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Thread: Is it ever appropriate to use copper algaecide?

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    Is it ever appropriate to use copper algaecide?

    I've been battling algae for some time (three weeks). The pool was merely cloudy upon opening. I shocked, and upon the pool clearing, I maintained an FC level of between 3-4 ppm. The problems started after a week straight of heavy wind and rain.

    I've confirmed that the pH, alkalinity, and FC levels are properly held for eliminating algae (mustard algae, at that) based on my CYA level (45 ppm). I have tested once per hour from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm (I don't work during the summer) and adjusted as necessary. I brush four times per day, minimum. The pump and filter haven't stopped. I added DE to the filter thinking that it would help catch algae spores better than sand alone. Lights and steps have been removed and brushed at least once per day. Starting Monday of this week, I DOUBLED the amount of Chlorine recommended by the pool calculator, while maintaining my brushing regimen. Still, every morning, I see tan sand-like deposits on the bottom (not just in shady areas, but all over the pool). When I disturb these with a brush, they immediately explode into little brown cloud and leave a thinner, darker deposit that needs more vigorous scrubbing.

    I've spent $300 on bleach and muriatic acid. I have not tried a phosphate remover as they are not available in my area, but I could order one if it would help.

    Otherwise...at what point does it become acceptable to go nuclear? Thanks in advance for the help.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Is it ever appropriate to use copper algaecide?

    Welcome.

    Holding an FC level of 3-4ppm with a CYA of 45ppm is too low. At the least, you should not be below 5ppm to keep a crystal clear pool, crystal clear.

    Please post a full set of test results and tell us how you got those results.

    A thin line of brown dust that poofs is reason enough to still suspect an algae infestation.

    Also, please read Pool School.
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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Is it ever appropriate to use copper algaecide?

    Welcome to TFP!

    Copper algaecide will not help with this problem. In fact, I cannot think of any instance where a copper algaecide would be justified.

    Have you run an Overnight FC Loss Test? This will tell if there is something organic in your pool that is consuming chlorine.

    Quote Originally Posted by uatuba
    The problems started after a week straight of heavy wind and rain.
    We also need to consider the possibility that what you are seeing is not algae but rather blown-in or washed-in (from the rain) debris. Using me as an example, in early-spring (a.k.a., wind season around here) there is a fine layer of silt that gets blown into or washed into the pool from wind and/or rain. When I brush it, it clouds up a bit. What you are seeing could be this or some form of pollen.




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    Re: Is it ever appropriate to use copper algaecide?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    Welcome.

    Holding an FC level of 3-4ppm with a CYA of 45ppm is too low. At the least, you should not be below 5ppm to keep a crystal clear pool, crystal clear.

    Please post a full set of test results and tell us how you got those results.

    A thin line of brown dust that poofs is reason enough to still suspect an algae infestation.

    Also, please read Pool School.
    Sorry for not being completely thorough. At that point, my CYA was only at 40 ppm. My wife shocked with Dichlor unintentionally when the problem first starters, which raised the CYA to 45 ppm. At 40 ppm CYA, TroubleFreePool recommended level is 3 ppm.

    I've read Pool School. Is there something I'm not doing specifically that is listed there? I haven't been able to find a point I'm which I'm deviating from the recommendations, unless testing too often and maintaining the shock level too often is a problem (since I'm doing it much more than recommended).

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    Re: Is it ever appropriate to use copper algaecide?

    The problem is you know what you are talking about but "we" don't. You doubled the amount of chlorine in the calculator From what to what, testing results raised FC from what to what ??
    What is it you consider going "nuclear" ?? The Trouble Free Pool system uses simple chemicals to get you blue and keep you blue. We can help but you need to fill in the blanks.

    You will also need a testing kit to get accurate, repeatable results we can use to help you out if you don't have one already. Do you ?? http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...its-comparison

    When you opened you "shocked" ?? What and how much did you use of what to change your waters test results to where ?? Any chance you SLAMed your pool or was it Pool Store shock you used ??
    We SLAM : http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...tain-shockingl

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    Re: Is it ever appropriate to use copper algaecide?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiss4afrog View Post
    The problem is you know what you are talking about but "we" don't. You doubled the amount of chlorine in the calculator From what to what, testing results raised FC from what to what ??
    What is it you consider going "nuclear" ?? The Trouble Free Pool system uses simple chemicals to get you blue and keep you blue. We can help but you need to fill in the blanks.

