Algae getting worse early in SLAM?

ald7973

Member
May 19, 2020
22
Prairie Village, KS
Hi all - Apologies in advance...I know there are a million algae threads. Here's the backstory....we bought the house in October...pool was closed up and hadn't been open for probably 2 years or more. So it was BLACK when we first opened on 5/1. Took us a month to pass the SLAM...but we didn't open up the pool light which was full of the same black sludge we discovered the other day. Obviously we didn't REALLY pass the SLAM the first time with that remaining hidden sludge. Didn't know what I didn't know! So Tuesday afternoon I noticed yellow streakiness on walls / floor and thought it was weird since I've been so on the ball watching our FC, CC, and CYA. I got on the website and concluded I needed to start another SLAM. I *think* it's mustard...definitely not pollen....it's on the walls and floor. When I brush up the yellow streaks it comes up as very fine yellow dust. I read a thread that said to complete a regular SLAM first and then do a higher (40% of CYA) SLAM for 24 hours, plus disinfect everything that's been in the pool. I'm preparing to do that. Started the regular SLAM Tuesday night. Screenshots of test results/bleach additions below. It is normal for the algae to get worse before it gets better? Just weird to me that it's been 36 hours between 14.5 - 19ppm and the water and algae streaks look worse. Anyway, appreciate any thoughts. Otherwise will stay the course on SLAM!


Algae.jpg
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Texas Splash

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It is normal for the algae to get worse before it gets better?
I would say no. Now that you uncovered the junk behind the light, is there any other possibilities? What about steps or a ladder of some kind? Have you opened the filter yet? If not, that's a must based on what has been happening. Take a look at the sand to see if it's gummy which would be an indication of previously used floc or clarifiers. The sand may be compacted which a deep clean can correct, but it should not look or feel gummy. If so, you might just need to start with a fresh batch now that you are the homeowners and will know everything that goes in the water.
 

ald7973

Member
May 19, 2020
22
Prairie Village, KS
Interesting....hadn't thought about the filter but that makes sense. Watched a video on deep cleaning sand and it didn't look too hard. Will give it a try. There is an incredible amount of value in knowing what goes into anything - a lesson we're learning over and over again in this fixer! :p Thanks!
 
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ald7973

Member
May 19, 2020
22
Prairie Village, KS
I would say no. Now that you uncovered the junk behind the light, is there any other possibilities? What about steps or a ladder of some kind? Have you opened the filter yet? If not, that's a must based on what has been happening. Take a look at the sand to see if it's gummy which would be an indication of previously used floc or clarifiers. The sand may be compacted which a deep clean can correct, but it should not look or feel gummy. If so, you might just need to start with a fresh batch now that you are the homeowners and will know everything that goes in the water.

OK, water is definitely getting cloudier / greener as we go. Yikes!! Continuing SLAM and FC at 17 / CC zero this morning, but like I said, visually getting worse. Definitely looking at the filter this afternoon. If we do need to replace the sand...is there a particular kind? I read something about some sand being too fine / not rough enough? Any any theories on why after a month of good filter operation this would be a problem (since this started BEFORE we opened up the light and exposed the rest of the gunk)?
 

JoeSelf

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Jun 18, 2014
700
Glassboro, NJ
You need POOL FILTER SAND for the filter. Try the cleaning first. If its bad or doesn't get better than replace.

Looking at your logs you need to MAINTAIN SLAM level as much as possible. Hit it hard tonight and over the weekend. Test often. The more SLAM level is MAINTAINED the quicker it goes. Minimum adds before work, right after work, after dinner & before bed.
 

Richard320

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Jan 6, 2010
23,622
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Live algae makes the water look cloudy until you get enough to make it look green. Dead algae clumps and forms waterborne dust bunnies. I think that's what you're seeing. Remember to brush and vacuum. Or vacuum then brush, which is what I;d do. Get that visible stuff up and out of the pool first.
 

ald7973

Member
May 19, 2020
22
Prairie Village, KS
You need POOL FILTER SAND for the filter. Try the cleaning first. If its bad or doesn't get better than replace.

