Bugs in Pool - Need Help!

NailFamBam4

Member
Jul 6, 2021
8
Katy, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Anyone have any idea what these tiny bugs are? They are very small black bugs, smaller than a gnat. I first noticed them about 2 months ago after a heavy rain and cannot get rid of them, they keep coming back. They will go completely away and then come back, but it’s not just with rain now. I can’t figure out what brings them back. They form in clusters together and float and look like they may jump around, especially if I disturb them by skimming them out. I’ve had a pool cleaning company come out and he told me they look like they could be fleas but said the pool looked fine and we don’t have any vegetation that could be causing it. We’ve only been in our house since March and our pool went in right after, we have a fiberglass pool. We have had our yard sprayed regularly by our pest control company also and I’ve done it once myself.

In addition to these bugs, we have backswimmers that I cannot get rid of! I’ve scrubbed our pools walls and I’ve even gone around the entire pool and hand cleaned every wall and step and they are still coming back. At first we had a lot I’d say 20 or so, but now everyday I pull anywhere from 5-7 out but this morning there were 13. These backswimmers and the other bugs came about the same time and I’ve been battling them since.
I’ve taken the pool water to get tested at the pool store and I bought test strips to test myself. When I test it the levels are all fine., however every time I go into the pool store to test the water there is always something it needs. I shock it once a week and use a perfect weekly as well, just as their system recommends. We have an automatic chlorinator as well that we kept maintained with tabs. Here are the reading from this morning, pH level is low and the TC and FC are high. I also included photos of the strips I use.

Total Hardness - 100
Total Chlorine - 10
Total Bromine - 20
FC - 10
pH - 6.8
Total Alkalinity - between 80-120
Cyanuric Acid - 100
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,828
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome to the forum!
You need a proper test kit. I suggest the TF100 or the Taylor K2006C. A proper test kit is needed to get the accurate water chemistry results needed to follow the TFP protocols.
No idea on the little black bugs. Gnats maybe?
The backswimmers typically are due to algae in the water. You need a proper test kit as shown above. You cannot chlorinate your pool using only trichlor and be successful. Your CYA is most likely very high, rendering your FC to be very ineffective.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 
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Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
2,483
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Pool Size
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CircuPool RJ-45
The bugs are most likely springtails. They nest in moist areas. Move around mulch and rocks around the pool and you may find their nests. You'll see them crawling from the surrounding area across the deck before they enter the pool. They are tough to get rid of and don't respond well to various forms of insecticides.
 

NailFamBam4

Member
Jul 6, 2021
8
Katy, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
The bugs are most likely springtails. They nest in moist areas. Move around mulch and rocks around the pool and you may find their nests. You'll see them crawling from the surrounding area across the deck before they enter the pool. They are tough to get rid of and don't respond well to various forms of insecticides.
Thank you, that’s exactly what they are.
 

NailFamBam4

Member
Jul 6, 2021
8
Katy, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Welcome to the forum!
You need a proper test kit. I suggest the TF100 or the Taylor K2006C. A proper test kit is needed to get the accurate water chemistry results needed to follow the TFP protocols.
No idea on the little black bugs. Gnats maybe?
The backswimmers typically are due to algae in the water. You need a proper test kit as shown above. You cannot chlorinate your pool using only trichlor and be successful. Your CYA is most likely very high, rendering your FC to be very ineffective.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
Thanks for providing the link. So, should I go ahead and get a stabilizer to reduce the CYA levels or purchase the test kit you referenced first before buying any chemicals?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,828
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
We will not provide any direct guidance based on the test data you presented. Pool stores and/or test strips are not accurate nor reliable sources of water chemistry data. So getting a proper test kit and providing accurate test data is needed before we will commit on chemistry guidance.
 
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IceShadow

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 8, 2019
2,612
Milwaukee, WI
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
And stabilizer is CYA, and would increase the levels of CYA in your pool. You likely will need to exchange water to lower it, but without a good test kit, it’s hard to say if you do and if so, how much.
 
