my idea for a diy drop checker, need some input - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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my idea for a diy drop checker, need some input

i bought 4dkh fluid, because i dont trust myself making it.

now to make the housing for the liquid.
im going to use 2 90* 1/2" pvc elbows and some spare pipe. to view the liquid im going to use a spare test tube from my api test kit. luckly the cap fits perfectly into the end of the pipe, with a little glue it will hold well. and i can drill the cap to open it.

so now i have 2 questions.

how much of the ph reagent should i add to the test tube (i plan on using 5mls of the 4dkh)

and will this be enough surface area for the gas exchange to take place? or should i just rethink this set up?

i dont like the idea of in tank drop checker because my bush fish attacks everything on the glass (heater and filter intakes) so i dont want the reagents in my water itself. and all the items on my list i have on hand thats why i want to use them

thanks for the input

Last edited by genocdex; 10-15-2013 at 05:55 PM. Reason: 1/4" pvc was wrong
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 06:01 PM
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You only need to add enough drops of bromothymol blue (the pH reagent) so that the colour is easy to read. If you add too much, it will become too opaque to view.

As for the surface area, even with a small surface area, the colour of the indicator solution will change (assuming you have enough CO2); the only difference is that the reaction time will be slower.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 06:24 PM
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yeah 3-4 drops typically will suffice but I've found 6 drops was too much.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 07:01 PM
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That design will indicate uselessly slow. You want to maximise surface area and minimize path distance. I'd suggest you get one of those easy to read plastic ones and place it somewhere that your fish can't mess with it. Also, neither 4dkh solution nor bromothymol blue are even remotely toxic in the aquarium.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 07:55 PM
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I had an empty bottle that test strips came in and converted it to hold a test tube. Since the bottle was plastic, cutting it to the length I wanted and adding a tie wrap was simple. I tucked a couple pieces of small sponge on either side of the test tube to hold it in but still be easy to remove for refill/change out of the fluid. Keep in mind that tank water has to be exposed to the air inside the larger bottle as well as the fluid in the test tube. The changes in color are slow but I've never seen one that was fast either.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-19-2013, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
I had an empty bottle that test strips came in and converted it to hold a test tube. Since the bottle was plastic, cutting it to the length I wanted and adding a tie wrap was simple. I tucked a couple pieces of small sponge on either side of the test tube to hold it in but still be easy to remove for refill/change out of the fluid. Keep in mind that tank water has to be exposed to the air inside the larger bottle as well as the fluid in the test tube. The changes in color are slow but I've never seen one that was fast either.
Here is a very fast drop checker design: Magnet-attached Drop Checker

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