Drop checker vs. PH - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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Drop checker vs. PH

For the longest time, I've been using the drop checker to gauge how much Co2 is in my tank. I recently got a PinPoint PH Monitor, and been trying to dial it in perfectly.

My KH is 4
PH: 6.5-6.6 (7.2-7.3 without Co2 turned on, lights off)

With those numbers, according to Co2 charts, I should be around 30-35 PPM

When looking at my Drop Checker, the solution shows a dark green / small hint of blue in it. I know it can take a few hours to change colors, but it doesnt look like it's getting any lighter.

I know most would say do not trust the DC, but I just wanted to make sure. Is it normal for the DC to not even be close?

Also, my tank is all RODI water, and I use aquavitro mineralize and Mosura Mineral plus ultra after I do water changes to bump the TDS back up to around 150 ish (GH around 5-6). I am not sure if this will effect my PH results or not.


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 07:55 AM
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Are you using a 4dKH solution for your drop checker?


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PortalMasteryRy View Post
Are you using a 4dKH solution for your drop checker?
Yeah it is. It was provided to me from Green leaf aquarium. Color shows blue in the morning, when co2 has been gassed out.


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 06:34 PM
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There will always be arguments about which is the better way to measure CO2, the pH/KH method or a drop checker. One sure thing is that the pH/KH method will not work for typical planted tank water, because that method only works if there is nothing in the water affecting pH except CO2 and carbonate ions. Typical aquarium water contains things like tannic acid and some phosphate compounds which also affect the pH. A drop checker gets around that problem by using pure water containing only carbonates and a pH reagent.

But, measuring pH by comparing the color of the pH reagent dyed water to a color chart can never be accurate enough to even come close to the exact pH. We just can't judge colors that well, and the color changes for a .1 pH change are too slight to detect. That makes even a drop checker accurate only to around +/- 15 ppm of CO2.

Since we don't know with any accuracy what "good" CO2 is for every aquarium set-up, with its unique lighting, planting, fertilizing, etc. it really doesn't matter what the exact ppm of CO2 is in the water. Instead, we can use the reaction of the plants and fish to judge what "good" CO2 is for our specific tank and set-up. That will always let us set the CO2 bubble rate so we have "good" CO2 in our tank.

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