Well, we have had our pool up for a little over a week and my head is swimming from all of the info regarding proper maintenance, levels, etc. Convinced dh to go ahead and purchase the saltwater system when we got the pool thinking that would make maintaining it easier. Well, not so sure I was right about that.... first, I have to say, I absolutely hated science and chemistry would have been my downfall if it had been required! That said, all of the abbreviations are killing me! I read through all of that in the Pool School, but have to keep going back to the abbreviations when reading everything else cause I guess they just aren't sticking....ph, TA, CH, CYA...geez!!! All we have as far as testing the water is the several packages of strips that came with the pool and the saltwater system. It now appears that those aren't really sufficient, so I need to get one of those....which to get without overkill....keeping in mind that we are somewhat pool dummies (dh would not appreciate that) and making sure it is one that we can actually understand. What started all of my research on this was dh stating that the alkaline level is low....WHAT THE HECK DOES THAT MEAN!!!!.... and, more importantly....what are you supposed to do about it?!?!?! In the "Basic Pool Care Schedule", it states.... Test the ph and adjust if needed, test the TA and adjust if needed, test the CH and adjust if needed, etc. Is it just me or wouldn't it be nice if in one place you could read "Test the ph and adjust if needed by doing whatever". Thanks for "listening", just a bit overwhelmed with the overload of info and having to go to so many different places for each thing. Wishing I was more knowledgeable about all of this so that I could create a place where you plug in the type/size pool, type of filter system, you hit enter and you have a step by step guide for dummies on the proper care of your pool (without abbreviations .... The thought of having 5000 gallons of nasty water in that pool gives me the hibbie gibbies!!