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Swimming Pool Maintenance
 SpaCyclopedia Index  Pools & Supplies  Nature2 CF Flippin' Frog

Water Pre-filter

Successfully maintaining above-ground pools results in healthy, crystal clear, inviting pool water, and long equipment life. Doing it right is easy and involves just a few steps:


Balance your pool water

Pool Water Balancing

A properly balanced pool has water which is neither too acidic (low pH) nor too alkaline (high pH), and which has the correct calcium hardness and total alkalinity levels. Correct balance ensures optimal performance of your sanitizer system to keep bacteria in check. It also minimizes corrosion or scale buildup on pools or parts, and makes the water feel smooth and comfortable while helping to prevent eye and skin irritation.

By using  Test Strips we can determine water chemistry levels:

Compare test strip color with chart on bottle
Item Testing Frequency Desired Range*
Alkalinity Twice a week 80 - 150 ppm
pH Twice a week 7.4 to 7.8
Calcium Hardness Monthly 200 - 400 ppm

*above chemistry levels may vary slightly with different systems.


Low Total Alkalinity (TA) is raised by adding  Alkalinity Control, and conversely, high TA and/or high pH is reduced by adding  pH Minus. Always adjust TA first, then pH, because TA adjustment often brings pH into line as well.

Pool chemicals

Low pH (which cannot be brought up into range with Alkalinity Control alone) can be raised by adding  pH Plus.

more information Low TA and pH can cause corrosion. High TA and pH can cause staining and scale formation. TA & pH which is in proper balance also promotes sanitizer effectiveness.

Low hardness is raised by adding  Calcium Hardness Treatment. High hardness can be decreased by draining a portion of the water and diluting with fresh source water. Treating with  Metal Control will also help sequester calcium as well as other pool staining metallics such as iron and magnesium which are present in the water.

more information Water with the proper hardness level feels better to the skin and is better for equipment longevity. Low hardness levels can also result in foaming problems.

Pool sanitizers

Pool Water Sanitizing

Healthy pools require the use of a sanitizer system to kill bacteria and prevent algae. Although the most common pool sanitizers are chlorine products (available in tablets, which are dispensed in a float, as well as in granular form) there are great alternatives.

Alternative sanitizers are becoming more popular, as people prefer to reduce their chlorine exposure. For 12-18 ft. above ground pools, we recommend the high-effective and economical new  Flippin' Frog mineral/reduced chlorine system. For in-ground and above-ground pools using a cartridge filtration system, we recommend the  Nature2 CF Mineral Sanitizer because it greatly reduces the amount of chlorine residual required. It's simple to install, requires very little maintenance, is very economical, and is gentler to the pool's vinyl liner. If your above-ground or in-ground pool has a sand or DE filter, the  Nature2 Express is an excellent choice for pools up to 25,000 gallons.

more information Alternative sanitizer systems such as Nature2 have less odor and are gentler to skin, eyes, hair, and swimsuits. They also require less maintenance effort.

By using AquaChek Select or AquaChek Yellow  Test Strips we can determine chlorine levels:

Swimming Pool Test Strips
Sanitizer System Testing Frequency Desired Free Chlorine
Flippin' Frog Once or twice a week 0.5 ppm
Nature2 CF Twice a week 0.5 ppm*
Conventional Chlorine Daily 1.0 - 3.0 ppm
*Nature2 CF requires 1-2 ppm during startup period. Consult instructions.
Flippin' Frog  
Flippin' Frog

What we recommend

 Flippin' Frog is the easiest way to keep 12 to 18 ft. above-ground swimming pools clean and clear. Flippin' Frog is unlike any ordinary floater. It uses minerals to destroy bacteria so chlorine can be reduced down to much lower levels. The result is soft water without bleached swimsuits or odors! 

Flippin' Frog System How Flippin' Frog works: Simply click the mineral & chlorine cartridges together, tether, then set in pool. The mineral cartridge lasts an entire season while the chlorine cartridges last roughly 3-4 weeks. Simply replace the bottom chlorine cartridge when Flippin’ Frog flips over. No touching or pre-measuring the chlorine again! 
   Flippin' Frog Directions

Nature2 CF System

Nature2 CF cartridge sanitizer What we recommend

 Nature2 CF drops right into your pool's pleated filter cartridge. No complicated installation or extra equipment to buy. Water flows through its mineral sanitizer, destroying microorganisms without high chlorine levels.

Note: Refer to Nature2 CF manual for start-up, required filtration times, and installation information. Not compatible with biguanides, bromine or copper based algaecides. For cartridge filter systems only.

 Nature2 CF Manual

After installation, the pool water is superoxidized with chlorine according to the manufacturer's instructions. This burns off contaminants and activates the Nature 2 cartridge. We recommend using   Dichlor Granules, pre-dissolved in a clean plastic pail of water. After initial super-oxidation, the circulating pump is run for the time period specified in the instructions, maintaining 1-2 ppm free chlorine. Trichlor or other EPA registered pool chlorine products may also be used.

Upon completion of the initial startup period, let the chlorine level dissipate to 0.5 ppm, and maintain that level. (Do not enter the pool if chlorine level is above 3 ppm). Follow the pool manufacturer's instructions for keeping the pool pump in proper working order, and operate at least six hours per day. Nature 2 CF is designed to sanitize pools from 5,000 to 25,000 gallons, and lasts 4 months.

