Need some input on my green monster..........

catdrugn

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2008
19
I stumbled across TFP while researching solutions for my algae problems. The amount of information here is astounding! I'm battling the same thing I had to last year - a huge algae outbreak. Last year I followed the pool store advice and it cost close to 600.00 and weeks of my time. This round I'm wanting to learn all I can from this site and attempt TFP stategies.

I've read the stickies and most of the posts in the algae forum but I'm still a bit lost. Maybe I tried to take in too much info too soon......but here's what I've gathered so far:

1. I've created my algae problem to some degree by continuing to use the stabilized pucks. The result is not enough FC and too much stabilizer (CYA). This would explain why adding more pucks has had no effect (except to raise my CYA)

2. I need to drastically raise my FC and maintain the level to kill the algae. How far I need to raise FC depends on my CYA

If my thoughts above are correct, here's some more info: my CYA appears high. Way high. like around 200 high. I think but am not sure that the high CYA means I'll need a lot of FC and my estimate is 120 ppm based on my CYA. But that seems like A LOT.............am I on the right track?

I began the bleach therapy yesterday but don't think I hit it hard enough out of the gate. My pool is about 20,000 gallons. I added 7 bottles (96oz) of 6% to begin, then added another bottle every half hour for a total of 14 bottles. My filer runs 24/7.

This morning, little change. Things still green, not gray/blue. This morning I got more aggressive adding 32 bottles of 6% and adding another 2 bottles every hour. I do not have an accurate test kit yet so am judging things by looking at the color. I also tried mixing one part of pool water with four parts of distilled water, adding 5 drops of OTO and multiplying results by 5. Not sure if I did that right though, results were ambiguious.

Any advice or input from the helpful experts?
 

duraleigh

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Hey, Cat, (nice username :lol: )

Your thoughts are all correct. However, if your CYA is that high, you're fighting a tremendous, almost impossible struggle unless you get your CYA down below 80 or so.

Of course, that means you'll have to drain about 1/2 of your water, test, and perhaps drain some more.

You've got a good grip on the principles involved but it's gonna be almost impossible for long-term success with your CYA level that high.

Your results from the dilution method are like mine.....anything over 2:1, while it might sound good in theory, really is pretty worthless and I think we should stop recommending it (unless someone can compare it with FAS/DPD and find it to be within 30%....which I could not do)
 

The Mermaid Queen

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Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
ok, you are on the right track. (and you have come to the right place!!)

you need a much more accurate measurement of your CYA. Most tests only go up to 100.

Trying to dilute an OTO test reading is not the best way to go. It will work in a pinch, but not at a 4:1 dilution. Best is 2:1 or max 3:1.

After you added the bleach (way too much) this morning, your FC was around 75 :shock: You need to let this go down some, and get a better test kit.

See my signature for some very helpful links, and Welcome to TFP!

ETA I see Dave and I have replied at the same time!
 

tagprod

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 3, 2007
489
Tomball, Texas
I'm sure some more knowledgeable folks will chime in, but if your CYA is at 200 - I'd do a partial drain and refill to get it at least down to 100. If you don't have a SWG it needs to be between 30-50. I think you'd use some ungodly amount of chlorine to shock at that level. Can you take some water to the pool store to have it tested while you wait on the test kit? post the results and also list all the particulars of your pool in your sig. Good luck - we'll be here to help.


X2 - dave is quick on the draw!
 

catdrugn

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2008
19
Thanks for the reply tagprod. I'm not sure what a SWG is so I'm betting I don't have one.

I took a sample to the pool store and here are the numbers:

CYA - 151
TC - 10 (his test doesn't measure any higher)
FC - 10 (again, test doesn't measure higher)
Tot Alkal - 187
Tot Hardness - 453

So my estimate of 200 for CYA was a little high. With a CYA of 151 I likely need FC to be in the 90 ppm range (if I'm correct in thinking that FC should be roughly 60% of CYA......?) Perhaps I should add some fresh water to bring CYA down.....?
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
You need to get your CYA down below 100! Get a good test kit, replace at least 50% of your water and then start working on the algae.

Assuming CYA really is 200 you would need to add 13 gallons of 6% just to get started killing algae and more rapidly after that depending on the FC level, which you will not be able to measure accurately enough with the test kit you have. With CYA that high and without a good test kit it is nearly impossible to kill the algae.
 

catdrugn

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2008
19
Sounds like I need to get a an accurate chlorine test kit that will read the high numbers before I proceed further..............without it, it sounds like I only have answers to part of the puzzle.....
 

tagprod

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Jul 3, 2007
489
Tomball, Texas
catdrugn said:
Sounds like I need to get a an accurate chlorine test kit that will read the high numbers before I proceed further..............without it, it sounds like I only have answers to part of the puzzle.....
You can work on the CYA per Jason's post without the good test kit. Go get a wal mart cheapie that will measure CYA. I would do that first before doing anything else anyway.
 

catdrugn

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2008
19
Ok, get my CYA lowered before anything else. I've got no way to drain (filter doesn't backwash) but I do have a bit of room to fill with fresh water - provided I can put enough "new" water in it, I should get the same effect, correct?
 

