The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - Simple DIY Drop Checker (V2 is Alive! 3/31)
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-30-2011, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 388
OK, so boredom hit me again this evening, and I was staring at my drop checker thinking what can I do to make this work better. So I would like to present to you

Simple Drop Checker V2

I didn't like having such a small surface area to the water with a 3/8"ID tube because I was sure that the response time was going to be pretty slow to changes in CO2. I was still daydreaming about the things I want to try when I get some acrylic tubing, and I remembered the methods used here for making the DIY acrylic lily pipes and wondered if it would work on vinyl tubing as well. Well it does.

I took some of my leftover tubing that I had, and gave it a try. I took a piece about 6" long, and capped off one end of it. I heated the tubing in about a 3" long section with a heat gun on low. Keeping it moving so I didn't burn, blister, or discolor the tubing. Heated it until it felt a little soft and sticky, and blew into the open end of the tube. At first I had to blow a little hard to get it to start stretching, but once it did it stretched faster. On the first try, it started slow and then got big and popped a hole in the tubing. The second try I just let it stretch a little, heated and blew again slowly about 3-4 times until it got to a decent size, and I didn't think it would safely go much larger. Then I cut the tubing in the middle of the blown area, and cut the other end of the tube to the length that I needed. Then just install in the glass container again like before.

This is a little more work, but it's not too bad and it solves two problems. Now you can't push the tube in too far to get it back out later for changing your solution. Also the surface area is much larger for faster readings. The original tubes inside diameter was only 3/8". Now the diameter is 13/16". If my math is right that means that the total surface area has increased to about 369% over the original design (<-someone smart check that math). Hopefully it is a little faster now. I'll test as soon as I get some more solution to see how long it takes to change.

Here is a size comparison of the standard tubing vs blown tubing

Whatcha think?

Last edited by Loop; 03-30-2011 at 06:44 PM.
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