I do have experience with tangy's and plants.
I've done some very nice tanks with both.
Fiurst off, forget about pH when using CO2.
The fish care about the high GH and KH's, this is entirely compadible with CO2.
The pH will be 7.2-7.4 range at high KH's.
Get over the few units of pH.
Fish are influneced by ambient levels of pH, when we add CO2, the pH is artifically lowered, this does not impact the fish.
Anyone that believes this can do a simple test.
I call it a 50% water change to a CO2 enriched planted tank.
Do the fish die when you add tap water that is the same KH/Gh but at a full unit higher than the tank pH? How about at 80-90% water changes?
CO2 is not added to control pH, it's added to enrich the tank for plants.
There are still the same salts, that's what is key for the fish and their coloration/breeding etc.
The salts ions in the lake?
Not much Na/Cl.
So add these!
Plants love these!
Alternatively, if adding CO2 is for some reason out of the question, (namely out of ignorance of it's use, not because it's bad for fish), you can add SeaChem Excel, it has minimal impact on pH.
This would suffice with this light routine.
I would add:
That would be the easiest, CO2 gas will grow the plants very well and be easier in the longer run.
I've had Crypri's, Xeno's and other featherfins(O ventralis etc) in planted tanks as well as non CO2 Vallisneria beds growing in aragonite with Trophues moorii.
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