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Thread: Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

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    Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

    First post, have been stalking the site since January and have done a lot of reading about how to set up the pool weather to bury or not, pool chemistry and pool school etc. Things have been a bit shaky but I got them cleared up and pool has looked great for over a month, crystal clear and very nice..... started to get a big head and maybe even a little bragging.......... and now my pool is starting to do what my saltwater fish tank did.... turn green.... I never did master the tank so it had to go, I have way too much time invested in this pool to have this project turn out the same!

    Please help!

    Monday evening I noticed really dark green areas in the corners under the skimmer area thought it was dirt and was going to vacuum the pool but since I was already in the pool I decided to grab some kids goggles and take a closer look found what looked like mold that wiped off easy. I figured it to be algae so we cut our swim time short and started testing and treating. I brought chlorine levels up to 5 that night and brushed the entire pool the next morning they were around 2 or 3 so I added more than normal to keep levels high for the day, tested that night and they were at 2 again not wanting to over do it i left it till the next morning when I normally test and treat, it was at 1 so I added an extra cup of bleach and checked when i got home it was at 1 again so i left it and today I put in two extra cups of bleach. I just found the algae has returned in the same spot and tested levels and found chlorine at 1.....

    here are the levels that I have now I cant test everything with my test kit so some of this was from pool store about 5 weeks ago

    FC - 1
    TC - 1 this doesnt ever seem to change or maybe I dont know how to test for it
    PH - 7.5 this has been pretty steady since adding the Borax
    TA - 90
    CH - ? not sure the pool store tested this
    CYA - 50 tested 5 weeks ago

    My other issue is my test results seems to be shaky at best, some days I cant tell the difference between one shade or the other and now I have two cheap kits here and they seem to have different results.

    I have already added 4 cups of bleach tonight have the filter running now and will leave it on over night for circulation. My normal run time for the filter is on at 6am off at noon.
    I am using 8.25% clorox for the past two weeks, started with 10% stuff from Home depot
    I added Borax according to the calculator about 4 weeks ago
    Above Ground 18x35 buried 3 feet with deep end. 19,000 gallon, 300 lb Sand filter 2 hp pump with two skimmers and 2 returns and a sprinkler

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

    You need to SLAM the pool! The lack of chlorine is why your pool is turning green.

    SLAMing Your Pool
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    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

    Well I figured as much on the chlorine level that is why I added more.

    After reading more and more and playing with pool calculator I believe than when I switched to 8% or maybe even on the 10 I wasn't really checking what the levels were after just the next day and assuming that I had been reaching my levels. Couple that with allowing my FC to stay between 1 and 3 as my tester indicated "Ideal" has caused this as well.
    That said I just ordered the TF 100 with all the bells and whistles so maybe I can understand this better after I can get accurate tests.
    So now I will go back to stalking and reading and figure this out..... Or fill in the hole in my yard
    Above Ground 18x35 buried 3 feet with deep end. 19,000 gallon, 300 lb Sand filter 2 hp pump with two skimmers and 2 returns and a sprinkler

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    Re: Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

    My first impression is that you've been adding really small amounts of bleach, probably not enough to hold back the algae... although it's hard to say without a high-confidence CYA test. For a CYA of 50 your FC range should be between 4 and 8, not 1 and 3.

    Once your test kit arrives this should all get a lot easier. Sounds like you're getting a good handle on this.
    Cedar hot tub, 680 US gallons - Snorkel wood-burning heater, canoe paddle, "offline" Intex 1000 GPH pump/filter with skimmer

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    Are the answers to pool problems always the same?

    I merged your thread since you ended up asking the same questions in this new thread. Do not start multiple threads asking the same things. jblizzle

    I posted an algae problem the other day in the algae section, got a response that said "slam your pool". Now I am not here to question what works but I am now wondering if the answers to all newbies is the same.....
    1. Buy a test kit

    2. Post your test results

    3. Slam your pool

    I had a very small algae out break and it was obvious after posting that I was not adding enough chlorine, I had used the calculator but not for daily treatment and my tester said 1-3 on FC was ok so that is where i was keeping it. This was last thursday, I upped my FC level that night and started using pool math to adjust levels and since my test kit is still in transit i have not started a slam. With my new goal at 7 for FC I have been adding bleach like crazy, other than that all I have done is vacuum and brush the pool. Is it possible to kill off the small amount I had with proper FC levels with out the slam?
    This is the first year I have had the pool so I have nothing to compare to, but this bleach method doesnt seem very inexpensive. Is my chlorine usage so high because I need to slam the pool? Or will it stay this much all season?
    Above Ground 18x35 buried 3 feet with deep end. 19,000 gallon, 300 lb Sand filter 2 hp pump with two skimmers and 2 returns and a sprinkler

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Are the answers to pool problems always the same?

    The 3 steps are the BEST 3 steps to help clear your or any ones pool. They are tried and proven.

    Your chlorine use is so high because of the algae. A high CYA level might also account for you high chlorine use.

