Algae Increasing Since Day 2 of SLAM - Newbie needs Advice

Chevydue057

Active member
Jun 30, 2020
26
New Hampshire
Moved from HERE

I'm battling an Algea problem, I think. I started a SLAM after watching the videos here about 6 times, and reading about what to do. I stocked up on Liquid Chlorine and had my test kit all ready.

I started a SLAM and mid way through day two it became obvious to me that the amount of Algae in my pool is increasing. It seems lighter, but instead of concentrating in the center of my pool, I'm getting a little less in the center when the pump and filter are running, but much more around the outside of the pool.

More details to come. I'll update my signature and here to explain anything you guys need for help or for narrowing this down.
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome to TFP! :wave: While your situation may appear to be similar to the other poster's issues, it's best we separate them as typically pools do vary either mechanically or chemically. So when you get a moment, update your signature with all of your pool and equipment info (test kit too), then post a full set of water test results. We'll be happy to assist.
 

Chevydue057

Active member
Jun 30, 2020
26
New Hampshire
Hey Texas Splash Sorry about that!

thanks for moving my post and creating a new board for me.


Hey everyone. I’m pretty new here. A little background leading up to my problem. My pool is a 26' AG pool, about 10 years old. I've got a 150lb Hayward sand filter mated to a Hayward SP1510-Z pump. It's a 1HP 13.8A single speed pump. Water depth is 44". I'm not sure what else you might need to know about it. I'll get you any information you need. For some reason, I can't update my signature line at the moment, I'll try tomorrow on a different computer.

When I opened my pool my CH and Alkalinity were low. 150 and 100 respectively. These have been bumped up to 250 and 120. That was about 3 weeks ago.

My water is clear. Very clear. It’s only 4’ deep, but I can drop a quarter into the pool and read if it’s head or tails, while standing on the desk around the pool. But I have clumps of Crud settling in the pool. Mostly in the center while the pump runs. Some smaller clumps randomly around. Been lurking around for a while. I finally decided to join after spending close to $400 at a local pool store and still getting the run around what do to next. not they are telling me to replace the pump because it's not "circulating enough water". I got a tad frustrated and said okay, if I spend $700 and replace the pump, if that doesn't fix the problem, can I return it? They told me no. So I bought a test kit, and started learning on this site. Thanks for that!



I’m on day 6 of my SLAM and the Algea I’m fighting has gotten worse. The first 12 hours, it changed from greenish/black to a lighter tan color, but ever since it’s been getting worse, in the quantity amount. (My pool store is still adamant it’s nothing organic and it’s foreign). What I mean, if there used to be small spots around the pool and a concentration in the center. Now there’s slightly less in the center, but much much more all around the pool. I was originally vacuuming it up to waste, for the first couple days, but it’s gotten so much, that I can’t vacuum it all out to waste. I’ve got to vacuum it slow because is dissipates into the water like little waterborne dust bunnies if you go over it too quickly. So I’ve switched to brushing and vacuuming through the filter, otherwise I would have to replace 100’s of gallons of water a day. It literally takes 30 minutes to vacuum the pool otherwise you can see it not vacuum up but shoot up into the water. I’ve been doing this twice a day as needed. The algea only forms on the bottom of the pool. The sides are clean (I scrub them anyway), but the algea is only visable on the bottom.

Just for information I took a sample of the “growth” out of the pool and I put it into a small container with a small amount of straight pool shock (12.5%). The blob turned into what looks like dirty water with lots of little freckles/specs floating. I took another sample and put it in a container with tap water, shock it up, after an hour)it settled back down into what it was looking like in the pool. If you want photos let me know.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand. I’m on day 6 of SLAM.

When I started this, 6 days ago my test results were.

