Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Critters?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Houston, TX.
    Posts
    23

    Critters?

    Back before I started using the TFP method just over a month ago, one thing I was unaware of was how low my FC was. You could call me one of the lucky ones because all I ever did was run my SWG for 3 hours a day and my pool stayed pretty much crystal clear ever since October of 2013 or so. My FC test always indicated 0 since I had lots of sun and my SWG wasn't getting it done enough. I did not have CYA or borates in the pool back then. Even after the winter here in Houston I just cleaned the dead leaves out of the pool and thought it was ready to go because the water was perfectly clear. My first cartridge filter that came with the pool lasted about 3-4 months and it was a cheap one.

    I did notice on more than a couple of occasions that sometimes there were water-bugs in the pool. These are little beetle type bugs that can live in the water. I used to catch them in local streams when I was a kid. This was an indicator to me though that something with my water must be too weak because I had never been in any other pool where there were water-bugs. Note that there were never more than 1 in any given day but I had to wonder if something as big as a tiny water-bug wanted to live in my pool, what else might want to?

    It was somewhere around then that I started looking into the actual condition of my water. My specs are nearly perfect now after several weeks of the TFP method. My water is nearly perfect. Maybe a little high on borates and TA and a little low on PH. I expect to resolve all of that over the next couple of days. I'm draining some water and just got my first box of the 20 Mule Team Borax.

    Here are a few other questions I have:

    Anyone else ever find critters in their pool as far as water-bugs go? How about bees, wasps, frogs, snakes or worse if there is such a thing? That reminds me that I also wanted to ask if there was a way to keep the bees from landing in the pool? My kids freak out when a wasp or bee comes near and I must admit that is my fault since I hate them and my kids can tell. I'd rather take on a poisonous snake in my pool than a wasp. I've caught wildlife my whole life but bees and wasps seemed to have gotten the better of these exchanges in my childhood.. LOL.

    Another question that comes to mind is what is your perfect water temp? The warmest my pool has been so far this years was about 88 degrees and I still found myself sucking my teeth a little as I lowered myself into the pool via the ladder. I'm thinking that water at the 93 degree mark might be my perfect temp.

    Last question: I have a borate guess strip tests but wonder if there is a borate "count the drops type test" that is more accurate? Anybody know? Thanks all!
    5.455K Gal, AG Inflatable Ring Pool, Type B cartridge filter in a Intex model T633 2,500 GPH pump, Installed 09/2013, SWG.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    10,157

    Re: Critters?

    Welcome to TFP. I'm laughing at sucking teeth because if that's what it's called, I do the same thing when I get into my 72 degree pool. I don't have a heater or solar panels on my roof but I'd like some! My perfect water temp would be around 83-85 degrees. I still have a ways to go to get there.

    I always have something on the surface of my water when it comes to bugs and bees. No critters yet since I don't have a deck for them to get on and into my pool.

    You can find Borate Strips (no drop base test that I know of) at TFtestkits.net.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    9,198

    Re: Critters?

    The bees are looking for water, so maybe if you kept a dish of water suspended from a tree (like a bird feeder) away from the pool the bees may be attracted to that instead. You can also keep a pool skimmer net (without the pole) near the pool and just scoop them out and toss them away.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
    Love TFP? Become a
    TFP Supporter!

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Divin Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Longview, Texas
    Posts
    4,926

    Re: Critters?

    I have found several frogs in my skimmer. I suppose they get in, then cant get out, so thats where they end up.
    No snakes yet, but I expect to some day.
    June bugs galore. Prolly 50 june bug a night.
    on the end where my steps are, is usually some sort of but that buzzes on top of the water. It look like he's walking on it. I usually scoop him out with my skimmer net.

    No wasps yet. As far as bees go, its gonna be a tough one. The best way to handle them is create someplace else they would rather be.
    You might consider a rose bush or two or some other flowering plant somewhere well away from the pool. This is all I can think of to do.

    Enjoy the cool water while you can. It wont be long here in Texas and it will be as hot as bath tub water! My water is 82. A bit chilly yet to wade in to slowyly, I I do a swan dive (a.k.a. belly flop) or cannonball. Just go in all at once and its fine once Im in!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Houston, TX.
    Posts
    23

    Re: Critters?

    Hahaha! Those were some great replies. Thanks.

    82 degrees is about the coldest I can stand where once I'm in and the sun is out it feels ok enough. My youngest, a 6 year old, comes out of 82 degrees water all shivering and teeth chattering. He is fine in the water though as soon as you get it above 86 or so.

    I have a few bird baths in the backyard that have been there for years and I have hardly ever seen a bee or wasp in or on them. I'm thinking there must be something in the pool water that these insects like more than the water in the bird baths. pets like to drink water with Borates in it so I was wondering what it is about pool water that bees and wasp like. I recall a friend having a pool when I was young and we could not swim because there were too many wasp coming in for landing and a drink on his pool water.

