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Thread: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

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    Waldog's Avatar
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    Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    Ok, folks... got an algae problem... it struck me yesterday like I never expected.

    Soooooo here's the back story... got my TF100... everything is hunky dory... crystal clear water...

    Thursday the 3rd comes around, I add my daily dose of sodium hypochloride which is usually about 16oz (Red Solo Cup! I fill You Up!)

    Next Day.... the 4th swimming for about 3 hours with a small bather load of 3 persons... after swimming I give the pool a double dose... 32oz

    Next Day.... a repeat of the 4th... and Sunday the 5th it's just me and my better half for about 1 hour before the rain comes.

    So after that I added another 32oz... at this point the pools is a litttttle cloudy...

    Also, we had massive amounts of rain over the 4th weekend. Finally on Sunday BEFORE I added my doses of bleach I had to drain off LOTSA pool water, like a good 6 inches. The pool was really full from the last rainstorm it lasted about all day. I added my bleach and off to bed we went. This was at like 8:30PM.

    Anyways... fast forward to Monday afternoon... I come home, check on my beloved pool hoping to see my cloudiness was gone after running the pump overnight and during the day... and what do I see???? GREEN SLIME ON THE POOL FLOOR!!! <GASP>

    Immediately I break out the TF100 and run some tests:

    FC = 3
    CYA = 60!!!!! WHA WHA WHAT!!?!?! Last check it was at 30ish...

    I was in such shock that I did not even check my PH... Doh!!

    So I grab three bottles of bleach after hitting the pool calc and SLAM chart... and go on the attack!

    The chart tells me I need 24 FC for SLAM and that requires that amount.

    I grab my pool brush and scrub the floor and sides after I put one bottle in. Then I add the other two and scrub some more.

    Fast forward to the next morning, I left the pump running, and I come out this AM. Walking to the pool I think surely we have all but defeated the monster... GASP!!! NO!!! It's back! (but not as bad)

    So I test my levels and re-chlorinate this AM (Needed another bottle this time.) Scrub a dub dub... again...

    And here we are. My neighbor is going to add another jug at noon for me.

    My question does not have to do with the process so much as it has to do with has anyone seen this before?

    My algae bloom was like wisps of green on the pool floor.... when I brush it dissipates into a cloud... is this normal algae?

    Am I dealing with some sort of unique strain... ? Is there anything I should know? I mean seriously...

    Admittedly I did not test my FC levels every day over the weekend, so I may have under dosed, and my CYA is obviously higher than the amount of stabilizer I thought I calculated.

    I have also been back washing LIKE CRAZY due to the rain (water levels) so the CYA would have probably been higher than it is now.

    So I'm guessing what happened is:

    - I added to much CYA (no, I quit using pucks weeks ago.)
    - Did not daily test FC and my guesstimates for my bleach levels were not accurate by a long shot.
    - and probably needed to add more than my normal target FC due to rain and July 4th bathers???

    I guess that's really my question there... well that and the algae question.

    I would have thought that the overnight SLAMMING would have really beat it down...

    Ahhhhh, and there is one other factor... I wanted to inspect my sand filter sand level on Sunday. When I took the top off the tube and "fingers" came up out of the sand... suction... so I had to dump my sand into a bucket, remove the fingers, reinstall, and rinse my sand, put it back in and then I did a long rinse and back wash and rinse, and went back to filter, when I did that all seemed good. But I can say the water in the filter had a green tinge to it... is there a way to keep that down? Can I put some bleach in my skimmer, say maybe a cup full to keep the filter squeaky clean so to speak? Could the algae sprung to life from me having to disturb the sand in my sand filter?

    I know it's a lot to take in... I'm going to keep up the slam, and do more testing as soon as I get home tonight to see where I'm at.

    I guess in the future I need to take extra precautions when the weather and bathers are out to eat up my FC.

    I had been doing so well....
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    What you are calling "SLAMMING" isn't what we call SLAMing at all. You should read the directions on SLAMing your pool in the How To section of Pool School and follow that procedure completely to the end.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    GreatCanadian's Avatar
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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    Nothing you've said sounds out of ordinary for the situation you've described. You were dosing your pool for a CYA level that was lower than the actual level. Pool was being used, not testing your CL level, and BAM! - algae. You need to follow the SLAM procedure as Jason above said.
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
    Intex 110 pound Sand Filter with Zeobrite, 2650 gph pump, 0.95 hp
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    Waldog's Avatar
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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    Ok... basically at this point I'm at the SHOCK stage of the SLAM process... There's no reason for the attitude... Edit: Butterfly

    And my questions did not have to do with the actual process because believe it or not I do understand.

    I am curious about the algae type that I describe and about the fact that I had to perform unnecessary work on my filter, if that might have also had an effect on the end result. Lastly about rain and how to what degree it can affect water balance.

    Agreed it is my fault for not diligently testing and definitely for not re-checking my CYA. I must have miscalculated the amount of stabilizer to add from the start.

    BTW, I never back wash after I add my bleach, I always do it before as to not waste it.