Ph 7.5
FC 3.5 / Maybe 4. I added the extra drop, and I swear it got a little clearer. But I don’t know.
CC 0
TA 120
CYA 50

This mornings test results were:

pH 8.2 ( I know this was a waste at such high chlorine levels, but I wanted to check and see if something is way off )
FC 20
CC 1
CYA 60 on the dot


This confused me. I haven’t been checking CYA every day, and when I checked it, I took a sample to the pool store as well for a sanity check, and their results were 59. This seemed very strange, because the liquid shock shouldn’t be adding CYA(please correct me if this is wrong) So I began looking at the pool, and I did find there was a small pool toy from my niece/nephew under the pool stairs, and what looked like 3 or maybe even 4 shock tabs. I’m guessing they fell in either right before I started the slam or right after, because they were pretty well dissolved. But there were clearly 3 of them, maybe a 4th that had dissolved more than the others; I don’t know how I didn’t see them. It’s an above ground pool and there are holes and weighted steps on the stairs and they were inside. Like floating at the top of the underside of the hollow 4 step ladder. I’m thinking this explains most of the 10 point jump in CYA.

Anyway, I used pool math to bump the chlorine up after dark to 26/27 (checked) for the night. I will check again in the morning before the sun rises. I’ve been a little low given the CYA so I’m hoping a little extra helps. Running the pump and all the chlorine is getting expensive; I’m hoping something changes soon!


After 6 days of maintaining a minimum of 20 FC, should I be seeing better results? Is there something else I need to do? I was going to backwash the sand filter tomorrow after I do a morning test. Maybe I’ll even cap it off and try a deep clean. I’ve been vacuuming the accumulation into the filter for 3 or 4 days, and I'm wondering if there junk in there that's preventing filtering. I can take a couple of photo’s of the algea tomorrow and share if that would help?

If FC was attacking the algea, shouldn’t my CC level be higher? I have only gotten 0, 1, or maybe a .5 reading since this started. I’ve used a couple of the Poolife Algea treatment bags from the pool store previously, back before the SLAM. Should I go and get a couple more and add those too, during the SLAM? I’m betting the answer will be no, but I wanted to put it out there.

I'm just not understanding how the amount of Algea has increased. It's been cloudy and it's rained a lot in the past 3 days, I don't know if that matters, but the pool hasn't been getting a lot of sun.


Please help a newbie! I've tried to provide as much information as I have. I know this is a long post, and I thank anyone who makes it through this!
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
First thing I would do is remove those stairs/steps if you can. They are notorious for hiding algae, so that could be the source of your problem. Don't add any algaecides, that would just be a waste of money. Also FYI, with a vinyl pool you don't really need calcium, so don't add anymore. Since you have confirmed your CYA to be 6, keep the FC at 24 while you work on the SLAM Process. When did you open you pool this year?
 

Chevydue057

Active member
Jun 30, 2020
26
New Hampshire
Thanks for the advice. I removed the pool steps a little while ago. I've checked and looked, they appear to be algea free. Nothing underneath them on the protective mat or under than on the liner. I will move them over to the stone anyway and bleach and scrub them just in case. Maybe I should open the plug on the sand filled weighted steps and check for algea growth in there to be safe.

I opened the pool June 3rd and 4th. I usually do it memorial day weekend or the weekend before, but I had a family member pass, so it got pushed out.

at 7pm
FC was 22 (after an 80* sunny day)
CC 0
CYA still at 60 (good, those pucks must have been the issue)

With a CC at zero, and not losing a lot of FC I have to assume the sun today burned most of that off. Why is algea still coming? I'm still getting it in the center of the pool.

I did a deep clean today on the sand filter. I followed the video here on TFP, and I didn't have any gunk/gelatinous looking mess at the top like the video. A couple small pieces of leaves or those oak tree saplings, not real junk came out. I think I deep cleaned it before I put it away last winter (i move the pump and filter into the shed for the winter so they are out of the weather). Bummer. I was hoping it was clogged. Pressure is right at 14psi where it was before the deap clean.

Am I doing something wrong? I took a sample of the algea just to look at it, and when it settles out in a bucket it kind of looks more like sand and oil. It's rainbow colored on the bottom of the bucket. Which, I assume is good, because that's the algae breaking down? It certainly didn't do that before the SLAM. That a guess, I really no idea why it looks that way.

But, I'm still getting much more than I was before the SLAM. I noticed the skimmer basket was full of bugs and junk today, so I put a filter sock on it to help collect some more of that, just to help it not go through the system.
 
