I was under the impression that co2 affected PH, but not KH. With the inherit hard KH of my water, and the fish being more sensitive to KH than PH specifically, I didn't think I had much to worry about. I had read an article on the BAR report that had outlined that the PH drop with co2 didn't have much affect on the fish, as the KH stayed steady.
I haven't seen much stress or low activity from my fish, though I have noticed when I do dose Nitrates on the EI day, the punks aren't happy, so I quickly cut that out. The fish seem to be getting along decently, I am looking to build a 3rd tank to move the punks and 2 of the small featherfins out.
I have been having fun playing with the co2, and trying to get my PPM where I want it. I start at about 7.8-8.0 PH, and have been using the co2 to get it near 7.0 or so.
I must admit, noob mistake, I need a KH test kit.
CO2 does affect your kH which is a an indicator of how well your water will resist changes to pH with introductions of carbonic acid (CO2). Hardness is most key when attempting to breed as it affects egg development from specie to specie but as a general rule for well-being, you want to try to maintain fish in their preferred pH range and deter any fluctuations in pH greater than .3 in a 24 hr period. While fish may appear to be "okay" in ranges outside of their preferred levels, it will eventually do them in. Remember these guys can live close to 10 years. If we're only getting a couple out of them, then something we've done has shortened their lives.
Keep up with the research. You'll get it dialed in.
Hi, my name is Linda and I live in Sonora, CA. I'm a newbie to planted tanks and also to keeping angel fish.
You are braver than me just starting out and dealing with CO2.
I like the back right plant that has jagged edges and also the 4th pic. of the maroon plant. They are delicate and pretty.
I think the 4 plants that are planted in the front middle will get to large to be in the front.
I've heard that you can put some larger stones than your gravel around the base of your plants to keep the fish from pulling them up. You can give it a try.
I'm soooo sorry to hear about your loss of fishies. It must be devastating. I read on this forum one guy did the same thing twice, and he said he knew what he was doing so it does happen. Maybe you could start again with just several fish at first. Please don't be discouraged. Us newbies have to start somewhere and we won't do anything that hasn't been done before.
The absolute moral of this sad story is that you must ALWAYS recheck equipment after making changes. As for CO2, I recheck in ten minutes AND again in an hour or two. Clean the filter? Come back in five minutes to make sure it is working and there are no leaks. Many of us have made this mistake; what matters most is if you learn from it.
I am not sure you need to mess with CO2 on this tank at all. Why bother? See the low tech forum show and tell thread and ask yourself if you really need the extra wrok and expense.