Its hard for me to give numbers for PH and KH exactly. The test strips I used to have are not accurate at the low levels I have in my tank. The tank has been stable and thriving for for two years so I haven't worried about getting new test kits. My PH is around 6 but KH was really hard to measure with the strips.. I think it was around 2 or 3. Not much use eh. One bubble every 4 seconds or so. Riccia, Anubias, Crypts and java fern all thrive.
I will go down my LFS and get the water checked at the weekend. I am curious about my KH and CO2 numbers. I have been reading about buffering KH with oyster shell, have always kept said shells in the tank anyway.
I sounds like a lot of bubbles from your reactor ! not surprised your are having trouble with the inline diffuser. Maybe you could try one of those ceramic and glass ones you can get quite large ones on ebay. Can you see you bubbles getting smaller as they rise ?
Sorry to be so slow getting back to you, very busy with work.
How many bubbles are you putting through the diffuser ? I am bubbling once every 4 seconds and its all going in with no leakage. I wonder if it makes a difference having it inline or on the end of the hose intake ? Is the CO2 coming out the bottom of your one ?
Sorry to hear you are not having much luck with it.
I am using the stick the tube in the intake method in till I get around to making an inline diffuser. The bubbles are not such a problem for the motor. With my filter the bubbles are all dissolved way before they reach the impeller because they have to go through all the media first. Your filter might be different.
If I put my ear on the filter you can hear no bubbles getting to the motor but my girlfriend laughs at me with my head under the tank.
You could make or buy a box filter and put it above your tank. I had one like this I used for a year before moving house. It works a little like a sump but the other way around. A pump takes the water up and it drains through filter media back into the tank. Mine made a good slurping noise like paddling in soft mud upto your knees. My water was crystal clear unlike now with my XP3.
I am with Dwss59 and Eaglec on this one with one exception. I feed microworm and brine newly hatched brine shrimp to Corydora fry. There is no need to feed live food to fully grown fish, frozen food is good.