Simple DIY Drop Checker (V2 is Alive! 3/31) - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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True, I didn't think of using a small syringe.
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post #17 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 04:39 AM
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why would it need to be glued? if there isnt a need for glue, i think glue would definitely make it harder
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post #18 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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why would it need to be glued? if there isnt a need for glue, i think glue would definitely make it harder
He's saying if you used an acrylic tube you would have to glue it to prevent leaks. With the vinyl tubing I used it's not an issue as long as it fits in the opening tight.
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post #19 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by redfishsc View Post
A metal funnel would probably work well for this but it would have to be a tiny one, and I don't know where you'd find such an animal.

This comment got me to think again about the funnel idea. I googled "glass funnel" because I thought it wouldn't look too bad if there were any small ones. I found these on Amazon that you could probably use for the bottom if they make some small ones. Not sure what the outside diameter is of the skinny part of the funnel though. Might be a problem if it's too fat to fit the tubing, but would give you a nice large size opening on the bottom. I'm sure there are some pretty creative drop checker desings that could be made using these funnels as a starting point also. I've already had a few ideas while typing this.
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post #20 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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I've got good news and bad news.

The good news is, it works.

The bad news is, I'm not sure how long it took to respond.

I put it in the tank around 4:15 - 4:30. Then shortly after I got a call about some work related stuff. Had to check some emails and make some calls for work and I forgot to check on it.

At around 6:30 I thought "OH $#!%, the drop checker!". Went to look at it and it was green. So I know it works in atleast 2 hours

How long do the standard little ADA/Chinese knockoffs take? I've never had one before.



Here's a pic of it in action. Brace yourself for all the action!

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post #21 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 03:03 AM
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Well, a 2 hour reaction time is a LOT better than my 3-week waiting time since I only check the pH against the alkalinity for CO2 levels when doing it the old school way
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post #22 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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Well, a 2 hour reaction time is a LOT better than my 3-week waiting time since I only check the pH against the alkalinity for CO2 levels when doing it the old school way
lol Yeah I guess I can't complain too much considering that. Plus the fact that it's under $2 and only takes about 15 minutes to make with the blown tube.
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post #23 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 03:46 AM
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post #24 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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thats pretty sick! imma have to try that
Go for it. It couldn't be much simpler than this.

I would suggest to anyone that is making one with the blown tubing at the bottom to buy a little extra. I originally bought 2ft of it just because it was so cheap, and it came in handy to have the extra when I messed up the first try. Your probably going to need at least 6 inches for each attempt because the tubing gets a little too hot in the heated section to hold comfortably. Good luck, and post pics here if anybody tries it or does something differently. I'm sure there are ways to keep this really simple and improve it or use other materials.

Last edited by Loop; 04-01-2011 at 07:26 PM.
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post #25 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 05:30 AM
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How big does the bottle need to be? I have some tiny glass ones that hold around 5ml liquid with a .25 opening. Do you think that is to small?
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post #26 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 12:35 PM
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What are you using for your test solution/reagent (ie the green liquid)? Can you make your own using the chemicals from kH & pH test kits? I live in the middle of nowhere, so anything that normally comes from a local pet store requires an internet purchase or a 90 minute drive.
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post #27 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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How big does the bottle need to be? I have some tiny glass ones that hold around 5ml liquid with a .25 opening. Do you think that is to small?
That might be a little small to work with, but I'm not sure. I'm just not sure if you will have enough room in the opening for a tube. I think a good minimum size to look for would be a 1/2" opening, maybe 3/8" but that's still pretty small. Maybe something that holds at least 15-20 ml because the tube will take up a lot of the space inside. The package that mine came in says "1 FL OZ (30 ml)" and it is a little bigger than it needs to be.



Quote:
Originally Posted by smannell View Post
What are you using for your test solution/reagent (ie the green liquid)? Can you make your own using the chemicals from kH & pH test kits? I live in the middle of nowhere, so anything that normally comes from a local pet store requires an internet purchase or a 90 minute drive.
I used some 4dKH solution and a couple drops of ph indicator (bromothymol blue) from my API test kit. I ordered the 4dKH online, but you can make it yourself. There are write-ups online for ways to make it, but I just didn't feel like going through the trouble when it's like $5 to order some and get it in 2 or 3 days. I think someone here was selling some in the Swap & Shop recently, and it's usually available on E b a y.
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post #28 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 03:08 AM
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Thanks for the info. Once I have the 4dKH solution, is the amount of pH indicator critical? My pH test kit calls for three drops of test solution for 5mL of water.

Also, I found a good source for small glass containers: empty salt & pepper shakers. They even have a nice look to them. The ones I found had an opening of .700", so with a little muscle and possibly some hot water to soften the tubing; a piece of 3/4" OD clear vinyl/acrylic/pvc tubing wedges into the opening quite nicely. Any grocery store or discount outlet should have a variety of sizes & shapes for a few bucks.
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post #29 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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The amount of ph indicator isn't any specific amount. Just a few drops until the coloring is dark enough that you can easily see it. I think I put around 4 in mine, but I wasn't really paying much attention. Just until I could see it well.
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post #30 of 54 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loop View Post
This comment got me to think again about the funnel idea. I googled "glass funnel" because I thought it wouldn't look too bad if there were any small ones. I found these on Amazon that you could probably use for the bottom if they make some small ones. Not sure what the outside diameter is of the skinny part of the funnel though. Might be a problem if it's too fat to fit the tubing, but would give you a nice large size opening on the bottom. I'm sure there are some pretty creative drop checker desings that could be made using these funnels as a starting point also. I've already had a few ideas while typing this.
Here is one way, involving a little work, to make a good DC from that funnel:


Cut off the stem on the funnel, cut off the top of a small glass bottle, and silicone them together.

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