I found this site as I was surfing around for ways to take care of our new pool (we just moved into this home 3 weeks ago). I am not a new pool owner--I've had pools consistently for 15 years now, and I've always done my own maintenance (sometimes successfully, other times, not so much!). My routine has always been very basic--weekly testing, keep chlor tabs and acid on hand, and occasionally experiment with more exotic chemicals.
My current issue is that the previous owners, who I must compliment for designing one of the most stunning pools I've ever seen, also chose to build it with the Pool Frog Pro XL system. As far as I can tell, this system is designed to keep the coffers of the Pool Frog company full by selling uber-expensive cartridges. I bought a Frog Pac with 7 lbs of chlorine for 40 or 50 bucks, and it is all but gone after 3 weeks! Yikes! I went to the internet to see if it was OK to put normal chlorine pucks into the Pool Frog, and to see how helpful the "mineral cartridge" is.
After reading some of the topics on the site, I am starting to see the wisdom in the habit of daily testing and adding less chemicals, but more often. If I can get in the daily habit, I'll fix my occasional problems of forgetfulness that always lead to an unbalanced pool.
If any of you have any thoughts on the Pool Frog system, feel free to share them. It wasn't my choice, so you're not going to hurt my feelings!
One last thought--we have horribly hard water here in the valley, and the resulting scale deposits are almost impossible to remove. We just installed a water softener, and I was wondering if there was any feasibility to occasionally addinig some soft water to the pool to keep the hardness from getting out of control.
Thanks for the generosity of your time!