Am I missing something? Drop checker - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Am I missing something? Drop checker

Hello all,
I just setup my Co2 on my 55 gallon a few days ago and I placed my drop checker in the tank just to visualize the Co2 level. It's one of these things JARDLI Glass CO2 Drop Checker.

In my 10 gallon it would turn green/yellow however in my 55 gallon it hasn't even turned slightly green from the blue, yet when I test the water before lights on I get a full 1 ph drop 7.0 degassed to 6.0 with Co2 running with a KH of 1 which are the same as my 10 gallon parameters.

I know that the drop checker solution is really old, however like I said it worked fine just a few weeks ago in my 10 gallon.

Does this matter at all as long as my PH drop is correct? Or are my Co2 levels not adequate as the drop checker is showing.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 12:51 AM
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Assuming your pH and KH measurements are accurate, this chart indicates you are @ 30ppm CO2. Not sure what is going on with your drop checker. Does it still turn green in your 10 gallon?

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mark Fisher View Post
Assuming your pH and KH measurements are accurate, this chart indicates you are @ 30ppm CO2. Not sure what is going on with your drop checker. Does it still turn green in your 10 gallon?

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I no longer have the 10 gallon set up, but before I broke it down to transfer everything over it was lime green.
I did change out the fluid for fresh, but it came from the same bottle as the last time.

The main thing I want to make sure of is if my Co2 is set correctly because things aren't adding up.
I had it on about an estimated 3 bubbles/second and it got me the 7.0 PH degassed using an airstone in a cup as a test to 6.0 PH when the Co2 is running.
However I've done some research and what I've read says it should be at least 1 bubble per second per 10 gallons initially and may need to go higher.
The only thing is with the 3 bubbles per second using a neo diffuser into my HOB filter I've got the 1 PH drop.

Should I keep increasing the Co2 until I see a change in the drop checker and see a reaction from my fish even though (assuming the test kit is accurate) it is 6.0 already?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 02:12 AM
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A couple thoughts:

- Placement of the dc is key. You want it to be in the area that has the highest probability of low CO2, which is usually a region of poor circulation. This way you can be sure that you will work to optimize your circulation patterns. Did you pull the pH test water from the same area as you have the dc? Assuming, for the moment, that your dc solution is correct, that means that you have low CO2 levels in that area, which would be reflected in your x-point pH drop testing.

- DC solutions only last about 3 weeks PLUS it is critical to know what the dKH of the solution is. I make my own for this reason. If you are confident that your source of solution is correct, then I'd replace the solution in your dc. If circulation is uniform, then the the color of the dc is going to approximate the drop in pH from fully-gassed. Try moving the dc to different parts of your tank. It will take several hours before they equilibrate.

- BPS are only a relative guide, not an absolute measurement for CO2 ppm levels. However many BPS it takes to hit your CO2 target is what it is. Keep pushing your CO2 until you see your fish struggling, then back off and repeat daily until you fine the max point. Then you can see how your CO2 tests compare.

- The bigger the tank, the harder it is to get CO2 at the higher levels, with consistency, but you should be able to do it with the right reactor setup.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
A couple thoughts:

- Placement of the dc is key. You want it to be in the area that has the highest probability of low CO2, which is usually a region of poor circulation. This way you can be sure that you will work to optimize your circulation patterns. Did you pull the pH test water from the same area as you have the dc? Assuming, for the moment, that your dc solution is correct, that means that you have low CO2 levels in that area, which would be reflected in your x-point pH drop testing.

- DC solutions only last about 3 weeks PLUS it is critical to know what the dKH of the solution is. I make my own for this reason. If you are confident that your source of solution is correct, then I'd replace the solution in your dc. If circulation is uniform, then the the color of the dc is going to approximate the drop in pH from fully-gassed. Try moving the dc to different parts of your tank. It will take several hours before they equilibrate.

- BPS are only a relative guide, not an absolute measurement for CO2 ppm levels. However many BPS it takes to hit your CO2 target is what it is. Keep pushing your CO2 until you see your fish struggling, then back off and repeat daily until you fine the max point. Then you can see how your CO2 tests compare.

- The bigger the tank, the harder it is to get CO2 at the higher levels, with consistency, but you should be able to do it with the right reactor setup.
I took the reading from my main filter chamber which is a tidal 110 and is right next to the drop checker on the tank wall about 6" from the water line and my Co2 is being fed into an AC 20 on the other side of the tank. I have two small pumps that push the water around the tank on either end, so far every thing looks uniform in the circulation.

My issue is probably as simple as me not putting enough Co2 into the tank thinking that a PH drop is what I needed to shoot for.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 09:19 PM
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No matter how old your solution is, if you are getting enough CO2, it will change color. It just gets harder to see the color, it becomes more clear over time. Placement also probably wouldn't be an issue for it to be blue. Green to yellow would be a different story but I have never had an area so dead it that my drop checker doesn't react.

My first inclination is you may have got some tank water in it, or tap water. That would make it blue. I actually just got one of these yesterday, it seems like a challenge to clean without left over water.

Are you using a diffuser in tank or something inline? I have no idea what would be the case if you are seeing CO2 coming out the diffuser. Even if isn't 30PPM, I still get a change to a teal to a tealish green, not the blue the indicator solution would be without any CO2 injected. If inline, I would check for leaks. I understand you checked your parameters but I personally wouldn't trust them if your drop checker is clean of water, just indicator solution, and you are getting a dark blue. A lighter blue, then up the CO2 for a bit and see if it gets more green.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
No matter how old your solution is, if you are getting enough CO2, it will change color. It just gets harder to see the color, it becomes more clear over time. Placement also probably wouldn't be an issue for it to be blue. Green to yellow would be a different story but I have never had an area so dead it that my drop checker doesn't react.

My first inclination is you may have got some tank water in it, or tap water. That would make it blue. I actually just got one of these yesterday, it seems like a challenge to clean without left over water.

Are you using a diffuser in tank or something inline? I have no idea what would be the case if you are seeing CO2 coming out the diffuser. Even if isn't 30PPM, I still get a change to a teal to a tealish green, not the blue the indicator solution would be without any CO2 injected. If inline, I would check for leaks. I understand you checked your parameters but I personally wouldn't trust them if your drop checker is clean of water, just indicator solution, and you are getting a dark blue. A lighter blue, then up the CO2 for a bit and see if it gets more green.
It turned out to simply be an issue of not having enough Co2 going into my tank through my neo diffuser + AC 20. I thought that the PH drop would tell me when things were good, however it was just a misunderstanding of the process.

After turning up the Co2 to an adequate level to get it to turn green I realized that my setup was inadequate or at least very inefficient. This was just because of how much Co2 I was needing to put into the tank to get it to do what I needed, if I had to guess it was greater then 15bps which my AC 20 just couldn't handle and it would stop the siphon making me have to restart it. I've since installed a rex grigg style reactor in the tank with an old pump that I have running it until I can get a canister filter so we'll see if that works out better then the old solution I had running.

There is always a possibility that some tap water or tank water was left in the drop checker, but it would be a very small amount because I blew it out with some air from an air compressor before adding in the new fluid.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-16-2020, 11:57 PM
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PLUS it is critical to know what the dKH of the solution is. I make my own for this reason.

Ditto. If you are using very hard water for your drop indicator solution, it won't budge even with a wicked high dose of CO2. You want it to be about 4 dKH so that it will be a merry green when your CO2 is right.
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