Mustard Algae

pmsmith2032

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2011
163
Northern Illinois
For the past two summers I've had terrible mustard algae problems that I'm hoping to prevent this coming year. I know I need to be more diligent about shocking once it does happen but I'm hoping to not get to that point. What should I be doing to prevent it? I do have a TFT test kit that I use and I am using bleach. Can the algae live over the winter?
 

BoDarville

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 5, 2012
3,844
DFW, Texas
The best way to prevent mustard algae, or any kind of algae for that matter, is to maintain the proper amount of chlorine (FC) in your pool according to the stabilizer (CYA) level. This chart (http://www.troublefreepool.com/content/128-chlorine-cya-chart-slam-shock) will tell you how much chlorine you need to maintain according to the pool's CYA. Since I found TFP almost 3 years ago, I have not shocked (SLAMed) my pool since.

Algae can live in cooler water although the colder temperatures slow down its metabolic activity. If there is algae in the water, the absence of visible symptoms may lead one to assume that there is none. However, the colder water will often not kill it. Once the water in an inadequately chlorinated pool warms up, you will wake up to an algae bloom virtually overnight. It's like putting meat in the freezer...it slows down microbial activity to a "suspended animation" state but it does not kill the bacteria. However if you take that meat out of the freezer and leave it on the counter for several days, it will still spoil.
 

pmsmith2032

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2011
163
Northern Illinois
I've been following the charts in pool school since we got the pool (three years ago). The first summer we absolutely no problems but the past summers have not been so good. Maybe I'm not being as diligent as I should be about adding chlorine? Our pool is frozen right now (we've had a record winter here in Chicago)...can the mustard algae survive even in these extreme conditions? What should I do when I open it (do I need to clean all toys, equipment etc with bleach)?
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
Are you sure it is mustard algae? Can you describe it, like where does it grow?

When you open, just follow the SLAM process and put all the toys in the pool water while doing so .
 

pmsmith2032

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2011
163
Northern Illinois
Well, the entire pool would turn cloudy and then turn greenish brown (almost like rust0. If I didn't catch it right away it would almost be like a brownish dust settled on our ladder and the bottom (didn't really grow on the sides). I would shock and the process would reverse....from greenish brown to cloudy to clear. Then it would be okay for a week or two and start over again. I added DE to the sand filter and it would help clean up the cloudiness faster.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
Well, when you get thawed out up there, post up a full set of test results and lets see where you are at.

With a proper SLAM process and the proper FC maintenance, you should not be seeing what you are seeing.

Please add your pool details to your signature and location to your profile as described HERE as it will help us help you.
 

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jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
"Chlorinator" usually seems to refer to the trichlor puck feeders ... and I do not recommend those for continuous use due to the acidity and CYA build-up.

If you are talking about a liquid chlorine feeder (Liquidator or peristaltic pump), I have no experience, or a SWG, I think they certainly add convenience and the ability to be away from the pool for vacations.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
I think your pool might be on the upper end of size where the Liquidator can work. If you need too much bleach each day with a larger pool, you may be having to fill it more often than you would like.

If you want to get more visibility, I would suggest starting a new thread asking about the Liquidator in the title ... or search the forum for the many threads discussing it.
 

pmsmith2032

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2011
163
Northern Illinois
We just opened the pool Friday and filled enough to get the filter running today. The water is clear except for the junk that dumped into it from the pool cover. The readings are as follows:

FC: 1
CC: 0
TA: 120
CH: 0
pH: 7.2
CYA: 20

I also plan on adding borax this year. Thanks in advance for the help!
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,920
SW PA
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Bring your FC up and add a little more CYA to get to 30 by using pool Math and see how things play out. I'd also suggest a good brushing of the walls and floor at least weekly as maintenance. :goodjob:
 
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