I just bought a house and have been caring for the pool myself for about 1.5 months. When I got it, it was in really bad shape. Couldn't see the bottom and green as all get out. After the first week I had it looking much better, all based off of suggestions from my dad who has a pool. It has been good since about the 3 week mark. The water got cloudy at one point, but that was because of all the small dead algae still floating around I believe. Once I got the filter running optimally, all that cloudiness went away. At one point I had this thing crystal clear, sparkling. Every flaw in the plaster stood out like a sore thumb.
Here we are a few weeks later and the pool is taking a turn. I must admit that I don't test it as much as I should and the test kit I have is kind of ghetto. Only Chlorine and PH are included.
Any rate, the pool is roughly 18,000 gallons. I live in Bakersfield Ca. where it is really hot and sunny from about Apr. to Oct. The pool is in ground plaster with a cartridge filter system. I added DE to the cartridges based on the recommendation of some online posts. I believe that is what lead to the clearance of all that small particulate matter. Once that DE was in those cartridges, the pool cleared right up. The pressure in the filter is just under 20PSI. The pool is from the early 70's and chlorine is added via tablets in the skimmer, and water is added manually from a concrete buried pvc pipe. I'm sure you are all familiar. I do not currently have a vaccum, but I do borrow my dads about once a week to get the bottom.
Recently the pool has started to cloud up a bit. I also notice algae starting to develop in spots. Especially around the pool light. Some of the spots are in the plaster in the middle of the pool and won't scrub off. I keep about 4 chlorine tabs in the skimmer at all times but I have no idea if it's enough. I also have trouble reading my test kit, as it is old and just came with the house. I added some algae killer 1 week ago, and some more yesterday. There is a very thin, very faint layer of green silt on the bottom of the pool now, it brushes away easily.
I know that a good test kit is essential based on what I've read here and I will get one as soon as I can. But for now, is there anything anyone can recommend?