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My planted 5g tanks levels are: pH:6.5, Ammonia,NO2-,NO3- 0ppm. KH=1dKH, GH=2dGH, water temp 76F.
These values practically match my tap water levels; pH is a touch lower in the tank. Fluval plant stratum. Plants (cabomba, anubias and some micro swords) added around 3 weeks ago. A few bladder snails that came with the plants. Introduced a male betta a week ago.
I don't know what my CO2 levels are; I don't have a CO2 setup and I'm not dosing. I was doing 12 hour photo cycles but reduced to 6 hours a few days ago (I have a small algae problem). Base of cabombas are yellowing a little, micro swords don't look super healthy. I spotted new growth on the anubias (attached to driftwood) so they are fine I guess. Light is a 20" fugeray planted+.
Couple questions:

  1. Are my KH/GH levels too low? Do I need to do anything about it?
  2. Can I keep on going without CO2?
  3. I want to add 3-4 oto's for algae cleaning etc. Can I add them now or do I need to wait for more cycling? I didn't notice any spikes in NO2/NO3 levels doing weekly tests.
  4. What about some cleanup crew shrimp? Will they survive the tank conditions? Will they survive the betta?
  5. Should I be doing something else to eliminate algae growth other than adding algae eaters?
 

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You can assume the CO2 in this case is in equilibrium with the air. That is, pretty low.

Many Bettas are shrimp predators. You might try a few cheap shrimp, see if he goes for them before you invest in more expensive shrimp.

GH and KH are OK, as long as conditions are stable. Yes, it is at the low end, but you can keep so many nice fish without having to alter the water! There are some specialty plants that demand these conditions, too.

If the algae that Otos eat is starting to grow then you would probably be OK adding 1-2 Otos.
 
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