I live in the Southwestern desert; the water here is alkaline. The PH is close to 8. I can't remember what the TA is, but I do remember that it is high, and I only had the guess stips to measure TA anyway. Since the soil is also alkaline, and dust gets blown into my pool whenever the wind blows, that also tends to raise my alkalinity. I am using pucks right now, but I know I can't keep it up for much longer. The PH in my pool tends to run a little high even with the pucks; I tested 7.8 a couple of days ago with a Pentair test kit (drops, not strips) I got at Patio Pools. Anyway, I used bleach to shock last week and also to raise chlorine level a couple of times. I did have to use muratic acid afterwards. I do have a Pool Frog hooked up; got that before I found this site. Reading this site I found that if I use bleach and allow the PH to be high, I could get stains. But if I don't use bleach, I know I will get too high CYA soon. (It's closer to 50 than 0 according to the guess strips. I was planning on stopping at Leslie's after work and getting their real test kit.) Because of the 100+ degree weather, with single digit humidity, there is a fair amount of evaporation, so I do have to add a few inches of water on a regular basis. Anyway, I was wondering. Should I just go ahead and use bleach, and use the MA to keep the PH down? I doubt I would ever have to use anything to raise my PH or TA! How good is MA with getting the TA down? Should I take the mineral cartridge out of froggy? Would it really matter if I did, since I have had froggy going since I filled my pool on memorial day? Is all the minerals from the cartridge in the pool already? Thanks!