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Thread: I have no idea what's growing in my pool anymore

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Oak Creek/WI

    I have no idea what's growing in my pool anymore

    Hi everyone,

    My wife and I bought a house this past March in Wisconsin, and lucky me, it had a pool! I really had no idea how to maintain one, much less open it after winter, so the internet (and TFP) along with the local pool shop helped things a lot. I opened it late earlier this month and the pool was murky when I took the tarp off, which was expected because it was full of holes. The bottom was completely green and the rest was cloudy pool. I vacuumed to waste the bottom and my filter cleared up the cloudiness. The pool now is actually very clear, but something keeps growing on the bottom. I have an album for pictures at the end of the post, and I highlighted the marks at in the pool because it might be hard to see what I'm talking about. I've shocked the pool numerous times and it doesn't seem to make a difference. The marks are a lot darker than they show in the picture. If I vacuum out the pool in the morning, I can always expect to see more fester up by dusk.

    To complicate matters, the guys at my pool store can't agree on what it is. Granted, when I talked to them the only information I told them was that it looked like someone was smearing tar marks on the bottom of the pool (Didn't have a picture on hand at the time). One guy thinks it could be pollen, which is possible I suppose because my zip code has had high to very high alerts for grass pollen this month, although I don't know how it would get under the solar cover so quickly. Another guy thinks it's mold permeating through the liner from a pool of water that's settled under the pool, which I think is also possible because I have staining on the outside pool walls and it appears the ground has settled against the pool, making the styrofoam or whatever pop up from the underground siding to the pool. (2nd and 3rd pictures in the album if I didn't explain that well). It's also hard to get a sample because it kicks up like a cloud of dust whenever anything disturbs it. Or it could be algae, I don't know at this point. Any idea's on what I am (or am not) dealing with?

    Also, pool readings. These are the only things I can measure.

    FC: 2
    pH: 6.8
    TA: 110
    CYA: 10

    I know the pH and CYA are way off, that's a separate issue I'm trying to fix. I'm getting frustrated with the pool shop because none of their products seem to be raising these. <------------Picture album
    18,000 gallon Above Ground Vinyl Pool, Sta-Rite t210wf sand filter, Nature2 Express Sanitizer,

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio

    Re: I have no idea what's growing in my pool anymore

    Hello and welcome! Well, let's address at the very least your chlorine. It's low, very low. On top of that your CYA is almost nothing which will allow the sun to wipeout your free chlorine (FC) in no time. But let's address a couple more important things first:
    - The proper test kit (i.e. TF-100 – link below) is the foundation of your pool care. Why this kit? We've learned through personal experience that you cannot reply on pool store testing, test strips, or simple over-the-counter kits. They simply do not read Free Chlorine (FC) or Cyanuric Acid (CYA) levels accurately or to the high levels we need. If you do not have a TF-100 or Taylor K2006 test kit, it should be your #1 priority.
    - Golden rule - Avoid the pool store for testing, advice, or products. You simply won’t get the advice/service you deserve and you will waste money on products your pool doesn’t need. Do not add anything to your pool other than what is advocated by the TFP site or its experts. You’ll have a happier pool, spend less time maintaining your pool, and probably save some $$ in the process. The following are short articles from this site that you will see linked in my signature below: Pool School, Recommended Levels (for YOUR pool), PoolMath Calculator, SLAM, and the Chlorine/CYA Chart.
    - To rule out any algae in your pool, perform the following:
    SLAM is the term used when we “Shock” our pool to a higher “Level” of Free Chlorine (FC) and “Maintain” it that way until 3 objectives are met:
    1. Water is clear
    2. You do not lose any more than 1ppm of FC overnight (that's the OCLT)
    3. CC (Combined Chlorine) is <.5
    ** You MUST meet ALL 3 items above to properly do a SLAM. Simply “spiking" the FC higher than normal isn't SLAMming, therefore there’s a good chance your algae will return.

    To prepare for a SLAM, you should do the following:
    - Adjust PH to 7.2 - 7.5; don’t worry about it after that during the SLAM
    - Ideal CYA should be 30; the higher the CYA, the more bleach required
    - Have a good amount of “regular” liquid bleach on-hand to keep your FC high at all times

    Use the Chlorine/CYA chart (link in my sig) to bring your FC up to the proper SLAM level rating based on your current CYA and make sure it stays there (MAINTAIN) until you meet ALL 3 criteria listed above! That may take just a few days or even a week or two! That is absolutely critical for success.

    At the same time, continue to run your pump 24/7. Remove any “muck” and debris, scrub all parts of your pool to expose any algae, and vacuum/clean (or backwash) filter as necessary. You may have to do this several times. It's a lot of babysitting, but with patience and consistency, you will succeed.

    Good luck and let us know if you need anything else.
    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
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW PA

    Re: I have no idea what's growing in my pool anymore

    One other thing about the SLAM. It means: Shock Level And MAINTAIN. Maintaining is the key word here and I think that is where you have failed in the past. You can not throw heavy doses of chlorine in the pool and walk away from it expecting it to clear. This is where the pool store will get you every time. You take your sample in and they test it and say, Oh your numbers are perfect but your water is green and cloudy and you have weird things growing that puff when you get close to it. That is algae and you have to SLAM the pool to get rid of it.

    So, order the test kit, stock up on bleach, get your CYA up and lets SLAM the pool.
    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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