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Thread: After mustard algae is gone- question

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    After mustard algae is gone- question

    I just finished clearing out a mustard algae bloom. I ran the FC up to 30 (my CYA is 50) for about 4-5 days. According to the instructions in pool school, I have to wait for clear water, overnight FC loss of 1 or less, and CC less than .5, right? Last night my FC loss was 1 (7.5 to 6.5) and my CC's have been running .5 pretty much the whole time. This morning it was probably more like .25 because it was just the slightest shade of pink and I've seen it be darker before and 1 drop clear it. Anyway, the water looks clear from poolside, and I thought I was homefree, but yesterday when I got in to do a very thorough hand vacuuming, it looks very cloudy when you go under. I can't see the other side of the pool. It was actually pretty shocking to see it look so cloudy because it looks clear from the top.

    So I guess my long winded question is....based on the other 2 parameters of clearing an algae bloom, do you think it's safe to return to normal FC levels? Do you think the cloudiness is just dead algae that needs to finish filtering out? or is "clear water" judged from inside looking at it with a mask?

    TA 110
    pH 7.8 (do I need to bring this down?)

    17,500 gal above ground oval
    TF100 kit, BBB method
    2 speed 2.5 HP waterway pump & cartridge filter

    Thanks in advance,
    Trina
    17,500 gal vinyl above ground oval, 2 speed 2.5 HP pump, Waterway cartridge filter, baquacil to BBB converter spring 2009. TF-100 kit.

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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    do you think it's safe to return to normal FC levels? Do you think the cloudiness is just dead algae that needs to finish filtering out? or is "clear water" judged from inside looking at it with a mask?

    Yes, I do think it's safe to return to normal levels. However, I would suggest you hold them just a little higher for the next few days (say maybe 20-30% higher) Sorta' like an insuraqnce policy in case there's any remaining orgaincs to clear up.

    Yes, I think you have dead algae, etc. still remaining in your pool. Running your pump 24/7 and somewhat elevated chlorine should clear it up.

    "Clear water" is clear water. If you are not happy with it, it's not clear. Keep plugging but you're almost there.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    tludvik,
    I notice from your signature that you have quite a powerful 2 speed pump for the size of your pool. What speed/flow rate are you using? I am no expert on cartridge filters but like any other filter they are not very efficient if the flow rate is too high.

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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    I never turn it off because I like to keep the skimmer going. I don't have a very good automatic cleaner, so to me, I'd rather have the bugs and stuff that floats in go in the skimmer than have to hand vacuum a lot because it fell to the bottom when the pump is off. I run it on low 24 hrs a day but bump it up to high for a few hours a day, especially when adding chlorine. I spray the cartridge off about once every 3-4 weeks. I've been running it on high pretty much all the time since battling the mustard algae.

    Since my post a few hours ago I went out to do some pool mtce. and noticed what might be the return of the MA. I'm not sure if it's a collection of dust and dirt from the heavy rain we just had. Dangit I hope it's not. I have a pool party this Saturday so I've go to get on this. What do you think about this plan: I'm going to run the FC up to regular shock level tonight and check it first thing in the morning. If it has lost more than 1 ppm, it should confirm MA return. Then I'll run the numbers up to MA shock level until it's beat back down.

    Thoughts?
    17,500 gal vinyl above ground oval, 2 speed 2.5 HP pump, Waterway cartridge filter, baquacil to BBB converter spring 2009. TF-100 kit.

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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    Thoughts?
    I don't like the idea of adding chlorine during an Overnight FC Loss Test. I think it's a little more precise to simply test the water this evening without any addition, then test first thing tomorrow morning.

    If the drop is more than 1ppm it does confirm you still have organics in your pool.....mustard algae or not.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    Dave, I hear you. However, I just checked it, and my FC is only at 3, so I need to bump it up to at least normal (which I understand from the chart should be 7). You mentioned taking it 20-30% higher for a little insurance, so I may go to about 9. It's 9:15 pm now, so I'll go add bleach and check it in about 30 minutes. That will be my baseline for the overnight FC loss test.

    Unless you check this site in the next little bit and tell me you think I should do something else.

    Is my relatively high pH an issue? Also, the water has a really bad taste now- very salty- since my battle with the MA started about a week ago. Anything I can do about that?
    17,500 gal vinyl above ground oval, 2 speed 2.5 HP pump, Waterway cartridge filter, baquacil to BBB converter spring 2009. TF-100 kit.

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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    As far as the mustard algae problem returning... did you treat your pool accessories with chlorine? Last year when I battled mustard algae I had to toss or "shock" everything that touched the water in the pool. I my case I loaded up a 5 gallon bucket with 1/2 a bag of chlorbrite and filled it with water and cleaned the brushes, ladders, toys, and waterline of the pool with it. Anything I couldn't sterilize got thrown away. Swimsuits need to be sanitized too. When you are brushing your pool, it wouldn't hurt to sanitize the brush when you are finished as well.
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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    That will be my baseline for the overnight FC loss test.
    I'm sure that'll work fine. The precison of the overnight FC loss test would suggest (to me) a longer time for distribution of the chlorine in the pool. I'm not completely confident that the FC would be perfectly distributed in 30 minutes.........but it probably is, I just don't know

    As a thought, if you lose more than 1ppm tonight, you might redo the test tomorrow with your FC addition (if any) earlier in the day so you are confident it is thoroughly distributed.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    Ok Dave. So I added 1 small jug of bleach and got busy doing stuff and didn't check it for an hour (10:20 pm). It was 7.5 FC and no CC.

