Ferri-Tabs & Slime Bag Experiment & Review

Athlon646464

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 21, 2010
70
Uxbridge, MA
I just ordered 2 jugs of Ferri-Tabs and plan to use them and report my findings here. (By the way, I am not affiliated in any way with Ferri-Tabs the 'guy' who sells them or the Slime Bag company. He has a deal at 2 jugs for $30 with free shipping for a limited time.)

After spending a few hours here over the weekend I've found a lot of interest here surrounding the iron issue so I thought I would contribute to the discussion.

I want to use them properly so that my report back to you is as accurate as it can be, so I thought I would create this discussion while waiting for them to arrive. I haven't been able to find detailed instructions anywhere, so I've listed my plan of attack below.

I've been on BBB since I opened my then 10 year old pool for the season in 2010. I love the BBB method, and my water is always crystal clear. The only issue I have is that nasty recurring brown staining. When I drop a vitamin C tablet on it, the area under the tablet clears immediately.

I've had staining issues for the last two seasons. In 2011, in order to lower my CYA, I drained and replaced about 40% of my water. That's when my trouble started.

I've used the AA treatment three times, twice last year and once in 2011. It works beautifully for me. Although my water is clean today, the stain is coming back. My guess is it's because I brought my water to shock level after taking the cover off last weekend (June 2nd). My PH is at 7.3 today and my target is 7.2. (I use the TF-100 kit, of course :cool: )

Here is what I plan to do (and in this order) when the Ferri-Tabs arrive. Please let me know if I should do anything differently. When they arrive, I'm going to go right at it.

1) Take my Chlorine down to zero.
2) Put the filter on recirculate.
3) Add AA.
4) After 24 hours put the filter back on filter (the iron should be completely off the liner by then)
5) Put the required amount of Ferri-Tabs in my strainer's filter sock.
6) Begin to re-balance the water.
7) Bring my FC back up slowly, and keep it on the low end as required for my pool.

It will be interesting to see if there is any color on my skimmer sock or in the site-glass when I backwash after using the Ferri-Tabs.

I'll make reports and post pictures here as I go.
 

Athlon646464

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 21, 2010
70
Uxbridge, MA
Re: Ferri-Tabs Experiment & Review

Butterfly said:
Somewhere before step 3, adding AA, you should add poyquat 60 per directions on the bottle to avoid getting algae while the chlorine is low.
Good idea. I already have some I can use. I also have a couple jugs of Pro-Team Metal Magic left from last year.

Current plan:

1) Take my Chlorine down to zero.
2) Put the filter on recirculate.
3) Add Polyquat 60
4) Add AA.
5) After 24 hours put the filter back on filter (the iron should be completely off the liner by then)
6) Put the required amount of Ferri-Tabs in my strainer's filter sock.
7) Begin to re-balance the water.
8) Bring my FC back up slowly, and keep it on the low end as required for my pool.
 

Athlon646464

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 21, 2010
70
Uxbridge, MA
Re: Ferri-Tabs Experiment & Review

Yes - I read that with great interest. That thread actually gave me the idea to start this one. In that thread Swampwoman says she sort of corrupted her test by adding the sequestrate because she had staining from something other than iron in addition to the iron.

I can say with certainty that an AA treatment on my pool will clean my liner 100% perfectly, so my thinking is when I try only the Ferri-Tabs after I get all of the iron back into the water the results should be interesting.
 

Athlon646464

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 21, 2010
70
Uxbridge, MA
Re: Ferri-Tabs Experiment & Review

I'm going to spring for a slime bag to catch the 'silt' my filter can't. It will be interesting to see if it turns a little orange during my test.

According to the shipping email I received from the 'guy' the Ferri-Tabs are arriving tomorrow. I'm pleasantly surprised because the shipping was free and that's just the third day (ordered Monday morning the 10th).

I've started the process of letting my FC drift to zero.

It's difficult to take pictures of the stains, but here is the best I could do. This shot is of one of the corners in the shallow end of the pool. The silt in the corner is there because we have had about 1 1/2 inches of rain in the last 24 hours. You can see the 'brownish' discoloration scattered throughout the picture, especially on the bottom near the seam as well as on the wall.

