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Thread: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice please

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    AaronGo's Avatar
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    Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice please

    So I am ashamed to admit that I have not been tracking my pool chem levels every day like I should. I have been adding at least a gallon of 8.25% bleach in the evening and was shocked to see the onset of green algae. Luckily I caught it VERY early so I should be able to deal with it. But this is the first time I have dealt with algae. So I went to task and measured FC and CC using the FAS-DPD test (after adding bleach to start the SLAM process) and FC = 15 and CC = 5. What I am really surprised at is my CYA level is ZERO!! I check this fairly regularly and always had a CYA level of at least 30. I am not sure how CYA got to 0 but I have to assume chlorine was being consumed too quickly, esp in this Houston heat (and we've gotten some rain recently).

    Is the presence of algae and/or the high FC and CC levels skewing the CYA test results? I have CYA on hand and can add some now.

    The FC level is a little above the shock level of 10 per The Pool Calculator but not much I can do about it now.

    Now that I have raised FC to shock levels how often do I need to perform the FAS-DPD test to determine how much bleach to add? Also, at what point do I know I can stop keeping FC at shock level?

    I have lots of 8.25% bleach on hand and I am keeping the pump on 24/7.
    18,000 gallon in ground, plaster - completed 6/29/12
    Jandy 340 sq ft cartridge filter
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    Jandy LXi 400 heater
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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    To me, it sounds like you might have gotten a bacteria that converts your CYA to ammonia. Do you think your chlorine ever got down to 0? I believe when you are fighting ammonia, it shows up as a high CC level, which you have. I think you can go to a store that sells aquarium stuff and pick up an ammonia tester for about $10. Either way, the process is the same. Keep adding bleach to get up to shock level up to once an hour. With ammonia, that will use a lot more bleach than algae alone. You can stop keeping your FC at shock level when:
    1) CC<.5
    2) OCLT<1
    3) Water is clear.
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    Recheck that CYA test, be sure you did it right. Also note that at 20 or less, it reads zero. And if it still reads nothing, add maybe 20 PPM for now.

    Check FC & CC every couple hours. Obviously, if you've lost 10 ppm in that time, maybe the next interval should be less. Essentiallly, the more coonsistently high you keep it, the faster the process goes.

    Full instructions, as well as how to tell you're done, are here.
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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    Thanks guys. I am confident I did the CYA test right as I have done it many times. But I will do it once more to be safe and report back. I am doing the "black dot" CYA test. Would Walmart sell an ammonia test? I think they sell fish so they might.

    I read that SLAM write-up, that's great info. Thanks.

    I will stay in top of it and maintain shock level as needed until the posted requirements are met.
    18,000 gallon in ground, plaster - completed 6/29/12
    Jandy 340 sq ft cartridge filter
    Jandy variable-speed 2 HP pump
    Jandy LXi 400 heater
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    AaronGo's Avatar
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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    I did a 2nd CYA test and that black dot never goes away, so best case scenario is I have 20 ppm CYA level. I went ahead and started with 2 lbs of CYA in a sock in the skimmer and will re-measure tomorrow morning.
    18,000 gallon in ground, plaster - completed 6/29/12
    Jandy 340 sq ft cartridge filter
    Jandy variable-speed 2 HP pump
    Jandy LXi 400 heater
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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    Good job ! I would have put the sock in front of the return. Make sure you leave your pump running 24 hrs while adding the stabilizer. It will take a couple of days to a week to register fully on a test.


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    When you do the test, is it cloudy at all or is the water crystal clear, like you just poured pool water in there?
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
    Wanda the Whale pool vacuum, home made heater, Taylor K-2006
    Cloudy Pool? 1) Order test kit. 2) Follow SLAM
    New to TFPC? Read Pool School a few times, then post questions. PoolMath will help with chemical additions.

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    AaronGo's Avatar
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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    Thanks! I am leaving the pump running 24/7 for the foreseeable future while I get this issue resolved.
    18,000 gallon in ground, plaster - completed 6/29/12
    Jandy 340 sq ft cartridge filter
    Jandy variable-speed 2 HP pump
    Jandy LXi 400 heater
    Jandy Aqualink PDA-PS4

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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnN
    When you do the test, is it cloudy at all or is the water crystal clear, like you just poured pool water in there?
    It's not cloudy like I have seen with all the past CYA tests I've done. The black dot remains perfectly visible with the cylinder filled all the way to the top.
    18,000 gallon in ground, plaster - completed 6/29/12
    Jandy 340 sq ft cartridge filter
    Jandy variable-speed 2 HP pump
    Jandy LXi 400 heater
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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    If it was my pool, I wouldn't worry much about the ammonia test, because, as mentioned above, the cure doesn't change.......you still do the SLAM process.

