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[APD] New Planted aquarium owner needs some advice :-)

Hi Everyone,

The quick question is I've added DIY CO2 to my tank last night and the pH
has gone from 7.4 down to the lowest reading my pH test kit will read (6.0).
What should I check/do?

The long question  is as follows :-)
Hi this is my first post here, I've been lurking for a while. I have had
aquariums since I was about 10 until 21 when (during a move) my 48x18x20
tank cracked in 1/2. I lived at the place I moved for three years before
moving again and deciding to purchase another tank.

I'm purchasing a house in the next 6 months so I decided to go for a very
small tank to keep me playing (and learning) until I move and reset up a new

During the 11 years I had my tank, my plants generally died, I never had
enough light, I ended up with a huge oscar, (no plants survived), I never
learned about the nitrogen cycle and the only test I ever did was for pH
which usually prompted me to add chemicals. My algae growth  was
spectacular. Once every x months I'd put the fish in a bucket and empty the
tank and kill all that nasty algae and bacteria and stuff and put the fish

This time round I decided to learn a few things... and the only way my wife,
Emma,  will ever let me go back to a 4 ft tank is if I can show that [my]
fish tanks don't have to be ugly :-)

Anyways I purchased a 9 gallon tank, a few head and tail light tetras, giant
val, wisteria, blue stricta, another hygrophila, riccia and java fern and
basically filled the tank up. I added a few volcanic rocks, and put 2 watts
per gallon over the tank of 5500k lights.

I then waited for the tank to cycle... and waited.. and waited. I'm yet to
ever see any NH4 production in my tank, NO2 and NO3 is non existant as well.
I have a fish load now of 3 SAE's, 4 head and tail lights, 1 betta and 4
Corydoras aeneus. I'm still yet to see any NH4. I realised recently that
I've effectively done a plant based cycle and at this point probably will
never get an NH4 spike, which is good for the fish and good for me.

pH has been 7.4 since I bought the tank (that's what comes out of the tap).
Temp is 25 degrees.
GH is 60ppm

Recently (the last week) I've started adding 2 iron based fertilisers, 1
that is added with water changes and another that is added every second day.
I also decided to experiment with DIY CO2.

I had some issues with leaking joints which was solved last night and the
CO2 started bubbling through an airstone a regular stream of small bubbles.

All the fish are still alive this morning, however the pH has dropped down
to 6.0 which is as low as my kit goes (so it could be lower). I was aiming
for 6.5 as the only other fish I was planning on adding to the tank was 10
or so neon tetras and the rest of the fish can handle 6.5 fine.

At this point I don't know what to do. I thought with diy co2 and an
airstone I'd have had little effect on the tank but that doesn't appear to
be the case.

On advice from another forum I've just pulled the CO2, and I decided to get
those lights on asap to get the plants using up any more CO2.

Anxious to hear any replies :-)
Newcastle, Australia.

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