Why 4dKh for drop checker? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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Why 4dKh for drop checker?

It seems pretty standard now that you use a 4 dKH solution in a drop checker. But why is 4 the magic number? Is it simply because 30 ppm is what is considered optimal now and that is where the green on the old pH chart falls for 4 dKH?

I don't have a drop checker yet (on order), but it seems that people have issues discerning green from blue in the aquarium. Since 4 dKH could give you anywhere from 19 to 75 ppm and still be greenish, that seems a little dangerous (assuming >40 ppm CO2 is dangerous).

I also read of people looking to use 5 or 6 dKH, but that would mean an even bigger range in the greenish zone.

It would seem to this complete noobie, that a solution of 2 or 3 dKH would be safer. At 3 dKH, anything green is 56-14, with the middle being 30. At 2 dKH, the green range is 10-37, with the middle being 20. Certainly, if you are doing PPS-Pro, it would make more sense to use a 2 dKH solution since you are targeting 15-20 ppm.

Making a 2 or 3 dKH solution would be as easy as diluting a 4 dKH solution with DI water correct? 1:1 DI and 4 dKH would be 2, and 1:3 would be 3 (it is late here so my math here is probably wrong lol).
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 03:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkeeler View Post
It seems pretty standard now that you use a 4 dKH solution in a drop checker. But why is 4 the magic number? Is it simply because 30 ppm is what is considered optimal now and that is where the green on the old pH chart falls for 4 dKH?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkeeler View Post
I don't have a drop checker yet (on order), but it seems that people have issues discerning green from blue in the aquarium. Since 4 dKH could give you anywhere from 19 to 75 ppm and still be greenish, that seems a little dangerous (assuming >40 ppm CO2 is dangerous).
There are double drop checkers out there. Although I haven't found need to use one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkeeler View Post
Making a 2 or 3 dKH solution would be as easy as diluting a 4 dKH solution with DI water correct? 1:1 DI and 4 dKH would be 2, and 1:3 would be 3 (it is late here so my math here is probably wrong lol).
Yes, just a simple serial dilution.

1 unit water : 1 unit 4dKH = 2 dKH
1 unit water : 1 unit 2dKH = 1 dKH.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 03:30 AM
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The KH of the drop checker water isn't really critical, as you noticed. Anything between 3 and 5 would most likely be usable. If you happen to have really good eyes, and can distinguish between the shades of green very well, I think 4 is the best to use. But, remember, all you gain with the drop checker is the ability to get somewhat close to the maximum concentration of CO2 that the fish will tolerate. After that you need to slowly adjust the bubble rate until you get good pearling, but no clustering of the fish at the surface "gasping for air". It isn't an exact science at all.

Some people seem to be running their drop checker at yellow, rather than green. If that is the goal, then using 2 -3 KH could be a better idea, in that it is easier to tell that you aren't too low on CO2. But, the trade-off is that you can't see any color change as you go well beyond the maximum concentration. It is just a tool, to be used as is most helpful to you.

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