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Thread: Do I have algae?

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    Do I have algae?

    The water itself is crystal clear, but it seems like every couple days when I am vacuuming that in the corners where the wall meets the floor of the pool, I'm getting like a yellowish film on the bottom of the pool. When I run the vacuum over it, it seems to stay put but if I give it a little scrubbing, it comes off.

    Wondering if it is the start of algae?

    My chlorine levels were a little low when I just tested it out. About 4.5. So I went ahead and dumped a gallon of 10% in there which should get me up to around a 15 FC level. What does algae look like exactly?
    24 ft. above ground pool, 13,500 gallons, installed summer 2013
    Cartridge Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP Power-Flo LX pump
    Main drain
    5 happy swimming children
    NW Indiana

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Do I have algae?

    You should do an OCLT test to determine if organics are a problem.

    Post a full set of test results for us and we can give more information.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Do I have algae?

    It could be algae, or it could be pollen. The best way to tell is to run the OCLT.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...loss-test-oclt

    If you can scrape some off with your fingernail, it will feel slimy, especially when pressed between two fingernails.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Do I have algae?

    We have had a ton of pollen lately, so maybe that's it.

    I will do the OCLT tonight and report back in the AM.
    24 ft. above ground pool, 13,500 gallons, installed summer 2013
    Cartridge Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP Power-Flo LX pump
    Main drain
    5 happy swimming children
    NW Indiana

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Do I have algae?

    Yes, report back.

    It is also good practice to get into the habit of brushing your pool weekly! It helps keep stuff from settling in cracks and crevices and if you have a dead spot, it can help move chlorinated water past it to prevent films of dirt, pollen or algae from taking hold. Brushing is most definitely the number one thing most pool owners do not do enough of!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Do I have algae?

    OK.....I did the OCLT. Took a reading last night at 8:30 or so and got a 15.5 FC level ( I mentioned that I jacked it up yesterday because I was a little low to begin with and I was afraid I had algae). It was not pitch black yet, but very cloudy so no sun whatsoever. This morning at around 5:15 , I got a 15 measurement. So I think I'm OK on the algae front. I should also mention that we got a ton of rain last night as well, so that's probably what is contributing to my slightly lower FC measurement. The water is darn close to the top of my skimmer, as high as it's ever been.

    I just got the pool last year in July. I will say that this spring has been a bear just keeping it clean from leaves and debris. Of course, last year I didn't have to deal with the helicopters from the maple tree and the cottonwood, etc. I think I'm gonna give my filter a good cleaning today just to be safe. It's possible I'm sucking all this stuff up and then just pumping it back into my pool. The only other time I've needed to clean it was at the end of last year.

    Thanks again for all the help.....TFPC is the bomb.
    24 ft. above ground pool, 13,500 gallons, installed summer 2013
    Cartridge Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP Power-Flo LX pump
    Main drain
    5 happy swimming children
    NW Indiana

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Do I have algae?

    OK....so I test the water right now (Saturday at 1:30 PM) and the FC has dropped from 15 to 6 in one day (roughly a 32 hour period).

    My kids were swimming all darn day yesterday....does pool activity and stirring the water up cause the chlorine to be used up?
    24 ft. above ground pool, 13,500 gallons, installed summer 2013
    Cartridge Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP Power-Flo LX pump
    Main drain
    5 happy swimming children
    NW Indiana

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    Re: Do I have algae?

    Yes, pool activity will cause chlorine to be used up; sweat and urine (FC is used up oxidising organic compounds) are the first things that come to mind with kids in the pool.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Do I have algae?

    Arggghhh. Seems to get worse! I've done OCLT twice and it's been just fine. Why does it look like this every other day?




    24 ft. above ground pool, 13,500 gallons, installed summer 2013
    Cartridge Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP Power-Flo LX pump
    Main drain
    5 happy swimming children
    NW Indiana

  10. Back To Top    #10
    pepsiholic's Avatar
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    Re: Do I have algae?

