The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - CO2 Drop checker question
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 09:00 PM
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Your carbonate hardness is a bit on the high side. General hardness is quite high but, for most tank inhabitants, that's not as critical. It's possible to build up a nice tank working with water with those parameters. Your pH is actually low for that much carbonate hardness; your water probably wasn't fully equilibrated with air when you tested. Or you were out of the reliable range of your pH test.

As Quesenek said, the drop checker doesn't directly measure the pH in your tank. It measures how much CO2 is in your water by seeing how much the CO2 lowers the pH in the drop checker solution. The test solution in your drop checker really should be around 4dkH, as that ensures that it will be a cheery emerald green when your tank CO2 is about right. Higher dkH in your drop checker actually means a bluer solution while lower dKH means a yellower solution. This moves the green point to a higher CO2 concentration for harder drop checker solution (your CO2 will be too high when the checker is emerald green) and to a lower CO2 concentrain for softer drop checker solution (your CO2 will be too low when the checker is emerald green.)

If you use your tank water in your drop checker as a stopgap while you wait for the 4dkH solution to arrive, all it will tell you is that your CO2 is too high (by being any color but deep blue.) That's not useless.
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