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Thread: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

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    Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    I've been reading through all the Black Algae and Mustard Algae posts and was hoping for a little clarification.

    I've been following the shock process and I'm currently going on day 3. The water is slowly turning from green to gray green to bluish gray, so I figure most of the floating algae is dead and the filter is working on clearing it up.

    FC is still at shock level, though not at Mustard shock level.

    I do still have some Black and Mustard Algae on the walls. The Black seems like it's been sloooooowly going away (starting near the waterline) and I've been scrubbing twice a day with a stainless brush. The Mustard hasn't gone away (haven't brought it up to Mustard shock level yet).

    My question is how long do I need to wait to bring FC up to Mustard shock levels? Should I wait for the water to clear up completely? Should I wait until I completely get rid of the Black? If I go ahead and bring it up to Mustard shock levels will that speed up the Black removal process?

    The water is improving pretty much on schedule as laid out in the How to Shock process, I just want to make sure I don't lose any progress I've made so far.

    Thanks!
    20,000 gallon, free-form, plaster, SWG, Hayward Pro Series sand filter, Dolphin Discovery

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    What you describe doesn't sound like mustard algae. Mustard algae goes away at normal shock level but comes back at normal FC levels. If what you have hasn't gone away at normal shock levels you probably don't have mustard algae. Pollen is mistaken a lot of times for mustard algae. Are you sure it isn't pollen you're seeing? What does it feel like if you get a pinch of it?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    Hmm...I just assumed it was Mustard algae since it won't scrub off. You can't really get a pinch of it. Maybe it's some sort of stain? We just bought a new house and this is our first pool, so I'm not entirely sure what "normal" should look like. I know the pool is pretty old and in need of replastering.
    20,000 gallon, free-form, plaster, SWG, Hayward Pro Series sand filter, Dolphin Discovery

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    Can you post a picture of the stuff you suspect is mustard algae...or is the pool too cloudy? Does it feel slimy? What color is it? Is it located in shady areas only, including on the walls?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    Can't post pics right now 'cause I'm at work. I'm trying to Google for pics of similar to show.

    Not sure what it feels like, but it's only on the walls, all areas of the pool and kinda splotchy.
    20,000 gallon, free-form, plaster, SWG, Hayward Pro Series sand filter, Dolphin Discovery

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    Mustard algea will brush right off and create a cloud of dust. What you're describing sounds like a stain. Finish shocking and we'll deal with the stain after.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    Definitely doesn't brush right off!

    After more Google image searching I think you're right that it is a stain. Here's a pretty close approximation of what it looks like:



    So, ignoring the yellow stains, my best course of action is to continue to keep the pool at shock levels and brushing until all the Black algae is gone? Should I expect the Black algae to slowly die off over days or am I doing something wrong?
    20,000 gallon, free-form, plaster, SWG, Hayward Pro Series sand filter, Dolphin Discovery

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    Keep knocking the tops off the black algae and it'll die. It's a tedious job but will pay off in the end.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Keep knocking the tops off the black algae and it'll die. It's a tedious job but will pay off in the end.
    Thanks!

    I don't mind tedious as long as it gets results
    20,000 gallon, free-form, plaster, SWG, Hayward Pro Series sand filter, Dolphin Discovery

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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    Water is clearing up nicely...it's more blueish and I can see the bottom now!

    After a couple of days of scrubbing the black algae and not really seeing any improvement, I said, "I wonder if my brush is worn out?" Well, one trip to the pool store and I bought a brand new scrub brush and by comparison my old brush was definitely worn out. Tried out the brand new brush and, sure enough, black heads started coming off again.

    Word of advice to any newbs like me fighting the black algae fight; start off with a new brush.

    Duh!
    20,000 gallon, free-form, plaster, SWG, Hayward Pro Series sand filter, Dolphin Discovery

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    Good advice, I'm glad you're making progress now.
    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: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    So, after almost two weeks of shock level (one of which using a dull ss brush) my water is almost crystal clear, and I've got all but a spec or two of black algae remaining! I have to get down to water level now to try to identify any remaining spots, they're so small are rare now.

    And here's a pic of what I thought was the mustard algae, but after finally seeing the entire pool I realize it's some kind of stain.

    Anyone easily identify this so I know what to start researching?

    20,000 gallon, free-form, plaster, SWG, Hayward Pro Series sand filter, Dolphin Discovery

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    That looks like Calcium scaling to me. You'd think it would be white, but it isn't, mine looks blue-grey submerged and sort of tan when exposed. You might have some algae or metals embedded in it, too. Worry about keeping the water balanced, maybe keep pH low so CSI is in the negatives, keep FC a few points high, and keep brushing. See what it looks like in a couple weeks.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    I appreciate the info...

    I know there was scale on the salt cell when I took it apart and cleaned it and I know the inital pH was way off when I started checking. At first I thought it was just on the walls, but that was because the water was so cloudy I couldn't actually see the bottom. When the water cleared I noticed it was everywhere!

    I'll follow your advice and continue to monitor.
    20,000 gallon, free-form, plaster, SWG, Hayward Pro Series sand filter, Dolphin Discovery

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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    Quote Originally Posted by kammel78
    Water is clearing up nicely...it's more blueish and I can see the bottom now!

    After a couple of days of scrubbing the black algae and not really seeing any improvement, I said, "I wonder if my brush is worn out?" Well, one trip to the pool store and I bought a brand new scrub brush and by comparison my old brush was definitely worn out. Tried out the brand new brush and, sure enough, black heads started coming off again.

    Word of advice to any newbs like me fighting the black algae fight; start off with a new brush.

    Duh!

    Good idea. I am fighting it too but haven't tried a new brush. Kinda feel dumb. Thanks!
    Plano, TX
    20,000 gallons Kidney Bean IG Plaster, Pentair Clean and Clear 530 Cartridge Filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    Ya that looks like metal staining imbedded in scale to me. Try a Vitamin C tablet rubbed on the stains. See if it changes anything.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    I rubbed a Vitamin C tab across some of the stains and they did go away.

    Is acid washing the only way to get rid of it?
    20,000 gallon, free-form, plaster, SWG, Hayward Pro Series sand filter, Dolphin Discovery

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    You should read this: http://www.troublefreepool.com/ascor...ins-t2298.html

    Not really "acid washing" per se.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    You should read this: http://www.troublefreepool.com/ascor...ins-t2298.html

    Not really "acid washing" per se.
    Awesome link, thanks!

    I went ahead and ordered my AA and can't wait to try this out.
    20,000 gallon, free-form, plaster, SWG, Hayward Pro Series sand filter, Dolphin Discovery

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Black, Mustard, Green...all the fun algae

    You're welcome, hope it works. Don't skip any steps and be sure to do the algaecide (get the good stuff!)
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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