Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTERY

shacke

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Jul 5, 2010
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Re: Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTER

update. I bought aquafinesse pool pucks. They are some sort of enzyme. Anyway, so far no return of the slime. If something changes I will post back on this topic but thus far they are doing what they say they do for this problem - assuming I had a persistent sort of biofilm.

http://www.parpool-spa.com/Page/PoolCar ... pucks.html
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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Re: Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTER

They aren't enzymes, but are likely a combination of certain minerals and other compounds (maybe including surfactants) that reduce the surface tension and zeta potential of the water and help to break up biofilms and dislodge them from surfaces as well as inhibit bacteria from attaching to surfaces. There may also be coagulants (similar to clarifiers) to help trap what is dislodged into the filter. It slowly removes scale as well.

Based on this MSDS, the pool water tablets contain sodium carbonate (equivalent to pH Up or Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda) and disodium metasilicate. The latter is a coagulant (flocculant or clarifier) and may also be part of what helps in removing biofilms as described in this paper in the product called "Eliminator". Because the spa liquid solution does not list this ingredient, the primary biofilm disrupting chemicals may be different and not listed (i.e. proprietary, but not hazardous).
 

ronparrs

In The Industry
Jun 29, 2011
1
Stratford, CT
Re: Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTER

Dealing with & getting rid of biofilms in swimming pools is proving to be an excellent tool against all kinds of water problems. Whether it's White Water Mold, Pink Slime (not a form of algae), even black algae problems and chlorine demand.

For some further info on bio films, here's my article on the subject:

http://www.parpool-spa.com/Page/Help/Pool/Bio-Films.html

The AquaFinesse will work very effectively in helping to solve the problem & prevent its recurrence.
 

chem geek

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Re: Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTER

Just to put things into perspective, this is the first case where we've seen this sort of thing in a chlorine pool that wasn't dealt with chlorine alone. This is out of literally thousands of reports of people's pools (more than ten thousand on multiple forums). Normally white water mold is a problem that shows up in Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB pools after a year or two. It is virtually never seen in a chlorine pool using a proper FC/CYA ratio as recommended on this forum.

Biofilms are more commonly seen in residential spas that are new due to wet testing that didn't dry out water in the pipes. It is also seen in such spas that are not properly chlorinated. However, after an initial cleaning of a new spa with Spa System Flush or similar product (or superchlorination) and with subsequent proper chlorine maintenance, biofilm problems are never seen again. By proper chlorine maintenance I mean something like the Dichlor-then-bleach method. Dichlor-only builds up CYA which lowers chlorine effectiveness and can eventually allow biofilms to form though usually it's from not using enough oxidizer to handle bather waste. In properly chlorinated residential pools, biofilms are virtually unheard of and chlorine demand is mostly from breakdown from sunlight (i.e. overnight chlorine loss is very low). Sometimes some sand filters have shown some channeling from biofilms, but this is much more common with commercial/public pools.
 

shacke

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Re: Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTER

Chem Geek.

I am sure you are right - I should be no different from the 1000's of others. I don't know what the heck I had - some kind of persistent grey slime that did not clear after a solid week of shocking. That's why I searched for that product - mainly to get into places that I couldn't scrub away and filter out. I have successfully weaned off every chemical except CYA, bleach and MA and will happily give up the pucks too when they run out and see if the slime recurs. Granted, perhaps it dies off on its own in the winter but I have had it for a few years now - recurring - and there is no sign of it yet this year. Step 1 the walls get slippery and then it shows up on tile edges and insets like the light/returns - but so far so good.
 

chem geek

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Re: Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTER

The slippery walls are normally a sign of biofilm. Once they get established, they are chlorine-resistant and even shocking may not get rid of them if they get thick enough. However, if one is maintaining the proper Free Chlorine (FC) level relative to the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level, then biofilms don't get established in the first place or are kept to very thin minimum where chlorine keeps them in check and brushing will dislodge them.

You wrote that you will happily give up the pucks too when they run out, but you also wrote that your current CYA reading was 80 ppm so I'm confused. For every 10 ppm FC added by Trichlor, it also increases CYA by 6 ppm so with a 2 ppm FC per day chlorine usage the CYA would increase by over 35 ppm PER MONTH if there were no water dilution. Are you still using Trichlor pucks?

I would bet that you previously had low FC/CYA ratios and perhaps even algae blooms with zero FC (which is why you may have started to use algaecide in the past) and that biofilms got established early on the past 3 years. You probably never got rid of them so when you stopped using algaecide, they grew faster and the higher FC/CYA wasn't enough to get rid of them. This is somewhat like a new spa situation or what 4JawChuck described in his pool (though in his case, prolonged shocking got rid of it). If you completely remove the biofilm, which the Aquafinesse (and prolonging the shocking) seems to be doing for you, then it shouldn't come back if you maintain the appropriate FC/CYA ratio.

You might check behind light niches, under ladders, etc. just to make sure this stuff isn't lurking in those areas as well. Prevention is far easier then the cure and for established biofilms that is most certainly the case.
 

shacke

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Re: Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTER

Sorry. By pucks I mean the aquafinesse pucks, not Trichlor. I have an SWG and use normal bleach for supplemental Cl when I need it.

