Drop checker never turning green or blue..
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:46 AM   #1
TexasCichlid
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Drop checker never turning green or blue..


Injecting CO2 at a pretty hefty rate during the day. Raise lily pipe at night, CO2 turns off an hour before lights turn off. Lily pipe raised, and no CO2 from 10pm to 2pm the next day. Drop checker still indicates yellow, maybe very slightly green yellow. Using an Up! drop checker and 4dKH fluid. Three drops of pH from my API kit turns the fluid a nice blue color before going into the tank. Afraid to keep dropping CO2..any other reason drop checker could be ready so yellow?
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:45 AM   #2
Aquaticfan
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Ok....... so some questions first..

What size of tank?
What method are you using to add Co2 to the water?
When you say adding hefty amount how are your determining this? And what do you consider hefty?
Lights come on at what time? When does Co2 come on?
How planted is the tank?
What do you have for circulation in the tank?
Whats your lighting?
Did you try to use the drops that came with your Up Aqua drop checker? Whos 4dKH?
Where is placement of drop checker? Where is placement of Co2 outlet to tank? How long does it take to turn yellow?

These are all things that can effect your issue. Do your fish ever gasp at surface or stress? Hows your growth?? Ever get pearling? If your fish are not stressed or gasping then you should be ok as youve not hit their threshold. It is the most important. Not what the drop checker tells you. As ive tried to tell others Drop checkers while useful are far from accurate. Sorry for so many questions but trying to nail it down to what it is cause so many things can affect it.
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:50 AM   #3
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Well, I would check to make sure your 4dKH is actually 4dKH, and that your API fluid is recent (the month and year of manufacture is stamped on the bottle).

But ...you do realize that yellow means "no, seriously, there's a whole lot of CO2 in the water, and your fish are probably really upset with you"?

Green is somewhere in the 20-40ppm range (ideal), and the yellower it gets, the more likely your fish are to jump ship, or die trying. Assuming the two fluids you're using are fine, trust them. Unless you have T5HO bulbs with *awesome* reflectors, you don't need to run the drop checker into yellow, ever.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:39 AM   #4
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Hey kev.

I know I've got some tanks that the drop checkers run yellow, but fish are totally happy. In fact I have plenty of headroom for more. I've moved them around the tank in various spots. Using atomizer or cerges reactor. Using same reference fluid and 4dkh as in the other tanks that get lime green and fish close to stressing. Dont you find while a drop checker is a good base line tool that its still far from accurate and can have lots of influences from other stuff? I've always tried to use my fish as my best guide.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:16 PM   #5
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Yellow ppssshhhtt. Doesnt mean ur fish hate you. Ive had mine far beyond yellow.. my dc's have a painted white background for reference and ive turned yellow with my water at 6.4 ph down from 7.6 then continued to drop to 6.0. Thats 1 .6 drop in ph. From 6.4 to 6.0 c02 levels almost double. Thats when my fish started breathing heavy but otherwise ate and swam fine just had to respirate more.. the limit for c02 is largely affected by oxygen levels. This is achieved through surface area of the tank. The more you have. The more oxygen u will have.

Id have to say ur dc not changing color is due to flow. C02 leaves water readily if flow is decent and there is a little surface movement.. or ur dc fluid is like 2 dkh and is responding to low levels of c02
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaticfan View Post
Ok....... so some questions first..

What size of tank?
What method are you using to add Co2 to the water?
When you say adding hefty amount how are your determining this? And what do you consider hefty?
Lights come on at what time? When does Co2 come on?
How planted is the tank?
What do you have for circulation in the tank?
Whats your lighting?
Did you try to use the drops that came with your Up Aqua drop checker? Whos 4dKH?
Where is placement of drop checker? Where is placement of Co2 outlet to tank? How long does it take to turn yellow?

