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Thread: black algaecide (elemental copper)

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    black algaecide (elemental copper)

    Hello,
    Before finding this forum I listened to the guys at the pool supply and loaded my pool with Leslie's Black Algae Killer. ( Not to mention all the stuff they sold me before the last guy told me I had black algae!) I've been scrubbing like crazy and keeping my chlorine high so the stuff is dead or dying, and I will not relent until it's gone!
    My issue is the cloudy water, and the soapy water. I realize the cloudy water is the dead algae and my filter (DE) will get that out in a couple of days. I know the soapy ( bubbles and taste) water is because of all that copper, but what I don't know is how long that will take to go away. Do I need the anti foam stuff the pool store guy is going to try to sell me? Or should I just keep my chlorine high and scrub until my arms fall off?

    I have a freeform, pebble-tec, aprox. 13,000 gal. in-ground pool, with a DE filter and a Chlorine Factory salt water chlorine generator.
    My chlorine is above 3.0 ( that's all my little kit will tell me)
    PH is an orangey-pink color - - in the ideal range on my tester
    Total Alkalinity - I think it's 70 but the #6 and #7 drops went in at the same time.

    I'm going to shock again tonight, to keep the chlorine high, and I'll take a sample over to Leslie's tomorrow for some better numbers. I may get that better testing kit, but that place has sucked my pocketbook dry!

    Please forgive me if I sound ignorant, it's only because I am! I took over the pool care a couple of weeks ago and I'm having to learn quickly!

    Any advice you could offer will be greatly appreciated!
    poolcarma
    Poolcarma

    Free form 13,000 gal. in-ground pebble-tec pool, Pentair Aquatech 60 square ft. DE filter, Pentair WhisperFlo 1.5 HP Pump, Chlorine Factory Model R40 salt water chlorine generator.
    Hayward Navigator pool sweep.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: black algaecide (elemental copper)

    The first thing to do is to get a top quality test kit. I recommend a kit from TF Test Kits, see the link in my signature. The Taylor K-2006 is also a good choice. There is no better investment in your pool.

    The second thing to do is to stop adding all the things the pool store tells you to add. They might do something good, maybe, but they will also do something bad for sure. Keep things simple, no more algaecide, just chlorine. Copper can cause some serious problems and is never worth the trouble it brings.

    The foaming will go away in about a week.

    It is very important that you find out your CYA level.

    Do some reading in Pool School when you have a chance.
    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: black algaecide (elemental copper)

    The most important item with accurate pool-care, is a good test kit. Without it, you have no idea what is going on, and the pool-store will sell you whatever they want to.

    They would like to be helpful (in best case) but their test results are not all that precise. Go to 3 different stores with the same water - receive 3 different results!
    They have no idea how to treat problems (worst case) and just sell you stuff thats on their shelfe. They have no idea how all the chemicals interact in your water.

    With BBB you pinpoint the reaction you want, with the chemical you need, without changing anything else! But without correct numbers from a good test kit, you are only guessing. That means you are spending a lot of money on something that might make your problem bigger. (And more expensive)

    Lesson 1: In order to save money for years to come on pool maintanance - you have to spend money one time on a good test kit.

    Lesson 2: Read and observe Lesson 1!
    12500 AGP 2HP Sand filter
    Five years on BBB & loving it!

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    Re: black algaecide (elemental copper)

    Thanks!
    Buying a test kit is a high priority for me, but I have to wait until I'm done spending money getting the kids ready for school. I've donated about $500 to "The pool supply" in the last two weeks, so extra money just isn't there!

    My water is looking fantastic! My husband says he doesn't remember our water ever looking as clear as it does now! I can see the detail in the pebble-tec in the deep end!

    I'm still shocking ( with 4 cups of Leslis's Chlor Brite ) at night, and brushing 4 or 5 times a day. I can't make it into town today, so the numbers will have to wait until tomorrow. Since I don't have any numbers, I don't feel comfortable stopping yet.

    Thank you so much for helping me! Pool School is very helpful, and I'm ready to take control of my water!

    poolcarma
    Poolcarma

    Free form 13,000 gal. in-ground pebble-tec pool, Pentair Aquatech 60 square ft. DE filter, Pentair WhisperFlo 1.5 HP Pump, Chlorine Factory Model R40 salt water chlorine generator.
    Hayward Navigator pool sweep.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: black algaecide (elemental copper)

    Keep in mind that Chlor Brite is dichlor, which adds chlorine and CYA and lowers the PH. If you use too much the CYA level will get too high and that will cause problems. Similarly, the PH and TA will tend to fall and that needs to be compensated for.
    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: black algaecide (elemental copper)

    So, should I add some soda ash?

    My PH went to 7.2 from 7.4 and
    TA went to 50 from 60 or 70
    my chlorine is a very dark yellow, definately over the 3.0 that my kit can read.

    I'm planning on not using the chlor brite tonight and will run the SWG all night with the valve that says "closed-usually raises ph" closed.

    I will take my water sample to Leslie's first thing in the morning.

