As stated, I am a complete pool newbie. This is my first pool. The pool is an intex 16ftx48in pro series. I bought it from a friend a few years ago, and decided FINALLY that it was time to put it up. I knew from the start that the itty bitty pump and filter weren't going to cut it. For me anyway...... So I purchased a Hayward 20" sand filter with vari-flow 7 way valve, and 1.5 HP pentair pump. I put brand new pool filter sand in it, so all together I have like $65 in that. I also purchased a Hayward dyna skim 1091lx and an extra Hayward return and collar. I hard plumbed the skimmer and both returns with 1.5" sch 40 (for pressure) and also installed a ball valve on the intake and both returns. Also added a home made pool cooler/fountain from 1" PVC. Also on a ball valve.
Now that I've gone through that, today at 6:00 pm will mark 24 hours that I've had the pool fully filled, plumbed, and running. I shocked the pool last night, and tested the water this morning. My chlorine levels are a bit low, so I intend to add bleach. My ISSUES are..... The alkalinity and pH levels are off the charts high, hardness is high, and cya is low. I am using the crappy test strips. I didn't know about the tf100 until signing up to the forums. I would like to get one, but I don't know where to buy it. I also have a little bit of junk in the bottom of the pool, as I have no vacuum yet. I don't necessarily need an automatic vac. Any recommendation for a vacuum? I have less than $250 in my entire setup so far, but would hate to touch it, or do something wrong to mess anything up. The water is very clear. I'd like to keep it that way, but get my levels just right. Before I touch it, I am hoping for some guidance. Sorry for the long post. Just know that any and all help is greatly appreciated!