Ok I'm more confused now.
I only used the acid buffer once, they told me to mix 1/4 tsp into water that I use for water change. So I did a 25% water change with that acid buffer and now the pH is reading at 6, which is the lowest reading on the API test kit...I wonder if it is even lower than that... Now what can I do about this pH? Just water change to bring it back up?
I tested everything again last night, this time:
Is this tank basically stalled? I don't understand how ammonia went from .5ppm to 0, yet nitrites stayed at 0? If the ammonia is reduced, shouldn't that be reflected in higher nitrites or nitrates? Nitrates are the same as the day before.
I've been adding microbacter7 and the water is pretty cloudy. From my understanding this is a bacterial bloom. So I don't see what is going on with these parameters because I do have bacteria in there to make the conversions.
Different bacteria. The cloudy is heterotrophic feeding off organic residue.
Not the N fixing bacteria which AFAICT have a tendency to clump and sty out of the water column..
Could be feeding off dead autotrophic bacteria (your cycling bacteria). Bad sign if true..
for cycling need neutral or higher for the "good" bacteria for best results..
N fixing bacteria slows or dies as pH drops..
your 7.8 was and will be just fine..no need to mess w/ it..
since you just have plants, I'd rest it for ahwhile as is.. monitor N...
All that cloudy bacteria "should" eventually die off (there, there,there, then...gone)..Which should feed the good bacteria and/or plants.. Cycle of life..