I found this forum yesterday while looking for advice on how to clear up my swamp. At first it just made me upset because I realized how much money I've wasted at the pool store the last couple weeks, but after reading through the Pool School and the post about getting rid of algae I feel like I have a plan of attack for this weekend. My wife and I just bought a foreclosure and the inground pool was only partially covered, so it's in pretty bad shape. This is our first pool.
So far we've scooped about 8 big lawn bags full of leaves out of the pool. Oh yea, we have lots of trees in the yard by the way. The pool store recommended using flock to settle everything and vacuum it all out before adding any chlorine. They said it would be a waste of chlorine because I'd just vacuum it out to waste. Made sense at the time. They also talked me into buying a 20lb tub of dichlor. The flock had no effect at all, and after browsing around here it sounds like it's because my pH is really low.
To cut off a long story, I ordered a good test kit yesterday from the recommendations here and took a water sample into the pool store to have a full test done in the meantime.
FC & CC both 0
TA = -26
pH = 6.5
CYA = 79
Now I know the dichlor is definitely a bad idea. I stocked up on bleach and baking soda last night, and I wanted to run my plan for the day by the pros here. The pool store said I would need 10lbs of baking soda, the pool calculator said 20. I don't have a good test kit yet, so I'll just be guessing on the bleach all day.
I plan on putting 4lbs of baking soda in this morning and letting it circ for awhile, then adding a 174oz jug of bleach an hour until things start to get better. I'll also add more baking soda throughout the day. I have a cheap test kit so I can watch pH and TC, but no way to measure TA w/o going back to the pool store so I'll probably wait and do that tomorrow and see how it turns out.