Hi, new pool owner here. I inherited a bad one to start off with lol. I have an above ground book 24 round with sand filter. It's been neglected for at least 2 years. I started Wednesday trying to get it right. I've gotten most of the leaves and debris out blindly. It's to the point where I may get a leaf or two on a couple of passes. However there is a lot of brown gunk that swirls around, but can't see to try and vacuum the bottom and risk messing something up. I have the cheap test kit for now and here are my current readings:
CL - .5
pH - 7.0
Alkalinity - 120
Hardness - 200
CYA - 30
This morning my CL was at 3 and pH at 7.8. Alkalinity was at 80. Hardness unchanged and CYA at 30 as well. I went the pool store (I know rookie move) and was told all I needed was to add baking soda to get my pH up and I would be fine. We'll I did and my pH and Alkanity went up, but chlorine just dissappeared.
So my question is how to I keep my pH and Chlorine stable? I have 8 tablets in the chlorinator now and 3 in the pool floating. I've used 7 lbs of granulated shock up until this point.
I read in pool store to use Borax for pH, Baking soda for Alkanity, and bleach for chlorine. Should I stop using the granulated shock and switch to bleach now or what? Just a little lost on what to do since pH and CL are not stable.
First pic is when I started and did nothing. 2nd is from yesterday, not much change today.