    I use 60 to 80 oz of chlorine in a 24 hour period (depends on the sun and use).

    Goodluck!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Are the answers to pool problems always the same?

    In short yes. Algae? SLAM. Ammonia? SLAM. Cloudy Water? SLAM. The pool store would have you think this is some kind of mystery, but really TFP is just good testing and maintain enough FC for the CYA level.

    This question reminds me of my girlfriend asking a bunch of MS Word questions over the course of a few weeks...how do I change orientation of one page, how do I do different page numbering in different parts of the document, how do I do columns in one part of a document. It became an inside joke that "insert a section" was the answer to every question.

    The bleach method is cheap compared to the bad pool store advice. You will not be buying phosphate remover, you will not be buying shock, you shouldn't have to do periodic drains due to "chlorine lock", you won't be adding mystery snake oils that are supposed to magically fix everything. If you always maintain your FC over the minimum for your CYA you may never have to SLAM again.

    Typical FC loss per day is 2 to 2.5 ppm in a TFP pool. In your 19,000 gal pool that should be around 1/2 gallon of 8.25% bleach or about $1.50 per day. Read through some of the posts about people getting "pool stored." It is not uncommon to hear stories about spending $300 on pool store recommended chemicals with instructions to dump them in and come back tomorrow.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Are the answers to pool problems always the same?

    Since you have figured out the formula, let me ask you:
    1. What test kit are you using?
    2. Please post up your test results.
    3. With visible algae, the solution is to follow the SLAM Process.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

    My new post wasnt asking the same stuff.
    I got a reply on the first one, but honestly by the time i was finished posting the question I had answered my own (didnt follow the advice from this site that I had already been reading about). I started the pool with this sites advice but then let the FC level drop down and I dont even know why and yes I did visit the pool store and dropped $100 after finding this site.... Not sure why.... My new post was to ask do I really need to slam?
    My algae has been gone since I brushed and vacuumed and raised the FC level, water is crystal clear everything looks great.
    My test kit is junk and the TF100 I ordered should be here on Wednesday so my results at this point are somewhat useless.
    What I do know is my FC has been 3 in the mornings and with the pool math I have been shooting for 7 and since that day it is clear.
    I will re-evaluate after testing with new kit but if I see no algae do I need to slam?
    Above Ground 18x35 buried 3 feet with deep end. 19,000 gallon, 300 lb Sand filter 2 hp pump with two skimmers and 2 returns and a sprinkler

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    Re: Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

    Keeping all your posts under one thread really helps us frequent responders see your whole story.

    We can help you get your pool crystal clear but you have to help us as well. I know you are anxious to do something to make some progress.

    One thing that may help is to put a gallon jug of clorox in your pool (pump running) tonight and tomorrow night. That may help get rid of some invisible junk and then you will have your test kit and you can go to work.

    Posting those numbers that we all trust is really the starting point. Whether you need to SLAM or not will depend on those test results.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

    You asked about algae and the need SLAM in both threads, seemed related to me As Dave said, best to keep everything together.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

    Once your test kit arrives do the overnight chlorine loss test . That will tell you if you need to slam or not.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

    Ok, let me put this a little differently here.
    I work in the automotive industry and at times my techs will have to request the help of Technical assistance center that the manufacturer has established. With 20 years with one car maker I became used to the way they gave advice, changed to management and switched car makers and the new one has an online tech assist program... Quite often my frustration level as well as my techs will go sky high when you post a problem with specific test results or in my case a proposed plan of attack assuming other parameters are met and the help that is posted back obviously did not read the entire statement.

    Again I will say I do not question the method! I did not follow the advice that is my bad! I question my own test results as well as the pool stores, I also believe the new kit will have room for error. But I am wondering if the advice given is like me saying replace the engine in your car based on a "noise" rather than a little more research with accurate info and current water status.

    My water is crystal clear and NO algae in sight. My chlorine usage has been 118 oz yesterday and today 89 oz to maintain a FC level of 7 with my test kits (using the average of two)

    I have apparently rubbed people the wrong way here so I will go back to just a viewer and no more posting, maybe I will fix it maybe I will fill in the hole. All I am saying is read the post for what it is if slamming is the only way then fine but just like I cant fix your car accurately or inexpensively over the internet I doubt the same can be done for my pool. to much room for error with testing and diagnosing water condition and algae etc.
    Above Ground 18x35 buried 3 feet with deep end. 19,000 gallon, 300 lb Sand filter 2 hp pump with two skimmers and 2 returns and a sprinkler

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    Re: Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

    In the Midwest I drain and refill every year after the winter. A fill usually costs $150 bucks. In my humble opinion which is worth .02 cents "in some cases it may be cheaper to refill than to dump massive amounts of chlorine." Once up and running if you never dip below the minimum chlorine dose amount on the chlorine/CYA should never see any issues! Good Luck! Just a FYI use polyquat60 as an algecide if you don't want to check every day and have a higher CYA. That's what I tell my parents who have had a pool for over 20 years and aren't on board with the consistant testing of the TFP method.
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
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    Re: Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

    Mxracer,

    Let me start off by saying Welcome to the site! I'm sure you've seen over the months of viewing we do enjoy helping other members.....just as we hope to help you.

