1st off, no recommended test kit. Sorry! =\
>>EDIT: I now have the TF-100 kit, see today 09/05 in this thread for results.
My OTO/pH cheapo block /w fresh re-agents, kept indoors and never left in sun, tested in bright daylight, back to the sun, also rinsed each time, caps & vials, shows the following.
Test water pulled from elbow length down, about a foot-ish and taken immediately, shaking the reagents 1st and never cross contaminating.
As of late afternoon, so some CL loss.
**Dose to 7ppm @ Night
TC: No change using JasonLion's tips, used to see some CCs, but not now.
**Was at 7.8, lowered with M.A. a few times, seems to hold now.
**Haven't tested, but added about 2 weeks ago, starting /w a fresh fill from city water.
Before I started the BBB method, I was just using CL tabs, no stabilizer or Tri-Di(Chlor) in them. And I had shocked it a few times /w Cal-Hypo powder, mixed in a jug, then poured all around pool.
Water was cloudy, murky, you could see bottom, but very little detail.
After switching to CL & adding CYA, I can now see the bottom beautifully, nice and crystaly, not perfect, but dang awesome! It's only 3.5ft. deep though.
The top of the water is highly reflective, I wouldn't quite say it's glass, but awfully close.
When I look down at the ladder, standing right next to it, the blue rubbery feet look like a somewhat faded blue and the latter isn't crisp in white color/defined edges. This visual test has improved many fold since I started.
Here's the big issue, I get in, open my bare eyes under water and it's about like being in a pond, you can't even see the bottom, well you can tell there's a bottom, but no detail, not unless you get right down on it, better, but even then the detail is still poor. Dive toys are very dull and murky/milky looking. It just looks awful, doesn't look clean. But the water feels very nice, good on my somewhat sensitive skin, didn't used to be.
Here's what I suspect, but I don't have the kit to test for it, I art poor ATM. :P
Our water here is kinda hard, sprinkler water leaves white dots all over your car and if left uncleaned, parking near sprinklers overnight, after many weeks, it just coats your car in a sheet of white stuff.
You have to pressure wash it off, or use ammonia + borax for abrasive on the glass to get it off.
It doesn't leave a ring in your water glass though, after weeks it may.
So it's not really bad, maybe moderate to moderately mild.
No red stuff or anything, our city water comes out of underground aquifers buried deep in volcanic lava beds/tubes.
So I'm assuming this is calcium, since it's white?
Is this why my water is so unclear, if so, what can I do about it?