How to start a new pool

Mar 14, 2017
Charleston, sc
Please help so I don't mess this up. I just added water to my 10,000 gal above ground vynil pool with a sand filter. What chemicals do I add, how much and in what order? I filled it with well water that is very very hard, the ph of the well water is about 5 and it has a very high iron content. Also finances are tight so if possible please suggest the cheapest options (for example bleach over trichlor). Thank you


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
Tallahassee, FL
Here is a link for you:

Pool School - Metals in the Water and Metal Stains

There are several threads on iron in water. Use the search button at the top, right of this page.

Here is a list of what we use in our pools:

Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

Do NOT go buy most of this yet. I will explain in a min.

Here is the chart we use to balance our water:

Pool School - Recommended Levels

Do this all of this you will need a test kit. look in my siggy for the one I like the best.

Now saying all of this you are going to have to take care of the iron :( and do it fast so you do not get algae.

Good luck and let us know if you have any more questions!




Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
Do things like pool magnet work to get iron out?
It does not do it in enough volume to be effective. Iron in pool water is very difficult to deal with. A LOT of iron in your pool water can be almost impossible to deal with.

How do you know you have iron? Can you get a sample tested so we can know how MUCH iron you have?
Mar 14, 2017
Charleston, sc
I can try to find my water analysis. The toilets and shower get brown stain and her are rust flakes in the toilet tank water and I can smell it (I have very sensitive nose, most people can't smell it). What are the issues besides stain? If I keep it chlorinate and possibly add Algecide will it still grow excess algae? The just added pool water looks green


Well-known member
May 15, 2016
Tulsa, ok
Have you put bleach/chlorine in since it was filled?

If it were me, I'd fix the Chlorine and CYA first. Worry about the pH when you can get a good test kit (soon) so you can know for sure where you're starting. Moving PH from 5 to 7.5 takes about 40 POUNDS of washing soda for a 10k gallon pool, or a mere 89 POUNDS of borax. I dont want to scare you off, but such a low pH on top of an iron problem plus the pool is now green -- is unfortunately going to be costly to fix.
Mar 14, 2017
Charleston, sc
Ouch, that's a lot of borax or washing soda! Thank you for the heads up though. What about aerating it to raise the ph some? I've read it also helps get rid of the iron some. The green is from the iron not from algae. I will do the pillow fill filter tomorrow to hopefully remove the iron, I've seen a lot of good results online with that method. So far this afternoon I added a gallon of 6% bleach and put 3 large trichlor tablets in the floater. I'm sure it's not nearly enough but I just wanted to get something in there so algae don't take seed. Thank you for your help