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Chevydue057

Active member
Jun 30, 2020
26
New Hampshire
Is there something I can put in the pool, like an algea eater, right where the algea seems to congregate in the center. Like, this is a silly idea, but copper naturally kills things, like trees. I think of as a kid by the lake hammering copper spikes into the trees so they would die and could be cut down.

Now, I'm not just going to drop copper spikes, or pipe, or old pennies into the pool. And I can't necessarily get the chlorine to concentrate in the center where the algea is, but is there anything I can that I'm not already doing?

I do pour the chlorine in slowly in from of my return jet as instructed. Whatever pool math says I need, I usually cut it in half, pour that in slowly, wait a couple minutes, and pour the second amount in.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
13,886
Evans, Georgia
Are you brushing daily? While chlorine is the killer of algae, your filter has to collect the algae. Brushing the pool gets the schmutz into circulation so that the filter <via the skimmer> will pick it up.

Maddie :flower:
 

Chevydue057

Active member
Jun 30, 2020
26
New Hampshire
Are you brushing daily? While chlorine is the killer of algae, your filter has to collect the algae. Brushing the pool gets the schmutz into circulation so that the filter <via the skimmer> will pick it up.

Maddie :flower:

I'm brushing twice a day, morning before work and night when I get home from work. I'm scared because the amount is increasing with the SLAM. I deep cleaned the filter today. Hopefully it's going to filter out sooner than later.


*edit* I don't know if this is even worth bringing up, but the last two nights I've noticed a lot of bugs floating in the pool. I don't think this is normal, or even related, but I wanted to mention it. I've obviously been paying more attention to the pool lately, but I've gone out to the pool plenty at night and never seem this many. I cleared off probably 100 of these guys from the water surface tonight.
 

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Chevydue057

Active member
Jun 30, 2020
26
New Hampshire
Might be good to see a pic of your water.

Sure. Water is very clear. Attached is a photo of the water. Also, I noticed more bugs this morning like I posted last night, and I found the following in the pool skimmer basket. I'm glad I have those skimmer socks!


Based on my water stats above, is this due to some water chemistry problem? I was at 20 ppm for FC this morning. I have to assume a lot of that drop is from these bugs? I've never had a bug problem before. Maybe it's coincidence, but over the last 2 days when I've bumped the Chlorine due to CYA I've seen them.

I'll try and scoop up some more of the gunk in the center. Maybe it's Crud from these guys and not actually algae?

I'm so over my head here I really don't know what to do. I've been doing a SLAM for a week and everyday it just seems to get worse and worse.
 

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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
The bugs are seasonal flying ants. We get them here in swarms as well about 2-3 times a year. Nothing wrong with your water. Take it as a compliment that they like your water. :swim:

As for the water itself, it looks great from the pic. Is it crystal clear all over? No visible signs of algae I hope? Have you done an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test test yet? You appear to be very close to completing teh SLAM Process.
 

Chevydue057

Active member
Jun 30, 2020
26
New Hampshire
The bugs are seasonal flying ants. We get them here in swarms as well about 2-3 times a year. Nothing wrong with your water. Take it as a compliment that they like your water. :swim:

As for the water itself, it looks great from the pic. Is it crystal clear all over? No visible signs of algae I hope? Have you done an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test test yet? You appear to be very close to completing teh SLAM Process.

Thanks for the info on the bugs, there were a couple of local posts on social media about them from friends, I guess everyone around us had a "breeding" of them.

The algae is still accumulating in the same places, in the center. I dropped a little below 20 yesterday, ( I wasn't home) and my reading was 19 around 12:00am this morning. I added enough to bring it back up to 25, and I checked it at 7:00am and I was at 24.5. I added the extra drop and there was definitly a slight difference. So I'm calling it 24.5.


I'm passing an OCLT, my water is clear, although its been clear this whole time. My combined chlorine wasn't changed from 1, but the algea just keeps coming. I vacuum it out, scoop it out, or vacuum through the filter, doesn't matter. I've removed everything from the pool, it's just the pool, the liner and the walls. It just keeps coming. I'll climb in tonight and take a sample before I add more chlorine. I've only got one more bottle, so I need to head to Ocean State tonight and get more anyway.
 

Chevydue057

Active member
Jun 30, 2020
26
New Hampshire
When you do go in the water, see if you can grab any of it. If you can grab it, pinch it, or collect it, its probably not algae. But if it disperses as soon as you try it's probably a form of algae in which case the SLAM Process still applies.

