I am really nervous about all this pool stuff but I like what I have read so far! I don't have the test kit everyone is talking about but I am ordering one. With that said I bought a lot of stuff when I bought my pool. 3 in chlorine tabs, a floater, a small bag of shock, some ph increaser, and some algecide 40. Should I return all those items(will help pay for new test kit)? Right now I am using the hth multi-purpuse 6 way test strips. My readings last night and this morning are ALK 80 PH 7.8 FREE CL 0 HARD 200 CYA 40. We had a big storm blow in last night so my pool is almost over flowing. We used the pool yesterday but I am holding off on it today unitl I know what to do! Ready to learn!