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Thread: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

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    Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Love your site and have been reading alot this past week; I'm convinced to take this into my own hands - have NEVER had a problem with our pool in the past 10 years until this year. Opened 2 weeks ago - could see the bottom, threw in the robot to clean up debris, and took a water sample to Leslie's for opening numbers. Zero chlorine (expected), but also CYA tested 0, CH 100, TA 50, pH 7.2. Followed Leslie's advice with new chemicals I've never had to use before including lots of Hardness and Alkalinity Up, Conditioner, and powder chlorine (not our typical one) that didn't seem nearly enough. It wasn't...Did the additions in theoretically the right order, and retested in between but they never gave me a written prinout of the retest values. Threw in, at their suggestion, 12 jugs of 12.5% liquid chlorine. Then 6 bags PowerPlus chlorine shock. Scrubbed sides and kept backwashing, but green kept growing. That was Week 1.

    Day 5, however, the motor went out on the pump (weekend, of course), so the green slime sat 2.5 days just stewing, then we got 5 straight days of rain, so didn't waste money on chemicals when I kept having to drop the level by a couple inches daily. Clearly the algae is winning big time now.

    pH now 7.8, but that's all I can measure until I get my test kit. Is there any thing I can do or shall I just wait to get real numbers to start with before I SLAM? I hesitate to take another water sample to the pool store or buy any chlorine - from the calculators, even if I have a normal CYA level, it seems I'm going to need something like 8 cases (32 jugs) of 12.5% choline on hand for this SLAM - is that true? We're almost at the point of draining and refilling as we think it will be cheaper. Need some advice and expertise, and next week when the kit comes, I'm sure some step by step inputs. Water temp now 82 degrees. Thanks!
    Our pool: 20' X 35', ~30K gallons, in-ground plaster; direct sun 75% of day
    Hayward 1 HP Challenger pump, Hayward sand filter, Dolphin robot, T-100 test kit w/ speed stirrer

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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Hello and welcome! Until you get your test kit, it's all a guess. At least you know now to take control. In them meantime, you could probably just add a gallon of bleach each day just to try to maintain "some" sanity with the algae, but it probably won't make a lot of difference. Until you get the kit and know your exact CYA, you won't know how much bleach to put in.

    Before your kit arrives, adjust your PH to 7.2 and read-up on the SLAM info in the link below. Let us know when your kit arrives and post some numbers. Welcome!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Thanks! Thinking 1 gallon of bleach will only make the algae giggle in my face for now, so will wait another day or two. Hopefully T-100 comes Monday and I can really get to work on this properly and will keep you posted with real numbers.
    Our pool: 20' X 35', ~30K gallons, in-ground plaster; direct sun 75% of day
    Hayward 1 HP Challenger pump, Hayward sand filter, Dolphin robot, T-100 test kit w/ speed stirrer

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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    We'll watch for an update from your when your kit arrives and you confirm your levels. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    PS ~ Don't forget to adjust your PH to about 7.2 in preparation for the SLAM.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Welcome to TFP!

    While you are waiting for your kit you can grab a leaf rake and scoop everything out of your pool. That will speed up the slam and use less bleach.
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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Added 128 oz muriatic acid yesterday to drop pH from 7.8 to 7.2, and at 6:30 this AM it looked like it was at 7.2. Test kit arrived this afternoon, tested pH again and it's back at 7.8 (with the new reagents) - maybe that was the problem. So looks like I need to add 164 oz of acid to try and get the pH down first. Am I best off buying the strong concentration (31%) at the pool shop or double the quantity of weaker from the grocery store?

    Meanwhile, other numbers are: CYA 50, TA 70 (shall I raise this? if so, I have lbs of Alkalinity Up to use up), and CH 300. Zero chlorine, and still a green mess.
    Our pool: 20' X 35', ~30K gallons, in-ground plaster; direct sun 75% of day
    Hayward 1 HP Challenger pump, Hayward sand filter, Dolphin robot, T-100 test kit w/ speed stirrer

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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Once that pH gets a bit lower, you are ready to SLAM your pool.

    Zero chlorine, and still a green mess.
    That worries me a little. Have you read the ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry? How about the SLAM article? Understanding the nature of consumable chlorine is central to this process and if you haven't read and understand those two articles, I would not start the SLAM.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Absolutely - read this all over first (and think I understand it pretty well, with pretty solid chemistry training). Hence trying to get the pH down first as instructed, using the pool math calculator. But asking the questions from those of you with more applied pool experience as some of this makes no sense to me (like how can pH increase that fast without chemical addition? I get it with the decrease after adding the acid).. High temperature and high CO2 production from the Algae?
    Our pool: 20' X 35', ~30K gallons, in-ground plaster; direct sun 75% of day
    Hayward 1 HP Challenger pump, Hayward sand filter, Dolphin robot, T-100 test kit w/ speed stirrer

