All good advice! I have been fighting a herniated disc the last couple of weeks so sorry I am slow to respond.
I should have explained I have a fluval drop checker. However it turns green in the tank without CO2 even going. It also takes at least 5-6 hours for it to come back to blue after you take it out. I am not confident in it at all so I will either be getting a different drop checker/fluid to verify it, or make my own fluid.
I installed the CO2 system and am running it at around 1 BPS for now through the atomic diffuser. I really don't like the diffuser as it is inconsistent from day to day and not very "clean tank" friendly. So I will bulid a cerges reactor this weekend.
I have already started EI dosing. For now, I am going to do a full EI dose twice a week. Monday and Thursday for Macros, Tuesday and Friday for micros, and water change on Sundays. I will do this for a few weeks to see how things go.
I really appreciate all the advice. I now think my biggest struggle will be getting CO2 dialed in. I sold a guitar this week so I am thinking about splurging and buying the APEX controller. If I do that, I can use the ph controller/drop checker to really dial the system in correct? If you use a PH controller to control CO2, do you leave it run 24 hours a day or just during the photoperiod?
You can see the tank here if you would like to offer suggestions:
Thanks for all the help, you guys are great!