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Thread: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

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    Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    For the past few years, I've been maintaining a pool I hardly used primarily through shock, chlorine tabs, and dutifully breaking down and cleaning my DE filter every 4 months. I put a little acid here and there if pH is > 7.8. My pool has been always been consistently clear with times of slight greening when forget (or am too lazy) to diligently do any of those three things.


    I am having a party Saturday (4th of July, Go USA!) so I had my water tested at Leslies (I don't like to go there a lot but my kit was way out of date). It was clear and algae free before I tested it.

    FAC 1
    TAC 1
    Calcium Hardness 840 (High)
    CYA 100 (High, understand that it actually may be >100)
    TA 170
    pH 7.4
    Copper 0
    Iron 0
    TDS 2200
    Phosphates 100

    The CYA was high at 100. I am in California so I was concerned about partially draining and refilling the pool. They recommended Bioactive which has mixed results but I took the $50 gamble since the draining was the only other answer. I followed instructions and added to skimmer but the very next day my water is cloudy. It is never cloudy. I added acid because Total Alkalinity was already high so I thought maybe the Bioactive introduced extra alkalinity. Nope. I added some flocculant/clarifier in hopes that the stuff would drop down to the bottom. Nope. Now I am not sure how to proceed. I am hesitant to go back to Leslie's to retest since they'll probably suggest a thousand different kinds of expensive snake oil kits. I googled but haven't found any other instances of my situation.


    Any suggestions? Should I breakdown my DE filter and clean? Did the Bioactive mess up my DE? I understand that if the pool is still cloudy by Saturday I need to cancel my pool party since it is a risk for the swimmers but I would like very much not to do so.


    Some additional info: CYA 100, TA 170, Calcium Hardness 840 (this seems high but I don't know what to do about it)

    I have a link open to the TF-100 test kit everyone recommends. I



    18K gallon pool
    Above Ground
    Plaster
    DE Filter
    CA Water Restrictions

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Your chlorine is extremely low which is probably the source of the cloudiness, however Bioactive requires low chlorine levels to work. You need to complete the SLAM process in the pool, which will be difficult with high CYA. CYA and Calcium can only be reduced by removing them from the water, and draining is the most practical way to get that done. You may have reverse osmosis treatment available in your area but it is very expensive.
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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    Nobody here has really had quantifiable success with Bioactive. It's relatively new so there's a chance the best practices for that product haven't been firmly agreed upon yet, but there's also a chance it just doesn't work. For now you'd probably want to refer back to the manufacturer. For instance, would adding all that acid kill the bacteria that the product uses?

    We can get your pool healthy and clear. But at this point, the process doesn't involve Bioactive. There was a lot of hope for that product, but nothing to show for it yet....
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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    My advice is to stop randomly trying things when you simply need to SLAM. Unfortunately you're going to have to drain a significant amount of water to get the CYA level down. To get it down from 100 to 50 will require replacing 50% of the water. That would allow you to shock at 16ppm FC rather than the 25ppm it would take at 100. Do not use pucks or powdered "shock". Liquid chlorine (bleach) is what you need. And if you are indeed having a party Saturday, you better hussle!
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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    Sequined, since you have an upcoming party, you may wish to abandon the bioactive experiment right now and get up to slam level today and tomorrow to clear it. See the chlorine:cya chart in my signature for the right evl for cya of 100. If your test kit can't read that high, at least add close to range using pool math calculatr once, then as it drifts down, conservatively add more, eg. A regular dose...

    (I am assuming you will not have time o rice e a proper test kit before party, but you do need one...its just that you need o head off a water problem even more given your time parameters..so in the interim, use calculation, pool stre testing if eed be, but don't trust reg test kits which will bleach out at high levels.)

    If you continue the bioactive experiment this close to the party and don't get liquid chlorine into that pool right now, your pool water will not be adequately sanitized for your guests. Tomorrow night, if the quick, high levels of liquid chlorine clear you up, let the pool drop back down to normal/high range for your CYA -- it will be safe to swim as long as you're not above Slam/shock level.

