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Just received my cheap Chinese standard eBay issue drop checker, and realized it only came with the reagent, but I'd have to make my own 4dKH solution. (my tank water is 7dKH, and I have the API kit).

So there I was, looking up various DIY recipes and testing various water sources in my house, and preparing to distill water. In turn, I tested the water from my under-sink filter (not RO, just two generic *old* activated charcoal cartridges that I should have changed ages ago). And to my amazement, the water that is coming out of the filter is somewhere between 4 and 5 dKH.

Is that a score, or what?! Guess I'll fill up a few jars for the future.

Just wanted to share.

PS. if you're in TO, hit me up, I'm happy to share.
 

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Lucky you,

I live in Toronto but had to do it the old fashion way with RO/DI bottle water. Toss on some music, bust out the scale, and add baking soda till you hit 4 dkh.

Careful with those cheap asian drop checkers, I broke two and it was a nightmare cleaning glass up.
 

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In turn, I tested the water from my under-sink filter (not RO, just two generic *old* activated charcoal cartridges that I should have changed ages ago). And to my amazement, the water that is coming out of the filter is somewhere between 4 and 5 dKH.
Just a word of caution that this water may not be entirely suitable for a drop checker.

While it measures 4-5 dkH, the contributing species may not only be carbonates, which may cause false drop checker readings.

Analogously, if (say) your aquarium water measured 4 dkH, it would similarly be unsuitable for use.
 

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I would make it from DI and baking soda. That way you know everything that is in it, and that the reaction is consistent with what other people have so thoroughly tested. Then you have a better idea of what the CO2 is really doing in the tank.

If you use water with other things in it you do not know how well it is reacting to the CO2.
 

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Considering the imprecise nature of the drop checker in principle, how much would those other factors skew the measurement, really? I'm not looking for precision (will add a DIY CO2 setup soon), just to see that the co2 content is changing in either direction.
 

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Hi boomstik,

If you tested the water with a API KH test kit and it read 4.0 that water should be good; a KH test kit by definition is testing the carbonate hardness of the water. Of course the accuracy of test kits should be marginal at best unless calibrated against known solution values.
 

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I would think that the drop checker is just a ballpark idea so using a bit of ballpark guesswork on the material in the drop checker might just throw in a bit more uncertainty. But since it is just an estimate at best and you go in knowing that your solution make be off, I see no reason to not do it. Just a matter of how much you want to trust a pretty unreliable reading that is made somewhat more unreliable by your materials.
 

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Considering the imprecise nature of the drop checker in principle, how much would those other factors skew the measurement, really? I'm not looking for precision (will add a DIY CO2 setup soon), just to see that the co2 content is changing in either direction.
Significantly enough where even using the DC to measure CO2 would be useless.
 

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Considering the imprecise nature of the drop checker in principle, how much would those other factors skew the measurement, really? I'm not looking for precision (will add a DIY CO2 setup soon), just to see that the co2 content is changing in either direction.
Terrible, I gave up on the drop checker. Using store's RO/DI or just DI, I would get yellow and the shrimps and fish (Otos) wouldn't even flinch at the Co2.

Get a rough gauge of the Co2, move your drop checker to another location, repeat and you get a decent guess at the levels.

That just my experience, it felt as if the drop checker was more of a psychological barrier when adding Co2. Just have good O2 levels and slowly add Co2, seems to work fine for my tanks.
 
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