Started A Green Pool Covered In Algae...HELP!!

by Jessica

Two weeks ago I started with a pool that was green and covered in algae. Pool size is 33 x 22 x 4 ish above ground. 14 gallons of shock, 2 buckets of calcium, hours of brushing, scooping out algae, vacuuming on waste then filter, adding acid, and a half a bottle of clarifier later.

I still have a cloudy pool with a slimy bottom.
I was acting under the advisement of the local pool store experts. My question....Is there hope of getting a clear pool anytime soon? I am sick over the whole thing. I have spent way more than what was first implied by the local pool pros. I know I look like a naive idiot at this point.

Thanks for the question Jessica

You're not a naive idiot, it's just important in who you listen to. You'll now get real advice from someone who has cleared up hundreds of green pools, installed dozens of filtration systems, and has vacuumed for literally thousands of hours.

Here are a couple of posts from other visitors who I helped:

Water Therapy (PT)..Odd Stench On My Hands..

How Do I Fix Low Skimmer Suction?

First, I'd like to get your chemical readings:

Chlorine, pH, Alkalinity, Hardness, CYA(stabilizer), Sand or DE filter

I'd also like to know exactly how much calcium you put in. "2 buckets" doesn't really help. Also the acid and clarifier. I think you tried to upload a picture. It didn't come through, but I'd like to see it. I think your pool holds about 22,000 gallons. It's good that you're shocking the pool, but it's also important in the kind of chlorine that you use.

You're probably using an unstabilized form of liquid chlorine. You put it in and within a couple of hours it's gone. Scoop as much debris out as possible. The chlorine will go to anything in the pool so you want as much chlorine to go to the algae as possible.

You need to shock with Dichlor. This is a stabilized chlorine and will increase your CYA. Dichlor to raise your CYA to between 30 - 50ppm, then use regular liquid chlorine to keep the chlorine level up. Be careful in using Dichlor as the CYA can get out of hand quickly. Only use it to shock and bring the CYA up, NOT as maintenance. For every 10ppm of chlorine added with Dichlor, you'll raise the CYA 9ppm.

You need to shock to bring the chlorine level up to around 12 - 15ppm. Most anything over 10ppm will kill the algae, but always go a little higher. Do your shock in the evening then retest the chlorine in the morning, then make another adjustment. Keep filtering and back washing because all the dead algae will be going directly into the filter.

You'll need to manually dose your pool each day with liquid chlorine to keep the level up over 10ppm because the chlorine will consume the algae which will cause the chlorine level to quickly go down. Very important to keep the level up as this process is taking place. And keep brushing and brushing to loosen any algae that is clinging to the walls or floor.

Basically what you're doing is frying the algae with chlorine. You have to do this to kill it.
When the algae starts to die the pool will turn a cloudy white. This is normal. Keep filtering and back washing. You're going to use up alot of water because of the constant back washing so keep an eye on the water level. 1/3 - 1/2 up from the bottom of the skimmer.

You can actually clear up a pool with items you can find at a local grocery store. Go to this post and read up on that:

Do You Really Need All These Chemicals For A Pool Or Are They Just Trying To Get Your Money?

Lay off the clarifier. It won't help and you don't want anything else but chlorine in the pool at this time. You'll also know you're on the right track when you lose only 1 - 2ppm chlorine between the evening shock and the retest in the morning. Once the pool has turned white and the algae is dead, retest all the chemicals and make the right adjustments for them.

Here are those links:

Swimming Pool pH Levels

Pool pH

Pool Alkalinity

Total Alkalinity

Calcium Hardness

For chlorine and CYA maintenance, you'll want to use Trichlor tabs.

Chlorine Tablets

Pool Chlorine Tablets

For every 10ppm of chlorine added with Trichlor, you'll increase the CYA by 6ppm. The chlorine pages above have the charts you need for a good shock. The rule of thumb is 3.25 qts. (liquid) per 10,000 gallons of water to bring the chlorine level up 10ppm.

For a 25,000 gallon pool you'd use 4 gallons to shock and 6.75 lbs. of Dichlor. And get a good pool water test kit. The best is a Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006.

Pool Water Testing

Water Testing Kit

There is hope for your pool. I've cleared up some of the nastiest, most gut wrenching, disgusting pools in the entire history of forever. I been in backyards that I've actually had to tip-toe through in order to get to the pool.

When I get to the pool I had to scoop out picnic tables, chairs, sofas, washers and dryers, refrigerators and freezers, all kinds of dead animals, and much more. Some backyards were a maze of mountains of trash, car parts, dog poop, dead animals, etc... And I still cleared up the pool.

If you have any additional questions or would like to comment on your post, you can find it at the bottom of the Pool Start Up page and the Q&A page in the "Start Up/Opening A Pool" category:

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

Hope this helps and let me know how it turns out for you.


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Pool Green Algee

by Mike
(San Antonio, Texas)

I live in south Texas and have been having lots of rain. My problem is green algee. I have shocked it with 2 cases of liquid shock last week and 3 cases this week and its still green but not a dark green like it was. My question is do I add more shock? My chlorine when testing is RED.

Thanks for the question Mike

There's probably a reason why the FC isn't holding better. First, I'd like to have your complete chemical readings, the actual numbers:

Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper) and names of any algaecides you may have used along with clarifiers, phosphate removers, and/or flocs. It makes troubleshooting much easier and the process of clearing up your pool will go much faster. Green water is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. I also need the kind of filter you have and if it's working properly. If it's not working it must be fixed in order to clear up the pool.

You can get this done at your local pool store. Without these numbers I'm just guessing at what the problem is. Get back to me with the chemical numbers and I'm sure I can help.

If you feel your situation is more complex than this, I do phone consultations. It makes things go much faster and many people have found it extremely beneficial, saving them time and money in the long run. All your questions will be answered. I have nothing to sell you so you know I'm not bias.

Pool Consultation

Swimming Pool Care eBook

How To Clear Up A Green Pool eBook

Swimming Pool Resources


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