This is my first post here but I've been doing a lot of reading on this forum lately and figured it was time to register
Anyways, I have a few questions in relation to using pressurized CO2. I've decided to take the plunge into CO2 and have started ordering items i need, i ordered a milwaukee regulator, as well as some items from greenleaf aquariums (60mm atomic diffuser, CO2 tubing, permaseal, KH solution, brass check valve), the only things i need is a drop checker, and the CO2 Canister which i can find locally. I read a lot of people mentioning PH and KH and such, what I'm wondering is, what do I need to know about these parameters before I hook up the CO2? From what I've read, the PH will lower once I use the CO2 (I believe my PH is around 7), will this cause problems for my fish? The only thing i really test for these days is Nitrates and am not sure if it is necessary to know the hardness of my water and such before touching CO2. Being on city water, i believe our water is rather soft.
Also, in regards to drop checkers, will any drop checker suffice? I didn't order one from GLA due to it being about 40 bucks which i thought a bit expensive since i've seen others for $10-15.
One last question is in regards to substrate, I have a mix of standard aquarium gravel and flourite, will i be able to grow a carpeting foreground plant in this substrate ok? I see a lot of people on here using soils, and am unsure if this is necessary, I'm sure it helps but I really hate to change all my substrate, especially given the cost. This is for a 55 gallon tank. As for my tank conditions, I also just ordered a 2 bulb fixture for T5HOs, and will be using Flourish for micro nutrients and supple KNO3, phosphates (using fleet enema) and need to pick up some K2SO4 for potassium. Am i missing anything?
Anyways, i'll leave the questions to this for now, thanks in advance for the help!