The dreaded pink algae?

mickey4paws

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Chlorine levels throughout the summer have mostly been at 4 to 5 FC with 0 CC. So this morning I put the pool cleaner in and when it was done & I was cleaning out the bag, I noticed the bag had a pinkish tinge to it. I haven't noticed any pink algae in the pool though. One thing of note is we've had the solar cover on a lot. It's been very sunny and hot here the past week, and today these are my numbers:

FC - 2.5
CC - 0
PH - 7.5
TA - 90
CYA - 55
Salt - 3200

So, my question is should I just increase the chlorine to 6 by adding liquid chlorine? Or, should I shock it? For shock, it says I'd need to go to 17 (the last time we shocked our pool (at opening) it took 2 weeks to come down to 5. Thanks!
 

mickey4paws

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Thanks so much for the reply, FPM :) I really appreciate it. So would you say bumping up to 6 sounds good?
 

mickey4paws

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One last question, is it necessary to run the filter all night to do the overnight loss test? I was thinking to shut it down around midnight and then turn it back on early morning.
 

duraleigh

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As long as you have the water circulating about an hour prior to your tests (both morning and night), it doesn't make any difference.
 

mickey4paws

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Thanks, Dave, I appreciate it. Just tested and it's only at 4 (we were shooting for 6 FC), but it's only been 2 hours since we put in the liquid chlorine. I wonder if chlorine gets weaker as it ages. I bought a case of it last summer and I've been storing it down the basement. Or, maybe it just hasn't had a chance to circulate enough? I think I'll just wait till morning and see where it's at.
 

duraleigh

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I wonder if chlorine gets weaker as it ages.
Yes, it does. If by last summer, you mean a year ago, that is certain to have degraded.

I personally would never rely on 6% chlorine much more than 60 days. 30 days for 12%
 

mickey4paws

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The chlorine is 9.5% and I bought it at the end of last summer. I tested again later last night and it was still at 4 (should have been 6 according to pool calculator), but the good news is that this morning it was still at 4, so I guess I don't need to shock it. I'm going to add more to bring it up to 6, just wondering if I should keep the salt water chlorine generator running too?
 

chessie6

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May 21, 2010
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East Hartford, Connecticut
If you have a ladder in your pool like mine, pink algae is sure to start appearing there, both on top of the step and underneath. This picture shows the beginning of a re-bloom that we had this summer:

The original bloom appeared after we had the solar cover on for a couple days, and the steps were covered with the slime. I have to make sure now that we remove the solar cover every day whether we swim or not.

Good luck to you,
Jan
 

mickey4paws

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Thanks, Jan! Looks like you really got it on that ladder. Our ladder is stainless steel. However, I noticed that the string of the thermometer which is tied to our ladder is starting to get pink. We have a huge maple tree next to our pool, so we were keeping it covered with the solar cover a lot to keep leaves and debris out of the pool. I guess we kept it covered too much though :( When you remove your solar cover, do you keep it off all day, or just for a few hours?
 

mickey4paws

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frustratedpoolmom said:
Yes, I would. :) good news for you!
Thanks, FPM! I was really happy to find that out this morning. I did add more chlorine and left the salt water chlorine generator on. Dave, you were right, our chlorine from last year must be really weak. When I opened the bottle, I took a sniff, and it didn't have any odor at all. It will be interesting to test my FC when I get home from work whether the additional chlorine brought it up any.
 

chessie6

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May 21, 2010
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East Hartford, Connecticut
mickey4paws, I take off the solar cover around 10 a.m. which is when the sun peeks around the maple tree we also have near our pool, then put it back on around 6 to 8 p.m. The sun is off the pool around 7 p.m.

Our solar cover is clear and was wondering if you have the same or not?
 

mickey4paws

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We have a blue solar cover. We were leaving it on most of the day and just taking it off to swim, which now I know is not a good idea. Last night I got my chlorine level up to 6, and this morning it was still at 6, so hopefully this pink stuff will go away. We have a big maple tree too and that's why we were keeping it covered so much.
 

mickey4paws

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We've been keeping the solar cover off all day long now. I did see a small patch of pink on the lower wall and floor next to the ladder, so I brushed it. That was the day before yesterday and I don't see it there anymore. However, in the deep end, I noticed something on the floor of the pool near the drain. So I brushed that and as I was brushing it, I could see it was a powdery type substance, and I only noticed the pinkish tinge on a small spot by the drain. So do you guys think this is dead algae I was brushing? FC is staying at 6, with CC anywhere from 0 to .5. Thanks!
 

chessie6

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May 21, 2010
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East Hartford, Connecticut
Yes, it sounds like you could be brushing dead algae, but I'm most concerned about the pinkish tinge you saw near the drain. Once you see pink algae in your pool, it has a way of lurking (makes you think it's gone) and then shows itself when you aren't expecting it. I can tell when it's charging up for another assault, because the floor and steps get slippery.

I've been battling it for most of the summer and am currently keeping my chlorine at least at 12 ppm (with cya of 50) every day, and have *finally* seen a decline in the slipperiness. I'm going to continue this way for at least another week before I let the chlorine level drop - I've learned not to rush this process.

Keep us posted on how your pool is doing,
Jan
 

mickey4paws

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Thanks, Jan! Well so far it looks okay, but when I go swimming today, I'm going to put on my mask & snorkle and bring my spear (pole with one of those corner brushes on the end) and brush around the drain & see if there's anything there. I'm also going to check for any slipperyness. What a drag you've had to battle this all summer. We're only keeping the pool open for another 3 weeks, so hopefully we can keep this under control. Last year when we closed, we did add Algaecide 60 and wondering if we should do it again this year. Although you would think once the temps drop, it would kill any lurking algae.
 

chessie6

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May 21, 2010
187
East Hartford, Connecticut
From what I've read, algae isn't killed by the dropping temps - it lurks through the winter and will reactivate when the temps increase again. This forum supports the use of Polyquat 60, so I would definitely go with it - I myself will put some in when we close this year.

We are having another spell of warm weather right now and I went swimming yesterday to discover that my efforts are paying off: the pool floor is increasingly getting squeaky clean- yay! I can still feel spots that have the tiniest bit of "film" on them, so I know my battle isn't finished yet. But, I had left the solar cover on until around 2:30ish pm with no adverse effects.

I hope you didn't find anything near your drain.
 
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