sammm

LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2007
257
North Richland Hills, TX
catdrugn said:
Ok, get my CYA lowered before anything else. I've got no way to drain (filter doesn't backwash) but I do have a bit of room to fill with fresh water - provided I can put enough "new" water in it, I should get the same effect, correct?
If you want to cut your CYA in half, you'll have to drain and replace half of your water. Just adding fresh water will not help. I bought a sump-pump at my local home improvement store for draining. (I had the same issue last year that you are having this year).
 

austinnichols101

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 9, 2008
38
Miami, FL
catdrugn said:
Ok, get my CYA lowered before anything else. I've got no way to drain (filter doesn't backwash) but I do have a bit of room to fill with fresh water - provided I can put enough "new" water in it, I should get the same effect, correct?
Not quite. If your pool had 20,000 gallons of water in it with a CYA of 200 then you could get the CYA down to 100 but you would have to add an ADDITIONAL 20,000 gallons of water (basically dilute the CYA in half). Probably you don't have that much fill room so draining is the next best option. By draining half the water you're removing half the CYA and then the refill is using fresh water that presumably doesn't have any CYA.
 

duraleigh

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Cat,

At the risk of having an agenda, I'm gonna' encourage you to not waste your money on a cheapie test kit. You have a problem pool that will be very difficult to fix without having an FAS/DPD chlorine test (so you can test higher than 5ppm) and a kit with plenty of CYA reagent so you can test pretty frequently 'til you get it right.

The two kits that really fit that description are the TF-100 (mine) and the Taylor K-2006. They both have the tests mentioned above and, without them, you will struggle getting your problems fixed quickly and economically.
 

catdrugn

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2008
19
Thanks for the input Dave, I think your advice is spot on. Trouble is, I'm one of those older folks on a fixed income and am not in a position to splurge on that fancy kit. Unfortunately I'll have to rely on the kit I have and the pool store (ugh.....) for my testing.

I've got the pool draining right now, my plan is to go down about 50% and refill , then check my CYA. Once under 100 I'm guessing I can attack with bleach again...........

Thanks everyone for the help, y'all do an old man good :)

I'll try to attach a pic of the pool, then maybe one day attach a pic that is blue!
 

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duraleigh

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No Problemo! I would encourage you to get in the 60-70 range for your CYA. 100 will still give you some real problems but 70 or below is pretty manageable.

Words of encouragement.......There's been much more ominous pool water posted on here. That bright emerald green suggests you'll be able to get it blue pretty quickly once your CYA is manageable.

Keep us updated with pics and progress reports! :lol:
 

Butterfly

TFP Expert
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May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
Hi Cat and welcome to TFP :)

Your pool looks really nice...... except for the water color :wink: That will be cleared before long and won't cost $600 :shock: .

When you get time, it would help the experts give more accurate and faster answers if you put all your pool info in your signature.

Waiting on that pic with the b l u e water! 8)
 

catdrugn

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2008
19
I really appreciate the encouragement, and I'll get my sig line updated with my pool info soon.

I'm well into my partial draining and tomorrow sometime I should be done with the refill and ready for a new CYA check.

I've learned more from this site in the last day than I've ever learned about pool chemistry. For instance, when my pool first started turning green I did the worst thing possible - dumped in a bunch of shock - diclor - which appears to have a bunch of CYA in it. So much for the pool store advice.

Thanks again for everone's help. I'll post an update soon.
 

dpool

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2007
101
Cat,

I am no expert here but this I know is TRUE: LISTEN TO THESE PEOPLE!

I went from a casual BBB to a BELIEVER.

I have an above ground pool that was a lovely FLORESENT GREEN that I could only see about 4 inches down to a PRISTINE CLEAN and CLEAR pool that I can read 'which side is up on a dime' in 3.5 ft of water ... in about 5 days."

Now, it was a rough 5 days in that I even backslid and visited the pool store at one point thinking 'maybe there is a magic pill for the pool" but walked out without spending that dime and reinforced my POP to 100! The only thing I did buy a few days earlier before this process was a new filter but that was because my old one had to be retired for safety reasons and I got a better deal for me than online.

I think things will look darker before the dawn and it may SEEM that all is lost. I didn't have the cya problem you do but close and yes it was because of my dependency on PUCKS (alone). I managed to clear my pool but I will be draining off some water to get my cya levels down.

I, too, need to wait to purchase my TF100 to get better readings. However, since it costs about the same as a tank of gas I'm saving my money by NOT purchasing any "moka choka lottas" this month. Sad to say over a months time, those end up costing MORE than a tank of gas. HA!

I can only say - if you listen to these people and don't be tempted to listen to the pool store people, your pool will get there because IT IS POSSIBLE. There are LOTS of testimonials here - they are encouraging to read while you wait and in between scrubbing sessions.

dp

I BELEIVE!
 

catdrugn

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2008
19
I appreciate the encouragement dpool, and right about now I need all the POP I can muster. I emptied the pool about half way through yesterday and this morning. It just finished filling with "fresh". I checked CYA with my kit test (black dot tube) and I STILL get a reading of well over 100. The water is less green though......

To get an accurate CYA I'll take a sample to the pool store in the morning. But........is it ok to leave the pool over night without adding any bleach? I'm paranoid that the algae will gain strength overnight....?

My FC test shows that I'm well over 10 but don't know how well since the kit doesn't go that high. Any tips 'till I can get to the pool place for a cya test?