01-14-2013, 02:23 PM
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I wouldn't be too concerned about your pH. Unless your straight tap water is a huge difference. If you want to test it put some in a container and shake it for a couple of minutes to remove some of the CO2 first, then test it. I doubt it's much higher. If you'd rather not use the more expensive bottle then you will have to switch sometime.
The reason I asked about your test is that the sticks probably test higher than true, it would be a pain if it turned out you were getting a false high reading.
I am not certain if the plants shut down at night with regards to the ammonia uptake, I doubt it though. If it is then upping the light time would be a benefit, even if you ended up with more algae. I am on a 12 to 13 hour light cycle, the plants love it and no adverse signs of unwanted growth yet.
Can you post a pic of your setup?