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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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