Drop checker issues - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Drop checker issues

This morning, I fixed my check valves and hooked up my CO2 again. I thought it would be a good time to put in my new drop checker I just got in the mail. This is what I did:

I have one of these from AQMagic: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...OMOBOX:NEWLIST

I don't think it matters, as it doesn't leak, which is enough. It was a bit difficult to get stuff into the checker, though.

Anyway, I also purchased 4dkH solution from Billionz. I added enough 4dkH to fill the checker bubble ~1/3 - 1/2 full. I then added 4 drops of the indicator that came with my checker. At this point, the checker was a nice bold blue (not too dark, but dark enough). My lights came on along with my CO2, and I went off to classes. When I got home, the checker was yellow. Fortunately, there are no fish in the tank at this moment, so I turned down the CO2 (a noticeable amount) and waited. 2 hours later, the checker was still yellow. So, I shut off the CO2 system completely to see what would happen. It is still yellow. As far as I can tell, no tank water has gotten into the checker, and the air gap between the checker solution and the tank water is still there. What could the problem be? Can the indicator solution expire? If so, what is the solution and where could I find it? (Is it bromothyl blue? I have the API Master test kit. Is this the same as the pH reagent?)

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 03:04 AM
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Yes you can use the ph reagent from your test kit. I just got the same drop checker you did a few weeks ago and I have no issues with it. It was a bit difficult to get the solution to the right color but other than that mine is good. It took less than 3 drops for me to get it to a dark blue. I had to dilute it with some more 4kdh to get it to a lighter dark blue. Mine was purple almost black with 4 drops. Check your 4kdh with your test kit, if it tests good then try it the dc with the ph reagent and dilute it like I did if needed.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishscale View Post
This morning, I fixed my check valves and hooked up my CO2 again. I thought it would be a good time to put in my new drop checker I just got in the mail. This is what I did:

I have one of these from AQMagic: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...OMOBOX:NEWLIST

I don't think it matters, as it doesn't leak, which is enough. It was a bit difficult to get stuff into the checker, though.

Anyway, I also purchased 4dkH solution from Billionz. I added enough 4dkH to fill the checker bubble ~1/3 - 1/2 full. I then added 4 drops of the indicator that came with my checker. At this point, the checker was a nice bold blue (not too dark, but dark enough). My lights came on along with my CO2, and I went off to classes. When I got home, the checker was yellow. Fortunately, there are no fish in the tank at this moment, so I turned down the CO2 (a noticeable amount) and waited. 2 hours later, the checker was still yellow. So, I shut off the CO2 system completely to see what would happen. It is still yellow. As far as I can tell, no tank water has gotten into the checker, and the air gap between the checker solution and the tank water is still there. What could the problem be? Can the indicator solution expire? If so, what is the solution and where could I find it? (Is it bromothyl blue? I have the API Master test kit. Is this the same as the pH reagent?)
IME, once the solutions get up that high, they tend not to come back. I can't explain why, but it has happened to me lots of times. Always when it gets really yellow. It's like it gets fried or something. Can anyone explain this?

Mike


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 01:26 PM
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How much turbulence do you have in your tank? How quickly does your pH tend to drop? Depending on your plant growth and the gas exchange at the top of the tank, it wouldn't surprise me to see that it could take a day or more for CO2 levels to drop appreciably.

Try this. Take your drop checker out of the tank and let it sit outside the water for a while (maybe 20-30 minutes). This should cause the solution to go back to blue. Assuming it goes back to blue, then attach it back into the tank. If it returns to yellow, I'd suggest that your CO2 levels dissolved within the water are still in the 30+ range. Give it time. I would think it should change colors when the water conditions have sufficient time to change.

As I'm fairly new to the drop checker business, I'd love to hear those with differing experiences,
Brian.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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I've turned the CO2 off (unplugged the solenoid), and the checker has been in the tank overnight. It is now green. Should I wait and see if it will drop back to blue?

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 05:23 PM
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You can turn turn the co2 back on but I would start real slow, about 1 or 2 bps for now.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 06:40 PM
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I have the same drop checker. Getting the solution into the bubble isn't too difficult, just takes some slow rotations and tapping on the neck portion to release the air from the bubble so the water can drop down into it.

I mixed my own 4dkh solution and added 4 drops of ph regeant. It is a bold blue every morning and a nice green by the end of the evening. At one point, I had the CO2 up in an attempt to battle some algae and my drop checker would get to yellow by the end of the evening, but it would turn to green again by the morning. I haven't had issues with color changes at all. I run an ario3 at night to oxygenate the water when the lights are off to help the shrimp and fish breathe. Try taking the drop checker out of the water completely and seeing if the color will change.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2008, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishscale View Post
This morning, I fixed my check valves and hooked up my CO2 again. I thought it would be a good time to put in my new drop checker I just got in the mail. This is what I did:

I have one of these from AQMagic: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...OMOBOX:NEWLIST

I don't think it matters, as it doesn't leak, which is enough. It was a bit difficult to get stuff into the checker, though.

Anyway, I also purchased 4dkH solution from Billionz. I added enough 4dkH to fill the checker bubble ~1/3 - 1/2 full. I then added 4 drops of the indicator that came with my checker. At this point, the checker was a nice bold blue (not too dark, but dark enough). My lights came on along with my CO2, and I went off to classes. When I got home, the checker was yellow. Fortunately, there are no fish in the tank at this moment, so I turned down the CO2 (a noticeable amount) and waited. 2 hours later, the checker was still yellow. So, I shut off the CO2 system completely to see what would happen. It is still yellow. As far as I can tell, no tank water has gotten into the checker, and the air gap between the checker solution and the tank water is still there. What could the problem be? Can the indicator solution expire? If so, what is the solution and where could I find it? (Is it bromothyl blue? I have the API Master test kit. Is this the same as the pH reagent?)
fish - I'm thinking of getting that one also. I have this little plastic one, but that glass one looks nice. Is it working for you yet?
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