Nature2 Express System    

For above ground pools with sand or DE filters, we recommend the inline  Nature2 Express. It's quite easy to install, and features an economical replacement cartridge.  Another earth-friendly product from Zodiac Pool Care.

 Nature2 Express Manual

  Nature2 Express for Above Ground Pools


Pool chemicals With cartridge versions for larger pools (up to 30,000 gallons)  PoolRX is the eco-friendly solution that simplifies pool care, reduces chemical usage, and lowers overall cost of maintenance. Pool RX improves your swimming pool experience with mineral technology and makes water sparkle. PoolRx contains a proprietary blend of minerals that continuously eliminate algae for up to 6 months.

Conventional Chlorine Sanitizing Systems

If you prefer a traditional chlorine pool sanitizer, there are several options including  Trichor Tablets in a  Float or stabilized  Sodium Dichlor Granules. These will require maintaining a higher residual free chlorine level than with Nature2 CF. Apply according to the manufacturer's instructions.

If using a typical non-stabilized chlorine sanitizer such as Trichlor, the use of cyanuric acid  Pool Conditioner/Stabilizer is required to slow the breakdown of active chlorine caused by sunlight. Cyanuric acid is also measured with  Chlorine Test Strips.

Pool water clarifiers

Water Clarification

Using a good pool water clarifier eliminates cloudy water caused by oils, sunscreens, lotions and cosmetics, as well as organic matter and dirt.

Sea Klear natural clarifier We recommend  SeaKlear Natural Clarifier for pools. Unlike synthetic petroleum-based clarifiers, Sea Klear actually removes oils from the water. It's earth-friendly and contains no harsh or toxic chemicals.
SeaKlear also reduces unwanted metals, but does not interfere with metal ions from ionizers or mineral-based purifiers... so it's the only clarifier that we recommend for use with Nature2 products.
Hose end filling filter The hose-end  PreFresh pool filling filter helps start your swimming pool with the cleanest possible water.


Almost every pool owner has had to deal with cloudy water caused by occasional algae blooms. Our  Total Algaecide 60 is the best algaecide we have found and is very effective to eliminate all types of swimming pool algae. It is concentrated and very economical to use.

green pool algae
Unlike copper-based products, Total Algaecide 60 is poly-based and 100% compatible with Nature 2 and other mineral sanitizers, as well as chlorine or bromine.
more information Algae problems can be caused by sunlight, warm temperatures, water imbalance, and the presence of nitrates-- all of which can be part of the swimming pool environment.

shocking pools

Shocking Your Pool

When your pool is used, compounds called chloramines are formed when organic contaminants such as suntan oils, perspiration, cosmetics, and other foreign matter enter the water and then combine with the pool's chlorine residual. This combined chlorine has no sanitizing ability and produces a strong chlorine odor. It can cause red eyes, cloudy water, and promote the formation of bacteria and algae.

Periodic shock treatments break down these chloramines and oxidize organic contaminants.  We recommend  shocking with  Dichlor if needed, per the label directions. (Do not enter the pool if the residual chlorine is above 3 ppm).  In addition, non-chlorine  Oxy-Spa oxidizing shock is an odor free, monopersulfate (MPS) compound which also promotes cleaner, clearer water, while reducing chloramines. Safe for vinyl liner pools and may be applied several times per week to help maintain great water quality. Follow label directions for use.

swimming pool maintenance

Cleaning & Periodic Pool Maintenance

Keeping your pool free of dirt, scum and accumulated debris is essential for maintaining water quality. Remove floating leaves with a  Skimmer Net attached to a  Telescoping Pole.  Use a  Wall Brush for the pool sides.

Maintain your filtration system, per the manufacturer's instructions.  Cartridge filters should be cleaned periodically and replaced annually.  Use the filter rotation method by keeping a clean dry spare filter cartridge on hand. Our liquid  Pool Filter Cleaner works on all types of pool filters: DE, Sand, as well as pleated filter cartridges.

The Blaster Automatic Filter Cleaner makes short work of cartridge maintenance and is available in two sizes to accommodate the length of your pleated cartridge:

 Blaster 1000 20"
 Blaster 2000 27"

Blaster demonstration movie

Protect the exterior surfaces of vinyl pool sidewalls from fading, cracking and UV damage with  303 Aerospace Protectant. It will keep your pool looking like new.

UV Damage from the sun
303 Protectant is also great for winter pool covers. It blocks surface sun damage, greatly prolonging cover life. Nothing works better than 303!

Pool Water Vacuum Check out the economical  Shake-a-Vac pool and spa vacuum. The easy way to remove grit and debris from the bottom of your above ground pool without no hose hook-ups or power!

spa customers write  Consumer Reviews
 Blaster Automatic Filter Cleaner
"The Blaster is everything your company claims. It has cut the down time tremendously. I was pleasantly pleased at how thorough it cleaned."

Mike & Cynthia Coleman
El Cajon, CA

Spa Depot, The, Spas & Hot Tubs - Dealers, Olympia, WA

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