INGROUND POOL, we bought a home and does anyone know?
how to go about starting it up…its i believe a 14×16 pool underground and the bottom of the pool (on the shallow end )looks clean from us sweaping it.. put is it easy to start it don’t want to damage the filter i guess it had a special earth in a form of honeycombs(?)
thankyou!!! any help would be greately appreciated
Suggestion by startingathebottom
You have to be very careful with pools as far as the filters and having the right amount of chemicals in there so you don’t become ill.
I wouldn’t take advice from here (maybe just others opinion’s) I would call your nearest pool store and speak to an experienced person. They can tell you everything you need to know to get it running.
I also have an above ground pool and it always turned green or cloudy when I didn’t ask for help… Good luck!
Suggestion by overtaxed
Pool filters, heaters and the associated plumbing vary greatly. Unless you know what you are doing, I wouldn’t attempt to start up the pool without professional help.
I have lived in homes for the last 25 years with pools, and I know that you very well could damage your equipment. You could burn up the motor on either the filter or the heater if not properly primed… etc. You will also need to know how to chemically balance your pool.
If you hire a professional, have him explain, step by step, what he is doing. Explain your ignorance, and desire to learn.
Do not, however, tell him that you want to learn this so you can do it yourself next year. He won’t be so motivated to help if he thinks you might not call him next year.
Equally important is closing the pool properly for the winter. (You don’t want frozen/broken lines.) Hire a professional the 1st time for this as well.
Another good reason for hiring a professional to open the pool is to get a good inspection on the condition of the equipment. It sounds to me like you purchased the house when the pool was not running. I would determine now whether anything is malfunctioning.
Suggestion by Rob_n_Liz
Your pool has a diatomaceous earth filter. This is nothing more than skeletal remains of photo/phyto plankton. It is very efficient in that the gaps it leaves are only microns in size so it can filter out just about anything in the pool (pollen, some bacteria, etc). The only problem with a DE (as they are called) filter is that you need to replace the medium each time you backwash the filter or fill it up as it gets washed away each time you do this.
To start up the DE filter go ahead and start your pump to get water circulating through the filter. Bleed off any air that is trapped inside. Pour the DE powder in through the skimmer and it will settle itself against the filter grid.
As for chemicals you are going to need to get a quality test kit for your pool. I highly suggest the Taylor K-2005 or K-2006 kit as it will give you all the readings you will need for your pool.
You are going to have to maintain levels of alkalinity, pH, calcium hardness, and chlorine for your pool.
Alkalinity can be maintained and increased by adding baking soda. pH can be raised and buffered by adding borax. Calcium hardness can be raised and maintained by adding calcium chloride or calcium hypochlorite (many commercial shock products are this). Chlorine can be maintained by utilizing a chlorine feeder and 3″ stabilized pucks/tablets to maintain the levels and household liquid bleach to shock the pool.
Taking care of a pool is actually quite easy if you start it right and maintain it properly. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. If you get the current water chemistry readings, the gallon size of the pool and capacity size of the DE filter I can put together a personalized maintenance schedule for you.
Give your answer to this question below!
I can’t get my tank to cycle. What am I doing wrong?
My tank has been up for 5 weeks and the ammonia has been around 1 ppm for the whole time. No nitrite or nitrate readings.
I have 3 fish in there.
I have three cobalt cichlids. I do 10-15% water changes when the levels get to high.
The tank is 30 gallons.
I have a Marineland 280 series filter
Would PH fluctuation have anything to do with it?
Suggestion by Tink
How big is your tank? and can you describe the set up?
Sometimes it just takes a while for a cycle to get set up.
If you have a very big water volume, and your fish are relatively small, it may just take a while for your tank to cycle. Also as previously mentioned, if you are constantly changing out your filter media, this will also slow down the cycling process since a lot of the beneficial bacteria colonize in the filter media.
If you are using anything like zeolite, nitrazorb, or any of the water maintenance substrates, it will also prevent your tank from cycling because although it doesn’t remove the ammonia, nitrite and nitrates, it does bind them so that they are not free to be used.
Also as previously mentioned, frequent tank medicating can also prevent a good biological colony from being established.
Cycling a tank with fish is perfectly safe so long as you do it properly. From your question, it seems you are doing things right by taking frequent ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate water tests. If you’ve been following good tank maintenance, not over medicating, etc. then perhaps it will just take a bit of time. I’ve heard of tanks taking up to 3-4 months just to cycle.
If all else fails, you can try something like Seachem Stability to kick start your cycle.
I did not say that during a cycle one need not do water changes. I merely said that if done properly, a fish-in cycle is possible and perfectly safe.
If a fish keeper is responsible and is monitoring the water parameters while cycling, they will be able to make sure that the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels stay low. You are right that it takes lots of effort on the part of the keeper to keep up with water changes. And with most beginner fish keepers, they aren’t willing to keep up with the care and maintenance.
However, if Justin has in fact been constantly testing his tank water during the setup/cycling stage, it seems to me that he is a responsible fish keeper who is willing to ensure the safety of his fish. If he’s already gotten the fish, how would he do a fishless cycle anyway? An option of course would be to return the fish, but most responsible individuals wouldn’t look as their pet goldfish as returnable or replaceable.
I know that if I had already purchased a fish, and then found out that I needed to cycle the tank, I would do everything I could to keep the fish in as healthy a living condition as possible.
If your ::EDIT:: response was due to the fact that I didn’t explain the nitrogen cycle, I guess I assumed that if Justin had been watching the water parameters, he already knew what to expect.
Suggestion by James
have you got a filter capable of biological filtration?? have you been doing regular water changes to bring the ammonia down? have you used anti-biotics in the tank??
Suggestion by Jessica M
Using fish to cycle a tank has been frowned upon by many hobbyists for some time now.
Fishless cycling is easier and more humane so no fish are harmed by high levels of Ammonia and Nitrite, because they will spike during a cycle.
Have you been doing any tank maintenance during these 5 weeks like changing filter pads?
What type of fish are in there and what size is the tank?
If you are using test strips then chuck those in the garbage because they are very inaccurate. Liquid test kits are much better, like the API Master test kit.
EDIT: I sort of regret giving you a thumbs up Tink since you are advocating Fish-in cycling.
If you are going to keep a fish alive during cycling, you absolutely have to do water changes, thus this slows down the cycle because it dilutes the Ammonia and Nitrite. If there were no fish in the tank then you wouldn’t need to do any water changes until the end to get the Nitrates at a suitable level.
Ammonia at any level in a fish tank causes permanent damage to the cells in a fish’s gills. As it eats the gills away, it makes it harder for a fish to respire enough oxygen to it’s body, thus forcing it to it’s last resort of gulping for air at the surface. So, basically the fish is suffocating from Ammonia.
Nitrite works in a different way. It blocks the ability for fish to absorb oxygen from their gills, thus they suffocate in a very different, but disturbing way.
That is why I do not advocate fish-in cycling. There is no “safe fish-in cycle” and you can only just make it a little safer with daily water changes. If you don’t mind killing a fish just to cycle your tank, you should reconsider everything.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!