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Thread: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

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    green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    First off, a major thanks to this website. I am a first-time pool owner and managed to BBB my pool from a dark green swamp to something that now somewhat resembles water I would like to swim in.

    I killed off all of the pool's algae by keeping my FC at 10 for a full day using Clorox and pool store algaecide. After 24hrs of filtering, my water went directly from swamp to cloudy blue with an off-the-scale PH of 8.5+. I used pool store PH- to bring my PH level down to 7.2 and have just added enough Borax to (hopefully) bring my PH up to a normal 7.5.

    I now have a pool with normal numbers, but cloudy blue water. I thought that adjusting my PH would take care of the cloudiness, but the PH is now in a normal range yet the water is not clear. I am at a loss as to how to fix this. Any ideas?

    Here are my numbers:

    CH: ~175
    TC: ~2
    FC: 1-3 (I adjust this daily using Clorox)
    pH: 7.2
    TA: ~70
    CYA: ~30 (I added stabilizer through my skimmer yesterday. I hope to bring this up to 40 from 0, my starting level)

    I have a 15,000 gal. above ground pool with a sand filter. I have been running my filter 24/7.

    Thanks!
    15,000gal/24ft above ground w/ sand filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    How long has it been since you shocked?

    BTW, with a CYA of 30, bump your minimum/target level to 2-4 ppm a day.

    Welcome
    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
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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    I shocked on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Also, my FC drops at night from ~3 to ~1. I read in another post (blue-cloudy-water-remains-after-swamp-thang-is-gone-t7882.html?hilit=shock%20cloudy) that this could be a sign that I still have live algae. Should I shock again or is this just normal fluctuation?

    Thanks for the FC tip!
    15,000gal/24ft above ground w/ sand filter

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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    Dale it sounds like you still have some algae. Raise your free cl to shock level (at night) and retest in the morning, as aoon as you hold to 1.00 ppm loss or less at night you can lower cl levels to normal. Leave th Ph alone during the shocking process, you will not get a reliable read on the Ph. Run the filter 24/7 until your clear. Don't slack on this or it will just be a waste of time. Good luck 8)
    15x30 AG
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    There are many reasons the water can get cloudy. Most of the time, cloudy water is algae. If it is cloudy white or blue, calcium clouding is also possible. Third most likely is some kind of problem with the filter.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    Thanks all for the input. I'm going to shock tonight and will post my results in a day or two.
    15,000gal/24ft above ground w/ sand filter

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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    I shocked last night right as it was getting dark outside. My chlorine levels were stable throughout the night, but the water is still cloudy! Just to be clear about the color [edit: no pun intended], the water is blue with a very thick white "fog". I can't see the bottom or sides of the pool and can only see about 10 inches of my ladder. Am I just being impatient, or is there more I should do?

    Thanks again for your help.
    15,000gal/24ft above ground w/ sand filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    Once the algae is dead, it can still take the filter up to a week to clear up the water. If the algae is dead you should see a visible improvement in the water each day. Keep an eye on the filter and backwash/clean the filter as needed.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    I did the same, turned my green swamp to a blue haze overnight. That change alone was a huge motivation because it looked so much better so fast. But I wasted days after that trying to figure out what to do next.

    Use the shock level as the minimum and keep it there or above instead of letting it drift down and then adding chlorine to get it back up to shock level. Especially if you're just adding chlorine like I was, morning and night, because I'm sleeping or working otherwise.

    Once I started really keeping it at/just above shock level, I was able to get everything in there killed off and the water started clearing in just a few days. Each day I could see another step down into the pool and then finally the liner and now every single detail of the sides and bottom.

    It's a frustrating time while you wait for it to clear. But the shocking part you have to hit hard with. If you're just adding chlorine here and there, new algae is growing as fast as you're killing some off. If you lose chlorine overnight, you still have work in there to be done and you need lots of chlorine in there to do that work. I felt crazy dumping in all that bleach but it sure did the trick -- consistent high levels for 3-4 days is what it took for mine.

    A good start is a Friday night when you can really keep the chlorine levels high through the whole weekend with constant testing. Keep listening to what these guys tell you. It does work. Patience is absolutely the hardest part. Just check any of my threads here and you'll see ! haha

    Steve
    24' Round Above-Ground Pool, 13500 Gallons
    Triton Meteor Sand Filter

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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    Garbage day was yesterday. I can only begin to imagine what the neighbors think we're up to...

    ssmith... thanks for the advice. After reading your post, I started keeping my water at above shock level with good results. I can now see the texture on my pool walls and can just start to make out objects resting on the bottom. For the record, I caved and added two bottles of pool-store clarifier three days ago. I'm going to maintain shock level for another couple of days.

    I can now see the outline of a large pile of leaves on the bottom of the pool, dead center. I tried vacuuming them up, but the hose kept clogging. I have the longest skimmer pole available and I am tall (6ft!) but cannot get the distance needed to reach the center. Any tips on getting this stuff out? The water is, quite frankly, to gross for me to want to enter - I'm not even sure if it's safe yet. Should I wait for the water to clear, drop FC to maintenance levels and clean up while I'm in the pool?