    What test kit do you use? Have you brushed the stairs? I wipe down my stairs with bleach every couple of weeks just to make sure there is no algae hiding there. Do you have a lot of trees, could be pollen if your OCLT is passing. Do you have a lot of road dust? Just throwing some things out there. If you could list your full test results maybe someone can help you figure this out.
    24 x 52 Round AG Outback Empire Pool 13,500 gal.
    1 HP Hayward Power-Flo pump w/Hayward 18" 150lb. sand filter
    TF-100 test kit & SpeedStir
    Wanda the Whale Vacuum

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Do I have algae?

    TF 100. Gold standard.

    Twice I've done the OCLT. Once was fc15. That was after I jacked it up fearing I had algae. Second time was around 8. That was about a week later.


    I've been keeping FC at at least 5 and more like 7 for a couple weeks now. Cya is around 45.

    I do have a huge maple tree that gives us shade from about 2pm on. I live right next to a pond. No road.


    Could keeping the solar cover on a lot could be cooking it. Algae factory?


    I'm at a loss.


    24 ft. above ground pool, 13,500 gallons, installed summer 2013
    Cartridge Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP Power-Flo LX pump
    Main drain
    5 happy swimming children
    NW Indiana

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Do I have algae?

    What is the CC?

    The solar cover could be an issue if it is harboring junk/algae. How is it stored when off? You could give it a good scrub using a bleach/water mixture.

    How often are your brushing? How often vac'ing?

    How many returns does the pool have? You might want to try to aim them differently so that you are sure they are making the water go round and round, and not just across. Aim all downward and right or all downward and left.

    Can you capture some of the 'stuff' in the pool - then rub it between your fingers. Slimy = algae, squishy = pollen, gritty = sand/dirt.

    Any chance someone is playing in the pond and then goes directly into the pool?

    Post a full set of test results for us to peruse

    We'll get this figured out
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Do I have algae?



    I think I've found the issue. Darn stairs. Last summer after pool install I didn't have these stairs. The kids were just climbing out directly to the deck. I bought these stairs this spring so older guests could get in and out. I pulled them out and looked and sure enough this is what I see. I wouldn't say it feels too "slimy" but it's definitely a shade of green I wouldn't associate with "clean."

    So now what? SLAM?


    24 ft. above ground pool, 13,500 gallons, installed summer 2013
    Cartridge Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP Power-Flo LX pump
    Main drain
    5 happy swimming children
    NW Indiana

  14. Back To Top    #14
    pepsiholic's Avatar
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    Re: Do I have algae?

    Yes ma'am, SLAM. I jut finished a slam due to my ladder. That's the only thing I can figure anyway. No visible algae but a CC reading that told me something was going on.
    24 x 52 Round AG Outback Empire Pool 13,500 gal.
    1 HP Hayward Power-Flo pump w/Hayward 18" 150lb. sand filter
    TF-100 test kit & SpeedStir
    Wanda the Whale Vacuum

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Do I have algae?

    SLAM. Visible algae

    Keep us posted!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: Do I have algae?

    So I've had the pump running all weekend.....I spent about an hour on Saturday scrubbing the pool. I vacuumed the whole thing on Saturday morning as well. Tried to be extremely thorough. I had my 13 year old go around on Sunday and scrub it again. I pulled the stairs out and let them dry out. Then Sunday I scrubbed them down in all the nooks and crannies with bleach. I also realized that I was storing my vacuum head and hose in a dirty plastic bin. So I scrubbed that out and let the vacuum head soak in the bleachy water for a few hours to make sure it was completely disinfected. Kept the FC level up around 15 all weekend. I have no CC according to my tests, so that's good.

    Bottom line is that the water appears pretty much crystal clear again. I dropped the ladder back in last night and the kids were swimming again. I had to work today, but I'll do a full battery of tests one more time when i get home today to make sure everything is ok. I plan on pulling that ladder out once every couple of weeks, too, and giving it a good scrub. Maybe I'll just pull it out at night and let it dry out more regularly.