    The first thing I do every single time I get in the pool is walk around with just the pool skimmer net in-hand and clean the water surface and anything I see in the water. Since my pool is perfectly round it is very easy to clean. When we are done swimming we all get to the edge of the pool and walk quickly in the same direction. This briefly turns the pool into a whirlpool. We get out and dry off etc.-etc. and then I return about 30 minutes later to find everything I didn't get with the skimmer net on my first pass in the center, at the bottom of the pool. I hook up my little underwater "catfish submersible vacuum" and with less than ten four foot strokes the pool is clean. I then usually manually run the pool filter and SWG for 3 hours after that. that's it!

    "I have decided that I am very lucky. I already have about everything I need to keep my pool in TFP specifications and I'm a bit OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Fine! A lot OCD and I love testing and tweaking my pool's water. Later this afternoon I expect to hit my perfect desired pool water condition specifications for the first time. They are:

    FC: 3.0
    CC: 0.0
    pH: 7.6
    TA: 80
    CYA: 70
    Salt: 3,200


    I have recently purchased and am waiting for a couple new "non-Intex brand cartridge filters" that I have read some great reviews about them for my Intex T633 filter pump. I'm hoping and praying the rest of this year will be as easy as I suspect it will be now that I'll have my pool water condition in near perfect order! Thanks to all of you and this forum for that and my OCD for that matter! Also, I need to add "gators" to the critter list above as being worse than snakes. I know somebody here has a gator story! Have a great day everyone!
    5.455K Gal, AG Inflatable Ring Pool, Type B cartridge filter in a Intex model T633 2,500 GPH pump, Installed 09/2013, SWG.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    9,198

    Re: Critters?

    Maybe they like the salt from the chlorine? Maybe add a teaspoon of sugar and salt to the birdbath and see if that attracts them?
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
    Love TFP? Become a
    TFP Supporter!

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    8,494

    Re: Critters?

    Each morning we go out to the pool is an adventure. So far we have found:

    • Turtles (both box and snapping)
    • Mice (dead)
    • Voles (dead)
    • More spiders than I can count
    • Opossum (swimming, not sure of the stroke)
    • Snakes (dead in skimmer)
    • Frogs (multiple sizes, alive & dead)
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Houston, TX.
    Posts
    23

    Re: Critters?

    It looks like tim5055 wins if finding critters in your pool is winning. What are Voles?

    Here is a thread where a gut shows a pic of a gator he found in his pool:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...167#post655167

    I'm starting to not feel so bad about finding a bees and wasps in my pool!

    Good idea zea3. I have two bird baths to test with! I hope I can recall to submit my findings. This sounds like a project Texas A&M should take up. They would do this right! The 1 thing I'm sure it's not is the salt from the chlorine since the pool that my friend had as a kid was a regular pool and not a SWG pool like mine. I'm thinking it is CYA initially and borates possibly. My CH is 120 and that is fine with me being it is a giant rubber pool. I don't think it is a factor.
    5.455K Gal, AG Inflatable Ring Pool, Type B cartridge filter in a Intex model T633 2,500 GPH pump, Installed 09/2013, SWG.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    8,494

    Re: Critters?

    Quote Originally Posted by jhieger View Post
    It looks like tim5055 wins if finding critters in your pool is winning. What are Voles?
    From Wikipedia: "A vole is a small rodent resembling a mouse but with a stouter body, a shorter, hairy tail, a slightly rounder head, smaller ears and eyes, and differently formed molars (high-crowned and with angular cusps instead of low-crowned and with rounded cusps). There are approximately 155 species of voles."
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Critters?

    If birds visit your bird bath, then the wasps may stay away. I don't know if birds eat wasps, but they probably don't risk it.

    I think they use the water for nest building. I live next to a very large pond with swans and geese and the wasps come to the pool.
    20 x 40 28k gallon Salt Water Vinyl IGP, Hayward pump and Sand filter

  11. Back To Top    #11

    TFP Guide

    AimeeH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Columbia SC
    Posts
    1,837

    Re: Critters?

    I have the same critter mix as tim5055.

    I can add mole crickets in skimmers is common, but otherwise same mix.

    I think we must be very close to each other. I'm in LR columbia area.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Critters?

    Wasps are my least favorite. The come to drink from the pool and when it's colder, they get caught by the skimmers. I've been stung once.

    Toads, june bugs, pill bugs, worms, caterpillars, etc.

    I even fished a skink out of the pool one day. That's a lizard that looks a lot like a snake.
    20,000 gal in-ground plaster pool with sand filter. Replastered recently. Mostly adding bleach and acid. CYA was high when I took over.

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    9,198

    Re: Critters?

    Anytime you use liquid chlorine you leave a little salt in the pool. I'm not sure if dry chlorine leaves salt behind or not. I know bees like the smell of cocoa butter. Maybe try leaving a little bit of it by the birdbath, too.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
    Love TFP? Become a
    TFP Supporter!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •