They left the algae to me

May 27, 2012
Ok guys you have to excuse my ignorance.

i have very little to go on here as we just bought this house last august and never had a pool in our lives.

Pool guys opened it and closed it. When they closed they put a floating chlorine puck thingy in for the winter.

By end april with the hot weather we have been having here in canada i started to get algae. I called them to open again (trying to learn myself) and they didnt do a complete open. They left the algae to me.

So i filled my chlorinator with pucks and ran it full blast, vacuumed and backwashed. The water is milky and foamy, the algae looks gone but i have faint green stains. my problem i guess is this....i have test strips that tell me my chlorine is 5.4 my ph is 7.8 and there isnt a fc level or cya. i dont have some of my stats but i posted what i know below like you asked.

i cant figure out how much bleach i need and will it clear the stains? do i shock it once a week?

sorry guys but you are looking at a girl who is greener than algae and i need guidance. no one we know has a pool either.

and oh yeah what is the difference between chlorine and bromine?

Dj aka Starskygirl
18k gal, 16x32 IG 3 season indoor, rubber lined, sand filter (sorry thats all i know right now)
May 27, 2012
Thank you. i put 4- 5.89L bottles of Clorox bleach in it today. The free chlorine level sed 10+. it was the highest on the strip it would go. PH 7.8. I turned the pump on 24/7 for the afternoon until tmrw. I see the grey particles you have been talking about. it almost looks like sand on the bottom. Before i added the bleach i backwashed the filter too. im not sure what to do next.


TFP Expert
Sep 21, 2009
Greentown, IN
Order a test kit recommended in pool school and sit back and read through pool school and how to shock as Smykowski recommended.

A good test kit is essential to a healthy pool! Pool school has two they recommend. Test strips are not very accurate and don't give you all of the numbers you need.

Understanding the water balance isn't as hard as you might think once you take a little time to understand how things interact with each other.

Until you know what all of your test results are, including your cya (which is rarely accurate at the pool store), it is difficult to tell you where your chlorine needs to be ... for shocking or swimming purposes.
May 27, 2012
Ive been reading all of this chemistry stuff and i must be stupid because i dont get it. i figured out some of it but not others. is there a pool for dummies book anywhere? my hubby is laid off so a 68 dollar test kit is out for me right now. we are both scratching our heads here.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2010
Twin Cities, MN
This post is long, but really covers what you need to know:

It maybe overwhelming right now, but one you start your own testing, it becomes second nature. It really is quite simple. Testing accurately is very important though and I understand that money is tight, but pool care will get quite expensive quick without proper test results. Getting a test kit in the end will save you money and time. See link in my sig for test kits. I like the TF-100, but the TF-50 is cheaper if you already have a drop based ph test, though it does have less quantities of the reagents..


TFP Expert
Sep 21, 2009
Greentown, IN
No, you're not stupid... Once you've spent a little time testing, it becomes easier to understand how the different tests relate and respond to each other.

Pool water is truly a balance, but easy to get a hold of once you've done it for a short time.

I understand the cost of a test kit is difficult. You might consider ordering the smaller version of the T100 that they offer to get you started, the TF50. It comes with smaller quantities of the tests, and no ph test (the ph test is one that is fine to get at walmart). It would save you a bit of cost to get you started. If you have a big algae bloom though, and may be doing a lot of testing, you might find yourself ordering more testing agents to get you through.

If you rely on the pool store to get you going, I'm sure you'll spend more than what you do on a good test kit just to get things cleared up... then they'll have you coming back in all summer for more.

Just adding chlorine and shock products won't get you the safe, clear pool that you want. Shocking is not a product or something you do every week. Shocking is bringing the chlorine up to a level to kill any algae, bacteria, or organic material in your pool that is causing cloudy water, a CC of over .5, or a loss of FC overnight. It only needs to be done when any of those things exist... not on a scheduled basis. You might have to hold your pool at shock levels for several days to get rid of an algae bloom, etc, by testing and adding chlorine frequently to kill the problem.

There are products labeled shock, and they do increase your chlorine, but just adding a bag or two isn't considered shocking your pool, but I'm sure there are many who have been mislead to believe so.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
starskygirl said:
my hubby is laid off so a 68 dollar test kit is out for me right now. we are both scratching our heads here.
I spent two years in various states of laid off/underemployment, so I understand exactly how you're feeling. However, the investment of $70 now will save you a ton for the rest of the summer. I'll give two scenarios to help flip your perspective.

1. If you hadn't found this site, you'd probably go to the pool store for help. They'd test your water, tell you how it's all out of whack, and tell you need 4 bottles of yellow out, 9 lbs. of pH down, 3 bottles of algaecide, and 25 lbs of shock 'n' swim. Total bill $245.67 cents. You probably would have paid it without batting an eye.

2. By watching for sales and doing the math, I've been able to price liquid chlorine/12.5% and find the best deals I can possibly find. ACE was running a ridiculous sale, so I stocked up. Bottom line, since the beginning of May, I've purchased enough chlorine and acid to get me through sometime in August. Total out of pocket cost for pool chemicals so far? Less than $100. I'm confident that when this swim season is done sometime in September, I will have spent a grand total of less than $150 on pool chemicals, and that will be for the ENTIRE SEASON. This is what the good test kit will do for you.

As for the knowledge and information in pool school, keep at it. I promise it will make sense.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
Starskygirl appears to live in Canada and I cannot ship the TF-100 to Canada. She will also find it VERY pricey to get a K-2006 :oops:
May 22, 2012
Read through a couple of the other algae threads that talk chemistry. I am new, and have not found the funds to buy the high dollar kit yet either. Pool school confused me until I started to see them apply it to problems. That helps in my understanding so far.