Gravel Substrate/Root Tabs/CO2 questions
I recently changed out the light (going from not enough light to low light) in my 55gal low tech setup, and started growing algae.
I have amazon swords, micro chain swords, anubus, java fern, and java moss. So far, I've only dosed ferts via root tabs. I have a shipment of gel caps + osmocote plus coming so I don't have to keep buying the expensive root tabs. By the way, so far I've gotten extremely slow growth.
I have a drop checker, with home-made 4dkh solution (I also have a kh/gh test kit coming with which I intend to test the accuracy of my solution) that's consistently blue-green, so I think that my CO2 doesn't get very high.
So, here are my questions: I think I have a CO2 shortage - is the best way to test this to start dosing excel, and see what happens?
Excel will not show up on the drop checker, correct? So eventually I'll want to go DIY CO2 or pressurized CO2 to avoid the expense of constantly dosing excel?
How often should I replenish the root caps? Is there any particular way to tell when they are being depleted? Does the plant growth slow down enough to be noticeable before the algae starts taking off?
Do you think that I will be okay with dosing root caps only, or will I need to start dosing the water column?