Just started SLAM #3 this season...what am I doing wrong?

Jellwood

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2019
119
Riverhead, NY
Hello friends. Need help again. Have learned so much from you all and was feeling pretty proud of taking care of my own pool for the first time this summer. Readying pool this morning for guests and found THIS on bottom of pool, and when I scooped it with the net my heart sank!!! Ugh!!! See photos. Greenish yellowish brownish and slimy. Clearly algae.


Background: Have been battling Iron stains (did the polyfil and MM treatments which work great and still keeping FC in ideal range) , and what I thought was just dust and debris, but after reading several “dust in pool” threads in the wee hours this morning, started to get a bad feeling...

I have already Slammed twice this summer, properly I thought, passing all 3 tests each time. Cleaned ladder and around light. Brushing every day. Dolphin robot vac almost daily. Testing chems every day and keeping FC on the high end for my CYA after my July 4 SLAM episode. FC usually 5 in the morning and I add enough 10% bleach to get to 7. For a while I thought the “dust” was coming from the returns...Nope.

This morning I started SLAM, backwashed and recharged filter, and am hoping to get it right this time. What have I been doing wrong? Thanks again for all your help and support. 🤪
@ 7 am before SLAM:
FC 5
Cc 0
CYA 40
PH 7.4
TA 60
CH 120
 

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cowboycasey

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Jul 3, 2013
4,014
Fletcher, OK
Those are the exact number I use (except CYA) but I am running a SWG.... FC between 5 and 7... are there times when your FC dips down to 1 or 2, like after a group swims? Once you get a tinge of the greenies growing they just keep coming...
 

cowboycasey

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Jul 3, 2013
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Fletcher, OK
somehow someway your FC is dropping and algae is getting a foothold, until you figure out what that is this will keep happening... is there a certain place in your pool with low circulation? Maybe 1 area is dropping down to below 3ppm FC or getting to 0 FC and it starts in that area...
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,281
Pacific NW
You said you brushed. That's good and a very important step some don't care to do. The robot should not be considered enough on its own to substitute any brushing though.

You mentioned cleaning around the light. Might be time to pull it out of the niche and thoroughly clean it. It's been a known source of hiding untreated algae and that might be happening here.

One poster had all kinds of nasty stuff in their light niche.
 

Jellwood

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2019
119
Riverhead, NY
somehow someway your FC is dropping and algae is getting a foothold, until you figure out what that is this will keep happening... is there a certain place in your pool with low circulation? Maybe 1 area is dropping down to below 3ppm FC or getting to 0 FC and it starts in that area...
I’ve been thinking about the circulation issue you mentioned. We have the 2 returns/2 skimmers setup and no main drain. I use my dolphin vac every day which stirs things up and gets sand and debris off the bottom but the algae dust and blobs keep reappearing by the next morning: finer dust looking stuff in the deep end and larger Slimy floating blobs beneath the returns in the shallow end and near the steps (Those are what I scooped up in the net in the pics). Nothing is clinging to walls.

Last summer the pool company vacuumed each week and just left pucks in the chlorinator (which is gone now, removed by the terrible sketchy pool guy I ended up firing) and we never had an issue. I’m trying to figure out how I’m still failing at the TFP method when I’m testing and brushing and balancing and using robot every day 😔.

I went back through my past posts and notice that I’ve had to SLAM about every 3-4 weeks this summer.

With algae it’s always the FC right? So maybe I should take water test samples from a different spot? I’ve always used deep end about a foot from the skimmer.

I’ve also got to get behind that light!
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
Chlorine (and all other things for which we test) is distributed evenly throughout your pool. If it is not, you must not be running the pump. I know you are running the pump so all your chemistry is quite evenly distributed.

Algae appears in a pool where the chlorine is inadequate........period. So, as others have said, somewhere somehow you have allowed your FC to get too low for an extended period and algae gets a foot hold. You know the solution......SLAM the pool.

Post a set of current test results, wait for comments, and then begin your SLAM. Post once daily with new test results and test and add chlorine 2-3 times daily.

We'll help you finish the SLAM and then help you maintain your water but it all begins with current complete test results.
 
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Jellwood

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2019
119
Riverhead, NY
Good morning @cowboycasey and @duraleigh and thank you for responding!!!

Test results this morning:
FC 13 (Added 1 gallon To get to 16 see CYA notes below)
Cc <.5
CYA 30! (Was 40 on Monday. Keeps dropping due to topping off from hose every couple days. Have leak. Will fix this fall during major reno). Added stabilizer to raise to 40 and will retest at lunchtime
Ph not reliable during slam so did not test
TA: 70
CH: 120

When I got outside this morning I saw more of the dark algae blobs collected in shallow end near returns and all around deep end. Lots of dark “dust“ everywhere. This stuff. Won’t. Die. Even though FC levels overnight were high for CYA!!

These small (corn kernel or carpenter ant size) blobs are not clinging to anything. When I scoop them up with net they look like black pepper suspended in green/brown goo sometimes with a little flower “bloom” design to it. The dark dust poofs when I brush. Brushed entire pool and am running robot just to stir things up (it doesn’t seem to grab algae bc I don’t see it in the basket when it’s done)

Pump has been running all night since I started slam yesterday morning and prior to that was running 12 hrs/day but maybe it was too slow a speed.

Thanks for getting me through this.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,281
Pacific NW
Aha! You have to run the pump 24/7 during the slam.
I would think low speed would not be sufficient for good solid circulation during the slam. Perhaps that's why yours is recurring. Do keep an eye on the pressure gauge.
 

Jellwood

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2019
119
Riverhead, NY
Aha! You have to run the pump 24/7 during the slam.
I would think low speed would not be sufficient for good solid circulation during the slam. Perhaps that's why yours is recurring. Do keep an eye on the pressure gauge.
Sorry I meant I have been running 24/7 since I started slam. Before slam it was 12 hrs/day @ 2750. I have kept good eye on pressure gauge. I reset it after I backwashed prior to starting slam and it’s at 12.
 
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Jellwood

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2019
119
Riverhead, NY
How long do you run your pump normally?
12 hrs/day (24 during slam and also my MM treatments). I always kept FC between 5-7 but now I’m remembering that I tried going 24 hours at a much lower speed (trying to find the sweet spot and reading lots of threads about it) and I’m wondering if that’s when it happened. Since then I’ve just barely been keeping the bloom at bay.
 
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Jellwood

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2019
119
Riverhead, NY
12 hrs/day (24 during slam and also my MM treatments). I always kept FC between 5-7 but now I’m remembering that I tried going 24 hours at a much lower speed (trying to find the sweet spot and reading lots of threads about it) and I’m wondering if that’s when it happened. Since then I’ve just barely been keeping the bloom at bay.
I’m wondering if I’ve been keeping the bloom at bay with 2750 @ 12 hrs/day.
 

Jellwood

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2019
119
Riverhead, NY
Afternoon SLAM update:
FC 13 will add gallon to get to 16
CC .5
CYA 40

Found a few more small fresh green blobs in shallow end and scooped them out. Water is blue but slightly cloudy. Will brush again.

This algae is TOUGH!!!
 

duraleigh

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I think you have algae but that's not all you have. The things floating in your pool are not typical of algae and I believe are from a tree perhaps or maybe some kind of floating small plant. Regardless, the treatment is the same. SLAM the pool.

1. SLAM (and everything that entails)
2. Skim out anything floating

I’m wondering if I’ve been keeping the bloom at bay with 2750 @ 12 hrs/day.
That would seem to imply filtration helps get rid of algae. It does NOT. Chlorine gets rid of algae.