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Thread: Not algae....but all this is just "stuff"? PIC

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    Not algae....but all this is just "stuff"? PIC

    Hello,

    First thought I had algae last week to find out it is only debris from trees, air and whatever. I have had the solar cover on for almost two weeks trying to maintain as much heat as possible in our 50 degree nights. Well I guess that isnt going to work because this morning this is what my pool looked like. My chlorine is still stable (FC 5.0). All my other numbers are within acceptable ranges.

    My question is where do I go from here? I have vaccumed once and I can say maybe its a bit better. Also running pump for an extra 4 hours to see if that helps. I am guessing I need to run pump longer and keep vac and brushing. That sound right? It is an ugly site to see the pool like this. I dont want to pump an chemical in unless I am sure it would help clean up this mess. Has anyone ever had a similar situation from just tree, pollen, air junk?

    Thanks for your input.

    Ls
    [img][/img]
    14 x 32 Fiberglass Pool 10K gal. Hayward Pump and Sand Filter. Autopilot SWG Dig 48 and Heat Siphon 3.25sx Heat Pump.

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Why do you think that's not algae?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    My pool has looked like that with an FC of 5.0

    The CYA was 120.

    dave
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

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    nothing is slimy....no chlorine loss and when you wiff you hand close to it it wisps away. I have sent a sample to Gonefishin' today. That will also help figure out what it is. Lovely color isnt it?
    14 x 32 Fiberglass Pool 10K gal. Hayward Pump and Sand Filter. Autopilot SWG Dig 48 and Heat Siphon 3.25sx Heat Pump.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Do you have a full set of test numbers?

    Green water is almost always algae, though stable chlorine levels do tend to argue against algae. If CYA is very high there can be somewhat stable chlorine levels and still be algae.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    While waiting for the microscopic analysis, I would shock the pool and hold the Cl at shock value for at least 48 hours (What's your CYA?) I'd be willing to bet a lot of SeanB's money that your pool will go from green to aqua to blue and then clear if you keep the Cl up. How far up depends on your CYA level.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Just tested my cys this morning....it is 40. My FC with the SWG running an extra 4 hours yesterday is now up to 7.5 which held overnight. Running filter for 24 without adding chlorine and see what happens as an experiment before adding more Chlorine. I guess we will see what happens.
    Thanks for the input. I will keep you posted.

    Ls
    14 x 32 Fiberglass Pool 10K gal. Hayward Pump and Sand Filter. Autopilot SWG Dig 48 and Heat Siphon 3.25sx Heat Pump.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    With CYA of 40 there is no way FC would hold steady overnight if that was algae. So we are on to the next possibility.

    It is possible for copper in the water to color the water green. You can get your water tested for copper or just try adding a metal sequesterant. If it is copper adding sequesterant will clear it up within a few hours.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    lsbarkley, do you have kids at home? I wonder if they damp some water soluble paint
    Algae can survive at 7.5ppm FC if it held steady over the time as it develops immunity to FC. So if you really want to stress it, it must be a very high rise in FC in very short time. Like 15ppm in 1 hour (done by adding bleach) and then operate the filtration system for 48 hours.
    =================

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    It really looks like algae to me -it doesn't seem to be the green of metals in the water, the water would be clear and green, and the water looks cloudy to me. Are you sure about your cya at 40? I would take the chlorine up to 20ppms, it should start to lighten the green if it is algae. If possible, could you give a full set of chemistry numbers? If you take the chlorine up to 20ppms, and keep it there, and the green doesn't start to lighten up to a light green, then let us know
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

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    What can I say....You all were right. It was algae! I tried to be stubborn and run pump for 24 hours thinking it couldnt be algae since I had no chlorine loss but sure enough it was. I guess the SWG was creating enough to keep it stable. It pushed up the chlorine to 23 for 48hours now and it is almost there...maybe another 24 hours until clear.

    I have to questions/thoughts. The fact that the algae was easily wisped away by not even touching it.......was it dead algae? Maybe the fiberglass pool is just so slick that it comes right off but it wasnt slimy..not even the mats on the steps.

    Why did I get it in the first place. My FC was at 5ppm. I am guessing that it was something to do with the solar cover being on for almost two weeks straight or maybe that is just a coincidence.

    As for my CYA I will check again soon (self employed and busy lately). Sorry didnt update sooner. As usual thanks again for reminding me that you know what your doing here on TFP!

    For all of those out there reading this.....if it looks like algae...it probably is!!!

    Ls
    14 x 32 Fiberglass Pool 10K gal. Hayward Pump and Sand Filter. Autopilot SWG Dig 48 and Heat Siphon 3.25sx Heat Pump.

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    LsBarkley...hi

    I just got your sample today.

    First off...I would highly recommend that you follow the advice from the others here that suggest you shock, especially if it's green.

    If anyone suspects that they may or may not have algae, I would suggest they treat it as algae. By bringing your pool to shock levels as soon as you suspect a possible algae problem you will get a jump on killing it. The sooner you start treatment to kill the algae means the sooner your pool will be rid of problems...and the easier your fight will be. If you give the algae extra time to take hold you'll be fighting a stronger beast than you could have. If you still have problems if the persistent shock therapy better identification may help. You can still continue shocking...but after you've run a course of treatment with no effect...you may need to look at better identification. But shocking is the best place to start if suspect any type of algae like substance.

    The sample shows a ton of algae...and boy is it active! Just a quick look at it, it looks like Aphanocapsa. Keep shocking that pool!

    dan
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    With a cya of 40, 5 ppms of chlorine should be enough to stop any algae from forming. My guess would be that there may have been some algae on your cover, and the 5ppms of chlorine was not enough to kill all the algae, so it had a chance to multiply. Since you have a swg, you were adding chlorine whenever the pump was running. It would have been interesting to see if your chlorine level dropped to 0 at any time. Once algae gets a hold, it takes lots of continuous chlorine to kill it - and you have to make sure it is all dead, or it will start to grow from just a little bit That's why people think they are getting algae again, when in reality they never really got rid of it completely in the first place
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

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    Gonefishin,

    Boy look at all those little friends I had in my pool...and they were all UNINVITED! Thanks for taking a look at that...I guess the sample made it there safe. Very interesting pictures.

    So what do I do with my solar cover? With the chlorine high put the cover back on? How do I make sure I get rid of any algae on the cover? Thanks.

    UPDATE: After 3 days of 24/7 shock at 23ppm water is clear and will see if chlorine holds tonight. Thanks again and I do believe if it looks like algae....SHOCK!

    Ls
    14 x 32 Fiberglass Pool 10K gal. Hayward Pump and Sand Filter. Autopilot SWG Dig 48 and Heat Siphon 3.25sx Heat Pump.

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    Ls,

    Congratulations on the clear pool! Yes, definitely make sure you have minimal (<= 1 ppm ) FC loss overnight (no sunlight and no SWG running) and measure minimal (<= 0.5 ppm) Combined Chlorine (CC).

    Well, we now have the issue of what FC level would be appropriate for your pool. Something just doesn't seem right about this. First off, you've got an SWG that should normally be zapping the heck out of any free-floating algae and normally would need a lower FC level relative to CYA level (typical is around 2.7-3.6 ppm with 60-80 ppm CYA). Second, with a cover on, I would expect less chlorine loss from sunlight assuming that the cover is blocking at least some of the UV (though you said it's a solar cover, so it's hard to know), so if you didn't lower your SWG output rate, the FC should have kept climbing (though it could have been trying to kill the algae). Third, as others have pointed out, you should have seen an FC drop with the algae, but obviously when the SWG is running you might not see that -- it's really what happens overnight with no sunlight AND with the SWG off that you would know if the FC is getting consumed.

    If this were yellow/mustard algae, then needing a higher FC level to keep it away would make sense. Perhaps this is a certain kind of heartier green algae. As for the cover being on seemingly triggering the problem, the higher water temperature would accelerate algae growth, but so would chlorine reaction rates in killing it. The somewhat less intense sunlight through the cover might be conducive to some algae. There have definitely been other reports of algae blooms forming after using a solar cover for an extended time, but in those cases low chlorine levels were to blame.

    One thing I can think of is that in most pools exposed to sunlight, the FC level is lower near the surface since the UV from sunlight is most intense there (it gets absorbed by chlorine and CYA so isn't as strong at lower depths) so if circulation isn't really good, you can end up with a gradient of FC in the pool. With the cover on, perhaps the area just below the cover becomes low in FC and combined with algae possibly on the cover, allows it to grow. Algae sticking on the cover wouldn't get circulated through the SWG to get zapped. Though this sounds like a nice theory, the pictures of your pool when it had the algae seemed to show it throughout and if anything more concentrated in the depths. By any chance, is your floor drain not working?

    You did say you first thought you had algae, but then figured it was debris. Maybe in fact it was some algae and adding the cover put it over the edge in terms of giving it the environment that improved its growth rate. There's also the possibility of something wrong with the CYA measurement, or a really high level of phosphates (if nitrates aren't limiting), or some mystery chemical that acts like CYA rendering it ineffective (this has been seen in some commercial/public pools, but I've rarely seen this in residential pools reported on forums). The only advice I can give at this point is to maintain a higher FC level -- perhaps closer to 15% of the CYA level, or 6 ppm FC, at least when you use a solar cover, but it would be good to get to the bottom of this mystery, if possible.

    As for the solar cover, yes if you put it on the pool part of the time it's at shock level and keep the pump on, that should kill what's on the cover. I wouldn't leave it on for more than a day at shock level -- the higher chlorine level is probably harder on the cover.

    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"

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    gonefishin's Avatar
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    Going back thru some of your posts it looks like you've been fighting problems since July 08. The problems seemed to continue through this last problem. You've shocked at high levels several times , sometimes at the higher mustard levels.


    July 08, slippery steps;treatment used - shocked

    August 26, cloudy pool and yellow deposits; treatment used - looks like you shocked at mustard levels on the 28th (per the next post)

    August 29, safe to swim levels?; treatment used - mustard level shock the day before

    August 30, Algae update...continue shock?; treatment used - mustard level shock
    To recap...I initially shocked to 24 since I had mustard algae. Overnight it went to 16 and during day down to 6.5. Last night added bleach up to 24 again and this morning it was 19. I added more bleach this morning to go back up to 24 which was 8:30am. It was 85 and left the pump run all day with SWG to 0. At 9pm when I got home the FC was 7.5 with CC=0. I didnt go in the water to check the clarity with goggles so not sure if it is completly clear. So do I need to reshock back up to 24 again?
    You started a shock sequence again with the level starting at 24. Overnight it went down to 16 and continued to drop to 6.5. You added chlorine to bring the chlorine up to 24 at night which had a significant drop overnight to 19. You added bleach to 24 in the morning and let it drop that day to 7.5 and overnight to 7.0 and stopped the shock sequence.

    Sept. 14; Algae...again?

    Sept 21; Not algae...



    It looks like you've been fighting a long battle since July. I think this is the same algae that has been in your pool the entire time. (to me) Reading thru your posts it looks like you were cutting the shock treatment short and also let the levels drop too low. This gave the algae a chance to take a breath and re-group during the yo-yo'ing shock levels. If someone has re-occurring algae I think that you need to be even more persistent with both keeping your levels at or near the target number and with the length of shock treatment too.

    Having a SWG certainly should help...perhaps this is what was keeping the algae almost in check during the time it was on. I wonder what the chlorine drop was like at night when your SWG wasn't producing chlorine (possibly more yo-yo'ing letting the algae linger on and take a little better hold). You also mentioned in one of your post that the algae got worse after a couple days of rain...which would give it any more time to take a better hold. Reading about the fight you've had with this...I just don't think you've ever actually won the battle.

    If it were me I'd shock. Shock hard and persistent (keeping the levels up high (read the shocking for newbies thread in my signature). After your water is clear and and you have no more chlorine drop I would continue the shock levels for three more days...being just as persistent as I was at the beginning. Do you have any pets or kids that drink alot of pool water? I'd also look into adding some Borates next year as well.

    I'd love to see a sample of water both during your fight and once your fight is over too. I also wonder what the yellow deposits look like, could you send me some of that if it comes back? I wonder if it's algae floc with dead algae stuck with some yellow/brown sediment.


    just my $.02

    dan
    21' Aqua-Leader AGP (10,200 gallons).
    Hayward cartridge filter and two speed pump.
    Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Salt 3200ppm (in non-salt water pool)
    Borates 20ppm (slowly raising)
    Aqua-Rite SWG

  17. Back To Top    #17
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    I don't think the pump/filter is on long enough to adequately turn the pool water over. How many skimmers...is there a main drain to assist in filtration. I'd try increasing pump run time by 50% to see if that cures the recidivist algea problem. If water testing, chemical balancing has been maintained (as claimed by LS) then I'd suspect circulation/filtration.

    CaryB
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Thanks to everyone who chimed in to my post. I will try to recap and reply to some of the insights.

    As for pool circulation the pool has not had an algae issue with the pump running at five hours with SWG. The first time I did get algae it was because I used ascorbic acid to remove metal stains and that ate up my chlorine and developed algae. The water was never really green just started to show in a few spots. Shocked for several days and all was fine. Not until the cove was on for two weeks straight did I get more algae. At first I thought it was just debris/pollen etc because it was more like dust..not slimy or slippery. I now think that has something to do with the fiberglass pool making it very hard for algae to cling to. I also now believe that have the solar cover on affect circulation and believe I did have algae on the solar cover (someone mentioned this and they were right I believe).

    So now pool is back to normal and FC was still high today (23) and will check each morning and night to see how it drops. I will take off the cover periodically so to avoid that mess again.

    This is my first year with the pool and have learned so much from this forum. I am sure I would have had many more issues if not for this site and the pool store would have had their way with me. Thanks again. Hopefully others can learn from this.

    Ls
    14 x 32 Fiberglass Pool 10K gal. Hayward Pump and Sand Filter. Autopilot SWG Dig 48 and Heat Siphon 3.25sx Heat Pump.

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  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Hi LS,

    Congratulations for getting you
    pool back to normal!

    You should throw in an algaecide
    so your chlorine has one less thing
    to look after!

    Take Care,

    Michael Silvester

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Did you say you run your pump and SWG for 5 hours every day. That doesnt seem long enough to turn your water over.

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