    So I think I've got it figured out. Thanks for all the troubleshooting advice, guys and gals! I am going to show my gratitude by officially becoming a TFP Supporter!

    I can't quite figure out the CYA test exactly....I don't know when I should consider the black dot on the bottom of the cylinder to no longer be visible. If I really look closely, I can barely see a faint outline of it when it reads "30" on the cylinder. But I also know I put in quite a bit of CYA at the start of the season to get it up from about 20.....I was thinking I was at about 45, but apparently I was not. Maybe that's why my chlorine got eaten up and it must have dipped too low just long enough for the algae to take hold. I think I need a little more CYA, would like it to be up around 40 so I'm not going through a ton a chlorine. I think we've had sooooo much rain lately that I probably have lost a lot more water through the skimmer than I realized....and twice I've had to siphon some water out of the pool because the rain had completely filled the pool to where it was over the top of the skimmer.
    24 ft. above ground pool, 13,500 gallons, installed summer 2013
    Cartridge Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP Power-Flo LX pump
    Main drain
    5 happy swimming children
    NW Indiana

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Do I have algae?

    Did you pass the OCLT? See red line in my sig.

    Sounds like you got all the nooks and crannies Good job!

    TFP relies totally on donations and it has been a real pool saver for thousands of us. This place is always needing another $$ upgrade because it is growing crazy fast!

    Thank you for supporting this site.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Do I have algae?

    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    Did you pass the OCLT? See red line in my sig.
    I didn't get a chance to check this AM....it was raining and I had to leave for work at 5AM, so I am going to check one more time tonight.....based on what it was yesterday, my FC level SHOULD be around 12 right now. I'll test and see what I am when I get home (around 4PM) and bring it up to around shock level if needed. Then I'll check at about 8:30 PM when it is essentially dark here. Then I'll check when I wake up in the morning, which should be about 5AM on Tuesday. Keep the fingers crossed, but I'm 95% sure I got this thing kicked now. Even when I was having the problems over the last two weeks, the OCLT was coming back good. I did it twice. Luckily, I think I nipped it in the bud soon enough that it didn't get really out of control.
    24 ft. above ground pool, 13,500 gallons, installed summer 2013
    Cartridge Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP Power-Flo LX pump
    Main drain
    5 happy swimming children
    NW Indiana

  19. Back To Top    #19
    pepsiholic's Avatar
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    Re: Do I have algae?

    I know what your saying. Have had a lot of rain here this summer also. I like to keep my CYA around 50-ish because my pool is in full sun from daybreak until about 7:30 and I just added some last week and still am only reading around 40. I took my ladder out and slammed and viola! No more mystery dirt in pool. There was no visible algae on the ladder but when I turned it over to drain it, oh boy, the crud that came out! It was not causing me any CC readings just the constant "dust" so my chlorine was thankfully preventing all all out algae bloom. I'm glad you found your problem before it got any worse!
    24 x 52 Round AG Outback Empire Pool 13,500 gal.
    1 HP Hayward Power-Flo pump w/Hayward 18" 150lb. sand filter
    TF-100 test kit & SpeedStir
    Wanda the Whale Vacuum

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Do I have algae?

    Well, I got home yesterday and tested the FC. Brought it back up to what should have been around 12 according to Pool Math.

    Unfortunately, then we got two inches of rain last night. Started around 7:00 PM, so I never got to test the water again after the sun went down. We had violent thunderstorms, so I didn't feel like risking my life to test FC again before I went to bed.

    But I did get up this morning and test at about 5:00 AM.....FC at 11.5. Given the two inches of rain we had, I'm calling the OCLT "test" a success based on what it SHOULD have been at when I last added chlorine. The water is clear again. And I don't have any CC.

    A SLAM success story. Time to finally turn off the pump for awhile.
    24 ft. above ground pool, 13,500 gallons, installed summer 2013
    Cartridge Filter, Hayward 1.5 HP Power-Flo LX pump
    Main drain
    5 happy swimming children
    NW Indiana

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