Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 33

Thread: Fighting algae for weeks

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    34

    Fighting algae for weeks

    So I wanted to post this as my experience these past few weeks may help someone out. I only use the BBB method and this site along with its predicessor are like the bible to me.

    A few weeks ago I had to work from early morning hours through midnight. I would come home and just go to sleep, wake up and go to work. This lasted about 3-4 days. During that time due to lack of time I did not maintain my pool and I received no help from the rest of the clan. So as you can imagine the FC dropped and the problem started.

    I noticed the pool appeared slightly cloudy. So when I had a chance I shocked the pool to 12 ppm as my alk is 100, ph 7.2, its always low but stable, cc .5 and cya 25. I also noticed what looked like sand gathering in the depressions on the bottom of the pool. I vacuumed that up and a few hours later I would see it collecting again. I figured my filter was on the fritz. I went in circles with this process for about a week. I vacuumed to waste about 3 or 4 times trying to get the sand out. I then went in the pool trying not to disturb these collections of sand. I dove down and felt them, they were not gritty but somewhat slippery and they dispersed like a powder. I then took a sample of it with a turkey baster. Wifey yelled at me for that one. Anyway it was green algae. I continued to shock the pool for about another week with no relief. I slowly brought the shock levels higher and higher to about 18 ppm. Again nothing changed. I knew something was wrong here. I started searching and reading and I started to surmise that I had mustard algae. Now it was not yellow or brownish but it acted like mustard algae in every other way. I started reading everything I could find about mustard algae but it seems it is always yellowish or brown. I was at my wits end, I had not had any issues with my pool for about 3 years now, since I started the bbb method. Now I am ready to throw in the towel. Everyone I know is telling me to try the products they use. I resisted like a kicking and screaming kid. Its the chemicals you use, they would tell me. Theirs are better because they are made for the pool. I stuck to my guns and dug in. I was in a battle now. According to the charts I need 15 - 18 ppm of chlorine to kill the the mustard algae. I was already up to 18 and it did nothing, not even slow it down. I decided to bring my levels up higher, much higher. I shocked up to 36ppm and maintained that for 2 days and brushed to collection of algae on the floor as well as the walls, even though they looked clean. This morning I am happy to say the there are no more algae pockets on the floor and the water is almost crystal. This morning I am starting to let the chlorine levels drop as I do not want to bleach my liner. Now my CC never went above .5. That was very puzzling.

    Not only did I go through about 18 bottles of 96.oz and 6 bottles of 128oz bleach I used up all my fas/dpd testing supplies. I had to buy more the other day. I was using about 60 drops of r-0871 a few times a day for testing.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that I have won the war and this algae, what ever kind it was, will never raise its ugly head again.

    I wanted to post this for people to read and realize that the theories we follow on a daily basis are not set in stone. Sometimes we may do things the "right way" and it may not work. We need to go outside the set boundaries sometimes to see results. I had what looked like green algae but acted like mustard or yellow algae. Even the suggested mustard algae shock levels were too low.

    edit: I forgot to add that my filter has been running 24/7 for weeks now.
    Thanks,
    Brian
    18' round x 52" vinyl AGP holding aprox. 7633 gallons of crystal clear sparkling water, most of the time. Hayward s166t sand filter, 1 hp pump and 2-2x20 Fafco panels is parallel. TF100 test kit and BBB!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,963

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    Interesting. Well keeping fingers crossed it doesn't return. Good job
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    In the Industry
    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    28,407

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    Hey, Brian,

    Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing that narrative.

    It would really be nice if algae was more cooperative and all acted exactly alike in every pool......it just doesn't work that way.

    What I think you did so well is to make a change when things weren't working as planned. That's really understanding BBB......testing accurately and knowing what to do with the results.

    Very nice work!

    PS - I read or heard somewhere that there are more than 7,000 species of algae.

    If that's true, no wonder the methods we use need some variation from time to time.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,085

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    Thanks for the info. Yellow/mustard algae, or whatever it is that you had in your case, is much less common so the guidelines we have for normal and shock FC levels are based on a fairly small sample size. With your initial numbers and adding bleach or chlorinating liquid to get to 36 ppm FC with 25 ppm CYA, this is equivalent to around 5.4 ppm FC with no CYA which is very high (this assumes the 25 ppm is accurate; it could be 35 ppm since the test is +/- 10 ppm or so in accuracy at best). Nevertheless, exposure for just a couple of days isn't going to hurt your liner very much. It's equivalent to normal chlorine exposure of perhaps a couple of months.