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Weren't those results from different tests? Trust the current results from the new kit.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Update for anyone following. Starting numbers: FC 0, CC 0, pH 7.2, CH 275, CYA 50, TA 50. SLAM with liquid bleach a total bust - after 45 gallons of bleach that was all being sucked up by algae (CC higher than FC), finally registered FC 20-25 with 14 lbs dissolved granular hypochlor; CC has been 0-1 (max) all day today. Will check if it holds overnight. Water finally lightening up obviously still murky with all the dead algae hopefully vaccuuming tomorrow. I fear this would have been cheaper to drain, sweep, and start over when it got this messed up. Thanks for the earlier comments!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Update for anyone following. Starting numbers: FC 0, CC 0, pH 7.2, CH 275, CYA 50, TA 50. SLAM with liquid bleach a total bust - after 45 gallons of bleach that was all being sucked up by algae (CC higher than FC), finally registered FC 20-25 with 14 lbs dissolved granular hypochlor; CC has been 0-1 (max) all day today. Will check if it holds overnight. Water finally lightening up obviously still murky with all the dead algae hopefully vaccuuming tomorrow. I fear this would have been cheaper to drain, sweep, and start over when it got this messed up. Thanks for the earlier comments!
    Our pool: 20' X 35', ~30K gallons, in-ground plaster; direct sun 75% of day
    Hayward 1 HP Challenger pump, Hayward sand filter, Dolphin robot, T-100 test kit w/ speed stirrer

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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    With the server problems we have had the last two days I'm sorry we couldn't be here as you started your SLAM. It sounds to me like your CYA was converted to ammonia over the winter. Ammonia takes a lot of chlorine to break down and one of the common traits is that teh CC are much higher than FC. Many times with ammonia you can't even get FC to register at all. You are over the hump when FC starts to register and hold, which in your case it appears it is doing.

    So, hold the course and continue the SLAM. Remember, the key work in a SLAM is maintain. Test and adjust your water as often as you can, bringing the FC back up to shock level.

    I would recommend transitioning back to liquid products at the is point for two reasons-

    * With the addition of 14 lbs of CalHypo you have probably raised your CH above 300

    * Liquid products are a little quicker to react to the algae
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Yes, CH is now 325 (still in OK range, correct?); FC remained at 20 overnight, with CC 0.5. Will stay the course through the day.
    Our pool: 20' X 35', ~30K gallons, in-ground plaster; direct sun 75% of day
    Hayward 1 HP Challenger pump, Hayward sand filter, Dolphin robot, T-100 test kit w/ speed stirrer

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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Just looking at yoru sig, it says 20' x 35' and 30K gallons. Not sure of the exact shape of your pool and its depth, but 30K gallons seems high to me for your basic pool shape. If yoru pool is a rectangle, then its average depth would need to be 6 foot to get ti to be 30K gallons.
    IG W/Vinyl Liner Oval 18x40, 21K gal, Oval 3'-8'
    Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump, Sand Filter

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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Yes it's 5.5 average depth. This is actually smaller volume than the pool store calculated at 35K for the past several years.
    Our pool: 20' X 35', ~30K gallons, in-ground plaster; direct sun 75% of day
    Hayward 1 HP Challenger pump, Hayward sand filter, Dolphin robot, T-100 test kit w/ speed stirrer

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Have you scooped out everything with a leaf rake? That will speed the process and use less chlorine. Also, be sure to brush once or twice a day if you can. Brushing exposes algae to chlorine to kill it faster.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Yes, brushing daily and no debris in pool.. The green is gone, but water still murky. FC held again last night at 15 with CC of 0. pH is 7.2, CYA 50, CH still 325, and TA 60 - shall I bring that up to 100-120? Thx
    Our pool: 20' X 35', ~30K gallons, in-ground plaster; direct sun 75% of day
    Hayward 1 HP Challenger pump, Hayward sand filter, Dolphin robot, T-100 test kit w/ speed stirrer

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    No, don't do anything to PH or TA right now. The PH test is not valid when FC is above 10. Finish the SLAM and wait at least a couple of weeks after to see how your PH behaves. You don't want to adjust TA if your PH remains stable.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Thank you!
    Our pool: 20' X 35', ~30K gallons, in-ground plaster; direct sun 75% of day
    Hayward 1 HP Challenger pump, Hayward sand filter, Dolphin robot, T-100 test kit w/ speed stirrer

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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    New query - the pool has been murky white (with dead algae I assume) with no or minimal CC for 4 days now (and appears safe to swim in as well as inviting), but the FC is losing 3-4 points overnight still so I'm not there yet I know - not clear and still losing FC overnight. I'll keep adding more bleach to maintain the SLAM level but should we be focussing on the filter as this point or am I just impatient? Thx
    Our pool: 20' X 35', ~30K gallons, in-ground plaster; direct sun 75% of day
    Hayward 1 HP Challenger pump, Hayward sand filter, Dolphin robot, T-100 test kit w/ speed stirrer

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Total Algae Takeover - shall I wait for my test kit (ordered last week) to act?

    Loosing 3-4ppm FC overnight tells me you have a pocket or two of algae somewhere. Have you checked the normal locations like inside light niches and the bottoms of ladders?

    This,is the point where folks seem to get impatient. If you had to be doing something to keep yourself busy you could deep clean your sand filter. Just get the FC up to or slightly above shock because the pump will be off while you do it.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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