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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to improve the quality of my plants. To this extent I have been adding Flourish twice a week and Flourish Excel every two days.
I recently purchased a 65W compact fluorescent dual daylight bulb.
My tank is 20 gallons putting me at 3.25 w/gal. High I know.
I am trying to avoid using CO2 as it is more than I can afford and manage.

This is the weird problem I'm having.

My ph has always been low but it is now falling off the AP test strip Somewhere between 6.4 and 6. it is 6.8 out of the tap and after sitting for a day.

Also my nitrAtes are at 0ppm. Which I assume means that the plants are growing. But don't have enough nutrients.

  1. Can I add a small bag of crushed coral to the tank to buffer the pH? Will this raise The pH on its own or would it take several water changes to bring the pH up to a more tolerable level?
  2. Is Flourish a fertilizer? What sort of Fertilizer should I add to help the plants so they won't be NitrAte starved... if in fact that is what is happening.
  3. Is there a way for me to use this light without algae blooms other than C02 injection. I want to stay sort of low tech in that dept. Can I up the dose of Excel as a poor mans substitute for CO2 injection?
  4. Are my fish acting sluggish because they are shocked by the new light or because the pH is so Low

Thanks for helping out with the newb

9,600 Posts
Crushed coral will raise the pH, KH and GH. And by how much and how quickly you have no idea.

If you just want to raise the pH small amounts of baking soda will work just fine.

Flourish is a supplement. Not a fertilizer. Fertilizers are foods.

Vitamin pills are supplements. Cheeseburgers are food.

To add nitrate you can use either Seachem Nitrogen or KNO3. See my Guide.

To answer #3. You can either build a DIY CO2 system, Dose Flourish Excel, or chant in the Lotus 6 hours a day in front of the tank and hope the algae listens and stays away.

To answer #4. Insufficient data.
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