CO2 Drop Checker - alternatives - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 Drop Checker - alternatives

Are there any other methods that can be used to determine if the injected CO2 is sufficient in a tank other than using the drop checker method?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 03:13 PM
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A drop checker does not tell if co2 level is "sufficient".
pH pen / pH probe are other tools in our arsenal, but still they only help with approximation. At least a pH probe can save the fish.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 11:55 AM
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pH controller might be the "best" option in that you can set the pH drop you want and it will then control the solenoid for your regulator. But OVT is correct, there isn't any method (that I'm aware of) for direct measurement of co2 in your tank; drop checkers/ph pens or probes/ph controllers all measure the pH of the tank water which is dependent on co2 levels, KH, etc.

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks.....what PH value is most optimal to indicate a good saturation of CO2 in the tank?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Aqua07 View Post
Ok, thanks.....what PH value is most optimal to indicate a good saturation of CO2 in the tank?
the absolute value depends on the degassed pH of your tank, the relative value that people look for is anywhere from a 1 to a 1.3 degree drop. So, my tank is usually around 7.5 pH and I shoot for a target of 6.4.

Also, the drop that one tank will be OK with will be different than another tank. Some folks here really push it and go for bigger drops, but I'm not comfortable with the risk to the livestock. My fish seem happy at 6.4 and my plants grow, so no need to go lower.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Great...thanks. Will get myself a PH probe - I guess I could use them PH test papers, if accuracy isn't that important.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 06:16 PM
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Great...thanks. Will get myself a PH probe - I guess I could use them PH test papers, if accuracy isn't that important.
If you aren't going to opt for a probe, go with a cheap pH pen w/ calibration fluid from amazon . ca


It will be a better option than test tubes / test strips
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 05:41 PM
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pH pens are handheld and for momentary use. I remember having to dip/rinse the tip in RO or distilled water after each use before drying and capping the tip.

pH probes can be powered with an a/c adapter and the probe can be mounted on the tank rim or inside the tank to monitor pH continuously and permanently.
Install and forget, and just glance at the LCD panel to get a reading. Calibrate every few months w/ commercially produced solution.
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