Do I need a drop checker with DIY CO2? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Do I need a drop checker with DIY CO2?

I am new to the planted tank hobby and have started two tanks this year. One tank is 15 gal and the second tank is 5.5. Iím using one 2 liter bottle of DIY CO2 in both tanks. The 15 gal uses two 14w fluorescent bulbs. The 5.5 uses the 27W Hampton Bay light.

From what Iíve read on this forum, DIY CO2 production can be inconsistent. It also seems improbable that I will harm my fish with DIY CO2. If the above statements are true, are there good reasons for using a drop checker with DIY CO2?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 02:16 PM
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A drop checker will help you see how efficiently you diffusing the CO2 and could help you decide when to replenish the yeast and sugar mix. Make sure you use 4 KDH water in the drop checker though. Often instructions will tell you to use tank water in the DC and that will usually give you erroneous readings.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbosman View Post
A drop checker will help you see how efficiently you diffusing the CO2 and could help you decide when to replenish the yeast and sugar mix. Make sure you use 4 KDH water in the drop checker though. Often instructions will tell you to use tank water in the DC and that will usually give you erroneous readings.

I thought that bps in my bubble counter and the stream of bubbles from the diffuser would notably decrease (or cease altogether) when the CO2 production became low. And, it would be time to replenish the sugar/yeast concoction, when this occurred.

Are you saying that I can get a stream of micro bubbles from my diffuser and that these bubbles would not necessarily be CO2? And, that a drop checker is needed to ensure that the bubbles I see are CO2.

If I am going to use only one bottle for DIY CO2, can I use my bubble counter or the bubble stream from my diffuser as an indicator of CO2 production? If yes, are there other reasons to use a drop checker with DIY CO2?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisfan View Post
I thought that bps in my bubble counter and the stream of bubbles from the diffuser would notably decrease (or cease altogether) when the CO2 production became low. And, it would be time to replenish the sugar/yeast concoction, when this occurred.

Are you saying that I can get a stream of micro bubbles from my diffuser and that these bubbles would not necessarily be CO2? And, that a drop checker is needed to ensure that the bubbles I see are CO2.

If I am going to use only one bottle for DIY CO2, can I use my bubble counter or the bubble stream from my diffuser as an indicator of CO2 production? If yes, are there other reasons to use a drop checker with DIY CO2?
Basically when you diffuse CO2, not all of the produced gas is diffused into the water. Some of the little bubbles go right to the surface and dissipate. Also, with DIY, the production of co2 isn't always at the same rate. When the yeast are first munching down the sugar, they are really pumping it out, but as their food source gets consumed, the CO2 production slows. You want to try to avoid these variances, by replacing the yeast mixture before it gets too far down the hill. A drop checker is a good visual indicator of the state of your yeasts CO2 production, and how efficiently you are diffusing it. While the bubble counter will give you some idea of production, the biggest concern is the presence of diffused CO2 in the water, not in the bubble counter.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 06:26 PM
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It is recommended to have a drop checker if you use a DIY co2 system.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 06:45 PM
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While not needed, I agree that they should be used.

Just because you see bubbles still coming out of the diffuser doesn't mean it's a sufficient level for the tank. That's where the DC comes in handy. The moment you see it turning blue...you know it's time to recharge the bottle.
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