Turns out the fiance already vacuumed it up around 10:00pm when she got home. The amount of whatever it is hasn't changed, but I'll go in tomorrow morning and get a sample and take some photo's from the deck of the accumulation.

I tested the water and I'm at an FC of 19.5/20. I put two drops in accidentally at the end. I was measuring out 70oz of chlorinating liquid to pour in, and I ended up running inside for a phone call, and someone or something ended up knocking the 5 gallon jug of shock into the pool. I came out about 10 minutes later, and the bottle was empty. Given my notes of what I've been adding to the pool, there was just under 2 gallons (should have be about 248 OZ).

I'm starting to run out of reagent, so I didn't retest, but using pool math, I'm probably at about 36 ppm right now.

Maybe the extra high FC will help and kill the algea, maybe it'll stain and ruin the liner. I have absolutely no idea. It's day 10 (technically 11 because it's after midnight) of the SLAM and it's only gotten worse. The Algae is collecting faster and more frequently than ever in the center of the pool. I'm getting a little worried. I've been running the filter 24/7, except for 5 minutes here and there to clean the skimmer basket, and the hour or so the other day when I cleaned the filter.

I know there are a couple of SLAM experts here. Tagging @kimkats @YippeeSkippy. I'm tagging them because I'm getting to the point of desperate. Should I consider a couple of bags of Poolife Algae Treatment?
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,850
Tallahassee, FL
You are doing all of the right things...............what you are seeing is the dead algae and stuff from the air settling on the bottom of the pool. It takes time and vacuuming to get it all up and out....................when I was reading from the beginning my first thought was the stairs but you took them out so...............you are doing a great job! We will work on the stuff over time.

Kim:kim:
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Don't bother with any algae treatment or other pool store gimmicks. The chlorine will just eat that stuff up. Plus, those aren't designed to kill algae, only try to prevent them from starting. We'll be curious to see what you are able to get from a sample (if possible). The key takeaway we alway tell members going through a SLAM Process is it works when followed. Not that someone purposely doesn't follow the steps (although some do get complacent), but sometimes there is something incorrect or missing along the way.

For example, some owners thought their CYA was 40 (for example) when it actually was 50, so they were never at the proper SLAM level. Some owners missed hidden algae somewhere. Hopefully you took care of that with the steps. For others it was some chemical added previously by them, former owners, or in the winter that was skewing progress. But algae, when treated with the proper amount of chlorine for the current CYA simply cannot survive over time. So we'll be watching to see how your water progresses in case there is some other unknown factor not yet considered.

Your pic from post #11 (Friday) didn't look too bad, just cloudy. How about another updated pic?
 

Chevydue057

Active member
Jun 30, 2020
26
New Hampshire
I've been following it as best I can. I've been staying at the SLAM value or a point high. I've been testing testing testing. It's a vinyl pool, so unless there is algea behind the vinyl, there is no place left for it to hide.


I did remove everything from the pool. I deep cleaned the filter on friday and not much came out. There was nothing caked on the top of it, and only a couple of small chuck of dirt came out.


I know some of the photo's below look like pool sand, but it's not, because when I vacuum or brush it up, it turns to dust. It used to be the green color I posted the photo's of, and about 12/16 hours into the slam everything changed to this beigey color. And it's stayed that color, it looks dark in the pool, but when I collect it and put it on a towel or in a cup its the tan beige color.


It just keeps puddling up in the same amount in the center as pictured. Is this normal on day 12?! There's just no end in sight. I've passed 2 OCLT, and my water has always been as clear as it is right now. But whatever this is, it just won't stop!
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,850
Tallahassee, FL
That is dead algae and some dirt from the air. The reason it collects in the same spot is that is the lowest spot(s) in the pool. Once the water is still it settles out of the water and ends up there. The down side of a sand filter is the fact it does not always catch the finer stuff in the water :( Until you can "catch" all of the stuff and get it up and out of the pool it will settle out of the water waiting for your filter to catch it or you vacuuming it out of the pool by waste (which you have been trying to do with not much luck :().

Have you added any DE to your sand?