    Is there anything wrong with the Fresh and Clear?? I'm already running my filter 24/7 and even though the water is clear, it becomes cloudy when the kids are in it. It's still a bit soapy looking too. and I've got company coming Friday!
    Poolcarma

    Free form 13,000 gal. in-ground pebble-tec pool, Pentair Aquatech 60 square ft. DE filter, Pentair WhisperFlo 1.5 HP Pump, Chlorine Factory Model R40 salt water chlorine generator.
    Hayward Navigator pool sweep.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: black algaecide (elemental copper)

    TA down around 50 is very very low for dichlor users. I would bring the TA up to 100 with baking soda. That will also raise the PH a little at the same time, which will be good.
    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: black algaecide (elemental copper)

    Thanks! I'll do that now.
    Poolcarma

    Free form 13,000 gal. in-ground pebble-tec pool, Pentair Aquatech 60 square ft. DE filter, Pentair WhisperFlo 1.5 HP Pump, Chlorine Factory Model R40 salt water chlorine generator.
    Hayward Navigator pool sweep.

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    Re: black algaecide (elemental copper)

    Wait! I don't have anywhere that much baking soda. Can I use the soda ash? The pool calculator says to use 16oz.
    Poolcarma

    Free form 13,000 gal. in-ground pebble-tec pool, Pentair Aquatech 60 square ft. DE filter, Pentair WhisperFlo 1.5 HP Pump, Chlorine Factory Model R40 salt water chlorine generator.
    Hayward Navigator pool sweep.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: black algaecide (elemental copper)

    Soda ash will raise both the PH and the TA. You don't want the PH going above 7.8, which won't get the TA high enough. If you don't have baking soda on hand, I would go ahead and raise the PH to 7.8 with soda ash right now and then retest the TA tomorrow and raise it to 100 sometime soon.
    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: black algaecide (elemental copper)

    Thanks. Will do.
    Poolcarma

    Free form 13,000 gal. in-ground pebble-tec pool, Pentair Aquatech 60 square ft. DE filter, Pentair WhisperFlo 1.5 HP Pump, Chlorine Factory Model R40 salt water chlorine generator.
    Hayward Navigator pool sweep.

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    Re: black algaecide (elemental copper)

    Hello again,

    I followed the directions on the soda ash bucket to raise my pH from 7.2 to 7.4 so that was 4 cups. It sounded like a lot to me, but that's what it said, so that's what I did.

    I took in the sample this morning. I also tested what I could before I went, so here are both sets of numbers.

    My test results:
    Chlorine: 3+
    pH: 7.6
    TA: 80

    Pool store results:
    FC: 5+
    CC: 5+
    pH: 7.8
    TA: 100
    CH: 270
    CYA: 100
    Copper: 0
    Phosphates: 200
    salinity: 2.8

    I'm not convinced that the copper content is 0 because I can still smell it (I have a very sensitive nose.). I don't have any way to check myself, so I'll try another pool store tomorrow.

    I believe the guy at the pool store was genuinely disappointed when I said I want to know the numbers this time. I also went ahead and ordered the TF test kit. Had to bite the bullet, but I'm glad I did.


    I live in central California where it's hot, hot, hot, and I have a SWG.
    So......depending on which numbers you believe, how does my water look? I am very excited to be able to test for myself!
    Poolcarma

    Free form 13,000 gal. in-ground pebble-tec pool, Pentair Aquatech 60 square ft. DE filter, Pentair WhisperFlo 1.5 HP Pump, Chlorine Factory Model R40 salt water chlorine generator.
    Hayward Navigator pool sweep.

  13. Back To Top    #13
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    Re: black algaecide (elemental copper)

    Quote Originally Posted by poolcarma
    I know the soapy ( bubbles and taste) water is because of all that copper, but what I don't know is how long that will take to go away.

    Quote Originally Posted by poolcarma
    I'm not convinced that the copper content is 0 because I can still smell it (I have a very sensitive nose.). I don't have any way to check myself, so I'll try another pool store tomorrow.
    Copper does not foam or feel soapy but linear quaternary algaecides do. Also, copper based algaecides do not smell but linear quats do. Often black algae treatments are a mixture of both copper and linear quats. It is very possible that the copper is testing 0 ppm since it might have stained out already, expecially since you put in soda ash. Shocking will eventually take care of the foaming and soapy feel and smell. (The smell is like the Barbercide that is used in barber shops and beauty salons to sanitize combs, which is also a linear quat.)

    We do not recommend either copper or linear quats here.

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    Re: black algaecide (elemental copper)

    Thanks for clearing that up! I should be more careful what I say, lest my ignorance show again!

    Carm
    Poolcarma

    Free form 13,000 gal. in-ground pebble-tec pool, Pentair Aquatech 60 square ft. DE filter, Pentair WhisperFlo 1.5 HP Pump, Chlorine Factory Model R40 salt water chlorine generator.
    Hayward Navigator pool sweep.

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    Re: black algaecide (elemental copper)

    Now I'm a bit confused. My pH and TA both went down, but I didn't do anything.

    This morning's #'s

    Chlorine: 3+
    pH: 7.4
    TA: 70

    I can't get to the pool supply today to get the other numbers. I've been running the pump, pool sweep and the SWG 24/7 for days now. Scrubbing, scrubbing and scrubbing.

    Do you have any idea why my pH and TA dropped? I've put nothing in the pool since the soda ash except chlorine as delivered by my SWG.

    Thanks,
    Carm

    OH yea, I promise, promise to never use any form of algaeside again. I really wish I had found this forum one day earlier!
    Carm
    Poolcarma

    Free form 13,000 gal. in-ground pebble-tec pool, Pentair Aquatech 60 square ft. DE filter, Pentair WhisperFlo 1.5 HP Pump, Chlorine Factory Model R40 salt water chlorine generator.
    Hayward Navigator pool sweep.

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