    Up to this point the disappearance of CYA (due to bacteria) seems to occur over the off season and in a very dirty pool.....not your case. That may still be the cause but I don't think we have seen any definitive evidence of it in a summer time pool that has been maintained.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    Yeah it seems strange that the CYA level is so low esp since I have added CYA several times in the past via the "sock in the skimmer" method. Regardless I added 2 lbs of CYA as a first measure and will re-test as soon as I possible.

    This morning the pool is a cloudy blue color but definitely not green. I can see the bottom of the deep end but the water is definitely not clear. CC test came back at 1.5 (not more than 2). So that level has decreased since last night which is a good sign.

    I will stick with the SLAM process and perform an OCLT test this evening to start monitoring that level.

    Thanks again for all the help!
    18,000 gallon in ground, plaster - completed 6/29/12
    Jandy 340 sq ft cartridge filter
    Jandy variable-speed 2 HP pump
    Jandy LXi 400 heater
    Jandy Aqualink PDA-PS4

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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    Also, I have read that filters should be cleaned, particularly sand and DE. Where do cartridge filters fall into this? Should I go ahead and clean the cartridges every day during the SLAM process?

    FYI, the PSI readings are within the "clean" range and I did a thorough cartridge cleaning not too long ago (just normal cleaning). I am thinking I might want to do one cleaning and then monitor PSI, etc.
    18,000 gallon in ground, plaster - completed 6/29/12
    Jandy 340 sq ft cartridge filter
    Jandy variable-speed 2 HP pump
    Jandy LXi 400 heater
    Jandy Aqualink PDA-PS4

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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    Should I go ahead and clean the cartridges every day during the SLAM process?
    Watch your filter psi. If it goes up 25% or thereabouts, it's time to clean.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    Aaron
    With the amount of rain we have had I am just about to add more CYA. Lots of washout from the constant deluge. On a positive note my CH has come way down...




    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Should I go ahead and clean the cartridges every day during the SLAM process?
    Watch your filter psi. If it goes up 25% or thereabouts, it's time to clean.
    Will do, thanks. I recorded the PSI level this morning and will monitor it closely.
    18,000 gallon in ground, plaster - completed 6/29/12
    Jandy 340 sq ft cartridge filter
    Jandy variable-speed 2 HP pump
    Jandy LXi 400 heater
    Jandy Aqualink PDA-PS4

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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    Quote Originally Posted by karmabiker
    Aaron
    With the amount of rain we have had I am just about to add more CYA. Lots of washout from the constant deluge. On a positive note my CH has come way down...
    That's my only guess as I have never had a problem with my CYA levels.
    18,000 gallon in ground, plaster - completed 6/29/12
    Jandy 340 sq ft cartridge filter
    Jandy variable-speed 2 HP pump
    Jandy LXi 400 heater
    Jandy Aqualink PDA-PS4

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    AaronGo's Avatar
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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    CC reading is at 0 (or close to it) as of 1:00 pm CST. I will maintain shock level until all 3 criteria are met.
    18,000 gallon in ground, plaster - completed 6/29/12
    Jandy 340 sq ft cartridge filter
    Jandy variable-speed 2 HP pump
    Jandy LXi 400 heater
    Jandy Aqualink PDA-PS4

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    One third of the way there !!


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    AaronGo's Avatar
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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    If my CC levels are near zero then doesn't that imply I have eliminated whatever organic growth was in my pool? Or does it simply mean I am winning the battle and have to maintain shock FC levels, particularly until all three criteria are met for stopping the SLAM method? I am just curious what CC levels near zero mean for someone in my scenario.

    I fully intend on keeping FC levels high until the water is clear again which might take a week or so. Most recent testing showed FC = 12 and CC at 0.5. I brought FC back above 15.
    18,000 gallon in ground, plaster - completed 6/29/12
    Jandy 340 sq ft cartridge filter
    Jandy variable-speed 2 HP pump
    Jandy LXi 400 heater
    Jandy Aqualink PDA-PS4

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    Re: Caught an algae outbreak early but need some advice plea

    Vince ( ),

    CC's can mean different things at different times. In the middle of SLAMming, it can mean the chlorine is doing it's job. However, there are times when you are SLAMming and not record CC's. Bit confusing, huh?

    Here's the two most important things to remember about it for our purposes....

    1. A CC test of 1.0 or higher indicates the need to SLAM the pool...regardless of how the water looks.

    2. It is also possible to have 0 CC's but still have algae......normally, you would have visual indications of algae and start the SLAM process.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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