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Thread: Question about mustard algae

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    Question about mustard algae

    Hi,
    I am new to the forum. I have been studying all of the knowledge and have read many of the mustard algae information and threads. I have been dealing with what I believe is mustard algae. No matter what I do, I cannot get rid of this tan substance that keeps appearing at the bottom of the pool. This is day four of Slamming at 30ppm. I have been brushing every day. Took ladder off and thoroughly cleaned it with bleach today - just brushed it before. I was still losing chlorine over night - it drops from 30 to 15 by morning. Despite having the level maintained at 30 most of the day, I still see the dust at the bottom. If that is algae, shouldn't it bleach out at some point? You can brush it and it reappears usually in a liner wrinkle within about 20 minutes. I am starting to wonder if it is pollen/dirt/sand/sawdust. But then there is that overnight chlorine loss. Four days seems very long for a level of 30 and I am making no progress. Pool looks beautiful - aside from that dust. Water is sparkling. Any advice would be appreciated.

    above ground pool
    17000 gallons

    TH 500
    TC 30
    FC 30
    CYA 50
    PH 6.8 (after adding acid today)
    TA 120
    CYA 50
    Phos 300

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    What does the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test say?

    Also, that is not the correct process for dealing with Mustard Algae, if that is indeed your problem.

    Finally, the pH test reads artificially high when the FC>10ppm ... your pH is likely WAY too low now.
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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Welcome to TFP!!!

    What does the Overnight Chlorine Loss Test say?

    Also, that is not the correct process for dealing with Mustard Algae, if that is indeed your problem.

    Finally, the pH test reads artificially high when the FC>10ppm ... your pH is likely WAY too low now.

    I have been doing the OCLT every night. I raise it to 30, and it goes down to 15 by morning. 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. I bump it back up to 30 at 6 a.m., it holds for most of the day. In the evening I have to add about 1 gallon to bring it from 24 to 30. Next morning 15 again.

    I visited the pool store today after being ready to give up. they tested the water and suggested I dump 1/2 gallon of muriatic acid in. So I did. I did not put in the phos free they recommended since it says high chlorine levels impede its ability to function.

    Should I just keep going with the 30ppm? The "sand" continues to be there even in 30 ppm all day long. Also, now do I need to increase ph or will the shocking bring it up.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    It makes no sense to lose more FC at night than during the day ... frankly that should not be possible.

    There is no reason to worry about phosphates ... so do not waste money on that.

    And adding acid at this point is a VERY bad idea. Please stop listening to the pool store. As I already said your pH is too low already.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    It makes no sense to lose more FC at night than during the day ... frankly that should not be possible.

    There is no reason to worry about phosphates ... so do not waste money on that.

    And adding acid at this point is a VERY bad idea. Please stop listening to the pool store. As I already said your pH is too low already.
    How do you get an accurate read of ph when your fc level is 30ppm or higher?

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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    You can't really. You can try to dilute with distilled water, but would have to do 3 to 1 and may not be accurate.

    That is why we say to adjust the pH before you SLAM.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    You can't really. You can try to dilute with distilled water, but would have to do 3 to 1 and may not be accurate.

    That is why we say to adjust the pH before you SLAM.
    Ok. It was adjusted 5 days ago when I started. Probably no point in trying to increase it when I have no idea if it is high or low. Todays update, accidentally added too much chlorine last night - to 40 (i had a typo in pool calc). Today it was 24 ppm and tan dust still present. Brought it to 36 in order to keep it over 30 at all times.

    Given this amount of chlorine loss, would you conclude that this has to be algae as opposed to pollen, etc.?

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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    If there's that much overnight chlorine loss then there seems to be something organic that's getting broken down. With a CYA of 50 I would SLAM at 20 ppm FC. Once you pass OCLT, water is clear and CC 0.5 or less then you can raise FC to 30 ppm for 24 hours to ensure that any mustard algae is eliminated. Good luck!
    30,000 gal IG pool, vinyl liner, Hayward Superpump 1 HP, Hayward S244S sand filter, Zodiac LM2-24 SWG, Polaris 280 TankTrax cleaner, TF-100 and Taylor K-1776 test kits

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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    There is no wondering if the pH is high or low. It is definitely too low.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by adrob2 View Post
    If there's that much overnight chlorine loss then there seems to be something organic that's getting broken down. With a CYA of 50 I would SLAM at 20 ppm FC. Once you pass OCLT, water is clear and CC 0.5 or less then you can raise FC to 30 ppm for 24 hours to ensure that any mustard algae is eliminated. Good luck!
    Thanks! I will keep going with the chlorine and the brushing.

