@Sarameow ..I hope we didn't scare you away.. You found the forum, so somehow you knew other places were giving you conflicting information. Its hard to figure it out when pool stores say one thing, manufactures say another and some crazy website forum with a bunch of obsessive pool owners say something else. Well it turns out the crazy pool owners live in the real world of actually making their pools work. The pools stores are focused on selling product and testing is to done to support that for them. etc. SO I read that you thought balancing pH first was most important.. and it isnt.. its getting CL in your pool water to sanitize it. CYA helps the water hold the CL so that is second.. The pH will dance around as those additions happen so don't worry about that until later and adjust it after the other things.. it really that simple .. At least you should be swimming now! woo hoo!