These are all things that can effect your issue. Do your fish ever gasp at surface or stress? Hows your growth?? Ever get pearling? If your fish are not stressed or gasping then you should be ok as youve not hit their threshold. It is the most important. Not what the drop checker tells you. As ive tried to tell others Drop checkers while useful are far from accurate. Sorry for so many questions but trying to nail it down to what it is cause so many things can affect it.
Tank is the 60P in my journal, 17G
CO2 is injected with an inline atomizer.
A hefty amount of CO2 was bubbles that I could not count and resulting soda water. This is a 2 month DSM HC transition. First week. Been slowly dropping down the CO2.
Circulation is provided by an Eheim 2028 at full blast.
Lighting is a 2x24w catalina t5ho. One bulb is being used 8 hours a day. HC pearls like crazy.
The drops that came with my drop checker would not go past green, so I ditched them months ago on a previous setup.
4dKH is from GLA
Drop checker is in back left hand corner of the tank, lily pipe front right hand corner.
Drop checker turns yellow an hour after replacing the fluid and putting it in the tank. Never turns green or blue again aside from being blue initially with 3 drops of API pH tester. API was produced 3/2011.

I fully realize yellow is a lot of CO2. I have no fish. This is a DSM transition, so I really don't care how much CO2 was in there. I'm just trying to figure out what's going on with the drop checker as I begin to drop the CO2 levels down to normal levels in preparation for stocking. When I raise the lily pipe, there is a LOT of surface agitation. I can hear it from across the house. This is why I am confused about the CO2 not off gassing at night.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:56 PM   #7
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What is the actual pH of your tank? Perhaps it is staying very acidic 24 hours a day.

Take tests of the water through out the day and night and compare to what the drop checker is saying.

Take a water sample out of the tank and test it every couple hours as well.

Strange, I have had the tester go bad after weeks and weeks but not right off the bat. Maybe your pH solution is bad too, how old is it?
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:19 PM   #8
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Have u checked the 4dkh solution to make sure its 4 dkh?

Changing to yellow in one hour is fast for any drop checker. Something is amiss. But test the ph of ur water like kathy said. Thats a good indicator..
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:53 PM   #9
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Water is RO so around 6.3 pH.
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:17 PM   #10
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So basically the drop checker is in a flow pattern 180 degrees from your output of your co2 and the endish area of your current flow.

This is the first 2 things I'd do. Test your ph as others have suggested. Move your drop checker to different parts of the tank. Try right next to the Lilly pipe try anywhere see if the readings change I know on mine if I'm right in the end of the flow zone it turns yellow. Make sure your about 3 inches down from the surface. But to be honest if its not ever changing back even over night. Your test solution or 4dkh is not good.
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:54 PM   #11
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If you are using an uncountable amount of bubbles through one of those inline atomizers, I suppose that you are getting so much co2 in the water that it just isn't gassing off enough during the night to get the drop checker back to green or blue. What is your ph reading before the co2 shuts off? Mine doesn't go completely back to blue overnight, just to a dark green, but it will go blue if removed from the tank.
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livingword26 View Post
If you are using an uncountable amount of bubbles through one of those inline atomizers, I suppose that you are getting so much co2 in the water that it just isn't gassing off enough during the night to get the drop checker back to green or blue. What is your ph reading before the co2 shuts off? Mine doesn't go completely back to blue overnight, just to a dark green, but it will go blue if removed from the tank.
With any sort of surfave agitation especially if his lily pipe is splashing loud enough to hear cross the house, it off gasses just fine at night.
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:21 PM   #13
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I guess I didn't realize that a drop checker does not work with RO? It worked on my previous tank a couple of months ago fine and it used RO.
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:45 PM   #14
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The drop checker works fine with RO water in the tank. It only reacts to gases in the water, not ions. A 17 gallon tank shouldn't need a "hefty" amout of CO2, so it is possible that you have 10X more CO2 going in than is needed. That won't harm the plants, but you will have to get it down before adding any fauna. The fact that the DC went yellow so fast suggests that the tank water ppm of CO2 is way above 30 ppm, maybe nearer to 300 ppm. All of this assuming the 4 dKH is really 4 dKH, and the pH reagent is still good. (I don't remember what pH reagent does when it gets too old.)
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:53 PM   #15
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I have 3 year old API PH reagent and it still works the same as the day I bought it.
All my API test kits work the same except the GH test kit, even after 3 years, the dye has faded a bit forcing me to look down through the tube to tell when it has turned from yellow to green but it still works.
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