I grew up with a plaster in-ground pool in the back yard. To my knowledge, we never tested it, chucked chlorine tabs into the filter basket, and called it a day. Of course we ran into algae problems more than once, and I'm sure my parents made a total mess of the chemistry.
I got out of the pool business for many years, but now have just purchased a house with a pool, and am here to learn the right way to maintain my investment and to have a pool that is enjoyable and usable.
My challenge right now is that we're heading into pool season, but I'm still paying rent on my last place until the end of June, so cash isn't plentiful (in fact, we're just about break even or so). I had my water tested, and the CYA is somewhere north of 220 (I need to pull those papers back out). I'm currently in a debate as to whether or not it will make more sense to spend the money to refill it now, or to attempt to keep things in check long enough to make it into July when I can afford the water bill. I'm just starting tests to see just how much I'll be spending on bleach to keep the FC high enough to avoid problems until July and I'll go from there.
Anyhow, I've been lurking for a few days, and am excited at all of the great information here.