I'm new to the hobby, still trying to feel my way around, and since I started my first aquarium 2 months ago in May, I've been getting conflicting information about pretty much every aspect of the hobby. That said, I also found out a few days ago that the pH test I've been using is bad. My first tank, the 10g is cycled, my second tank, a 50g isn't cycled yet and is showing a decent amount of algae growth. Now that there's a little background, time to get to the meat of my problems and questions:
1) I've been using Seachem's Neutral Regulator pH 7.0 when I do water changes. This was recommended to me by my lfs, and I figured that since they also do planted tanks that I could take their advice, regardless of what was on the bottle. After more research and reading, I don't think this was good advice and I think I want to control my pH with CO2 and more natural means if possible. My tap water pH is at least 7.6 (though testing it on my high pH, which I don't trust since it was in the same kit as the bad low pH test, is about 8.4), the kH is 0ppm (if I can trust my kit) and the GH is 30ppm (again, if I can trust my kit). I'm thinking I should move away from the Neutral Regulator things and start using Stress Coat (to remove chlorine), and Seachem's Liquid Acid Buffer and Liquid Alkaline Buffer to lower my pH instead of phosphate based products. Is this the right approach?
2) Secondly, my water in the 50g is somewhat golden green, I think part of it is the tannins being released from the bogwood I have in the tank, but I also know that there is a fair amount of algae. I noticed in the first month with my 10g tank that was also happening, but it has fallen off as my Hygro Ceylon started growing pretty rapidly. Currently my CO2 solution for the 50g tank I think is woefully inadequate (Nutrafin cannister and ladder) and I'm looking at getting a CO2 system (this one to be specific
). My main concern with that system is, is it expandable to be able to hook up a pH controller and make it fully automated at a later date? Next, I know that CO2 can lower the pH of a tank, should I use it in combination with the above products or should I use a higher CO2 output?
I think that's all my questions, thanks for any info.