    Here are my numbers:

    CH: ~200
    TC: 15
    FC: 15
    PH ~7.0 (We get lots of acidic rain up here, I'm keeping PH at 7 with Borax and will adjust properly when I'm done shocking)
    TA: ~90
    CYA: ~30 (with stabilizer sock in place)

    My FC levels are stable throughout the night and will actually stay relatively steady through a hazy day. Curiously, my water does not smell like chlorine. I would expect it to at these levels.

    Also, I find it hard to believe that anything is still alive in my water (see photo), but my filter still backwashes a murky brownish color. I like to think that this is due to a high algae corpse count. Is this actually what I am seeing?

    I'll post again in a few days with another status update.

    Thanks again for the help!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    15,000gal/24ft above ground w/ sand filter

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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    When I turned the water from green to blue, that was enough for me to enter it. But my pool is a/g and 4 feet deep so I didn't have to put my head / face anywhere near the water to do so. I mainly used a brush to stir the leaves up and get things circulating. It meant a lot of cleaning for the skimmer basket and it took a while but I got all of that out.

    Until you get those leaves out, you'll probably never get the water to clear -- just my guess, I'm new to this too. That stuff is in there decaying and adding more junk into the water. Use the pole and get all you can. I had the same issue with the middle / far edge and that stuff just never got stirred up or cleaned up until I felt like I could enter the pool.

    I love the pictures of the recycle bin. That was me exactly a month ago. You're on the right path. Don't give up. As long as you keep killing more than grows back and removing more than is falling in, you'll make progress and eventually get to where you want to be. This board will help you every step of the way.

    Steve
    24' Round Above-Ground Pool, 13500 Gallons
    Triton Meteor Sand Filter

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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    Is the water safe to wade around in at shock level with my numbers (note the low PH)? I obviously have no intention of dipping my head, but I wouldn't mind going in to scoop up leaves if that's what it takes.
    15,000gal/24ft above ground w/ sand filter

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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    I let my kids in at shock level - granted those are the days that I don't like them as much

    Seriously, we do swim at shock levels. the only thing to worry is if you can't see the bottom to continuously count heads. i you can see the bottom, only count heads every 30 seconds or so....
    16 X 34 21,000 IG Vinyl Liner
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  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    Definitely safe to wade around in. I thought maybe I'd bleach the hairs on my leg but it didn't happen.....haha. It's still 10-20 parts per million of bleach so it's not like you're wading around in bleach.

    My brother in law gave a good example of how little difference there is in green pool water and clear. Take a bottle of pool water and fill it and even a green swamp looks fairly clear. There's not THAT much stuff in there.

    And you won't get the chlorine smell unless you let all the free chlorine turn to combined chlorine and don't have enough free chlorine to burn up the CC's. It's the combined chloramines (if I'm spelling this right) that give off the odor and it means you don't have ENOUGH chlorine, not that you have too much. I never knew that either until talking on here.

    Steve
    24' Round Above-Ground Pool, 13500 Gallons
    Triton Meteor Sand Filter

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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    Just another thought -- start buying the store brand of bleach. It's a little cheaper. I think here it was $0.50 a jug less. It works just as well. Just make sure it says 6% bleach and that it's not some scented variety.

    Steve
    24' Round Above-Ground Pool, 13500 Gallons
    Triton Meteor Sand Filter

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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    See if you can get a regular telescoping pole and a leaf skimmer to attach to it. I have a 1 piece skimmer / pole, but it was too short. I then got a telescoping pole at Target for about $15, and then got a leaf skimmer that attaches to a standard pole for $10. Works a whole lot better for reaching the middle of the pool!
    Above ground soft side Omega pool
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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    I walked in to my pool on Friday with a leaf net, snow shovel (metal edge covered in duct tape), and vacuum hose and got to work. The junk at the bottom of the pool was really a large compost pile -- leaves, twigs, and muck. This was definitely the source of my lingering cloudiness. Debris cleanup was a ~5-hour job spread over two-days as I had to wait for the debris to re-settle at the end of the first day. After cleaning up the last of the "large" objects, I basically just ran around in circles to stir up the small dirt particles and let the skimmer take care of disposal. I dumped two bottles of Clorox into the pool at the end of both days to kill off any algae that may have been uncovered. It should be noted that a snow shovel is not an effective tool for cleaning a pool, although it went a long way as a stirrer.

    I can now see the texture on my pool floor and, three weeks and about $450 after opening, have deemed my water swimmable (although it is not yet completely clear). I'd say that about $350 and a week and a half were wasted by consulting the local pool store.

    I am letting my FC levels fall to maintenance levels to give Target a chance to restock their bleach and by the end of the week will cut back on filtering time.

    Thanks everyone for your help!

    Also, can a mod move this topic into the algae forum?
    15,000gal/24ft above ground w/ sand filter

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: green swamp to cloudy blue - i want to swim already!

    Congratulations on getting your pool swimmable!

    Quote Originally Posted by dale386
    Also, can a mod move this topic into the algae forum?
    Done.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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