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I always use API liquid tests, and since the master kit does not include alkalinity I have overlooked it for a long time now. Using test strips to do quick testing I noticed that alkalinity again...its always 0. Shouldn't I have some to help with pH buffer? I still do not have a digital pH pen so I can not say what my swing range is, but with a heavy plant load the O2/CO2 levels probably swing night/day so the alkalinity would help control this?
 

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I am going through this now as well. I'm far from qualified to answer, but no one will offer concrete suggestions unless you provide more details like water source, water parameters, dosing schedule blah blah blah. Do you inject CO2, Do you aerate. These all contribute to ph moves. But you are correct, increase alkalinity will buffer these changes which is why it is called "buffer".
 
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