(that is, to prevent algae growth). Chitin
has the ability to coagulate and remove a
wide variety of suspended materials and impurities
from the water. This allows the sanitizer
to more effectively kill contaminants unobstructed.
It also improves the effectiveness of the
filtration equipment. Sold under the trade
chitin can be a valuable weapon in your algae
low grade type of algaecide, Quats, as
they are called, will usually have "10" somewhere
on the bottle, representing 10% active
ingredient. Although available at a lower
cost, quats tend to produce a small amount
of surface foaming. They are most effective
as an algaestat, that is, as a prevention,
not a cure.
are long, complicated chemical chains
that behave in water both as an algaestat
and an algaecide. They are available
in percentage strength of 30 - 60%, are
non foaming, and work well as general,
all around algae treatments. Poly-Quats
are a blended compound of polymer and
is a proven algaecide and algaestat.
Available in varying non foaming strength
of 3 - 10%. It works very well on all
types of algae, but it has the drawback
of staining white plaster surfaces a
light blue/green color if it precipitates
out of solution. Most copper based algaecides
are chelated, which means that agents
have been added to prevent this, such
as Lo-Chlor Algaecide.
has been shown to be an effective bacteriostat,
which means that it works to prevent
bacteria from reproducing. Non foaming
and effective with pink algae. In high
doses, reactions with sunlight can cause
colloidal silver to deposit as black
stains on white plaster. When using copper
or silver algaecides, the use of a sequestering
agent is recommended.
are not algaecides, but work to provide a
synergistic boost to hypochlorites when added
separately, but at the same time. Sold under
trade names like Mustard Buster, Yellow-Out
or Yellow Treat, it is most effective on,
you guessed it, yellow algae. Since it is
not an algaecide, the makers are not required
to tell what it is made of, but we do know
that it works quite well, in conjunction
with a little brushing and vacuuming on your
late to prevent it...How do I
off, balance your
water, paying particular attention to pH. Secondly,
check your filter system and clean if necessary.
Adjust valving for optimum circulation and allow
it to run 24 hours a day until the pool clears.
Turn on automatic cleaners to help stir things
up. Backwash as necessary.
suspended green algae, shock the
pool...hard. Put in as much hypochlorite as it
takes to turn the pool a cloudy, bluish/gray
color. Brush the walls and floors towards the
main drain. Backwash the filter when the pressure
gauge indicates the need (8 - 10 lbs. above clean
reading, after backwashing.) Using a flocculent
may be a good choice if the pool is extremely
"swampy". If you cannot see the bottom
of the pool, and it is filled with leaves and debris,
it may be wise to drain the pool, acid
wash and refill it.
the chlorine level has come down below 5 ppm,
add an algaecide and brush the
pool again. When it all settles, vacuum the
pool (to waste, if possible). Check and re-balance the
pool water if necessary.
algae which is not suspended, but only clinging
to the walls, follow the same advice above, first
shock with brushing, then add an algaecide, brush
again, vacuum to waste (preferred) or vacuum
and then backwash the filter. Use of a steel
bristled brush is recommended for algae on
plaster pools (use nylon
brush on vinyl). Filter, Filter, Filter!
black algae, the brushing part is very important.
You must tear through the protective layers so
the chemicals can destroy the plant from the
inside out. Pumice
stones work well to knock off the heads of
black algae. (Don't forget to vacuum them up
later, and backwash them out of the filter ASAP).
Also effective on the black algae nodules is
sprinkling granular trichlor over the spots (of
course if they're on the wall this is next to
impossible). Rubbing the spots on the walls with
tablet or stick can also be effective to
knock off the heads and get trichlor directly
to the roots. Follow up with a dose of copper
algaecide, or high strength polymers.
Simazine, an herbicide, was a very effective
black algae treatment, but is no longer available
algae has been an ongoing problem in your pool
for several years, you may do well to drain the
pool. Many years of algae builds up dead
algae cells and lots of other solids in the water
that contribute to its rejuvenation. Acid
washing and/or pressure washing is preferable
once drained, to kill the roots of the algae
embedded in the plaster. NEXT: Change the
sand if you have a sand filter or change the
cartridge if it is a cartridge type. Sand should
be changed every 5 - 7 yrs (or every 2 if you
use Baquacil), and cartridge filters should have
new elements every 1 - 2 years. If you have a
D.E. filter (good for you!), you should remove
the elements, spray clean, soak in a 10 : 1 water/
bleach solution, rinse and replace. A well functioning
filter will prevent algae.
item to look at is the method of sanitation and
the type of filtering you have. Far too many
pools out there were sold with marginal filter
systems, meant to run 24 hrs per day. Well, these
systems get old and tired, or the new owners
only run it 12 hrs per day (or less). For good
algae prevention, we need a combination of good
filtration, sanitation and circulation. It may
be time to consider changing the old pump and filter.
It's cheaper and easier to pay a little up front
for more chemicals, electricity or better equipment
than all the money and aggravation spent on fighting
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