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Thread: green algae - Chlorine or Borax First?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Bartlett, TN

    green algae - Chlorine or Borax First?

    Hello. I have had green algea in my pool for a little over a week. It started appearing at about the same time that my pump started dying. (Actually, I think it has not been working as well as it should for a while now, but I don't know for sure.) I read that I should have a working pump and filter and a good test kit before the big shock. Here are my numbers:

    pH = 7.8
    FC = less than 0.6 (very very light yellow on my OTO test)
    Alk = 90
    Stab = 45ish (though I read that this might not be right due to my algae)
    calcium = did not test b/c I have a vinal pool and I read that it didn't matter

    I looked everywhere for Muriatic Acid yesterday and can't find it, so I walked around sprinkling some leftover pH decreaser that I had previously bought from Walmart in the pool this morning before work (my old pump is still barely turing the water, so I hope it mixes well enough). My question is, assuming that I can find some appropriate acid, which should I do first, the Borax treatment or the Chlorine shock?? I read that Borax can help with algea and reduce the amount of chlorine you need, but I can't find anywhere if there is a problem with using either one before the other. I am taking a vacation day from work on Friday so that I will have all weekend to deal with this if necessary. I just want to have everything prepared before Friday when I begin my war on Algae! I already purchased 6 boxes of 20 mule Borax and 6 1.5 gallon jugs of 6% bleach, and I plan to buy more of whatever I need tonight. (I realize that I need more bleach, but I didn't have any more room in my car last night! ) Any advice would be great!!
    33' Round AG Pool, Approximately 28,750 gallons, SwimPro High Rate Sand Filter - 25", Hayward Matrix 1.5 hp pump, TF100 test kit
    Memphis, TN Suburb - Very Hot and Sunny all summer (Avg day temp. = 99, HI = 110)
    We've had heat advisories almost every day for over a month - it would be nice to have a clean pool! :)

  2. Back To Top    #2

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: green algae - Chlorine or Borax First?


    Chlorine (bleach) is your first line of defense against algae. You'll need to put enough clorox in there to get to around 20ppm (now really read this carefully) and you'll need to KEEP IT UP AROUND 20 ppm until your pool clears.

    Don't worry about your pH for now. You can adjust that down (if you need to) after you have cured your algae bloom.

    I am concerned about your pump but will leave that to you to make sure you can circulate your water. Go get some more're gonna need a bunch to get rid of the algae.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Butterfly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    South Carolina

    Re: green algae - Chlorine or Borax First?


    Glad you got your TF100 on the way! This will put you in control of your water and your confidence will soar!

    As Dave said, start shocking your pool. You can help 'circulate' your water (mix in the bleach) by using your pool brush or spraying sharp streams w/the water hose.

    Good luck and keep us updated.
    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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  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Denton, TX

    Re: green algae - Chlorine or Borax First?

    Welcome to TFP!

    Follow Dave's advice as far as getting your FC up to 20 and keeping it there . I would also make the pump repair/replacement a priority because you will make little progress without the ability to turn your water over effectively. Don't forget to brush the walls well too.

    Good that you are taking Friday off. You will need a few days to stay on top of things.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: green algae - Chlorine or Borax First?

    Borax is a PREVENTATIVE in a maintained pool. Chlorine is the cure for a green one.

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