My first serious planted tank project:
55 gallon, Temperature 78F, Eheim 2211 canister + HOB Proquatics 200 power filter, Coralife Aqualite 1X65w 6600k x two
Nitrite: Light Purple (3rd square from the top using aquarium pharmaceutical test kit- the color chart was missing from my box- I had lost my receipt and couldn't return it so I looked at the chart representation on the back of the box- the numbers were too small to read.)
I set up the tank two weeks ago using two cups of plant soil at the bottom with larger diameter gravel as the first layer, a thin layer of laterite and 10 iron tabs in the middle, and tex blast small diameter gravel on top.
Looking back, I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't have used the plant soil (topsoil, manure, sand) as it may have altered my water quality and introduced phosphates.
Since my KH is so low, am I going to have problems with PH swings? I am using a DIY 2 liter going into a power filter, bubbling at a small burst rate of a bout once every 1/2 second to 3/4 second. This has been going for about 17 hours so I'm not sure how it will effect the PH yet.
Can anyone tell me how to raise my KH a few degrees? What phosphate test kits do everyone recommend? And finally, will those two cups of soil present a problem? The water has cleared and the five fishes seem to be doing okay so far. Also, last week my KH had been 3. Did it drop a degree from all my water changes? I hope I don't have to start over.
Thanks for the help,