Newbie needs help with KH Buffer
I am brand new to the exciting world of true planted tanks. Have had a few live plants before, but have never paid them much mind or had a ton of success. Now I have a bit over 3 watts per gallon, a CO2 injector and about $100 of plants of various heights. Should be a good adventure.
When I started, my KH was 3 degrees. I added one dose of Seachem Alkaline Buffer (2 teaspoons for my 20 Gallon tank), which raised my KH to 9 degrees. I then started injecting CO2 and was using the PH/KH grids to determine how much CO2 I have in my tank.
As I read more, I am beginning to wonder if adding the buffer has made those grids inaccurate. If it has, and adding the buffer was a stupid idea, I have a couple of questions. 1) how do I know what my CO2 level is now? 2) how should I have increased my KH? 3) are there long term problems for my tank that having added the Alkaline Buffer will create? 4) If so, how do I fix my mistake?
FWIW, my new plants are doing great (no fish yet). Lots of new growth, significant pearling, and no algae after almost a week (I know that's not very long). Once I stabilize my PH (it's still swinging from 6.8 to 7.2 or 7.4), I'll get some goldfish to cycle the tank.
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.