So this is an update following the one on 9/7/2009.
Dosing dry fertilizers with EI method, my HC still did not respond and kept melting. So I started to wonder maybe the lighting and/or the CO2 level were causing the problems.
The lighting section here in TPT had definitely helped a lot. It did seem like a good 20" lighting fixture was hard to come by and only a few options were available -> especially when I did not want to shell out too much money on lighting fixture... You know, I didn't really know that the equipments were THAT expensive... I bought my tank for $5 and initially, I thought my Aqueon Deluxe Hood ($30) was expensive already... If you know what I mean... Left_C has really helped a lot for this. After reading all his posts about lighting, I was pretty much set to get the Current Satellite 1x40w PC for $60 from BigAl's. Been waiting and waiting... and it always appear OOS, and eventually, I was told that the whole line of Satellite was discontinued... I was then debating between the Coralife Aqualight 1x28w ($45) and the Catalina 1x36w PC fixture ($60) for a little bit, until I saw someone with a 24" fixture hung over a 10g tank. I had never thought of that before and there were quite a few more options for 24" fixture, especially the T5HO ones. So after some asking around, I have decided to get the Current Nova Extreme T5HOx2 2x24w Freshwater fixture for a good $55. Thanks to Left_C, mizu-chan, and ddtran46 for all your advice~!!!
My little nano CO2 ceramic diffuser arrived and I was pretty amazed by its ability to mist the CO2, ONLY for the first three days until some white fuzzy stuff clogged the ceramic disc... I guess my diffuser wasn't made well in the first place because the bubbles only came out from the left half of the ceramic disc; and after 3 days, the bubbles only came out at 2-3 "pores" and the bubbles were much bigger...... So I looked around here in the DIY section and it seemed like it was from the yeast solution. I had tried using another bottle to "wash" the bubbles but it never really helped... Another problem with the CO2 diffuser for me was that I could only keep a CO2 level at around 10-15ppm, from the KH and pH readings (I know this ain't perfect, I am still waiting on the drop checker). So I decided to make myself a CO2 reactor using a Rio+ 600 powerhead and a gravel filter.
I got a gravel vacuum with the smallest diameter
Rio+ 600 powerhead came with more connectors than I could make use of, the best one being the airline intake. No drilling necessary~!!
DIY CO2 reactor in action
The KH and pH readings suggest a CO2 level of ~18-20ppm. Humm.... I am wondering whether 30ppm could be achieved with DIY CO2 and HOB filter... If you had any comment or recommendation about DIY CO2 reactor (nothing inline because I only have a HOB filter), please let me know!! Thanks!!