Magnet-attached Drop Checker
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > DIY


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-01-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
Hoppy
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hoppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (75/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18,854
Default

Magnet-attached Drop Checker




I finally found a very simple way to attach a drop checker with a magnet, using the drop checker design I have been selling on the SnS forum. I already had the magnets, having bought them for a failed attempt to convert suction cup mounted riparium planters to magnet mounted ones. To protect the magnet that will be in the water from the water, ant the water from the magnet, I coated it with "Performix ReRACK", which is made for restoring missing vinyl coating on kitchen racks. It is a Plasti-dip product. For this prototype I used a too long brass flat head screw to attach the magnet to the DC, threading the hole in the plastic part to match the screw.

I think I'm zeroing in on the "perfect" Drop Checker!

The photos show the DC mounted on the outside of the aquarium, for easier photographing.
__________________
Hoppy
Hoppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-01-2011, 07:46 PM   #2
Loop
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Loop's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 388
Default

I haven't had the pleasure of using one of these, so this might be irrelevant, but here goes anyway. I remember reading in another of your DIY threads some questions about difficulty filling this with solution. What if you changed the white part inside so that it was 3/4 of a circle instead of 1/2 so that you could turn it sideways to fill it easier. I'm not sure if it makes sense the way I'm describing it, but like most things it sounded good in my head. Might need an illustration.
Loop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 08:20 PM   #3
Hoppy
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hoppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (75/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18,854
Default

I could use 3/4 of a cylinder as the "tray", but that would double the amount of "tray" material I would need. This way I can get two pieces from one tube of material. It is easy to fill this if you use a syringe with a relatively long needle, bent at the end. When I sell some of these, a syringe is included.
__________________
Hoppy
Hoppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 10:23 PM   #4
Loop
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Loop's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 388
Default

OK, gotcha. I wasn't sure if that was still a issue or not. Shoulda known you already had it figured out.

BTW, since your like the Drop Checker Master, I was curious if you had seen the simple design in my sig. Wondering if you had any ideas for improvements. I don't expect it could be as quick as yours because the design has it's limitations, but I'd like to hear any ideas you might have that keeps it very easy for others to replicate. My main goal was just to make something that worked, was cheap, and anyone could very easily copy without needing any tools. Although I may have messed up that last one by using a heat gun. Hmmmmm.......How hot do blow dryers get
Loop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 10:38 PM   #5
Hoppy
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hoppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (75/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18,854
Default

Loop, the basic drop checker design is so simple that there must be 100+ ways to make one, some very good, others not that good. I think having a 4+ hour reaction time is too much, because if you are using DIY CO2, by the time the DC shows you have way too little, that condition has been there for 4 hours or more. And, if you use pressurized CO2, a 4 hour reaction time can cause you to overshoot by much too much, thinking you don't have enough. So, I value having a short reaction time very highly. And, that is difficult to achieve. My current design is the only one I have tried that had a less than 2 hour reaction time, other than membrane based ones.
__________________
Hoppy
Hoppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 02:29 AM   #6
redfishsc
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Wake Forest NC
Posts: 1,121
Default

Would something like this be useful? The price is right. And if you go to a church that uses them, you can get them for free. I could STOCK LOAD on them next time we have communion and ship them out. Just need to be washed with some bleach to sanitize them.

They would work for the interior fluid holder. You could use a disk sander or belt sander to buzz about half the cup away and glue it to the acrylic backer.

http://www.amazon.com/Disposable-Com.../dp/B001IMG7R4
redfishsc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 04:26 AM   #7
Hoppy
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hoppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (75/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18,854
Default

Almost all glasses are made of PET, or at least something other than acrylic. Getting a good glue joint with other plastics can be a problem. I have been surprised at how few common transparent plastic items are made of acrylic, which makes this kind of DIY much more difficult than I expected it to be. PVC is, of course, another easy to join plastic, but clear PVC isn't very clear, and very few things are made of it. All bottles for juice and carbonated beverages, and bottled water are made of PET. As far as I can tell, gluing PET just isn't commonly done, and the advantage of PET is that it can be blown out to extreme thinness, but that is a disadvantage when you try to use those products in DIY applications. About the only PET items I could find, that are usable, are "preforms", which look like test tubes, but are intended to be blown out to full bottle size.

The best news for DIYers is that I find Lexan to be very easy to work with, nearly impossible to accidentally break, and glues even better than regular acrylic. But, all Lexan I see is sheets, no other forms.
__________________
Hoppy
Hoppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 02:47 PM   #8
redfishsc
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Wake Forest NC
Posts: 1,121
Default

So you get Lexan/polycarbonate to glue better than acrylic? Nice! What glue are you using? Supposedly Weld-On #4 and 40 don't work as well with Lexan since it doesn't remelt, but Lexan is MUCH more user-friendly when it comes to cutting it.
redfishsc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 06:22 PM   #9
Hoppy
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hoppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (75/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18,854
Default

I'm using Weld-On #16, which is a medium viscosity version. It grabs onto Lexan much faster than with regular acrylic, but the cement then dries with a hazy color, instead of clear. The joint is very good though.

I cut sheet acrylic or Lexan with a utility knife. With acrylic I score each side about 2-4 times, and it cracks off at the score. But, with Lexan I score each side 8-10 times, and it actually bends a bit before it finally breaks off. Lexan scores easily though, so the 8 score marks go about 1/4 of the way through the sheet. I think it is softer than regular acrylic.
__________________
Hoppy
Hoppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 06:48 PM   #10
redfishsc
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Wake Forest NC
Posts: 1,121
Default

Lexan cuts nicely on a table saw, it's nothing like acrylic.

For what it's worth, I've found clear PVC glue to bond to Lexan reasonably well. I wouldn't build an aquarium with it (regardless of what glue I used) since it doesn't remelt or burn-in like acrylic does.

But, it does glue strong enough to hold water at STP.

See these lil dudes. There is a coral farm down the road from me that I made these for. They're just used to peek through the surface of the water of their huge vats. Eliminates surface reflection, works like a charm.

PVC glue has held the Lexan scrap I used quite strongly. I tested one last week and it held water for over a week before I emptied it out.

http://www.carolinafishtalk.com/foru...ank-cheap.html
redfishsc is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012