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[APD] totally new at this

Well not totally new but new enough. Been lurking and reading and have to
admit most of the time you guys are way beyond me but I'm still learning or
waking up something I learned eons ago.

I recently decided to give up the plastic plants. Have had some watersprite
and azolla in the tank for years but the others were fake. Stumbled across a
few crypts and a java fern in my search for good guppies and got hooked. The
plastic has to go.
Only a 29 gallon tank filled with guppies, a few elderly mollies and some
corys. Have two 20 watt light strips and some natural light. Tank kind of
overhangs into a west window. Algae isn't a big problem, I have some but the
fish, a few grass shrimp and some snails seem to take care of the worst of

Got impulsive and ordered a few more plants online and when the order
arrived I had 3x what I ordered! Now I have a tank full of plants. Don't
have much money so I had to quick do a DIY CO2 bottle. It's working. Little
jelly jar bell is filling. I tested my water just before I had hooked it up.
Water was very soft and pH was 7.6 which kind of suprised me because I had
given up testing years ago. Water was always at 6.8 no matter what so
decided to keep doing as I'm doing and not worry. I'm pretty good about
water changes.

Cheap KH kit. Only took one drop to change it. Not really up on this stuff
either I'm reading all I can right now but no idea how fast this CO2 is
going to start changing things. Did the addition of a lot of plants cause
that change in the pH? New kit from aquarium pharmecuticals. Pet shop in
town had only real expensive ones or this. Had to go this way for now. But
my tap water is reading the usual, had to check to see if the reading was
right. Have my box of baking soda on standby. How long before the little jug
starts working it's magic? Anything else I should be watching for?

Nothing real demanding for plants, an assortment of crypts, hornwort, java
fern and java moss, some sort of pink hygro and I decided to live a little
dangerously and get some rotala indica and Hydrocotyle leucocephala. They
also added some bulbs that I'm guessing are a lotus?? Have one apongeton and
the bulb looks very different. These are about the size of a walnut, dark
brown with slight scaling.

Local petshop is ordering me some Flourish excel. Didn't have much for
fertilizers. I did get a bottle of Kent Freshwater Plant K and Fe.
What next?
Totally unsure of myself.
Do need to find a better way to secure the jar. Wants to tip over. Maybe a
bigger jar. Maybe a bigger rock.

Right now I have two little box filters in each back corner of the tank. Do
I dare cut down on these with the fish load I have? Or it I take the
airstones out of them will that quiet the water enough? Already took the
airstone out that was just hanging out in the back.

What next??
Sue in NH

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