I am certain you are correct on how that biofilm formed. Before landing on the forum, I battled my FC levels as I did not have the proper knowledge on managing them. I would routine run out of chlorine and wake up to cloudy water thinking my SWG was a superhero. Now I keep CYA levels high, test FC regularly and all is well. Hopefully the film is gone for good - I bet it is - and I am always feeling for that tell tale slipperiness by the light and return as the first sign of trouble.

I essentially moved into a 'startup' situation when I took ownership of the pool in 08 so I am not surprised it happened. Having said that, the aquafinesse seems to have worked for me this season.

Many thanks.
 

ahelper

Member
Sep 25, 2011
6
Re: Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTER

Is the use of aquafinesse pucks the only way to eliminate biofilm?
 

chem geek

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Re: Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTER

Welcome to TFP! :wave:

Very high levels of chlorine higher than shock level can break down established biofilms, but it is difficult. It is far, far easier to prevent biofilm in the first place since chlorine quickly kills bacteria and dead bacteria cannot form biofilm.

Biofilms are normally not seen as a problem in most residential pools. They are more commonly a problem in commercial/public pools due to the higher bather load that provides high nutrient levels and dead skin cells that get into the sand filter where biofilms can form and create channels in the filter. In residential situations, it's more common to see biofilms form in spas due to their higher bather load and hotter temperatures, but they are easily prevented if proper chlorine levels are maintained.

For spas, there are biofilm removal (more accurately, dislodging) products that can be used during a water change such as SeaKlear Spa System Flush or Ahh-Some (there is also Aquafinesse Spa Clean that we have not yet evaluated). We normally recommend using such a product and/or super-chlorinating when getting a new spa because they are wet-tested and the water is not always blown out of the pipes to dry them. After that, such products are not needed when the disinfectant level is properly maintained.

For residential pools, one cannot do a drain/refill type of decontamination procedure. One can use Aquafinesse Pool Water Care tabs (there is also Ahh-Some Water Cleanser and sphagnum moss products that we have not yet evaluated). Again, this is hardly ever needed and we've literally only used such products in a few pools out of tens of thousands reported on this forum.
 

shacke

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Re: Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTER

For what it's worth - my mystery slime never returned after using the pucks. My one bucket is still lasting me.
 

chem geek

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Re: Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTER

Thanks for following up and glad to know that it worked. Though the pucks helped to dislodge and break up biofilm and slime, it's now proper active chlorine levels that are preventing them from coming back. So the pucks are really a one-time treatment so the smallest amount of them can be purchased when nothing else seems to handle the problem.
 

eureka

New member
Jul 30, 2013
1
Re: Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTER

We have been battling white water mold for about 4 weeks. We had been using a product called Cloud Free. It worked for a few days and then would return. We have been leaving our automatic cover off after reading that sunlight helps fight it. This past weekend we put on the cover and were gone for 2 days. When we returned our pool was in horrible condition with the white water mold out of control. I found info about the pucks and I am hoping that it does what everyone has said it would. I do have a few questions. Will it remove the mold that is on the cover? Should we close the cover after putting the pucks in the skimmer? What about our sand filter? Do we need to change the sand? Right now I am very discouraged and feel that we have an endless cycle going. Any advice will be appreciated!
 

Betty99

Active member
Aug 7, 2013
32
Long Island, NY
Re: Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTER

We opened our pool this season to a terrible amount of white water mold. When I brushed the sides and dislodged it, it looked like large white silk scarves floating around the pool. I purchased the small bucket of Aquafinesse along with a filter cleaning solution. The Aquafinnesse was amazing! It cleared it up quickly. I brushed the sides as best as I could as well. When we finally entered the pool a week or so later we did kick up a very small amount of the water mold (I was the only one who noticed), but we have been water mold-free since. It also makes the water a bit softer for a few days after you add it, which is nice. Another thing that I should mention is that I am having problem with holding chlorine in my pool, most likely due to a high amount of CYA (just ordered test kit) from the trichlor tabs I've been using (haven't switched to BBB method yet but so ready or perhaps a SWG). Anyway, with barely a 1.0 FC reading in the morning my pool is crystal clear. Not sure if its from the Aquafinesse tabs or just luck. Good luck to you
 

chem geek

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Re: Do I have algae now titled ... GREY MONSTER SLIME MYSTER

eureka said:
Will it remove the mold that is on the cover? Should we close the cover after putting the pucks in the skimmer? What about our sand filter? Do we need to change the sand? Right now I am very discouraged and feel that we have an endless cycle going. Any advice will be appreciated!
Welcome to TFP! :wave: (sorry I didn't see your post earlier)

If the cover is in contact with the pool water when you do the treatment, then it should help dislodge the mold from the cover. The tablets do not kill the mod -- chlorine does that -- the tablets just dislodge them from surfaces and break up the protective layers that prevent chlorine from quickly getting rid of it. Once the bulk mold is gone, proper Free Chlorine (FC) levels relative to the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level should prevent it from returning.

You should not need to change the sand. The same water in the pool flows through it so between the treatment and subsequent chlorine you should be able to get rid of the mold. The treatment may help it to dislodge so that it can be backwashed and chlorine will take care of the rest.
 
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