OP, I have noted your questions for a few days now and while APUG is a great place for answers it may be that it is worth your while to buy a few books on film processing and darkroom printing. I'd recommend Tim Rudman's The Photographer's Master Printing Course and Les McLean's Creative B&W Photography. Many of the answers you need are in these two books and you might learn more from the books than asking many individual questions. At the very least the books may enable you to learn a lot and then the answers to your questions can add to your knowledge.

If I were new to analogue processing I'd get the Ilford range of Multigrade Developer, Ilford Fixer and any stop bath.These are as good as any and maybe better than most for a beginner and easily obtainable

To our U.S. friends, remember that what is easily obtainable in the U.S. such as LPD can be practically impossible to obtain in the U.K. where the OP is.

You seem to be able to obtain everything we can but much cheaper whereas we can't get some things you take for granted at any price

Best of luck with your new hobby,OP

pentaxuser