    You will also need a testing kit to get accurate, repeatable results we can use to help you out if you don't have one already. Do you ?? http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...its-comparison

    When you opened you "shocked" ?? What and how much did you use of what to change your waters test results to where ?? Any chance you SLAMed your pool or was it Pool Store shock you used ??
    We SLAM : http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...tain-shockingl

    What pool, above or in ground, plaster, vinyl, 3K, 10K, 35K with sand filter, DE filter .... We need some info to help you. http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...etting-started

    24' AG, 12K gallons, sand filter (as stated), 1.5hp pump, one skimmer, one return, metal rim, vinyl liner

    When I opened the pool I did not SLAM. I tested and adjusted the pH, CYA, Borate level, CH, and Alkalinity where necessary. I didn't record preliminary values, but after all adjustments were made, the values were:

    pH: 7.4
    CYA: 40
    Borates: 35
    CH: 100
    TA: 100

    I added 4 bottles (121 oz each) of 8.25% bleach in the evening after balancing. The next day I added 2 bottles in the morning and 2 in the evening, and continued for four days while running the pump and vacuuming daily as well as backwashing when needed until the pool was clear. I didn't know about the SLAM methodology at the time, but I can only assume that I came fairly close.

    The pool stayed clear for three weeks and I maintained a FC level of between 3-4 ppm. After a week of heavy wind and rain is when the issues started. The FC level never dropped below 3 ppm.

    I went out of town to carry my brother in law to an appointment, and my wife told me the pool was cloudy. I told her to shock it to help stall any issues, considering that I would deal with it when I arrived back late that evening. She added a pound of Dichlor instead of 2 pounds of 65% cal-hypo (she thought there was 8oz in a pound and grabbed the wrong stuff but I digress).

    I tested pH, chlorine, and TA when I got home and I noticed that the FC was not nearly as high as what I expected. I figured out what happened, and I checked the CYA as a result. It was now 45 ppm. I added enough bleach to bring the FC to 16 ppm. The other values were within an acceptable range (I didn't record these, but I remember not making any other adjustments at the time because I didn't need to).

    The next morning, the water was still cloudy, and the FC had dropped to 14 ppm. I brought the FC level back to 16 ppm. I brushed and tested/adjusted chemicals once per day according to the TFP recommendations, and I left the pump running. The pool remained slightly cloudy. I checked the pH each day around noon and noticed it was really high (I assume because of the chlorine I was adding). I added muriatic acid to keep the pH at 7.4. This was the first week.

    After the first week, and after noticing that the pool wasn't as clear as it should be, I actually started reading in depth and read the Pool School info. That is when I added DE to the sand filter following the recommendations listed on this forum. I also started the SLAM process, checking every half hour and then every hour. I started brushing each time I needed to adjust to hold at 16 ppm FC, which was around three times per day, and I vacuumed to waste at least once per day (since I had to add water, I assume this was a contributor as to why I needed to make adjustments three times per day) . My FC levels did not change outside of a 1 ppm difference over night. The cloudiness went away after day 3, week 2. HOWEVER, there were dark deposits that looked like dirt covering the entire floor of the pool. I vacuumed to waste and kept the FC levels at 27 ppm with pH being adjusted as recommended using the TFP values on poolcalculator.com.

    Starting at week three, the dark deposits remained. My brushing regimen has upped to four times per day, vacuuming once per day. I upped the maintained FC level to 54 ppm on day 2, week 3. The dark deposits are now tan on their surface, but when disturbed, the sandy looking material clouds up and a dark deposit remains (which has to be brushed with significantly more pressure).

    I can't be more thorough than this. Please accept it when I tell you that I've maintained the levels as recommended, since I have. I've ordered testing chemicals twice because I've run out, and I'm almost out once again.
    Last edited by uatuba; 06-22-2014 at 05:27 AM. Reason: Wrong number

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Is it ever appropriate to use copper algaecide?

    HOWEVER, there were dark deposits that looked like dirt covering the entire floor of the pool.
    I strongly suspect this is not algae. Perhaps some kind of pollen or other organic debris. Algae would not have built up when at shock level after the first day or two. However, it is difficult to come to a clear conclusion because there does appear to have been algae before and after.
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    Re: Is it ever appropriate to use copper algaecide?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    I strongly suspect this is not algae. Perhaps some kind of pollen or other organic debris. Algae would not have built up when at shock level after the first day or two. However, it is difficult to come to a clear conclusion because there does appear to have been algae before and after.
    I had that thought. The outer "layer" turning tan and then easily coming off while having an under layer that is darker and clinging to the liner is confusing. Is there any easy way to tell for sure?

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