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Thread: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

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    Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    Background: I recently bought a house with an in-ground pool I estimate at about 12,500 gallons. It was originally foreclosed, but fixed-and-flipped. At the time I purchased it the pool water looked to be in good shape but I knew it had to be resurfaced, so I didn't put any effort into it. Then life happened and the resurface got delayed. To make matters worse, a live oak started shedding its leaves and then pollen into the pool. Of course this produced algae...

    I read on this site about what I needed to do before I started, so I loaded up on bleach and CYA. When I started on Sunday, the pool was a nasty dark green swamp with practically no translucence. I put the CYA in and began blasting it with bleach. I spent the whole day Sunday adding bleach, testing with 5-way strips every 30-60 minutes (I know, but I had to wait for the k-2006 kit to arrive), dredging with the leaf rake, scrubbing with the brush, and cleaning the filter. I forget the number, but I used about 12 gallons of bleach that day and the transformation between then and the next day was tremendous. It changed to a bright, slightly translucent green. The next day I tested and added bleach every hour or 2 and cleaned the filter 2 or 3 times. By Tuesday I saw some further improvement. It became more of a light pastel green.

    Unfortunately, there's been only very minor visual improvement between Tuesday and today. It's still a pastel green, and I can see maybe 1.5 feet deep. Is this slowness normal? The numbers seem to be a bit better: FC is decreasing less, CC is a little lower. The only number that seems really out of whack to me is the Calcium is a little low, but I don't care about the plaster since I'm getting it resurfaced in a month anyway.

    Also, I have lots of pockets of super-small bubbles on the surface of the pool. They're so small that at first I thought it was dead algae. Could this be caused by the low CH?

    #s as of 2 hours ago:
    CYA 32 (ish - I have trouble being accurate with this test with the k-2006)
    FC 13.75
    CC 0.6
    PH 7.6
    TA 110
    CH 200

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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    This is what it looked like 3 days ago


    This is what it looks like now


    Here's a closeup of the bubbles so you can see that they are actually bubbles

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    Hi,
    Man that pool is really bad with algae but it will come around. What you are seeing is normal with that much algae.
    The bubles are caused by outgassing, not by any of the chemical levels.

    If you stick with it, it will clean up. That one is going to be a slow process though.

    Keep the pump runnning and clean the filter when it needs it.

    Hang in man, it will get better! I promise!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    SLAM = Shock Level And MAINTAIN.

    It will turn the corner as long as you keep up with it.
    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: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    SLAM = Shock Level And MAINTAIN.

    It will turn the corner as long as you keep up with it.
    I am. The FC is holding well enough that I'm typically checking every 4 hours or so. It's actually been 5 hours since my last check and the FC only dropped ~ 2 ppm to 13 and the CC is at .5 or slightly under. I clean the filter about once or twice a day. Forgot to mention that it's a cartridge one.

    An interesting thing is that the water in the pump inlet, filter container, and water bottles has no noticeable green in it. The last several times I cleaned the filter there was no green either. I'm actually wondering if there is a problem with the water flow / turnover below the surface (the skimmer works quite well). Is there a way to test for that?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    Hi,
    Man that pool is really bad with algae but it will come around. What you are seeing is normal with that much algae.
    The bubles are caused by outgassing, not by any of the chemical levels.

    If you stick with it, it will clean up. That one is going to be a low process though.

    Keep the pump runnning and clean the filter when it needs it.

    Hang in man, it will get better! I promise!
    Thank you for the encouragement and the information. Is the outgassing a good sign or a bad one? It wasn't doing that until a couple days after I started. You can see in the first picture that it was just starting on Tuesday.

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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    Hi again,
    the outgassing is a good sign! Keep it up!



    Quote Originally Posted by wsamon View Post
    I am. The FC is holding well enough that I'm typically checking every 4 hours or so. It's actually been 5 hours since my last check and the FC only dropped ~ 2 ppm to 13 and the CC is at .5 or slightly under. I clean the filter about once or twice a day. Forgot to mention that it's a cartridge one.

    An interesting thing is that the water in the pump inlet, filter container, and water bottles has no noticeable green in it. The last several times I cleaned the filter there was no green either. I'm actually wondering if there is a problem with the water flow / turnover below the surface (the skimmer works quite well). Is there a way to test for that?

    - - - Updated - - -



    Thank you for the encouragement and the information. Is the outgassing a good sign or a bad one? It wasn't doing that until a couple days after I started. You can see in the first picture that it was just starting on Tuesday.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    wsamon,
    I do have a question, because something crossed my mind.

    About your bleach. It it just regular bleach? It doesnt have any "splashless" or "scent" stuff does it? Those things can cause bubbles too and likely slow the progress down a bit.
    What typically is experience with bubbles, is as organic materials, like algae breaks down, it release gas and that causes bubbles too.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    wsamon,
    I do have a question, because something crossed my mind.

