pH drop checker liquid - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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pH drop checker liquid

This might be a totally dumb question, but I'll ask it anyway...

There is much to read about how to measure baking soda and mixing it into distilled water, and you need a highly precise scale, and you'll mix a huge pail of drop checking liquid. Or you mail order some of that glorified water.

Say I know my tapwater kH is 10. Why wouldn't I just take 40ml of that and mix in 60ml (or something, my math sucks) of distilled water, and bingo, instant 4kH water?

Surely I must be missing something...


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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 09:57 PM
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I would think its because your tap may have phosphates or whatever in it that normally throws off the kh/ph relationship chart?

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, there might be an exception...


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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 10:13 PM
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Seems logical to me.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 10:38 PM
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If this is for a drop checker--then I would say that its "close enough". I just used 1gal of distilled water, about 0.31gram (I think) of baking soda, and manipulated the Kh test kit to 0.25Kh "accuracy". "Close enough" for our purposes, imo.


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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naja002 View Post
If this is for a drop checker--then I would say that its "close enough". I just used 1gal of distilled water, about 0.31gram (I think) of baking soda, and manipulated the Kh test kit to 0.25Kh "accuracy". "Close enough" for our purposes, imo.

Got a DC on order and this is exactly what I intend to do.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naja002 View Post
If this is for a drop checker--then I would say that its "close enough". I just used 1gal of distilled water, about 0.31gram (I think) of baking soda, and manipulated the Kh test kit to 0.25Kh "accuracy". "Close enough" for our purposes, imo.
I know this works, but again, my question is, assuming there are no phosphates or humic acids or potassium cyanide in my tap water, and it is >4kH, why would I not just mix a small batch with distilled water?


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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-09-2007, 11:53 PM
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I know you've been arround the hobby for a long time and have probably alread read this but just in case, I just found it and thought it might help. Don't mean to insult your intelligence. If you're already aware, sorry.

Barr Report Drop Checkers

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 12:40 AM
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Please ignore my post. You were talking about tap water and my post speaks to tank water. Sorry for my ignorance!
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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No problem Todd, thanks for chiming in. I'll check out Toms write-up later.

Still looking for any disadvantages of distilled + tap vs distilled + baking soda + precise scale + large container.


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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 01:02 AM
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I'll let you know. I just mixed up some 5KH standard using my ultra soft tap and I expect my DC will be here in the next few days so I'll tell you how it works out. It'll obviously be more accurate then Chuck's calculator and I'll let you know the readings. From there, you can judge for yourself. BTW, 5 vs 4 cuz I'm targeting 35ppm.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 02:59 AM
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There's no need for large containers. I mixed up a batch of 4dkh water this evening, and my largest volume was one liter. My scale is only accurate to 1 gram, so I weighed 60 grams of baking soda and dissolved it in one liter of water (which I also measured using the scale). I diluted that 1:20 for a 100 dkh stock solution, and diluted that 1:25 for 4 dkh. Which is to say I measured 10 ml with a giveaway pharmacy syringe and added it to 190 ml, again measured on the scale, and then 10 ml in 240 ml.

None of these volumes is bigger than a liter (I used a Nalgene), and the least precise measurement is the 60 g of baking soda which is +/- 1 g. The syringe probably has slightly better precision. If done carefully, I think this should give precision of something like... one part in 30. This particular serial dilution uses ~1.5 liters of diH2O, and it's $0.60 per gallon anyway.

I personally think that's pretty easy, but there was a time when I got paid to do stuff like this. Ask me sometime about the med student on a rotation in my research lab who didn't understand the concept of a 1/X dilution even after four weeks.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, okay, I got it. It works fine. You just made up a liter of drop checker solution, and have a couple of concentrated and superconcentrated stock solutions.

Again...

I have 10 dkH water, and mix 4 parts of that with 6 parts of distilled water. Either a liter, gallon, ounce, whatever I would need for my drop checker. And again, my question is, is there any disadvantage to that, besides not needing scale and baking soda and nalgene containers.

So if you have 8 dkH water, mix 50/50, scoop it into little bottles, and sell it to other hobbyists. Tell me why not.


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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 03:31 AM
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Send me some and I'll test it vs DI water solution. I'll be your Guinea Pig...
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-10-2007, 03:46 AM
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Hey, I didn't mean to be an ass. I just wanted to get that documented 'cause I think it's an especially easy way to make the stuff. I know I didn't answer your question.
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