My first post here! Yay!
I've been a guest for several days and have read most of the entire site regarding anything to do with clearing up algae and proper chemical balancing. I am completely converting to BBB. Unfortunately I am not in a position to order the nice test kit yet but will do so at my first opportunity. I do however, have the strips that give TH, FC, pH, TA and CYA, so I know that its not the best but it has given me a good ballpark to work from. Before finding you I had a very green pool and now the water is crystal clear without spending a fortune at the pool supply store! My wallet and I thank you!
My current test strip readings are:
FC over 10 (dark purple-been keeping it there as much as possible)
the CYA was low and had a hard time keeping the chlorine high but I added some stabilizer yesterday and it is coming up. Also the pH was very high a few days ago and that has started to come down. Everything sounds great except for one little problem I have left--black algae
the pool was installed in 1980 according to a neighbor it has a plaster finish but is very very rough (i suspect the previous owners had an acid wash done to clean the pool before selling). It has a lot of "graying" is spots...is this the concrete underneath coming through?? the pool has gone black from vacationing in the fall last year and as a result we have been battling these black spots ever since (all the rain in north texas this spring didnt help any). We are planning to drain and bleach/acid washing the pool in the spring before opening it back up for the new season. Here's the main question-with the water balanced is the pool swimmable with the spots still on the walls? It's not "floating" algae like the green and yellow stuff so I wasn't sure. The family would really like to get some use out of it this year. Thanks.