    I am no expert and I have a lot to learn. I also work (just started a second job), and cannot always test daily. I know I need to be more diligent and need to test at least every other day so I will work on being more on top of things. Until then I will stumble and I will fall, but I will always get back up.

    Thanks to those of you with positive advice. It is much appreciated.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatCanadian View Post
    Nothing you've said sounds out of ordinary for the situation you've described. You were dosing your pool for a CYA level that was lower than the actual level. Pool was being used, not testing your CL level, and BAM! - algae. You need to follow the SLAM procedure as Jason above said.
    This is what I was thinking but wanted confirmation. Amazing that it can actually happen within just a few days time, although I suspect since my CYA was high that I have not been adding enough bleach. I am still struggling to come to terms with the proper balance as I want to avoid over chlorination as some folks such as my better half are sensitive to chlorine like you find in some public pools. Again though, I suspect those pools are over chlorinated on purpose by those who are not trained properly in how to maintain them or feel it's easier to do so. Once I get the hang of how everything interacts I will be much better at keeping things in check and knowing the warning signs.
    Last edited by Butterfly; 07-08-2014 at 10:55 AM. Reason: remove impolite comments
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    Sorry if you detected attitude. It was certainly not my intent. When I stated that it's nothing out of the ordinary, I mean I doubt very much it's a mutant strain of algae. Rain does affect your chemistry somewhat, but I will stick by my thought that the culprit is too low chlorine level for the CYA level. Everything you describe suggests this. Get as accurate reading of your CYA level and dose accordingly. If you have to leave for a few days, jack it up a little higher than normal. When you figure out how much you need to dose daily, set aside some pre-measured amounts for your better half to dump in. But right now you need to SLAM.
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
    Intex 110 pound Sand Filter with Zeobrite, 2650 gph pump, 0.95 hp
    Bestway SWG
    AquaPro ECO500 50,000 BTU heat pump
    GLI Whirlwind Solar Cover Reel, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    The first part of my comment was not directed at you. You have been helpful and kind, Great Canadian.

    Edit: Butterfly
    Last edited by Butterfly; 07-08-2014 at 11:01 AM. Reason: removed rude and impolite comment
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    Hey just noticed, you have a pro series pool as do I, and an Intex 2650 sand filter. Can you explain the issue you had with your sand filter again? I didn't quite understand that, as the 2650 doesn't have fingers or laterals, but a grid on the bottom.
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
    Intex 110 pound Sand Filter with Zeobrite, 2650 gph pump, 0.95 hp
    Bestway SWG
    AquaPro ECO500 50,000 BTU heat pump
    GLI Whirlwind Solar Cover Reel, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Waldog's Avatar
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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatCanadian View Post
    Hey just noticed, you have a pro series pool as do I, and an Intex 2650 sand filter. Can you explain the issue you had with your sand filter again? I didn't quite understand that, as the 2650 doesn't have fingers or laterals, but a grid on the bottom.
    Hmmmmm interesting... mine does actually have laterals / fingers. I have the discontinued model which is gray and not blue. I bought it on Amazon.com I had to actually unscrew the fingers in order to get it out, dump the sand, put the laterals back in, and re-fill.

    So yours has a grid at the bottom?
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Waldog View Post
    This is what I was thinking but wanted confirmation. Amazing that it can actually happen within just a few days time, although I suspect since my CYA was high that I have not been adding enough bleach. I am still struggling to come to terms with the proper balance as I want to avoid over chlorination as some folks such as my better half are sensitive to chlorine like you find in some public pools. Again though, I suspect those pools are over chlorinated on purpose by those who are not trained properly in how to maintain them or feel it's easier to do so. Once I get the hang of how everything interacts I will be much better at keeping things in check and knowing the warning signs.
    Just a sidenote - I really don't think it was Jason's intention to be rude. He's very precise, matter of fact and extremely knowledgable. I'm certain he was not trying to offend - just point out that some of the steps may be missing...

    Chorine has gotten a bad rap, over the years from misinformation and urban legend and pool store gimmicks. I get the desire of yours not to "overchlorinate" but honestly the issue with most public pools is completely from ignorance and improper water chemistry and frankly probably not ENOUGH chlorine. Whenever I go near a public pool and I "smell the chlorine" it's actually the combined chloramines we are smelling due to inadequate chlorine levels. 90% percent of the issues I see treating new pools is a result of not enough chlorine and perhaps issues with PH. I've yet to come across one single pool that had "too much". LOL

    Now as to the type of algae in your pool... it's likely plain ole algae. I see it in some pools around mid to late July when there is a combination of factors - a climbing CYA level, a lot of rain/heat and the chlorine levels aren't kept high enough. Not enough for it to turn in to a murky swamp by any means but I've seen exactly as you've described - small wispy areas of algae desposits especially in areas of the pool with lesser circulation.

    Now that you know your current CYA level, once you complete the SLAM process I think you'll have a better handle on things. I get the issue with not being able to test daily, etc. - I have clients where I'm only there once a week so yes, it opens the door for potential issues. The beauty of this site is free advice and knowledge on what to do if an issue develops. Good luck, enjoy your pool
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    This is mine. Does yours look like this. This one is 4 or 5 years old.

