Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pflugerville, Tx
In my case, I have tons of buffering from high GH/KH naturally in the water. When I got a PH controller with my used equipment, I went with using it. It has worked so well that I now would not want to operate without it. I never try to change the GH nor KH but it does not drift in any way that I can measure. As I started plants in African tanks, I just continued as it seemed to work. As I moved to larger and what I had read would be more difficult fish to keep with plants, there have been very few problems, so I continue.
I am one who believes in very slow changes so that the fish can have the best chance of adapting. I am also not very picky about algae. I use limestone as my primary structure and the algae tones down the garish white look in a way I like.
If you have the controller, I would go with using it to ever so slowly increase the CO2. I find it much easier to do than monitor a drop checker. The most meaningful check for me is the fish. Know your fish and watch carefully as you increase the CO2 over a month or more. If you see your GH/KH doing things, then you may need to do something to adjust it but that is something you have time on. If the fish begin to gasp or do strange things, adjust quickly to relieve them. This process may lead to some algae problems or a look you don't like but that can be dealt with over time and as you see the need.
I like the challenge but I want it fun so I try to keep stress levels down. Both mine and the fish! It's not fun if I have to think tooo hard<