well, i tested the ph and kh today, and using the chart on http://www.gpodio.com/diy_co2.asp
, i found that dosing excel every 2 days or so has been totally ineffective. kh was 3, but ph was 7.6, yielding 2.2ppm. that's pitiful i thought, so i plan on going diy very soon.
delivery system is still up in the air though, but that is not a major issue. its more or less a tossup between ceramic air stones in the filter or buying a powerhead and putting the stone beneath it.
anyway, i read that if i dose co2, it could be dangerous due to the low kh readings, which may cause mass ph swings when using diy co2, if i recall right. so, to raise the kh i plan on buying some limestone slabs to cause the kh to rise. after that, i would like to put peat in bags in the filters to soften the water and hence hopefully offset the rise of ph in the tank due to limestone. if u follow me so far, then i will put the co2 system in, with like ceramic air stones inside the filter boxes. after all is set and done, the diy system would be online with the kh higher than 3 but the ph lower than 7.6 causing what i think to be more stability. i gathered all that from reading the site i put a link to, among a few others who did not lay themselves out so plainly as the first.
well, is that a good plan? its ideas that i came up with from what i have read, but am not totally sure of the limestone and peat since i have not heard of anyone doing something like it before online. any thoughts would be appreciated ...
the tank is a 20 gallon long with 2 hydor 120 power filters, 1 hydro sponge filter, "aztec gold" gravel, lots of rocks, 1 festivum cichlid, 1 hoplo cat, 1 L-087 pleco (very rare), 1 silver dollar, and 1 filament barb. lighting is bad atm: 3 screw in compact fluorescent blubs at 5500k and 15 watts each, sprial type. ussing flourish, excel, and planttabs.