    AFTER your party and to get control of your CYA you have 3 options:
    1. Reverse Osmosis -- google to see if there's a service in your area. Truck comes out with big trailer to filter your pool water and reduce cya.
    2. Or Try the bioactive, carefully following ALL the fine print contra-indications (nobody here has succeeded ith it, but its much cheaper than R/O...IF you could get it to work...only one has so far)
    3. Do a partial or series of partial drains if you're legally allowed to o get CYA down to 50

    Then...treat only with liquid chlorine, tested daily with one of the recommended drop kits, so that you don't end up I this pickle in the future.

    Hope you get this turned around in time for your party. Cheers to clear!
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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    Nobody here has really had quantifiable success with Bioactive. It's relatively new so there's a chance the best practices for that product haven't been firmly agreed upon yet, but there's also a chance it just doesn't work.
    I would like to see the forum take a position that bioactive doesn't work.....period. The VERY few reports we have had of even the tiniest effectiveness have been so small as to be inconsequential.

    Putting that in more succinct terms, it is my firm opinion that bioactive does not work.

    In fact, TFP is contributing to the problem by describing very hard to accomplish circumstances under which it MIGHT work but never seems to.

    In short, we are suckering newbies who really want to believe in the magic bullet to give it a try. Every time we offer even a glimmer of hope, there are newbies out there who rush to the pool store for the latest, greatest.
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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I would like to see the forum take a position that bioactive doesn't work.....period. The VERY few reports we have had of even the tiniest effectiveness have been so small as to be inconsequential.

    Putting that in more succinct terms, it is my firm opinion that bioactive does not work.
    The only actual "positive" result from BioActive was from someone who joined the forum to profess his positive results and has never posted again, so at this point I am suspect of the one real positive result. I also agree that I would not recommend it and I don't feel it works.
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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    Agreed

    I thought I could save money using bio-active instead of doing 2 more partial drains/refills at 97 bucks a piece.

    The bio-active only reduced the cya down from 100 to 80 then I had mustard algae that required
    me to buy and use about 46 gallons of bleach to eradicate via SLAM plus the daily scrubbing
    and re-agent depletion, multiple trips to different stores to buy up every gallon of bleach (and the weird stares from people).
    I spent WAY more and still have CYA at 70.

    waste of time/money.

    It really blows that you are on water restriction, but your calcium problem and CYA cannot
    be properly dealt with unless you have a reverse osmosis or partial drains/refills done.
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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    First off, apologies to Sequins for my abonimable ipadian typing on quick break today...hope you could decipher my wish to help you get the pool sanitized for your imminent party

    Re: Bio...I'm not sure a forum can accurately statistically represent the categorical failure or success of a product. I think it would be fairest to say that regular posters in this forum have not reported a single success using this product for reasons unknown, and that a sole report of success was made by a one-time poster who let the FC drop to zero
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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    Thank you all for your responses.! This forum truly is a fabulous resource full of information and experts. I apologize I did not respond quicker but I left for a day trip to the San Diego Safari Park shortly after. In the hour or so before I left and while I was awaiting responses, I decided just to suck it up and break down the DE filter for another cleaning even though I had just done this three weeks ago (I usually do this once per quarter). I did find an unusually high amount of algae on the filter elements and that they were really "sticky". I find this occasionally when I clean usually when the green tint alerts me a cleaning is needed (rather than the PSI going above 12 for my filter). After re-assembling I dropped a cup of powdered shock (had not read Razorback's response yet) and when I came back from my trip last night, the pool significantly cleared up. After doing some more research on this site and reading other's replies, I'm patiently awaiting for my local hardware store to open up so I can buy some liquid chlorine to sanitize. Funny, when I first purchased the house, I primarily used liquid chlorine because I didn't know better but after taking my water to be tested the first time at Leslie's (same issue, test strips were out of date), they recommended powder because it would ruin my equipment.

    I am open to looking into RO as Swampwoman, zea3, and borjis suggested. I would like to make an attempt to be a good citizen and save water but would like to see the quote to see if it is economically viable to do so (I already wasted the $50 on Bioactive). It is tempting just to say screw it and do the refill because according to my crude calculations, it would only cost less than 40 bucks to replace half of my pool water at current water rates (13 CCF * current water rate) with a risk of a $500 fine (we are supposed to reduce usage from last year by $28%). However, I'm not sure if my water rate is tiered like my electricity so I'd have to check into that.

