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Thread: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

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    Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    Hi,

    My pool store sells a product that is designed to provide "algae suppression and water softening". It is 100% sodium tetraborate pentahydrate. Is anyone familiar with this chemical? My most recent store water test calls for 10 lbs. of it. I've used it often in the past, but have not added any in recent years. I'm wondering how necessary it is if I am also adding algaecide regularly?

    Thanks.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    It is unnecessary. I haven't had any experience with this chemical, but pool stores like to push more chemicals for profit than are actually needed. The pool store test is probably not even correct, also. Your best defense against algae is a proper FC to match a proper CYA level, along with a balanced pH level. Brushing helps to; it helps keeps the algae from "gripping" onto your plaster.

    The algaecide should also not be necessary if the chemical levels are balanced.
    Bobby (my pool)
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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    The product is called "Optimizer Plus" by Bio Guard. After I posted this thread, I came across this: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ol-Why-and-How

    Some of the thoughts expressed in this link would indicate that the Optimizer is worthwhile due to the addition of borates. I really can't say. My water always had a bit of a silky, soft feel to it, but then the chemical system I've used is called "softswim" (biguanide based). So, I don't know if I want to add it or not. For now I think I'll leave well enough alone.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    Borates do provide many benefits. If you are looking for borates, I would recommend looking into Borax at your local general retail/grocery store. I imagine this would be cheaper than the product the pool store is selling.
    Bobby (my pool)
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    Flotec pump/Aquatech MYB100 single cartridge filter - runs 6 hours/day in evening during summer

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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    This would be the same as using 20 mule team borax. There is an article on it in Pool School on adding borates. That is essentially what sodium tetraborate pentahydrate is. There are some potential benefits but is purely an optional addition for your pool based on preference.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    Quote Originally Posted by three4rd View Post
    The product is called "Optimizer Plus" by Bio Guard. After I posted this thread, I came across this: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ol-Why-and-How

    Some of the thoughts expressed in this link would indicate that the Optimizer is worthwhile due to the addition of borates. I really can't say. My water always had a bit of a silky, soft feel to it, but then the chemical system I've used is called "softswim" (biguanide based). So, I don't know if I want to add it or not. For now I think I'll leave well enough alone.
    Interesting about that silky soft feel. I achieved that same result since I began maintaining my calcium level around 300. I also stopped getting the white slime in my pool ladder holes every fall when I pulled them out to close the pool.
    16x32 IG Vinyl pool. New liner 2007. Hayward 4820 DE filter, 1.5hp Pentair Whisperflow pump, Thomsen Tec copper/silver ionization system, Taylor K-2006 test kit. Polaris 9550 pool robot.

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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    This video I watched a few weeks ago also provides information on borates in video form:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NqDFuBHFVE

    The liquid form shown in the video is similar to the chemical the OP is looking into.
    Bobby (my pool)
    18,000 gallon in ground/white plaster
    Flotec pump/Aquatech MYB100 single cartridge filter - runs 6 hours/day in evening during summer

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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    Borates act as an algaecide, but it should never be used as a replacement for chlorine. Members that have borates also report more comfortable water as well - "silky" is the most commonly used word.

    That all being said, borates are optional. They are not needed in a pool, and should only be added when all other parameters are understood and in balance.

    Also, I would recommend against the BioGuard brand. If you want to add borates, do it our way. It will be significantly cheaper, and you will understand what you are doing and why you are doing it.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    Bio Guard is the line of chemicals I use. It's fine, except for when the white water mold problems comes around. That stuff is hard to get rid of.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    White water mold? Do you have a picture? I don't understand what you are speaking of.
    Bobby (my pool)
    18,000 gallon in ground/white plaster
    Flotec pump/Aquatech MYB100 single cartridge filter - runs 6 hours/day in evening during summer

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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    Though you can get 20 Mule Team Borax and Muriatic Acid that can be less expensive than using BioGuard products, you could also use boric acid which is a little more expensive but just one thing to add and doesn't have the pH swing up and down as the borax and acid do.