    The key thing to note in this case is that the problem started when the FC dropped low in the first place. Algae prevention is much easier than getting rid of an existing outbreak. One thing you might consider is the use of 50 ppm Borates in the pool to act as "insurance" since this should take the edge off of algae growth and perhaps protect you from getting algae to grow during a short lapse of proper maintenance.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    34

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    I am glad to hear the op was interesting.

    I have not read about borates until now. I will be adding borates today! Off to Walmart and Home Depot I go later to get the borax and acid. Thanks for the tip Richard.

    The water was clear and the bottom of the pool is clean as of this morning.
    Thanks,
    Brian
    18' round x 52" vinyl AGP holding aprox. 7633 gallons of crystal clear sparkling water, most of the time. Hayward s166t sand filter, 1 hp pump and 2-2x20 Fafco panels is parallel. TF100 test kit and BBB!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,085

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    Glad things are working out for you. I do want to tell you the one downside to using borates which is that it is at the edge of toxicity if one drinks cups of pool water every day. People don't do that, but sometimes dogs do. So if you have a dog (or other animal) that regularly drinks from the pool, you should teach them to drink from a bowl of fresh water instead.

    I think you'll like the borates. They act as an additional pH buffer especially slowing any rise in pH and they add a sparkle or clarity to the water, possibly due to lowering the surface tension of the water. Also, as I noted earlier, they are a mild algicide as well that persists and only gets reduced by dilution of the water.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    34

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    Borates added today.
    Thanks,
    Brian
    18' round x 52" vinyl AGP holding aprox. 7633 gallons of crystal clear sparkling water, most of the time. Hayward s166t sand filter, 1 hp pump and 2-2x20 Fafco panels is parallel. TF100 test kit and BBB!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,085

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    Brian,

    Is your vinyl liner blue? If so, then yellow/mustard algae against a blue liner can look green (yellow + blue/cyan makes green).

    Keep us posted with how things go. Hopefully you will have no recurrence of this algae.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    34

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    Richard,
    My liner is a light blue, looks like pebbles at the bottom. I had taken a turkey baster and sucked up some algae off the bottom of the pool and put it into a glass container so I could get a closer look at it. That is when I realized it was green algae.
    Thanks,
    Brian
    18' round x 52" vinyl AGP holding aprox. 7633 gallons of crystal clear sparkling water, most of the time. Hayward s166t sand filter, 1 hp pump and 2-2x20 Fafco panels is parallel. TF100 test kit and BBB!

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    34

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    Well the algae is back. It started when I put the solar cover back on. The solar cover shades the entire pool so maybe thats why it came back? I added borates. The FC has never been below 8 since I shocked up to 36. My ph is 7.8, ta is 100 and cya is 25. I have no FC loss over night. I am not at a loss. The only thing I can think of is that I did not wash the solar cover with a bleach solution. But it was off the pool for a couple of weeks and dried out. I would imagine any algae would die off after a couple of weeks of drying out, especially with the high temps the solar cover creates inside itself when it lays in the sun. My theory may be fouled though. Not sure what to do next. The water was crystal clear. Any thoughts or suggestions.

    On a side not, the sand in my filter is about 3 years old. I do not think that would play a role in algae, poor filtration of fine particles maybe, but not algae?
    Thanks,
    Brian
    18' round x 52" vinyl AGP holding aprox. 7633 gallons of crystal clear sparkling water, most of the time. Hayward s166t sand filter, 1 hp pump and 2-2x20 Fafco panels is parallel. TF100 test kit and BBB!

  11. Back To Top    #11

    In the Industry
    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    28,407

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    What kind of test are you testing with?

    Algae cannot survive in the pool envirinment you describe so there is something wrong with the reported environment or you don't have algae.....perhaps a testing error would be my first guess.

    Are you performing the overnight FC loss test according to the procedure in Pool School?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    34

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    I am testing as directed in Pool School. Testing after sundown and before the sun hits the water the next morning.
    I am using brand new refills of r-0871 and r-0870 I just purchased from you.
    Thanks,
    Brian
    18' round x 52" vinyl AGP holding aprox. 7633 gallons of crystal clear sparkling water, most of the time. Hayward s166t sand filter, 1 hp pump and 2-2x20 Fafco panels is parallel. TF100 test kit and BBB!

  13. Back To Top    #13

    In the Industry
    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    28,407

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    I am completely and totally stumped. If you have algae in your pool, it has to consume chlorine.....I know of no way around it. But the overnight FC loss test says no chlorine has been consumed.