    About your bleach. It it just regular bleach? It doesnt have any "splashless" or "scent" stuff does it? Those things can cause bubbles too and likely slow the progress down a bit.
    What typically is experience with bubbles, is as organic materials, like algae breaks down, it release gas and that causes bubbles too.
    That's good to hear! It's regular "concentrated" 8.25% bleach from either Target or Publix (depending where I am at the time). It has no scent and is not splashless.

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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    Ok, cool!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    Just keep hitting it hard, and it will come around. It takes a while to get this way, and takes a while to clear it.

    You'll get there I promise.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    Just keep hitting it hard, and it will come around. It takes a while to get this way, and takes a while to clear it.

    You'll get there I promise.
    Thanks. I think it took about 1 1/2 months to get like this. Any estimate on how long it will take to clear up? I'm getting it resurfaced (and therefore drained and acid-washed) in about 3-4 weeks. My main goal is to just keep it from making the surrounding area unsafe for my pregnant fiancee and dog. I'd like to get it cleared up as a learning experience (I expect it will always get some algae due to the trees), for a little use beforehand, and just because I really don't like not succeeding. But if it's unlikely to clear up in that time I might as well save the money since I think I know what I'm doing now. I've already spent probably $120+ on bleach, another on $35 on CYA, and who knows how much on electricity to run the pump 24/7; and all that's going "down the drain" when it's resurfaced.

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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    If you weren't resurfacing, and wanting to practice, I would say go ahead an learn if you didn't mind blowing the money. But it is pretty well a moot point when you are going to drain and re-do.

    I really think you should just drain now since you are concerned about safety. Let it ride till you re finish, and all will be well.
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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    I have a tendency to agree with Patrick, due purely to the cost. HOwever, I am not sure you should drain it, as Florida is known for high water table.
    Only drain if you know there is a hydrostatic valve that can be opened. That might be hard to determine with the water green.

    If you dont know if there is hydrostatic valve or not, then wait until the work starts before you drain, just for peace of mind knowing that your pool wont pop out of the ground.

    I dont think there is any danger to your wife and dog if you stop now, but I would definitely throw in a couple of mosquito donuts to prevent mosquitos from breeding.
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Summit-12...0-12/100334779

    Also as a FYI, algae isnt caused by leaves falling in the pool. Algae spores land in the pool by way of being windblown and other methods, and algae is everywhere, most folks just dont know it.

    The algae grew because there wasnt enough chlorine in the pool. Its as simple as that. If you maintain your FC/CYA ratio, and generally keep the pool maintained, you will never get any algae to begin with.

    A couple or 3 gallons a week of chlorine over the last 6 or 8 weeks, and this would never have happened. Unfortunately, you're learning the hard way....
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    I have a tendency to agree with Patrick, due purely to the cost. HOwever, I am not sure you should drain it, as Florida is known for high water table.
    Only drain if you know there is a hydrostatic valve that can be opened. That might be hard to determine with the water green.

    If you dont know if there is hydrostatic valve or not, then wait until the work starts before you drain, just for peace of mind knowing that your pool wont pop out of the ground.

    I dont think there is any danger to your wife and dog if you stop now, but I would definitely throw in a couple of mosquito donuts to prevent mosquitos from breeding.
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Summit-12...0-12/100334779

    Also as a FYI, algae isnt caused by leaves falling in the pool. Algae spores land in the pool by way of being windblown and other methods, and algae is everywhere, most folks just dont know it.

    The algae grew because there wasnt enough chlorine in the pool. Its as simple as that. If you maintain your FC/CYA ratio, and generally keep the pool maintained, you will never get any algae to begin with.

    A couple or 3 gallons a week of chlorine over the last 6 or 8 weeks, and this would never have happened. Unfortunately, you're learning the hard way....
    Yeah, I'm not draining the pool right now. 2 of the 3 contractors that I interviewed for the pool remodel (when the water was clear) told me that they needed to do some special stuff to keep the pool from popping up while they drain it. I'm not touching that. I think I also need the city's permission to drain it, which is an added hassle that I don't want.

    I know that algae isn't caused by leaves falling in the pool, but my understanding is that the leaves, pollen, etc. provide food and surfaces to help the algae reproduce faster. There was a period of a couple weeks where I would empty out the skimmer 6 or 7 times a day and that still wasn't enough, so I can't imagine ever keeping the pool really clean during that period of time. Unfortunately, it also coincides with one of the busiest times of year for me work-wise. While this was a little unusual, I put in over 400 hours in 4 weeks in February. That doesn't leave much time for increased pool maintenance.

    Thanks for the tip about the mosquito rings. I wish I had known at the time that all I needed to do was add household bleach (and probably CYA since I started at 0 when I first tested). I would have done that. I was under the impression that there were all kinds of chemicals, equipment, and knowledge I needed. My plan at the time was to get the pool redone in mid-February, so I was only looking at letting it sit for a couple weeks. Unfortunately, other things came up, including work and a roof repair, which delayed the pool, so a couple weeks turned into a couple months. By the time I had the knowledge, equipment (previous owner left us absolutely nothing) and a full day to work on it it was already a disaster.

    I think I'll keep maintaining the shock level with the bleach I already bought - should last another 4 days or so since I only seem to add a gallon or so a day at this point. I'll see how it looks then. If it's still roughly the same I'll drop it down to more of a maintenance schedule to keep the surrounding area sanitary and just wait.

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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    Quote Originally Posted by wsamon View Post
    Yeah, I'm not draining the pool right now. 2 of the 3 contractors that I interviewed for the pool remodel (when the water was clear) told me that they needed to do some special stuff to keep the pool from popping up while they drain it. I'm not touching that. I think I also need the city's permission to drain it, which is an added hassle that I don't want.

    Good Deal

    I know that algae isn't caused by leaves falling in the pool, but my understanding is that the leaves, pollen, etc. provide food and surfaces to help the algae reproduce faster.
    This is true. Organics breaking down provide nitrates which algae feed on. The TFP recommended levels of CYA/FC, will kill any algae spore before they can get a grip on the pool though. If the recommended levels are followed, then there will be no algae to feed on the algae food. This is why we dont care what the phospate and nitrate levels are and why there isnt a need for algaecides.

    There was a period of a couple weeks where I would empty out the skimmer 6 or 7 times a day and that still wasn't enough, so I can't imagine ever keeping the pool really clean during that period of time. Unfortunately, it also coincides with one of the busiest times of year for me work-wise. While this was a little unusual, I put in over 400 hours in 4 weeks in February. That doesn't leave much time for increased pool maintenance. Just general maintenace is what I meant. There is no need for increased maintenance using TFP recommendations. No harm with a few leaves in teh pool for a few days or so, but they do consume the chlorine if they are in there. At times when time is of a premium, just bump up the FC 1 or 2 ppm, and there wont be any problem.

    Thanks for the tip about the mosquito rings. I wish I had known at the time that all I needed to do was add household bleach (and probably CYA since I started at 0 when I first tested). I would have done that. I was under the impression that there were all kinds of chemicals, equipment, and knowledge I needed.
    Yeah I know, Ive been there. This is what the pool industry in general wants you to believe, so you will buy their expensive products or maintenance services. But its just not true. Once you learn the basic principles, and have your own test kit, then its really simple stuff. I probably dont spend 20 minutes a week on my pool care.

    My plan at the time was to get the pool redone in mid-February, so I was only looking at letting it sit for a couple weeks. Unfortunately, other things came up, including work and a roof repair, which delayed the pool, so a couple weeks turned into a couple months. By the time I had the knowledge, equipment (previous owner left us absolutely nothing) and a full day to work on it it was already a disaster.
    I know man, its a steep learing curve. All the resources you need are right here on TFP, ... you will find its really not complicated by following just a few simple recommendations.

    I think I'll keep maintaining the shock level with the bleach I already bought - should last another 4 days or so since I only seem to add a gallon or so a day at this point. I'll see how it looks then. If it's still roughly the same I'll drop it down to more of a maintenance schedule to keep the surrounding area sanitary and just wait.
    Keep us updated!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    Good catch Dave!!

    I'm sorry I wasn't paying attention to you being in FL. My apologies for that.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    LOL..
    haha! No worries Patrick!

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    Good catch Dave!!

    I'm sorry I wasn't paying attention to you being in FL. My apologies for that.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    Keep us updated!
    With this site, the learning curve isn't very steep. I just had to find the site, and get the equipment, chemicals, and time.

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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    Thought I'd keep you updated as mentioned. The bleach ran out in closer to 2 days than 4. I thought I had more of it left! After that, I bought just enough bleach for a while to maintain the state it was in (just slightly better than the pictures above), but eventually couldn't take it. Things like this have a way of getting under my skin and I can't let them go. So I picked up a bottle of Swamp Treat and started getting 10 gallons of 10% bleach at Pinch-A-Penny. I know Swamp Treat and the like is against the general principals of this site, but I really feel that it was very helpful in my case with all the debris in the pool that I couldn't see to pick up. Between that and about 20 gallons of the better bleach, I was able to get the pool much better over the last week. It's still far from perfect, but most of the green went away and I can now see the bottom, even in the deep end. I think it's just a matter of time until the dead algae is filtered out. Some floc would probably help with this, but I don't have a vacuum and the resurfacing starts tomorrow anyway

    This is the deep end of the pool - about 7 ft or so - you can clearly make out where the bottom starts:


    This angle is similar to one of the others I took previously. You can contrast the color difference, and to some extent clarity of the water:


    Spa:


    Shallow end. You can even make out the drain plug now. And yes, I'm aware that it needs to be both brushed and raked, but it's going to be emptied tomorrow anyway.

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    Re: Fighting Algae: Day 5 - Still Green and Visible Progress Slowed

    Without looking it up, I cant say much about the swamp treat. Bleach would do exactly that, all the way to Crystal clear, and depending on how much Swamp Treat was put in, more credit may be owed to the bleach.

    We aren't against putting anything in your pool that's needed, as long as you understand the effects, and potential side effects.
    TFP Moderator
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