I haven't cleaned the sidewalk yet. The dirt line on the sidewalk is from where the pool cover was. It's wet because it's still raining here on and off.

poolstain.jpg
 

Athlon646464

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 21, 2010
70
Uxbridge, MA
Re: Ferri-Tabs Experiment & Review

The Ferri-Tabs arrived yesterday - 2 day shipping - an unexpected surprise.

I'm still waiting for my FC to drop to zero before I start the process. With the lousy weather here this week (no sun at all and a lot of rain) it's dropping very slowly. I suppose it's a good thing in a way that my FC is holding. :-D

I'm also still waiting for my Slime Bag to arrive. I'll hook that up when I add the Ferri-Tabs.

For those of you wondering exactly what they look like, here's a picture. They come 10 tablets in each little jug, and I'll need 7 for my size pool for the initial dose (1 tablet per 3,000 gallons). If all goes well, I'm supposed to add 1 tablet for each 3,000 gallons I use to top off the pool (which I'm trying to avoid so as to not add more iron). Good thing I ordered 2 jugs. I'm thinking I'll want to repeat the initial dose if my filter sock & Slime Bag turn orange with the first dose.

The .75oz bottle of R-0014 is there so you can gauge the size of the tablets.

ferritabs.jpg
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
23,933
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Re: Ferri-Tabs Experiment & Review

Why wait?

I was just reading up on these things and it says, "Directions: Make sure pool water has a pH of 7.2-7.6, and contains a measurable amount of chlorine by adjusting with chemicals as necessary. Chlorine will not effect the Ferri-Iron Tab action on Iron or Manganese. Make sure the pool filter is in good operating condition and has been turned on."
 

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Athlon646464

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 21, 2010
70
Uxbridge, MA
Re: Ferri-Tabs Experiment & Review

My Slime Bag arrived yesterday. I attached it to my return about 15 hours ago, and this morning there was a little 'silt' in it and very little (about 10% of usual ) on my pool bottom. So it seems to be catching stuff.

I've removed it for now because it killed all the circular motion of my water. Normally my return eye is pointed down enough not to cause bubbles and facing about 45 degrees toward the nearest corner creating a strong circular motion in my water. My skimmer catches stuff that falls in as a result. The Slime Bag stopped that.

Any suggestions from Slime Bag veterans?

My plan is to use it after I'm done with the '24 hours on recirculate' step in the AA process. The hope is the Slime Bag may help to trap some of the iron in solution.

As for getting ready to do the AA treatment, my FC is at 4.5 this morning, so it will be a few more days before I can start the process.

Happy Fathers Day!
 

Athlon646464

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 21, 2010
70
Uxbridge, MA
Re: Ferri-Tabs Experiment & Review

FC down to 2.5 & falling slowwwwwwly. You know full well if I wanted it to hold it would have fallen by 5 in one day! Shows you how well the BBB system works for me!! :party:

My PH is now at 7.2, so that's ready.

Maybe Thursday?
 

Athlon646464

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 21, 2010
70
Uxbridge, MA
Re: Ferri-Tabs Experiment & Review

FC at 1.5 this morning and counting..... We had about a 1/2 day of sun yesterday and then the skies opened up to give us over an inch of rain. Bunch of debris from nearby trees in the pool as a result. :hammer:

I wouldn't have posted today except that I had a little critter hitchin' a ride on my floating thermometer this morning. He's probably logged more hours in my pool this season than we have with all the rain we've had so far!

frog1.jpg


frog2.jpg
 

Athlon646464

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 21, 2010
70
Uxbridge, MA
Re: Ferri-Tabs Experiment & Review

FC finally barely registering, so I've started the process.

Today I:

1) Put the filter on recirculate
2) Added Ployquat 60
3) Added AA.

The magic is happening with the stains as I'm typing this.

Tomorrow (24 hours after the above) I'll:

4) Put the filter back on filter (the iron should be completely off the liner by then)
5) Put the required amount of Ferri-Tabs in the strainer under it's filter sock (I'll provide pictures of this)
6) Attach the Slime Bag to my return port (and pictures of this)

It will be interesting to see if I catch anything!
 

