How do you check CO2 levels in your tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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How do you check CO2 levels in your tank?

How do you know that the CO2 levels in your tank? It's not like theres a co2 tester is there?:help :
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 01:29 PM
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drop checker to measure co2
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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RE:drop checker to...

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drop checker to measure co2
Please explain.. What type of checker?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 03:05 PM
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Just google drop checker. You find all kinds of info.

I have been keeping planted tanks since 78 or 79. With CO2 since 93 or 94. I can just eyeball the plants, algae and fish at this point to determine if I have enough CO2. I have found that drop checkers can only give you ball park readings and sometimes are just flat out wrong.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 03:18 PM
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Please explain.. What type of checker?
Here's a link to GLA's drop checkers. There are several different designs you can get.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdTheEdge View Post
Just google drop checker. You find all kinds of info.

I have been keeping planted tanks since 78 or 79. With CO2 since 93 or 94. I can just eyeball the plants, algae and fish at this point to determine if I have enough CO2. I have found that drop checkers can only give you ball park readings and sometimes are just flat out wrong.
You know, I agree with you on this 100%, I have a CO2 drop checker and made my own 4dkh solution but I am not really sure how accurate it is. I just added fish and I think going by their breathing rate or their trips to the surface for O2 is much more reliable, also pearling of plants.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanx guys, I'll check that site! Be back with some more dumb questions in a minute!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 04:58 PM
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This thread made me think I should up on my CO2 and change out the air and solution in my drop checker. I'm seeing string algae even though the drop checker is green. Algae can be your friend as well.

The red sea drop checker is pretty cheap if you don't want to spend too much.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 06:50 PM
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Drop checker FTW.

There's no basement in the alamo.


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 07:12 PM
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I have a question...what happens to the solution IF you dont change it out? Does it stay green indefinetly when it gets old? does it go back to blue? does it turn clear?


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 07:26 PM
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I have a question...what happens to the solution IF you dont change it out? Does it stay green indefinetly when it gets old? does it go back to blue? does it turn clear?

I just changed mine for the first time in over a year. The color still worked and indicated the level pre-change, but post change it was a lot brighter.

I'm told that because of the high lighting level in most planted tanks, the dye can sometimes be misleading if it has been sitting there for too long.

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Last edited by elihanover; 12-10-2009 at 01:39 AM.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 07:40 PM
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I can just eyeball the plants, algae and fish at this point to determine if I have enough CO2. I have found that drop checkers can only give you ball park readings and sometimes are just flat out wrong.
X3

IME guppies/endlers are a perfect fish to use for a reference point. They normally cruise at all levels of the aquarium, but if your starting to max out with CO2, guppies will gasp at the surface much sooner than any other fish. When you start seeing this start to happen, cut the bubble rate down from there. Once you see they're now back to their usual selves, cruising the whole tank. That's where you want to keep it. With respective lighting you will see much pearling from most plants, if not all.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by elihanover View Post
I just changed mine for the first time in over a year. The color still worked and indicated the level pre-change, but post change it was a lot brighter.

I'm told that because of the high lighting level in most planted tanks, the dye can sometimes be misleading.

Awesome..thanks!! good info!


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 10:24 PM
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X3

IME guppies/endlers are a perfect fish to use for a reference point. They normally cruise at all levels of the aquarium, but if your starting to max out with CO2, guppies will gasp at the surface much sooner than any other fish. When you start seeing this start to happen, cut the bubble rate down from there. Once you see they're now back to their usual selves, cruising the whole tank. That's where you want to keep it. With respective lighting you will see much pearling from most plants, if not all.

I'd love to put a few in my tank... but they are too low on the food chain. Any other fish (tetra's, rainbows, etc) that are good indicators?
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