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Old 05-08-2013, 06:31 PM   #16
HD Blazingwolf
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Originally Posted by nofearengineer View Post
well, this is really perplexing.

I moved my drop checker almost directly into the output of my spray bar before lights out.

When i got up this morning...still green.

Can i get an "argghh!" from the congregation?

Oh well...i'm getting ready to go on vacation. All fish appear blissfully happy (black skirts squabbling over food, corys nose down snuffling, otos scrubbing) and plants are pearling/streaming constantly, so i'm probably going to just leave it alone until i get back.
arrggghh
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:43 PM   #17
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I presume that you're using a known good 4dkH water in the drop checker and not tank water, yes?
Well, it is the included indicator solution that came with the Cal Aqua Pearl. So no, I haven't tested it myself, but one would hope...

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Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
I think many place way too much value on the DC, they really do poorly for many reasons. I'd say Riccia stones are far better than any DC.

A pH meter/probe is a far better and much more responsive relative measure of CO2.

Leave things alone till you get back from Vacation.
I understand your point and agree. However, keep in mind I'm a total noob to CO2 use, though I understand the theory pretty well.

I actually designed and built an electronic pH testing unit that operated two dosing pumps as part of my college senior project. Sadly, that was years ago, and the probe is probably beyond recalibration. I'm sure I will end up buying a pH meter-based system at some point, but for now I'm a total control freak and simply have to get the drop checker working properly .
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:23 PM   #18
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i looked into the cal aqua pearl.
i don't know how i feel about its design. looks simple enough. but im worried abou tsurface area

try picking up an evil bay DC for like 2 bux, and try it to see how it goes.
if you feel like spending the money at least.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:45 AM   #19
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Well, it is the included indicator solution that came with the Cal Aqua Pearl. So no, I haven't tested it myself, but one would hope...



I understand your point and agree. However, keep in mind I'm a total noob to CO2 use, though I understand the theory pretty well.

I actually designed and built an electronic pH testing unit that operated two dosing pumps as part of my college senior project. Sadly, that was years ago, and the probe is probably beyond recalibration. I'm sure I will end up buying a pH meter-based system at some point, but for now I'm a total control freak and simply have to get the drop checker working properly .

A DC is woefully inaccurate on the pH scale, some claim otherwise, but a difference of 0.2 pH is HUGE when trying to dial in a good CO2 ppm. More typically we see 3 ranges, blue, green and yellow.

So way way too much, not enough or maybe just right +/- 0.4 pH units.

How are you going to dial that error range in?
You'd be better using a Riccia stone and watching for good pearling by slowly adjusting the CO2 progressively up till the plant starts decent pearling under good light after 1-3 hours.

I'd say that method works better than any DC.

If the tap water is say 4 KH, what will errors of 0.4 pH do to CO2 levels?
Take a look.



Might be anywhere between say 70 and 10 ppm of CO2, with 30 ppm being in the middle. Add a 2-3 hour delay with that. Hard to read color etc.

A decent pH meter will run about 90$.

It's relative also unless you can run a known standard KH solution with the tap water and see the differences.

If that is done, then you can know the CO2 pretty well, or if the tap is 100% or close to being all bicarb KH, some tap is, some is not.

CO2 is about 90% of the hobby success, so focus VERY strongly there.
It accounts for at least 95%+ of all fish deaths and about the same for algae blooms.
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:37 PM   #20
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How can anyone be sure of any analytical measure...for example world class pH meters used daily in my industry are calibrated twice daily. Same model meters & same model probes can and usually will vary +/- 0.2 pH units for any given measure of the same sample within the same day.

Nature is all about balance and adaption right, so how do we know where that balance lies for us at home that cannot dial in our pH or know for certain our KH in order to get the CO2 well balanced. I have the Milwaukee pH controller for my CO2 system now and I calibrated it next to these world class meters at work and obtained the same values at pH 4, 7 & 10. I was impressed with their equipment. After I had in controlling my CO2 regulator for a week I went to recalibrate and it was off calibration by 0.2 units. That to me should be sufficient. I recalibrated and assume the value I'm ready is accurate. I'm sitting on pH 6.7-6.8 with consistent KH titrations of 7. I've only been doing this a couple weeks but that should be the right balance. Please let me know if I'm doing something wrong here. I want to "get this down pat", understand it, and help others learn it.

I like the riccia stone concept. Could you elaborate ?

What are our true "degrees of freedom" (assuming all we have a pH meters, pH & KH test kits) when trying to dial in & understand our respective relationships to pH, KH, & CO2 ?
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:02 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by jfynyson View Post
How can anyone be sure of any analytical measure...for example world class pH meters used daily in my industry are calibrated twice daily. Same model meters & same model probes can and usually will vary +/- 0.2 pH units for any given measure of the same sample within the same day.

Nature is all about balance and adaption right, so how do we know where that balance lies for us at home that cannot dial in our pH or know for certain our KH in order to get the CO2 well balanced. I have the Milwaukee pH controller for my CO2 system now and I calibrated it next to these world class meters at work and obtained the same values at pH 4, 7 & 10. I was impressed with their equipment. After I had in controlling my CO2 regulator for a week I went to recalibrate and it was off calibration by 0.2 units. That to me should be sufficient. I recalibrated and assume the value I'm ready is accurate. I'm sitting on pH 6.7-6.8 with consistent KH titrations of 7. I've only been doing this a couple weeks but that should be the right balance. Please let me know if I'm doing something wrong here. I want to "get this down pat", understand it, and help others learn it.

I like the riccia stone concept. Could you elaborate ?

What are our true "degrees of freedom" (assuming all we have a pH meters, pH & KH test kits) when trying to dial in & understand our respective relationships to pH, KH, & CO2 ?

I use a pinpoint 0.01 pH probe/meter, these are pretty good, plus minus about 0.05 pH units to the reference (4.001, 7.001). Stray current can depress the values, many folks claim they have plenty of CO2, and do not due to such issues. Or they may have non carbonate alkalinity as well as bicarbonate.

Picking up another sig digit will help when using/measuring and recalibrating to check. That's why we use them.

Unlike you, I use a pH meter, and do not use a ph Control function, so my test works better at that point in time, whereas any change to KH or pH probe drift will change the CO2 delivery as well with your method.

Since my system is merely dialed in using the pH meter, the flow rate from the CO2 system is golden, eg, it's stable regardless of what the KH issues are/or the pH probe says a few hours later etc.

The Flow rate, delivery of the CO2, which is what we want for plant growth, it being added in a stable manner. A dual stage reg, a good solenoid, check valve and high grade vernier handle valve will provide extremely stable CO2 flow rates.

I will leave the pH meter on and watch time to time.
But if I want to be sure, I'll recalibrate it, same with measuring the KH again, and then using the dry ice in a sealed flask with aquarium water(I purge the CO2/O2 out using N2 gas) and then a known reference 2 KH solution.
Dry ice melts/dissolves fast and I have a known mg/l solution of CO2.

I think you should be able to get to within 1-2 ppm using this method.

But this is used only after the fact, post hoc, after you have a good excellent plant growth reference point. This presents a problem for most aquarist, since they come here with the growth problem already, they have no control or reference point to begin with.

Sort of like a pH meter without any way to calibrate things, hard to use no?
Same issue with CO2 ppm, we have few methods to confirm our methods.

So we can attack this using another method, a specific easy to grow plant that is visually an aggressive pearling weed: Riccia.

you get this after 1-3 hours when it's down on the bottom of the tank:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=110298


You are in good shape as long as the fish are healthy, happy, behaving well.
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