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Having failed miserably with ODNO lighting over my 55g, when I migrated to a 75g, I just decided to put 30w over the 75g and forget plants in there...for now.

I also have 30w over my 20g shrimp tank, so I figured it would make sense to try to grow some plants in there, especially since the tank is small enough that DIY CO2 could be viable. So I changed out the substrate from 1 inch deep of play sand/estes marine sand to ~2.5 inches of red fluorite. What a mess. The shrimp pulled through OK though.

I planted the tank up with what was in my old 55g which included:

  • A couple stalks of Moneywort
  • Banana Plant
  • A sword of some sort
  • Hornwort
  • Java Moss
  • Java ferns
  • S. Subulata

I also set up a DIY CO2 system with a 3L bottle, 1/2 tsp. of yeast, 2c. sugar and 1tsp. of baking soda. My water has very low kH...the kH is less than 1 degree in both of my tanks. I dripped some baking soda water into it to get a couple of degrees (as measured with my test kit) of kH for some buffering capacity, but I still chickened out and removed the CO2 tube from the tank overnight. I've got ~ 200 shrimp in there (need to donate some to LFS) so I didn't want to wake up to dead shrimp and a pH of 5.5.

What's the best way to semi-permanently raise my kH? Get some crushed coral and run it in my filter (AC70)?

When I went to bed last night, my CO2 level was 7ppm (red sea test kit) which is up from ~2ppm. At this point I am just running the CO2 bubbles directly into the pre-filter sponge of the AC70.

Any comments or suggestions?
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