Athlon646464

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 21, 2010
70
Uxbridge, MA
Re: Ferri-Tabs Experiment & Review

Richard320 said:
Time lapse pictures of stains miraculously disappearing would be cool.

They would, but it does happen quickly. It's like I have a new liner at the moment, and it's only been about 4 hours.

A video would have been better (about 30 seconds long) of the stain lifting.

:party:
 

Athlon646464

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 21, 2010
70
Uxbridge, MA
Re: Ferri-Tabs Experiment & Review

Yesterday, after 24 hours on recirculate...........

After AA:

pool-after.jpg


Same spot Before AA:

poolstain.jpg



The next thing I did was put the filter back on filter, and put the Ferri-Tabs in the strainer under the filter sock. Picture of Ferri-Tabs in the strainer:

tabs-in-skimmer.jpg



Picture of Filter sock over Ferri-Tabs:

skimmer-sock-over-tabs.jpg



This morning, after about 20 hours on filter, the tabs are completely gone. Both the skimmer sock and the Slime Bag have discolored - the Slime Bag much more so than the skimmer sock.

The color is hard to describe, but in the morning light it looks to be a dingy gray color on both the skimmer sock and the Slime Bag. I'm not posting the picture of the skimmer sock because it is barely noticeable in the photo, but here are some shots of the Slime Bag.

The skimmer sock was not very white like usual. It was the color of old white laundry after about 300 washes when you compare it to the same garment brand new. A dip in chlorine brought it right back.


The white 'bubble' near the top of the Slime Bag in this photo is where the Slime Bag is slightly out of the water (but still wet) while connected to my return port. The rest of it is that dingy gray color. The contrast is even more noticeable in person.

dirty-slime-bag.jpg



This pic shows the Slime Bag discoloration from a different angle. Notice the area that was out of the water (no return water going through that spot) and the white ring where the clamp was.

slime-bag1.jpg



This pic shows the Slime Bag on a broomstick for cleaning with my garden hose (the recommended way to clean it). You can clearly see it has caught a lot of stuff. The 'white' spot is just as wet as the rest of the bag in this photo and the one above, by the way. The Slime Bag was very white after the first two uses (before the Ferri-Tabs were introduced) except for a little brown near the very top of the bag.

I could see stuff pouring out of the bag when I sprayed it with my garden hose, by the way.

The view looking down into the bag showed even more. Don't forget, you are seeing the bag from the outside.

slime-bag2.jpg



What is interesting to me is that I had the Slime Bag on my return port for two 12 hour periods while waiting for my FC to drop. It had barely noticeable discoloration near the top of the bag each time, with less the second time than the first time. I vacuumed each time with the bag attached and assumed it caught some 'silt' (then left it on the return port for 12 hours), which has not returned to my seams.

My conclusion is the Slime Bag catches stuff my filter does not, and the Ferri-Tabs absolutely made some sort of a difference in what the Slime Bag is able to catch.

The negative with the Slime Bag is it kills the around and around motion of my water. So much so that when a leaf or any other debris hits the water it doesn't move and then sinks to the bottom. It renders the skimmer useless. Because of that, I've removed the Slime Bag for today and will out it back on for over night. I'm going to continue that routine until the Slime Bag stops catching stuff, whatever that stuff is.

I'm going to Home Depot later today for something else, and I may get a 1 1/2 inch elbow so that I can turn the Slime Bag 90 degrees to see if that will keep my water going around and around.

In the meantime, of course, today I've begun the process of re-balancing my water.
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,798
Grand Rapids, MI
Hey, great thread -- you're so much better organized with these experiments than I am!

It's been a few weeks now -- how are you doing on the stain front? Did it come back? When you backwashed after the ferritabs, what did the water look like? Have you tested the water for iron and seen any drop?

I've had my heater running all season to keep the pool warn at night and early morning, and I'm feeling ready for some more experimentation because I'm getting low level but accumulating broad stains back in my corners, despite the water-softened fill, the hydrogen peroxide treatment, and the regular diet of jacks :) I'm almost tempted to let te jacks wear down, shock to oxidize the iron and then try a ferritabs filtering session to see what would happen. I'd love to kick the Jack's habit!
 

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