Been lurking around and reading all the wonderful information. My Story:
3 weeks ago I was offered an Intex 18x48 metal frame pool free and I couldn't turn it down. I was hesitant to get a temporary pool, but the family loves it, along with every kid in the neighborhood.
I started by leveling the ground(~9" off level) with a small bobcat, and used concrete pavers to get an exact level on the legs. I ended up having all them within 1/4". I put down 1/2' of sand wetted and tamped, a layer of 1/2' foam insulation followed by a Gorilla pad. My goal is to leave the pool up year round and winterize it for the 3 months of "winter" we have here in Texas.
Modifications are a true skimmer, better ladder, light and removable fountain for the brutal heat in the summer.
After playing with dip strips and a cheap test kit(Taylor kit on schedule for next weekend should have followed that advise), I had the local PS do a computerized analysis....
Total Dissolved Solids 3000 - Salt?
Saturation Index .63
I added 16oz of Muriatic acid per the pool calc to start working on the pH and TA. I am going to add stabilizer tonight after the kids play and I vacuum and backwash.