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> OK, now I am totally bummed. The reason I asked this question originally is
> that I have significantly turned up the CO2 in my tank, and I am not seeing
> any change in the pH - it keeps showing up as 7.0, with hardness at 5. I do
> have a big 'ol hunk of wood in the tank, as well.
Rachel, first I think you need to make sure you're getting a good pH
reading, then you can worry about other things. First "other thing" to
worry about... Is it possible that your CO2 reactor is working poorly,
so that turning up the CO2 just results in more CO2 escaping from the
reactor without getting mixed into the water?
> So now what do I do to figure out CO2 levels?
CO2 test kits can have problems, but you might use one to cross-check
> I am also suspecting that my pH test kit could be funky - I just bought it,
> it's an AQ pharm. I was thinking of taking a water sample into the lfs and
> having them test it, to see if it is my test kit. The lfs is 45 minutes
> (longer, if traffic is at all bad) from my house - will the pH change in the
> course of that drive as CO2 will no longer be being added?
You should be able to get a sample to the LFS. Fill a jar with the
water to be tested all the way to the top and seal it firmly so that no
air enters or escapes. The easiest way to fill the bottle without
leaving "headspace" is to submerse the bottle and put the lid on it
while it's still under water. I think some plastics are permeable to
gasses, so if you can you might want to use a glass jar.