    Others may have an idea.....I have none.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    34

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    II am going to try and take some pictures later on today. I will take one looking down at the floor to show the deposits. And then I will get a sample of the deposit and put it into a glass container to show exactly what it is.
    Thanks,
    Brian
    18' round x 52" vinyl AGP holding aprox. 7633 gallons of crystal clear sparkling water, most of the time. Hayward s166t sand filter, 1 hp pump and 2-2x20 Fafco panels is parallel. TF100 test kit and BBB!

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,085

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    Unless we're being thrown off-track by missing something, it sounds like a super-resistant algae and yes, washing the solar cover with a diluted bleach solution was probably needed to not reintroduce this back into the water -- that's a normal procedure when trying to get rid of yellow/mustard algae. This is the only situation ever reported on these forums (that I recall) of a chlorine-resistant green-like algae and it seems even heartier than yellow/mustard. I'm sorry you are experiencing this.

    As for the lack of chlorine consumption overnight, that can be from there being too small an amount of algae to register a significant FC drop or the algae has a heartier outer layer that does not react much with chlorine.

    If you are able to get sufficient samples into a jar, you could experiment with what it takes to kill this nasty algae and can also make sure that it actually does grow. It's particularly disappointing that the borates didn't inhibit its growth.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    34

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    Here are some pictures of what I am seeing.
    The 1st 3 are some general pictures of the stuff gathering on the bottom. Sorry about the focus but the water was not glass.






    Here is a closer look.


    You can see the water is clear, those pictures are through about 48" of water, I have a 52" wall.

    And here is an overall look at the water.


    Here is a picture of the sample I collected. This picture was taken on a pure white background. I will try for a better one tomorrow in natural light.


    When I 1st collected the sample the water in the glass bowl was cloudy but not green cloudy like last week. It was more just cloudy with no color. The "stuff" itself appeared more brownish in natural light. It does have a slight green tone to it now, looking at it under some soft white cfl's. It still acted as if it was a powder when I would go near it, it would just dust away. But it did not feel slimy or grainy, could not really feel it at all.

    Could it be dead algae floating around that has not been filtered out yet? It dawned on me today, last night was the 1st night I put the solar cover on but it was also the 1st night the filter was off.

    I am going to do another overnight fc test, again.
    Thanks,
    Brian
    18' round x 52" vinyl AGP holding aprox. 7633 gallons of crystal clear sparkling water, most of the time. Hayward s166t sand filter, 1 hp pump and 2-2x20 Fafco panels is parallel. TF100 test kit and BBB!

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,085

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    It looks and behaves a lot like yellow/mustard algae except for not avoiding sunlight (i.e. not preferring shade). What does the sample feel like? Is it gritty, squishy or slimy? Do you have a microscope where you can look at it under high power?
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  18. Back To Top    #18

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    London and France
    Posts
    574

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    Do you have a lab near you that may be able to culture this and classify it? assuming its living.

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    34

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    No microscope or nearby lab that I am aware of. I does not feel like anything, not slimy or gritty. You can not tell it is there unless you see it. I am going to try and borrow a microscope from a neighbors daughter, not sure how good it is but it may be good enough. Heck, if I have to I will go out and buy a scope. I was looking for one for my kids anyway. Would a student scope at say 600x be good enough?
    Richard,
    how would I prepare a slide?

    I did a complete set of test last night.
    12:00 am
    TC 7
    FC 6.5
    CC .5
    TA 120
    PH 7.5-7.8
    CYA 22 The cya went down from all the vac to waste I was doing last week.

    This morning.
    8:00 am
    TC 7
    FC 6.5
    CC .5
    Thanks,
    Brian
    18' round x 52" vinyl AGP holding aprox. 7633 gallons of crystal clear sparkling water, most of the time. Hayward s166t sand filter, 1 hp pump and 2-2x20 Fafco panels is parallel. TF100 test kit and BBB!

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,085

    Re: Fighting algae for weeks

    Yes, a standard kid's microscope should be fine and yes 600x is plenty and higher than needed. You aren't going to be looking inside the cells -- you just want to see if this stuff is solid looking or translucent. Nothing fancy is needed in perparing the slide -- just put some stuff on the slide such that it's smoothed out (not clumped up too much). To protect the microscope lens, you usually use a slide cover and that also helps spread out the substance as well.

    http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artjul99/pollen.html]This link[/url] shows some pollen (this link shows them close up with an electron microscope). This link shows a bunch of algae photos. You can see that the main difference is that pollen is more uniform with either spikes or holes on the surface (you need to vary your focus to see the surface vs. contents). Algae is a mostly transluscent clear cell with green chlorophyll contents (so it can look overall green, but definitely has a translucent character to it). Hopefully you will be able to distinguish these. Dirt is very obvious -- very solid and usually jagged or a rough exterior and usually brown/dark.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •