If I'd have realized how much enjoyment my family was going to get out of a pool, I'd have done this three years ago!
On a whim, we purchased a small seasonal pool. It's a 12' x 30" Intex (approx 1,500 gal). My daughter is 6, and it's perfect for her. I also have a postage stamp sized back yard, so at least until her playscape goes in a few years, this is about all the pool we can fit.
My wife ribs me for being the over-analytical/obsessive type, but I think it's paid off in spades this time. I spent hours reading the "getting started" posts here and playing around with PoolMath. Thanks to you guys, I think I've avoided a ton of problems and dollars down the drain at the local pool store(s).
We set the pool up last weekend and filled it on Saturday. On Sunday, I bought test strips, CYA, Borax, and 8.25% bleach. (I will be ordering a TF-100 today). I already had a couple of gallons of muriatic acid on-hand. I added 10 oz of CYA on Sunday, and made bleach additions a few times to maintain 3-5ppm FCL. On Monday, I added 96 oz of Borax and 46 oz of muriatic acid (in two half-additions). I've been making daily (sometimes twice a day) bleach additions since, targeting 4.6ppm and trying not to let it get below 3.
The chlorine levels are falling more than I think they should be, but I'm a newb and the CYA hasn't been in but 4 days, so I'm not overly concerned. My test strips agree, within reason, to the local pool shop's analysis except for pH. Fortunately, I have a good handheld pH meter that I use in home brewing, so I can check that independently. pH has been rock solid since the Borax at 7.3.
Here's the pool store's analysis this morning (before bleach addition).
FCL 1.73, TCL 1.73, CC 0, pH 7.3, TA 82, CH 95, CYA 29
I don't really have any "questions," at this point. This is more of an introduction and a thank you. If anything jumps out at you, though, please do kick me in the pants.