Mustard algae can be one of the most challenging types of algae to eradicate from your swimming pool. Its yellowish-green appearance and resistance to traditional chlorine treatments make it a persistent nuisance for pool owners. However, with the right approach, you can successfully eliminate mustard algae and restore your pool to its sparkling and clear condition. In this article, we will explore the SLAM method and discuss additional techniques such as using a phosphate remover and properly cleaning your filter to tackle the stubborn mustard algae.
Understanding Mustard Algae: Mustard algae (also known as yellow algae) is a resilient form of algae that forms as a slimy layer on pool surfaces, particularly in shaded areas. It can be introduced into the pool through contaminated pool cleaning equipment, rainwater, or even swimsuits. Mustard algae is resistant to normal chlorine levels, making it difficult to eliminate without targeted treatment.
The SLAM Method: The SLAM (Shock, Level, And Maintain) method, popularized by TroubleFreePool.com, is a highly effective approach to eliminate mustard algae. Here's a link to all of the steps in detail. Where many people fail is not adding enough chlorine for long enough to kill the algae and that's what the SLAM method is used for.
What are the SLAM method basics? In short, you first determine what your current "shock level" should be based on your current cyanuric acid reading. This "shock level" is how many parts per million (ppm) of chlorine you will target in order to eliminate the mustard algae. Then you follow these steps:
a. Shock the Pool: Raise the chlorine level to your current "shock level" using a suitable pool chlorine product. I recommend liquid chlorine also known as sodium hypochlorite. This high dosage helps break down the algae and destroy its protective layers.
b. Maintain "Shock Level": Regularly test and maintain the chlorine level at or above the target level during the SLAM process. This sustained high level ensures continuous algae eradication. You want to maintain "shock levels" for at least 24 hours.
c. Brushing and Filtration: Thoroughly brush the pool walls, steps, and other affected areas to dislodge the algae and expose it to the chlorine. Run the pool filter continuously during this process to remove the dead algae from the water.
e. Ongoing Monitoring: Test the water frequently and maintain appropriate chlorine levels until the pool is clear of algae. This process may take several days or longer, depending on the severity of the infestation.
Using Phosphate Removers: In addition to shocking your pool, you can add a phosphate remover to aid in killing the mustard algae and keep it from returning. Phosphates act as a nutrient source for algae growth, including mustard algae. Using a phosphate remover, such as PR-10,000 made by Orenda Technologies, can help reduce the phosphate levels in your pool, making it less conducive to algae growth. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for dosage and application. The last step is crucial - Clean the filter!
Cleaning the Filter: When using a phosphate remover, it's crucial to clean your pool filter about a week after adding the product. Phosphate removers tend to collect phosphates inside the filter, and cleaning it helps remove these trapped phosphates. Neglecting this step can hamper the effectiveness of the phosphate remover and prolong the algae removal process. If you are dealing with mustard algae, I would recommend cleaning the filter before treating the pool and again about 5-7 days later. Fortunately, using the Cyclone Filter Cleaner makes this step a breeze!
Successfully combating mustard algae requires a combination of targeted treatments and diligent pool maintenance. The SLAM method, along with the use of a phosphate remover and regular filter cleaning, can help you eradicate mustard algae from your swimming pool effectively. By following these steps and investing in quality pool maintenance tools such as the Cyclone Filter Cleaner, you'll be well on your way to enjoying a sparkling and algae-free pool.
Remember to conduct proper research, follow manufacturer instructions, and consult with pool professionals if needed to ensure the best results in removing mustard algae from your specific pool. Happy swimming!