Does pH solution really work in Drop Checkers? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Does pH solution really work in Drop Checkers?

I bought a generic drop checker online which came with its own solution. I ran out of it recently and with this week's water change, I replaced the solution with API's pH solution and 4dkh.

Am I doing something wrong? The old solution would be yellowish green when added to the 4dkh water. The pH solution is a true blue when added to the 4dkh. When I test the tap water, the solution still reads 7.4 pH (which is correct). Now, after hours of being in the water with the co2 on, the drop checker is green with a hint of blue. It used to be green/yellow at this same level.

What am I doing wrong? Do I need to up the co2 or is the pH solution inaccurate? Or was the solution I began with inaccurate? Nothing other than the solution has changed. There are no crack in the DC glass, the co2 is on a timer and I haven't touched it or the needle valve.

I am having algae issues still, so I think I may have too little co2, but I don't know. I am so confused........HELP!

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 08:21 PM
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Well, I use the AP pH solution in my dropchecker and it is very blue when first added to the 4dkh standard. So if you're saying the old solution was yellowish green when first added to the dropchecker solution, then I think the old solution might have been inaccurate. The blue color you're getting now is the color the AP solution should be when it's first added to the dropchecker.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm... Since the API pH solution is good, what is the ideal color of the solution when there is enough co2 in the tank? A blue/green, dark green, light green or green/yellow? Right now it is a greenish/blue.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 02:42 AM
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Light green should equate to approximately 30 ppm of CO2. Some people push it on into yellow. Of course I don't have to tell you that how your fish are doing, good plant growth and lack of algae are the best indicator of your CO2 levels.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 02:49 AM
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Yes. pH reagent = Bromothymol Blue. Add enough so it is not too dark or light (say, 4 drops) in a standard-volume dropchecker . Typically lasts a year or more.

I'd question the old 'measurements' (since it's generic and proprietary who knows what it is?) especially if you have algae issues. Increase co2 & watch fish carefully over the short term (first hours to days) and plants over the long term (days to weeks).
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 05:00 AM
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Your old CO2 level might have been trapped in the drop checker too. But since you put in new reactant and new air, you'll get the correct CURRENT reading. I've never noticed the color to go back down to blue. For example, in the morning when the CO2 have been off all night, it should be blue, yes? But not for me. It's always green. Maybe it's just me.

I'm still having issues with my tank. I've narrowed it down to my darn loaches. They disturb the substrate too often and it's murky a lot of the time, triggering diatoms, dust, spots algae.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 05:03 AM
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If I run an airstone at night, it will go back to blue. Otherwise same for me as m.green.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I decided to turn up the co2 a bit. It is running about 2.7 BPS and now it is lime green. I noticed the fish are a little sluggish, so I am trying to get it to go back down to 2.5 Unfortunately, this crappy co2 valve is not very easy to dial into. It went down to 2.3, so I'll see how that does by the end of the night.

When I woke up this morning, the drop checker was blue, so I am thinking by your guys' account of the color being yellow that the co2 levels was too low. (no airstone)

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 10:49 PM
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From the chart
blue = low
green =
yellow = high


And I'm assuming you're using 4dkh water.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
From the chart
blue = low
green =
yellow = high


And I'm assuming you're using 4dkh water.
I wouldn't assume anything with me. It registers as 4dkh and I used hoppy's test calibration, so I think it is okay now. I am not certain I followed the directions carefully enough when making it. I'm a little ditzy nowadays.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 11:56 PM
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It's got to be the computer virus that's going around.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-24-2009, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sewingalot View Post
I wouldn't assume anything with me. It registers as 4dkh and I used hoppy's test calibration, so I think it is okay now. I am not certain I followed the directions carefully enough when making it. I'm a little ditzy nowadays.
Another member here followed those directions and it gave him a 3 dKH solution, so there is probably an error somewhere in those instructions. I'm not sure yet what it would be. If your solution is actually 3 dKH, the nominal ppm with the solution very green would be 3/4 of 30 or about 20-25 ppm.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-24-2009, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sewingalot View Post
...Unfortunately, this crappy co2 valve is not very easy to dial into...
A bit off topic but a quality needle valve is worth its weight in gold.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-24-2009, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Yes! It's the PC virus, not my mind loosing it! I like your thinking, mistergreen! Hoppy, it seems the test kit is registering the solution at 4dkh, but now I am not sure how much to trust this test kit. My water report shows a different number than the test kit shows....

A little off topic, but yeah, my needle valve and regulator both suck. One of these days, I'll buy a good one from Mike. Just not right now, cause I am cheap and it sorta works.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-24-2009, 02:29 AM
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This might help?The top bulb is what you want to focus on.

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