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NailFamBam4

Member
Jul 6, 2021
8
Katy, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Welcome to the forum!
You need a proper test kit. I suggest the TF100 or the Taylor K2006C. A proper test kit is needed to get the accurate water chemistry results needed to follow the TFP protocols.
No idea on the little black bugs. Gnats maybe?
The backswimmers typically are due to algae in the water. You need a proper test kit as shown above. You cannot chlorinate your pool using only trichlor and be successful. Your CYA is most likely very high, rendering your FC to be very ineffective.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
Okay, received my test kit and here are my results.

FC - 17.5
CC - 0
Calcium - 725 (I have a spa so really high)
TA - 150
pH - 7.5
CYA - over 100 (didn’t quite reach the 100 marker line, just a little below, maybe an 1/8”)

So, I need to lower my CYA, FC and calcium. If I’m reading and understanding correctly, seems I need to add water? I haven’t added any chemicals other than keeping the automated chlorinator going. Shouldn’t I need to, especially since I’m still seeing the backswimmers? My pool walls don’t appear to have algae on them but perhaps the water does, do these results give any indication of that.
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
2,483
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Pool Size
18735
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45
Shouldn’t I need to, especially since I’m still seeing the backswimmers?
Are you seeing backswimmers now? The bugs in your first post are springtails. Seeing them in the pool doesn't necessarily mean you have algae. Springtails are after moisture. I fight them every year from early spring through the summer. Maybe coincidental, but after I added borates to the pool, they disappeared. It may have been the extreme heat that drove them away. I won't know for sure until next spring.

Your CYA is high. You need to get your CYA into range based on Recommended Levels for your type of pool and means of chlorination. You can get a better estimate of your CYA level by doing a diluted CYA test (from Pool School)

  1. If your CYA level is 90 or higher, repeat the test adjusting the procedure as follows:
    1. Fill the mixing bottle to the lower mark with pool water.
    2. Continue filling the mixing bottle to the upper mark with tap water.
    3. Shake briefly to mix.
    4. Pour off half of the contents of the mixing bottle, so it is again filled to the lower mark.
    5. Continue the test normally from step 2, but multiply the final result by two.
Do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to determine if you have algae. If you pass, keep your FC in range based on your CYA level, according to the FC/CYA Chart. pH readings are invalid (false high) at FC levels above 10 ppm. Keep that in mind going forward and try to test when FC levels are below 10.

Complete your signature so we can tailor advice to your pool.

Great job getting a good test kit and taking control of your pool.
 

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NailFamBam4

Member
Jul 6, 2021
8
Katy, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Are you seeing backswimmers now? The bugs in your first post are springtails. Seeing them in the pool doesn't necessarily mean you have algae. Springtails are after moisture. I fight them every year from early spring through the summer. Maybe coincidental, but after I added borates to the pool, they disappeared. It may have been the extreme heat that drove them away. I won't know for sure until next spring.

Your CYA is high. You need to get your CYA into range based on Recommended Levels for your type of pool and means of chlorination. You can get a better estimate of your CYA level by doing a diluted CYA test (from Pool School)

  1. If your CYA level is 90 or higher, repeat the test adjusting the procedure as follows:
    1. Fill the mixing bottle to the lower mark with pool water.
    2. Continue filling the mixing bottle to the upper mark with tap water.
    3. Shake briefly to mix.
    4. Pour off half of the contents of the mixing bottle, so it is again filled to the lower mark.
    5. Continue the test normally from step 2, but multiply the final result by two.
Do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to determine if you have algae. If you pass, keep your FC in range based on your CYA level, according to the FC/CYA Chart. pH readings are invalid (false high) at FC levels above 10 ppm. Keep that in mind going forward and try to test when FC levels are below 10.

Complete your signature so we can tailor advice to your pool.

Great job getting a good test kit and taking control of your pool.
Did the diluted CYA test and am getting results between 60-80. I’ll definitely do the OCLT and report back with those if needed. So currently my chlorine levels are really high so should I keep my chlorinator off until it comes down? Based on the FC/CYA levels I should be at a 5 and when I tested this morning I’m at a 17.5.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,828
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Did the diluted CYA test and am getting results between 60-80.
That means your CYA is over 120 ppm.

Not much reason to do anything but drain half the pool volume and refill. Or follow the exchange process if you are in an area that is susceptible to ground water.
 
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