just close it and see what I get when I open it next year.
    Upstate NY, 21 ft AG, 10,500 gal, 10 years old, sand filter with new 1 hp pump this year

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