Good news...I think

cjs

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 13, 2014
32
Cypress, TX
I learned about and started using BBB early summer 2009 when my CYA was high and I started to get a little algae here and there. It wasn't much, and very managable, so I never really took care of it. Now I'm in the middle of the shock-and-brush routine to get rid of it.

The good news, I think, is that I thought it was mustard algae, but now I'm not so sure.

I have small patches in various places, and probably the worst spots are actually on the grout and tiles in the skimmer entries. It is a yellowish-green color (no brown to it at all, more bright yellow). Nothing is settled to the bottom that looks like dirt. It removes easily with a brush or by hand, and it has a bit of a slippery feel to it. Lastly, it always reappears in the same place over the course of 5-7 days if I don't brush.

Any help or thoughts on whether this is mustard algae or just green algae. And, if it is green...that is much better than mustard algae, right!!!
 

Darkside of the Pool

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 20, 2010
106
What are your numbers?
(pH, FC, CC, TA, CH, CYA...)

Although it seems it was kept in check, slippery and bright yellow and doesn't appear in the areas where light shines the brightests (as your wall/skimmer doesn't receive as much light as the bottom of the pool, for exemple.) I am lead to think they ARE mustard algaes.
Green algaes (at least around here) tend to form on all the bottom of the pool and absorb as much light as it/they can. It looks like some form of green dust. Brown algae tend to form in a way it'll look like dirt. It is somewhat hardier than green algaes and to peoples new at pool-owning, its delusive appearance can be confusing.

The thing is: BBB is far more than Bleach, Bicarbonates and Borax. It is understanding what happens in your pool when you add a product (or don't), what differences there are (if any) between that costly product in your local pool store and that found at the groceries and avoiding being pool stored. This mean it IS important that you, and we, know your parameters, like your actual CYA level. We can't help you without them.

Note: The Pool School have a nice Chlorine/CYA chart, which tell you what should be your target Free Chlorine level with your CYA amount when battling Mustard Algaes. Some of us (like me) will gladly take you through step by step however.
 

cjs

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 13, 2014
32
Cypress, TX
I started the Mustard Algae shock process on Sunday morning.

It's now 8:30 PM Monday Night, here are my readings:
FC = 28
CC = 0
TC = 28
CYA = 50-55
CH = 260 (last time I checked)

I don't think the following are accurate since I am testing with high FC levels, but since you asked:
TA Would not test correctly at all, but it was 80 on Sunday
pH 7.6 now...think I read this tests high if high FC?

I know the FC=28 is a little lower than the suggested FC Shock for MA (haven't added bleach since noon today). But I'm going to leave it alone and do the over night chlorine test and hope for roughly 28 in the morning. Throughout this shock process, the pool has looked perfect. I had what I would call a very minor algae problem to start with, only a few small spots. The spa is the worst spot (continuous spillover into the pool), but even they was very minor.

Back to my original question...the comments I saw that led me to think it may just be green algae are:
1) If it keeps reappearing in the exact same spots, probably not mustard algae. The algae in pool, when it comes back, is in the exact same places every time; and
2) Lots of comments saying mustard algae is easy to confuse for dirt or pollen on the floor of the pool, and more yellowish brown in color. This looks more like a mix of flourescent green/yellow highlighter colored on the wall in small spots or streaks.

Any one else want to cast a vote for the type of algae?
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
If the same spots that it comes back to are generally in the shade, then I'd vote for yellow/mustard. If the algae is dust-like virtually disappearing when you brush near it, then it's more like yellow/mustard (green algae tends to clump more and it likes sun).
 

cjs

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 13, 2014
32
Cypress, TX
OK...Overnight FC Loss test was successful.

8:30 PM last night:
FC = 28
C=0

6:45 AM today..same results. 0 FC loss overnight. :party:

Now to verify the next steps. I believe for MA, I should now let the FC drift down to the normal shock level, which should be about 22 for me, and then leave it there for a day or 2, correct, with a good brushing each day?

Question 2...on the Chlorine/CYA chart, it has a column for Yellow/Mustard Min. Do I need to use that level moving forward since I once had MA, or is that a number that if I hadn't of taken it up to the high number and (hopefully) gotten rid of this, I would need to maintain that so it doesn't bloom?

Question 3...I had my Polaris cleaner out of the pool throughout this entire process. I've heard stories of high chlorine, especially when shocking, doing a lot of damage to the plastic parts. At the price of Polaris parts, didn't want to risk that. So, if I were to fill up a tub with water/high FC mixture to soak that in, then rinse it off....how long does it need to soak to make sure I cleaned that off sufficiently?

Thanks for your help,
Craig
 

Darkside of the Pool

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 20, 2010
106
Question 1: That would be my suggestion. If there's no FC loss, there's no chlorine getting used up. Thus no organics to battle. Better safe than sorry though.

Question 2: Minimum means you should NEVER go lower than this number while fighting mustard algea. Once it is killed though i do not BELIEVE it to be necessary to keep chlorine that high. Then again, in my case, it is simply a belief. May a Guru correct me if I'm wrong.

Question 3: You mean you want to disinfect your Polaris cleaner in case there would be some algaes in it? I don't know... I'd clean it with bleach directly, but then again I do this with almost anything I want disinfected. To play safe, clean a part of it that is not visible, like the inside, with bleach. If it looks okay, clean the whole machine [Edit] WITH [/End Edit] it. Clean your filter canister with a product designed for that purpose. But then again, if any Guru's listening, I might learn as well from your answers.
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
The minimum column for yellow/mustard algae in the chlorine/CYA chart is to keep it from growing if you never got rid of it completely. You need to shock at the higher yellow/mustard algae shock level (an FC that is around 60% of the CYA level) and get behind light niches and under removable ladders and put in poles and pool toys to make sure you kill it everywhere. That's the best way to handle it. Otherwise, you'd need to maintain the higher minimum chlorine level to keep it in check (or to use supplemental products).
 

cjs

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 13, 2014
32
Cypress, TX
The down side of waiting until October to do this is that the water is too cold for me to get in. So, I can't remove the lights and clean out behind them. What's the chance I've still gotten rid of this?

I'm hanging my hat on the idea that I had a very minimal algae problem to begin with. Algae did not reappear overnight, and it was just a little bit here and there.
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
You can just be an optimist and assume it's gone and see what happens. Worst case is that you can deal with it later. Algae won't grow quickly when the water gets cold, though it can still grow.