    I am pretty sure this is a good solid number as I've learned a lot about the circulation through the baq conversion we did in April.

    I will post the results in the morning.

    I think part of my problem in getting the MA in the first place was not having my FC high enough consistently enough. Somewhere I missed the chart in pool school that shows the target FC levels based on the CYA levels. I read somewhere to keep it between 1 and 5, so that's what I was doing. I think that explains the bloom. Also, it happened after my daughter got home from an adventure camp where they swam in any natural body of water you could think of, and I didn't know to sanitize her swimsuit. I will also be sure to "shock" everything else that goes in the pool to keep from reinfecting the pool.
    17,500 gal vinyl above ground oval, 2 speed 2.5 HP pump, Waterway cartridge filter, baquacil to BBB converter spring 2009. TF-100 kit.

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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    tludvick,
    You don't post a set of full water figures which would be helpful including Phosphates.

    Have you added any borax? Somethings chlorine is not so good at killing although it is worshiped on TFP

    Filtering slowly may take slightly longer but its more thorough as you are not trying to push things through the filter just collect them.

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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    6:50 am results....FC loss was 1.5. CC at .5 or less. It's now at 6.

    This is so borderline, what do you guys suggest?

    I looked very closely at the 3 places the MA lived during the bloom -the places where yesterday I was worried that I saw a tiny bit of what I thought was regrowth- and it was gone. That's a good sign, right?

    Do I open up a can of POP and try the test again tonight to confirm or deny success? Or do I hit it again hard with bleach today in case it's coming back?

    Thanks so much!

    Teapot,
    I don't know anything about borates, and I have never added borax. I've only had to add bleach and baking soda to balance my numbers. Since my kit doesn't test for that, and I try to stay as far away from Leslie's as possible, I don't have those numbers. The manager and I always used to get into a heated debate over CH in my vinyl pool. She tells me I should raise it because it "has nothing to do with your vinyl liner. Upping your CH is like lotion to the water. It makes the water feel good on your skin and is like lotion on the liner."
    I'm running the pump on low now except when I add bleach. Then I bump it up to get good distribution.
    17,500 gal vinyl above ground oval, 2 speed 2.5 HP pump, Waterway cartridge filter, baquacil to BBB converter spring 2009. TF-100 kit.

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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    No problem tludvik, glad things are improving. Wasn't suggesting you went anywhere near a pool store, take a look at the pool school pages

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-.../bbb_for_pools

    Chem Geek knows his stuff study the BBB method.

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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    If you lost more than 1ppm you should raise it back up to shock level today. Keeping your FC above the "min" at all times in the future should prevent a repeat.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    Do I go to normal shock level or MA shock level?

    Like conversion or algae fight, I take it up asap and test frequently to keep it up there, right? Like all day today? Then do I check for 1 ppm or less loss each night until it holds?
    17,500 gal vinyl above ground oval, 2 speed 2.5 HP pump, Waterway cartridge filter, baquacil to BBB converter spring 2009. TF-100 kit.

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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    I would just do it this evening, after the sun is off the pool. Check around 7 ish, add bleach, then wait an hour, raise it again if need be, then check again before you go to bed. Normal shock level.

    You can shock this morning if you like, but you'll use more bleach that way (and 50% of it will be lost to sunlight).
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    One more thing- teapot- am I correct that adding baking soda raises TA but as a side effect also raises pH? The reason I added baking soda a while back was to raise my TA (it was 60-70) and after that my pH drifted up to 7.8. If I add borax now, it would raise the pH too high, right?
    17,500 gal vinyl above ground oval, 2 speed 2.5 HP pump, Waterway cartridge filter, baquacil to BBB converter spring 2009. TF-100 kit.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    Right. Borax raises PH. Baking Soda raises TA

    Both products raise the other level a little bit - you can use the "Effects of Adding Chemicals" section of the pool calculator to see this.

    There is a process for "adding Borates" (using Borax) - the instructions are in this article.

    It is totally optional, I would wait awhile if I were you, till you have other issues stabiized and you get to know your pool better.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    Quote Originally Posted by tludvik
    One more thing- teapot- am I correct that adding baking soda raises TA but as a side effect also raises pH? The reason I added baking soda a while back was to raise my TA (it was 60-70) and after that my pH drifted up to 7.8. If I add borax now, it would raise the pH too high, right?
    Yes it will, so following the instructions on the pool school you will have to add a little acid. Once this is done you will find your PH more stable though.

    Treat the problem (MA) not the symptom (chlorine usage)

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    Re: After mustard algae is gone- question

    I think I'm on the mend. Passed the overnight FC loss.

    I went to the store today and bought borax and muratic acid to get started adding that according to the pool school.

    Thanks to everyone for your help!
    17,500 gal vinyl above ground oval, 2 speed 2.5 HP pump, Waterway cartridge filter, baquacil to BBB converter spring 2009. TF-100 kit.

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