Hi, I'm a brand new pool owner and just looking for some advice. I purchased a small 12'x30" intex pool from Walmart and it's 1,400 gallons and came with a 540GPH pump that I've been running about 4 hours a day. I bought a beginner pool maintenance kit that has shock treatment, 1 inch chlorine tablets, ph reducer and ph increaser. I also purchased a 3 way tester. I filled my pool up 5 days ago and have monitored it every day. The first day I filled it up I put the recommended dose of shock treatment in the pool and put two of the 1" chlorine tablets into a dispenser and have it floating in there (the bottle said 1 tablet treats 700 gallons per week). Today (5 days later) I noticed these very small white crusty things floating on the surface (they aren't scaled, they almost look like calcium buildup on small strings). I'm trying to figure out if this is just from the chlorine slowly dissolving or what. Pollen right now is crazy too and coating everything so wondering if that is part of it. My test today showed ph at 7.8, chlorine at 1.5 and total alkalinity at 190. I put in a small dose of ph reducer to help bring down the alkalinity this evening. Does all of this sound like I'm on the right track? Remember it's my first pool so constructive criticism is welcome.
Also, once I use up my chlorine tablets I'm thinking about switching to bleach. Is there any issues with doing this? Also my 3 way test kit only tests for chlorine, ph and bromine. Should I invest in a better tester or is it fine since I've only got a 1,400 gallon pool?