Drop checker question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
 
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Drop checker question

I know, here we go again with the girl that is too dumb to figure out a drop checker.

Someone turn the on for me.

I bought this drop checker
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=360014659038

I rinsed the glass dc out with distilled water twice. I filled the glass bulb 2/3 full. I then added 3 drops of the solution and then 2 more for a total of 5.

What color should I be seeing? I bet you are going to say, "blue". That would be my guess as well, but it is dark green and stays dark green for hours!!!!
Tap water will turn it blue and so will my tank water.

This is my second drop checker so it is something on my end that I am doing wrong. I have followed the incredibly elementary directions to a "T". I am not getting why I am having such a major dilemma over something so incredibly simple. Kind of like trying to figure out what 1+1 is.

Does the 4dKH solution change if frozen?

I am so embarrassed to be having this problem and bugging you all.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 02:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kana View Post
I rinsed the glass dc out with distilled water twice. I filled the glass bulb 2/3 full. I then added 3 drops of the solution and then 2 more for a total of 5.
Just to be clear, you filled the bulb 2/3 full with what and added five drops of what? The correct way would be to fill 2/3 with 4 dKH water and five drops of pH indicator dye.

No reason to be embarrassed unless you're a chemist or something.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
 
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I filled it 2/3 with distilled water and 5 drops of the indicator solution that came with it.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 03:14 AM
 
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I filled it 2/3 with distilled water and 5 drops of the indicator solution that came with it.
Well, there's the issue. Rinsing with distilled water is good (though I dunno if it's necessary) but filling it with distilled water is not.

I'm not sure what's in the indicator solution that came with your drop checker. Does it say anything descriptive on the bottle? I would hope it's 4 dKH water with a pH dye (bromothymol blue) in it. If that's the case, then you'd fill the drop checker with the indicator solution and nothing else.

It's also possible that the stuff that came with your drop checker isn't 4 dKH water with pH dye. I haven't kept a close watch on what's going on, but I swear I've come across threads where people's issues are traced back to an improperly made indicator solution that came with their kit.

Edit: I just looked at the ebay auction. You were following their directions when you used distilled water! Those directions are bogus.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 04:32 AM
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I think the idea was to have >4dkH solution and then dilute with distilled, but that's not a very good idea. 2/3 is pretty hard to gauge, as well as giving a range of 3-5 drops. 2 drops would make quite a large change.

I would see if you can get your hands on some real 4dkH solution.

Also, please note this is the same guy on aquabid selling 1,000 dollar CRS. I've heard some not very nice things about him. Not my own experience, just putting it out there.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 04:41 AM
 
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It is a shame that some E-Bay sellers don't include the proper solution and directions with their drop checkers. I mean why include a solution that will not work or give false results.

Kana, for what it's worth, I made the same mistake, before I discovered how easy it was to make your own solution that will last a lifetime. You still need to buy and add a PH test solution as per directions on this step by step. But overall, it is 100% cheaper to still make your own than buy a commercially prepared one. And you don't need graduated cylinders, a measuring cup will work fine. Here is the step by step on how to make the proper solution to use with your drop checker. I have tested this solution side by side against commercially bought ones and they both tested equal in terms of accuracy.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...standards.html
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 04:44 AM
 
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I would see if you can get your hands on some real 4dkH solution.
I didn't make my own KH solution, b/c I don't trust myself to make it right. I bought mine here and received it in only a few days:

http://liquidarthome.net/khstandard

I would just buy the above and some PH indicator solution at the LFS (both are cheap), since you don't know exactly what solution came with it. This would eliminate any error IMO. Or email/PM the person and ask him or her exactly what solution you got.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 02:38 PM
 
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I've thought about selling 4 dKH and nitrate calibration solutions. Mine might not be accurate enough for lab work, but they'd be more than good enough for fish tanks. I've wondered if it's worth it though, 'cause I've wondered what the demand is like. Also it wouldn't be very profitable, it would be more of a service to the hobby. dunno...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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I can't thank you all so much for making me feel better. I was getting fairly upset over this entire drop checker thing and almost went back to............uhm, plastic!

Quote:
Does it say anything descriptive on the bottle?
No, the bottle has no label on it.
Quote:
Kana, for what it's worth, I made the same mistake,
Nice to know that I'm not the only one.

Loachlady,
Thank you for the link. I will go buy some now.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by swylie View Post
I've thought about selling 4 dKH and nitrate calibration solutions. Mine might not be accurate enough for lab work, but they'd be more than good enough for fish tanks. I've wondered if it's worth it though, 'cause I've wondered what the demand is like. Also it wouldn't be very profitable, it would be more of a service to the hobby. dunno...
When you consider how much baking soda and RO/DI water is required, it would be more than profitable. Personally, I would not do it as I consider it highway robbery. How much could you "fairly" charge someone knowing that there was very little if any effort involved and the ingredients were dirt cheap.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 09:33 PM
 
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When you consider how much baking soda and RO/DI water is required, it would be more than profitable. Personally, I would not do it as I consider it highway robbery. How much could you "fairly" charge someone knowing that there was very little if any effort involved and the ingredients were dirt cheap.
Baking soda and water are cheap, but I'd have to find a source for plastic bottles strong enough to make it through the mail. Then I'd have to package things for shipping.

You're right, it would be highway robbery if I charged high prices, so I wouldn't. I'd make huge batches of the solutions, so the hardest part would be taking orders and shipping.

I guess I should ask Rex if he thinks it's worth the hassle. He has a highly respected operation, and everyone seems to think his prices are fair.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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How much could you "fairly" charge someone knowing that there was very little if any effort involved and the ingredients were dirt cheap.
Time has a price tag and I'd be willing to pay for someone else doing it. I personally wouldn't feel that I was being ripped off.

FYI
I heard back from the seller and he told me to use tap water. Good thing I have you guys to keep me going in the proper direction.
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