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Old 05-12-2010, 07:38 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by StaleyDaBear View Post
What really are we talking about? We get around dosing checks with the EI method. Then, if we experiment using fish gasping, algae and pearling as a point of reference in upping or lowering our co2, is this just not another form of EI dosing? The chart and drop checker get no closer than we ourselves can predict with a close eye on our fish and tanks, and small changes in bps. Probably a better estimate considering we dont have restrictive limitations (numbers) and nor do our planted tanks.
In pre-drop checker days, when I was having loads of algae problems, I was frustrated because when I increased the bubble rate of my CO2 my fish would definitely show they were very uncomfortable with it, so I would stop increasing it. The chart showed that I consistently had around 60-100 ppm of CO2 in the water. I knew I would kill off the fish at that rate.

After I figured out how to make a drop checker work for me I found that the discomfort my fish were showing when I increased the bubble rate was mostly my imagination. I was able to greatly increase the bubble rate to get the green color, and not lose any fish. My algae problems eased off considerably.

I think many of us, new to pressurized CO2, are nervous about gassing the fish, so are gun shy about increasing the bubble rate enough to even get close to an optimum amount of CO2 in the water. A drop checker gives you the courage to go ahead and raise the bubble rate. Once you get over that hurdle, you eventually get to see what excessive CO2 does to the fishes behavior, then you can recognize it without using the drop checker again. I see it as a learning tool, more than as a precision testing device, which it certainly isn't.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:00 AM   #32
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I finally understand this, yay! For weeks now I've been reading about CO2, and it's now just finally dawned on me how to relate this chart to a drop checker. I was so focused on just understanding the process that I didn't even realize you're just checking the pH of the indicator solution. So NOW I know you take that pH reading and apply it to the chart.

Whew! I wish the first post of this thread said, "For use with a standard dKH solution. Compare the color of your drop checker to your pH test kit card, and use that reading (along with your standard dKH) to find your ppm of CO2." ...now that's here in case someone as slow as me reads this.
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:43 AM   #33
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I have a 10 gallon with diy co2, and a nano diffuser. I just tested and my ph is 7.2 and my Kh is at 8 degrees, so i have a co2 level of 15ppm. am i correct?
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:58 AM   #34
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Drop checker newbie here. I just got my drop checker in the mail and whipped up a batch of 4 dhk standard, added my pH reagent, and threw the drop checker in the tank.

Here is where my understanding of the chemistry behind what is going on gets fuzzy and I'd like someone to explain this to me if they can. Allow me to present the facts

I have a heavily planted 125 gallon with a 10 lb pressurized system that is pumping out about 3 to 4 bps. My drop checker is yellow reflecting a pH of approximately 6.4, by the chart provided with it, and co2 levels close to 70 ppm. However, when I actually test my water parameters my pH is sitting at 7.2 to 7.4. I do have hard water here so I'm not worried about the pH crash and I have crushed up cuttle bone in my canister to ensure that my pH stays at nuetral or above for my snails but what I don't understand is the inconsistency between the drop checker and the actual pH level.

I know that during the gas exchange inside the drop checker co2 is absorbed by the pH solution lowering the pH and changing the color but with a calcium carbonate buffer skewing my readings how do I know when its accurate? I mean how valid is this yellow color that I'm seeing?

Anyone help me out on this?

Last edited by Abrium; 04-28-2011 at 04:59 AM.. Reason: typos
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:08 AM   #35
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The point of a drop checker is that you are eliminating the guesswork of messing with your ACTUAL ph/kh. You are using the controlled KH of the Drop checker. The co2 lowers the PH in the drop checker and you get a direct reading. In your tank, testing the params is basically worthless. In the drop checker you get a controlled result.

Yellow is likely 30-40 ppm. Not 70. Maybe even under 30.

Ranges of yellow are hard to read. If you ahve livestock and they are not gasping, leave it alone. The real importance of dc's is that they help you know when it is way low. They react so slowly that your fish will tell you if you have a problem long before the dc will.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:25 AM   #36
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Alright, thanks a lot. That does help. So basically don't let it go into any shades of blue which shows a decrease in co2.
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:14 PM   #37
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I think something that has been pointed out but not absorbed.. the chart and equation are for 'perfect' water. If you are one of those people with acidic water (ph well below 7) and you are not injecting CO2.. then you don't have 'well over' 100 ppm co2. you have some other acid in your water.
go to your water source and do a ph test on it.. if it's coming out acidic, then this chart /equation may just be very useless for you.
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:22 PM   #38
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I target 45-60ppm for CO2, but this is a referenced system, then I test based on the reference.

So 30ppm does not seem like the best target either.

I do not mention this typically...........because many already gas their fish due to poor control/use/testing as it is.........with CO2 gas.

But slow progressive adjust works much better, many seek absolution..........which there really is not that much ..........plants will grow over a wide range of conditions...........but the conditions which work best for your goals might be different.

So treat each case as individual, this includes folks who have more than 1 aquarium with CO2!
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:58 PM   #39
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Hello helpful reader, Is it beneficial to add water from a tank that has CO2 injected to another that does not? I am hoping to be able to plant my much larger tank and give it CO2 almost as a treat 1 time a week or so when I do water changes. My planted tank is 25g tall, and the big one is 125g and has had a turtle (diamondback terrapin), and several fish. I am considering breaking the 125 down and redoing the substrate for plants, but would like to not buy another regulator, needle valve, ect...

Also wondering how long I should wait to get fish and shrimp after first planting a tank. The water has been in for a little over 2 weeks with top soil under sand under gravel. The plants were just added yesterday. Ammonia, Nitrates and Nitrites all seem to be 0ppm. pH is around 7.5. and KH test took 10 drops, so 10 deg. I think this is all ok, but how long should I give the plants to secure roots?

Thanks,
Jason
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:07 PM   #40
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Hello helpful reader, Is it beneficial to add water from a tank that has CO2 injected to another that does not? I am hoping to be able to plant my much larger tank and give it CO2 almost as a treat 1 time a week or so when I do water changes.
It isn't beneficial. You need at least somewhat constant CO2 concentration in the water, and this would be far from that. The repeated surges in CO2 concentration, followed by near zero CO2 would, at best, be of no benefit, and at worst it would encourage algae to start growing.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:16 PM   #41
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It isn't beneficial.
Thanks Hoppy, Maybe I will try a fermentation system.

Jason
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:51 PM   #42
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What does the Kh mean on Chuck's chart
Carbonate Hardness or "alkalinity" refers to the buffering capacity of the waters PH. In the chart it is expressed in degrees. (dh,deg)
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:15 PM   #43
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Here's a dumb question. If I read this thread correctly, it's better to put distilled water in my DC. Correct?? The instructions that came with the drop checker said to put in aquarium water. It is showing a lime green right now and my testing shows a PH of 6.6. I do have a little problem with brush algae but not much. And I take it that plants "pearling" is a good sign even though mine have not done that yet.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:33 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cblwry View Post
Here's a dumb question. If I read this thread correctly, it's better to put distilled water in my DC. Correct?? The instructions that came with the drop checker said to put in aquarium water. It is showing a lime green right now and my testing shows a PH of 6.6. I do have a little problem with brush algae but not much. And I take it that plants "pearling" is a good sign even though mine have not done that yet.
I do not know why the instructions would say aquarium water, you should be using a 4 dKH solution, then adding the ph indicator solution (I think its is called bromethyl blue)
Check this out:
http://www.njagc.net/articles/co2dropchecker.htm


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Old 12-02-2011, 02:23 PM   #45
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Can I use my marine (salt water) kH test by API to check my planted tank kH? I don't really trust my dip strips. The strips are the only thing I have at the moment.

Thanks!
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