Looking at your logs you need to MAINTAIN SLAM level as much as possible. Hit it hard tonight and over the weekend. Test often. The more SLAM level is MAINTAINED the quicker it goes. Minimum adds before work, right after work, after dinner & before bed.
Yup, we've been maintaining the SLAM since Tuesday night, testing at least 3x/day and making additions, brushing and vacuuming. Going to try the filter deep clean this afternoon. Thanks!
 

ald7973

Member
May 19, 2020
22
Prairie Village, KS
Live algae makes the water look cloudy until you get enough to make it look green. Dead algae clumps and forms waterborne dust bunnies. I think that's what you're seeing. Remember to brush and vacuum. Or vacuum then brush, which is what I;d do. Get that visible stuff up and out of the pool first.
The streaky yellow clumps appeared first on Tuesday - water was clear at that time. I vacuumed everything and then we started the SLAM Tuesday night. Since then there are fewer streaky clumps, but I'm getting a fine even layer of yellow gunk on all surfaces now that I'm brushing and vacuuming. What's weird to me is that the water quality is getting worse...greener... as we're maintaining the SLAM.
 

duraleigh

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Don't change the sand. Deep clean the sand but do so in 2-3 hours because you don't want to lose your SLAM FC level.

Continue to SLAM.....it's really your only option. Keep brushing and vacuuming as often as you can. You should be mixing and brushing and vacuuming your pool water until the water turns clear (and it will) Have you read the SLAM article?
 

ald7973

Member
May 19, 2020
22
Prairie Village, KS
Ok, we deep cleaned the sand yesterday for about 3 hours. Didn't feel or appear gunky or sticky or anything else. Did see a lot of fine yellow particulate flowing out the top so felt like the deep clean was doing something. My husband also improved the plumbing (we had to cut through the existing plumbing to do the deep clean.) Now it's set up that we can easily disconnect for future deep cleaning. Nominal operating pressure went from 12 to about 8. Have maintained SLAM FC level though we did have the filter off for 24 hours to deep clean and re-plumb. FC currently at 20 which is a bit high, but water still looks bad. Don't see any dead algae yet. Will stay the course on SLAM. Still weird to me that we've been slamming since Tuesday and it's worse than when we started. Will have faith and be patient....it's just weird to me.
 

duraleigh

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It is probably not worse......you have simply stirred up what was lying on the bottom. Keep stirring it up, brushing and running the filter 24/7.

Backwash now at about 10 psi.
 

Texas Splash

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The water doesn't show anything unusual other than algae. The contrasting color from shallow to deep in clearly visible. Makes me wonder what was in the water before you took over. At this point, you may have just stirred-up an angry beast with all of your hard work - which is a good thing. :goodjob: In post #1 above, the pic makes the water seem nice, but the walls seemed to have something on them. Later you found the algae behind the light, then just recently deep-cleaned a lot of junk from the sand filter. There should be no other obstacles in your way now other than to continue your cleaning routine and maintaining the FC level. If you haven't tested the CYA is a few days, you might consider doing that since it may have changed after the deep clean and all the backwashes. Now that you have addressed just about every mechanical issue I can think of, it boils-down to chemical treatment. Algae simply will not survive in water that is properly chlorinated, so as long as you continue to do that you will see improvement. Take a pic each day from the same location to monitor your progress. If after a couple more days you don't see improvement, we may need to discuss the possibility that some odd products may have been added to the water before you took possession of the pool..
 
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ald7973

Member
May 19, 2020
22
Prairie Village, KS
Nope. Also scrubbed the sh*t outta those stairs and no change. So either I'm not remembering how dirty they are from before or there's new staining. Either way, got in my cardio for the day with an hour of vacuuming and brushing! Ha!

I will keep the faith that chlorine kills algae! :LOL:
 

ald7973

Member
May 19, 2020
22
Prairie Village, KS
Patience is a virtue but this is frustrating. I don't think the algae is dying....I vacuumed the whole pool this morning and got up an even layer of yellow/green gunk and by 5pm it was perfectly back in place. FC was at 17 all day. Pump running 24/7, but strangely, the pressure doesn't seem to be increasing....steady at about 6. I read some threads about whether pressure *can* be too low and it seems like the answer is no if everything is working/no leaks. I backwashed after vacuuming for an hour this morning thinking surely it needs to be backwashed and the sight glass took probably a minute to fill with water. It used to be 80% full all the time and when I would turn to backwash it would be completely filled. Just sort of weird to have than change after the deep clean / re-plumb. Vacuum seems to be working fine and getting good suction so I think the pump is working like it was before. Not getting those brown/gray clumps of dead stuff yet. So taking it FC up to 25 which is the mustard shock level just to see if it improves at all since after a week of shocking at ~16 the water is significantly worse. All so weird! Waiting and watching!