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    Unhappy Re: Question about mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by cjacobs101 View Post
    Thanks! I will keep going with the chlorine and the brushing.
    While I had the solar cover rolled up and floating around in the pool today, I noticed a pink film on one section of it that had been basking in the sun today. Could this be pink algae? If so, what would be the best method of trying to clean the cover? This cover has been on the pool every night for the five nights of constant shocking - perhaps contributing to the overnight chlorine loss. Sigh.

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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by cjacobs101 View Post
    While I had the solar cover rolled up and floating around in the pool today, I noticed a pink film on one section of it that had been basking in the sun today. Could this be pink algae? If so, what would be the best method of trying to clean the cover? This cover has been on the pool every night for the five nights of constant shocking - perhaps contributing to the overnight chlorine loss. Sigh.

    Scrubbed cover with bleach. Kept shock at 30 all day. Brushed everything several times. Fingers crossed that tomorrow will be clear.

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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by cjacobs101 View Post
    Scrubbed cover with bleach. Kept shock at 30 all day. Brushed everything several times. Fingers crossed that tomorrow will be clear.
    How did you make out? I'm currently dealing with same thing. **** pool store says my phosphate level is high, and causing it. I'm on my second day of slam. Gonna shock for mustard tomorrow. Keep us updated.
    14000 gallon 16x32 roman in ground vinyl, Hayward 140k heat pump, swg, de filter 1 1\2 HP v.s. pump. Built in June 2014. Tf100 test kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    That is not how you fight mustard algae, review article in Pool School.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    That is not how you fight mustard algae, review article in Pool School.
    I would love it if you would elaborate. I have been keeping it between 24 and 36 ppm since 6 am today My cya tested at 40. It seems like I will need to dose it high at night to make sure it does not fall below 24. Last night it dropped from 30 to 18. I am still struggling. I added soda ash to reverse the half gallon of muriatic acid that the PS recommended. Brushing several times a day. Ladder is out and has been sterilized. Solar cover staying in to continue decontamination. But even today - from 8 am to 6 pm it lost 12 ppm - caught it just in time before it went under 24.

    I really respect all of your advice and I try to be consistent in following it. Maybe it is an improvement to go from a 16 overnight loss to a 12, but holy cow it feels like this could go on forever.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    I just meant you should follow the normal SLAM process until you pass the 3 criteria and then you raise to mustard level.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I just meant you should follow the normal SLAM process until you pass the 3 criteria and then you raise to mustard level.
    OK, so given my cya of 40, I should only shock and maintain to 16. Going up to 30 or 40 is overkill UNTIL the algae is gone and OCLT is less than 1. I will let it drift down. Only lost 10 overnight. This seems to be heading in the right direction.

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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by cjacobs101 View Post
    OK, so given my cya of 40, I should only shock and maintain to 16. Going up to 30 or 40 is overkill UNTIL the algae is gone and OCLT is less than 1. I will let it drift down. Only lost 10 overnight. This seems to be heading in the right direction.
    Well it has been eight days of shocking and brushing. Any idea how long it takes to eliminate mustard algae. Same tan dust at bottom of pool. OCLT was 4 last night. I am wondering if I need to change the filter sand. Any thoughts Jason?

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    Re: Question about mustard algae

    Filter sand hardly ever needs to be replace ... although Deep Cleaning your Sand Filter could help.

    Since you still have a high OCLT, you are certainly not done. It takes as long as it takes, unfortunately.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Post Re: Question about mustard algae

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I just meant you should follow the normal SLAM process until you pass the 3 criteria and then you raise to mustard level.


    Zero OCLT last night. But today I lost 4 ppm during the day. I think i will add another gallon to get through the night just in case. The tan debris still accumulating in little piles and in crevices on the floor. No change in the amount of that stuff.

    This is seven days of supershock SLAM plus two full days of regular SLAM - 9 total. Is there anyone who has actually won this battle? If so, what was the length of time for those folks? I am very discouraged. Considering bromine. What does dead mustard algae look like? I could really benefit from hearing a success story if one exists.

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