    Thanks again and only 45 minutes to go until OSH opens.

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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    Remember that Walmart, Target, and grocery stores all sell bleach and I'm sure they go through a lot more of it than OSH. You can try the independent pool stores as they have 12.5% at prices that are close to the others.

    How many gallons is your pool? I did not see any significant penalties listed on the Cerritos water website page. RO service will be in the neighborhood of $500 and I don't see your cost being anywhere near that for a drain and refill.
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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    Quote Originally Posted by ping View Post
    Remember that Walmart, Target, and grocery stores all sell bleach and I'm sure they go through a lot more of it than OSH. You can try the independent pool stores as they have 12.5% at prices that are close to the others.

    How many gallons is your pool? I did not see any significant penalties listed on the Cerritos water website page. RO service will be in the neighborhood of $500 and I don't see your cost being anywhere near that for a drain and refill.
    Thank you for your time! We have a monthly newsletter that detailed the new water restrictions (including the 28% reduction in use) sent to us. Perhaps the website is not up to date yet. However, I will call and ask specifically. My pool is 18K gallons. There is the guilt of burning through 9K for a partial drain and fill in the back of my mind. The water cost should be much lower than $500 even if the water rate is tiered although there was the $500 penalty for violating the restrictions. The details of enforcement were murky. Perhaps the actual mechanism is only through fear.

    Do you mean using regular Chlorox bleach at Target? I thought that wasn't as strong as pool bleach. I thought OSH had a pretty good price today, $4.99 for two gallons and since it is Independence weekend, no sales tax so about $2.50 per gallon. Maybe, your comment about going through a lot more means that the bleach is also stronger since shelf life degrades the strength (from what I vaguely remember from reading online resources a few years back). Do people buy that much bleach at the big box stores? I guess I've never noticed it when I go and don't buy it there myself. I bought 4 gallons from OSH for now but let me go do some more research.

    All in all, I think (but cannot confirm) that cleaning the DE filter was the single most effective solution followed by the shock and now liquid chlorine. The Bioactive must have done something funky to the filter elements and caused it not to filter the gunk. I don't think it was algae because the water was a milky, cloudy color. I'd hate to think it was the Bioactive (bacteria?) actually doing its job and all I did was to interrupt the process. Well in any case, I need the pool clear by tomorrow anyway and need to deal with the CYA after that. Thanks for all the expert input again!

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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    I don't know much about DE filters since I don't have one. With that said, FC kills the algae which causes cloudiness and the filter is what will clear the water, so make sure you follow the best practices for your filter. I would read this if you haven't already: Use and care for DE filters. If you let the PSI get higher than 25% over normal PSI after a recharge, you are reducing the rate of dead algae getting scrubbed from the water, making it take longer to clear the water up.
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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    Maybe, your comment about going through a lot more means that the bleach is also stronger since shelf life degrades the strength
    Yeah, that's what ping is referring to. There should be a date code on the bottles you just purchased. It usually looks something like 2015120, a Julian date, where the first four digits are for the year and the last three are for the ordinal (nth) day of the year.
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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    Bleach and liquid chlorine from the pool store are the same thing, sodium hypochlorite. The pool stores strength will usually be 10% or 12.5% while the store brands are usually 8.25%. You do need to be careful and read the % on the bottle as some of it is down to 3% or less. The stronger the bleach is the faster it degrades.

    Here are some links for some more info, Recommended Pool Chemicals, and Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool.
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    Re: Pool is Cloudy After Adding Bioacdtive

    Quote Originally Posted by Swampwoman View Post
    Re: Bio...I'm not sure a forum can accurately statistically represent the categorical failure or success of a product. I think it would be fairest to say that regular posters in this forum have not reported a single success using this product for reasons unknown, and that a sole report of success was made by a one-time poster who let the FC drop to zero
    While technically true (i.e. we could be unlucky enough to have the statistical fluke of failed pools) the Amazon reviews are pretty bad with 4 positive and 10 negative reviews. Of course, some reviews may be faked, but if anything it's more likely for a fake review to be positive so on balance it looks like this product is very iffy at best.
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