    I can fully understand your questioning the suggestion of SLAMMING your pool. If the water is 100% clean and clear then there is no reason to slam. However a few of your comments set off red flags that lead to the suggestions.
    Quote Originally Posted by mxracer View Post
    .......... and now my pool is starting to do what my saltwater fish tank did.... turn green.... I never did master the tank so it had to go, I have way too much time invested in this pool to have this project turn out the same
    Quote Originally Posted by mxracer View Post
    I just found the algae has returned in the same spot and tested levels and found chlorine at 1.....
    Those statements will raise the suggestion to slam rather quickly for a reason, something's happening in your pool. Catch it now and the SLAM process is easy. Waiting and see often results in a much more difficult SLAM.

    Now as for this comment......
    Quote Originally Posted by mxracer View Post
    All I am saying is read the post for what it is if slamming is the only way then fine but just like I cant fix your car accurately or inexpensively over the internet I doubt the same can be done for my pool. to much room for error with testing and diagnosing water condition and algae etc.
    There really is a lot we can do to help you. Your new test kit is FAR more accurate than the current. It really will take the guessing out of testing. I promise you! If all your numbers are in line, the SLAM process will be short and painless to remove the little algae that's started. If your numbers are out of whack, the results will give us clues as why things are happening.

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    Re: Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

    mxracer, just because your pool cleared up after boosting your FC level does not mean all the algae is dead, it may still be hiding in spots with poor circulation slowly eating up your chlorine and waiting for the chlorine levels to drop too low again and come back with a rampage.

    What you have done is somewhat like going to a doctor with a bacterial infection, he gives you a 7 day course of antibiotics, and you stop taking them after day 2 because you seem to be feeling better, just to have the infection to continue and fester at a low level.

    Once you get your test kit in you can perform an overnight chlorine loss test which will tell you if you still have a problem or not. Until then things are sort of in limbo, sometimes you can get away with what you did and it clears everything up, other times you are not so lucky.

    Or let me put this another way, in an automotive analogy, it is not that our advice is always the same thing for all problems, but tends to be the same starting point for a certain class of problems. In this case lets not say an engine making a noise so you should replace the engine, but lets say milky looking oil, and a sweet coolant smell coming from the exhaust, and 9 out of 10 times you know the problem is something along the lines of a cracked head or blown head gasket. And the solution is never just an oil change. This is much the same way we react to hearing cloudy green water, ....
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

    Welcome to TFP MX! Don't go away!

    Right now you're getting "generic" advice to what is technically a "generic" problem. That's because we really want to help you but we can't quite do it yet. (Hey, I got out of bed at almost 2 am to type this! Now that's an addiction to helping!)

    The main big thing we need in order to tailor advice specifically to your situation is reliable results from one of the recommended test kits which is why the first thing that is always asked about/recommended here is a good reliable kit.

    I know that your kit is on it's way so it's only a matter of time before you can get your results and post them here. Then you'll get very specific suggestions and a plan of action!

    If your test results look good and your water is clear, you may only need to do an OCLT (Overnight Chlorine Loss Test) to see if there are any organics hiding out trying to grow in your pool and sneak up and get you. It may be that you pass the OCLT and you dodged a bullet!

    In that case you will now be equipped with the tools you need to make maintaining your sparkly pool very easy!

    If your test results show a CC greater than .5 or you don't pass the OCLT, a SLAM is going to be recommended. That is because either of those 2 things show that there is something in the water that needs to be killed and the SLAM is the cure for that!

    As Isaac said, the symptoms you described (generically - lacking the reliable test results we crave) generally point to a need to SLAM.

    I hope your test kit arrives quickly! Once you have it in hand, get those results and post them here and you'll see the specific advice you're looking for. It may turn out to be the suggestion to SLAM (it really is very common for people who have just found the forum to be in the position that they need to SLAM) or it may be just a few tweaks that are recommended.

    What it comes down to is...we really want to give you very specific suggestions/instructions but we can't until we have the test results....but soon we will have those and then we can take off!

    In the mean time try to maintain that chlorine as best you can. (duraleigh's suggestion) Don't go crazy with the bleach or anything else for that matter. When the kit arrives anything that needs fixing can be fixed!

    Welcome again!
    18' x 48" (42" water depth) Intex Metal Frame 6,700 Gallons
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    Re: Dark green algae in small spots below returns and skimmers

    Quote Originally Posted by mxracer View Post
    I question my own test results as well as the pool stores, I also believe the new kit will have room for error. .
    Having spent several hundreds of $ on several different test kits and getting results that varied widely, I finally purchased the TF-100. My test results are now VERY consistent. I have rerun the tests multiple times and always get the same results unlike the other test kits.

    I admit there is some room for error on the tests, but consistency in the results is the key. You are using a $100 test kit and not a multi million tester that will give you results to within 0.001 ppm.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

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