    Paradise-20120915-00218.jpg
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
    Intex 110 pound Sand Filter with Zeobrite, 2650 gph pump, 0.95 hp
    Bestway SWG
    AquaPro ECO500 50,000 BTU heat pump
    GLI Whirlwind Solar Cover Reel, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Waldog's Avatar
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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    Mine is a similar style but the colors are dark gray and light gray.

    This one: http://www.amazon.com/Intex-28651-16...50+sand+filter
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Waldog's Avatar
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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    Ok retested and FC was at 14 down from 24 last night. Neighbor added bleach at noon, I just added two more.

    So I will retest in a bit and hit it again before bed. Other half is picking up more cases of bleach. So far I've went thru 2 cases of tandil. Something nasty in this pool.
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Waldog's Avatar
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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    And I didn't test cc yet as I can still visually see organics in the water so until they disappear I won't start that. Don't need to waste reagent to tell me what my eyes can see.
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Waldog View Post
    Immediately I break out the TF100 and run some tests:

    FC = 3
    CYA = 60!!!!! WHA WHA WHAT!!?!?! Last check it was at 30ish...

    The only way your CYA can be this high is if your added it. I assume it is/was from the floater I saw in the other pic. You said no but may I ask when you stopped using the pucks and how long were you using them and how many you were using at a time?
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Waldog's Avatar
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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    I used pucks the first two weeks per advice here and stopped. I tested cya and added the stabilizer amount the calc said after that in a sock. So either the cya had not registered (tested to soon) or I miscalculated the water capacity. We've had so much rain in the past month I would be willing to bet I have dumped 12 inches of water on backwash so that means the cya was even higher.
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    I wouldn't have a heart attack over it and go dumping water. You can manage it if you're expecting more rain and through backwashing. By the time you're done with this bloom, you will have around 30-50ppm CYA. Just be very cautious in the future so it doesn't continue to happen and get you into another bloom.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Waldog's Avatar
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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    I can't dump anyways.... On a well with high iron content... So refilling is a last resort...
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    Well, looks like you'll have to follow the SLAM to 24ppm FC and do an OCLT once it looks like you're almost complete.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    Well, looks like you'll have to follow the SLAM to 24ppm FC and do an OCLT once it looks like you're almost complete.
    Lol... Just retested FC... I'm at 30... Almost mustard level... Is there a level beyond mustard? Nuclear? Napalm maybe? Lol probably not safe to swim.... Good news is after brushing water looks like it's trying to clear.... Not as cloudy.

    It's fixin to storm like crazy...
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Waldog's Avatar
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    Re: Post July Algae Bloom... Questions?

    Ok, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to add borates this weekend. I've calculated out for what I would need for my pool, and it appears to be 5 boxes of borax and 1.5 gallons of MA.

    I've been considering this for a while, but after this latest battle with small amounts of algae I have decided for the cost it's worth a shot. I have quite a bit of other chores on my property and the pool is consuming more of my time that I'd like it to, especially with SLAMs.

    After my last SLAM, OCLT and CC was good. We swam over the following weekend and my FC was around 12 (still coming down from slam.) But the ALGAE had returned on Sunday morning! Not a lot, just on the bottom... So I started another slam, still going on this one. I have my neighbor adding bleach during the day, but they are leaving on vacation today so if it doesn't complete soon I may be losing a battle.

    So I've decided to add borates to see if I can get a leg up on the algae. My pool sees only midday sun so I'm guessing that is not helping. I had no issues at all for the first few months using the TFP method but suddenly algae is running my pool. I am also close to trees as it was the best of the worst places to put the pool.

    One thing I face before borating the pool is that my TA is 140. I've ran the test several times with the same result. My PH was steady at 7.5 until my last test where it was 7.2. How can this be? If my TA is 140 then my PH should have went UP, not DOWN? Correct?

    This page says:

    The acid/aeration process to lower TA:
    Add acid to lower your PH to between 7.0 and 7.2 (this also lowers TA)
    Aerate until PH rises to around 7.6 (the only way to raise PH without also raising TA)
    Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you reach the desired TA.

    Ahhhh nevermind. I just realized what this is saying... duh. Aerate to raise PH, then add acid to lower both. I see.

    But, Can anyone explain WHY my TA could be so HIGH and my PH went down?

    Also, I currently have one gallon of "safe" MA from Ace Hardware. Will this MA also work for borating or will I need to get the "not so safe" MA? LOL

    I am guessing I can use the "safe" MA for lowering my TA, and if I have to get more I will.

    Also, there seems to be some conflicting information on the forum as I read in the borating thread that someone said do not worry about TA? Is this true in a vinyl pool? Or was this something I mis-read of mis-understood?

    Is there a way to calculate how much MA to add in order to lower my TA from 140 to 70 for borating? Pool Calc does not seem to have this feature. Only to raise TA or PH by adding baking soda? (Nevermind, I see now that this is a do it, and re-test process.)
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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