    BioGuard Optimizer Plus at poolgeek.com is $2.50 per pound. 20 Mule Team Borax from True Value is $1.16 per pound though you need to use 31% more so equivalent price is $1.52 per pound. In both cases you would need to add 10 fluid ounces of full-strength Muriatic Acid per pound of Optimizer Plus and this costs $5.50 per gallon (for Kem-Tek 2-gallon pack at Lowe's) so 10 fluid ounces is $0.43. The equivalent borax that is needed is 13.6 ounces weight which at DudaDiesesl for 25 pounds is $1.80 per pound would be for this needed amount $1.53. So the boric acid is even less expensive in this case.

    When you say you use BioGuard products, are you still using Trichlor pucks and is your CYA level high? White water mold isn't normally seen in properly managed pools maintaining the FC/CYA ratios shown in the Chlorine / CYA Chart.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Any thoughts on how to prevent white water mold?

    Hi,

    I'm sorry for so many threads - this is the last important topic I need to ask about. I use a biguanide-based system (Bio Guard Baquacil / Soft Swim). One of the problems I've experienced is a recurring issue with white water mold. I believe part of the problem is that the biguanide molecule just does not filter well with DE. At any rate, it's really tough to get rid of. A few years ago, Bio Guard developed a product called "Assist" (active ingredient is sodium chlorite) that gets added to the skimmer and pump strainer. It is effective at getting rid of it, but unfortunately the product was discontinued. I'm hoping that keeping a better eye on my water balancing will help prevent this stuff from coming back. Is there anything I could use that would work the same way as the sodium chlorite that was in this product? Any thoughts on wwm would be much appreciated. My pool was recently replastered, and so obviously everything was scraped clean, although I suppose some of the stuff could still have been in the PVC lines since that is where it likes to grow.

    Thanks!
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Any thoughts on how to prevent white water mold?

    I have to throw out the obvious ... with a new replastered pool, why not skip the expensive chemicals you are using and switch to chlorine and eliminate the problem?

    BTW, I am going to move this to the Baq area as that is the only place this WWM applies.
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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    I don't use chlorine at all......Biguanide-based systems are not compatible with chlorine. The oxidizing ingredient is hydrogen peroxide. Chem geek - absolutely right that wwm is not a problem with chlorine. I also found that when the water temp gets quite high (approaching 90), that is often when the mold is worst. My newly renovated pool and quartz plaster looks so beautiful that I will really be upset if this mold comes around again and clouds everything up.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Any thoughts on how to prevent white water mold?

    I considered chlorine....used it for years and then ran into problems with chlorine demand. That got so frustrating. We do like the pool without the chlorine. But if the mold becomes an issue again, I'll be tempted to convert!
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    If you add stabilizer (CYA) to the pool, you should not run into any major chlorine loss problems. There is a thread somewhere here about converting to chlorine. I put in 3 cups of chlorine in daily, and my chlorine levels stay within the recommended range all day. This is during the summer in Florida, btw.

    Also, if mold is growing in the water, imagine what microscopic invisible organisms are living in your pool water! Chlorine would eliminate some of those.
    Bobby (my pool)
    18,000 gallon in ground/white plaster
    Flotec pump/Aquatech MYB100 single cartridge filter - runs 6 hours/day in evening during summer

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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    As I mentioned, I don't use chlorine at all.
    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    I know, I was telling you that if you were to go back to chlorine, stabilizer should eliminate most of that issue.

    My bad, I could have typed that post better.
    Bobby (my pool)
    18,000 gallon in ground/white plaster
    Flotec pump/Aquatech MYB100 single cartridge filter - runs 6 hours/day in evening during summer

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    Re: Is anyone familiar with sodium tetraborate pentahydrate as an algae preventative?

    Well, it certainly seems like almost all of your complaints/questions could be elevated by switching to chlorine and maintaining it the way we teach. Likely your prior experience is not indicative of the way we maintain our pools.

    And of course maintaining with chlorine is MUCH cheaper ....

    There is a reason that this Baq forum is mostly conversion threads ... people get sick of the expensive cloudy water that they have.
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