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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I decided to see what I could make for free (or there abouts) with stuff around the house. The main two parts of this design are a funnel and a very small baby food jar. From there all you need is a method of placement in the tank, I used a leftover bracket from a powerhead that goes over the tank rim and is adjustable, then just took a scrap piece of clear plastic to connect the two (I used polycarbonate since I have a ton of scraps, but of course acrylic would be the common choice).

Here are some pics (click them for bigger ones):

Baby food jar (free as a side effect from feeding a baby :wink:), and a funnel that came in a 3 piece set for $1.99 from the local super store. I cut the hole with a step drill bit but my bit wasnt quite big enough so I used a dremel to enlarge it to the right size. The funnel I cut with a band saw.


The finished product with a bracket from an old powerhead and a strip of plastic. Everything attached with aquarium grade silicone.


The funnel could have been trimmed more flush but I chose to leave the funnel extend a bit lower thinking that it would give me a little extra air/water surface contact area.


This shows just about everything used, except for the tube of silicone, baking soda, and the cutting tools. I made a batch of 4* test solution with a gallon jug of distilled water. I put the rest of the solution in another normal size glass jar, I hope it will keep some time because its a PITA to make. I use a graduated syringe and put 20ml of solution in the drop checker.


In the tank. I just stuck it in the corner, its such a forest in there you cant really see it from the front. I'll soon be moving it to a sump anyhow.


And now green, the next morning. I wanted to time how long it took to change, but I didnt get it in the tank till late the previous night and in under two hours when the lights went off it hadnt really changed much from blue yet. This is how it looked the next morning after lights on.


The white color of the funnel helps a bit in seeing the color of the fluid it little more clearly. I probably should have trimmed it shorter at least on the inside part, no need for it to be over about half way up the middle of the drop checker.

Overall I'd have to rate this project very easy, just make sure the silicone seals completely around the funnel to the jar end.

I'm not entirely sure what kind of finish the baby food jar metal top is, I suppose thats the only questionable part of this. I'll keep my eye on it and if it starts to oxidize or corrode then I'll pull it.
 

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Well done, and thanks for the nice picture documentary!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all. And yeah I'm not sure how long the cap will last before it would cause any problems... if anyone has any idea I am all ears, otherwise I'll just keep my eye on it. I was thinking when I get a sump finished it wouldnt be hard to do with a larger jar with a plastic lid, just still want to find the smallest one I can that still seals water tight.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I actually was looking at our bottles but I liked the tiny jar better. Our smallest bottle is 4 oz and they are the liner type. But I'm sure it would be a snap to do. Just remember the amount of fluid in the unit would be limited by how tall the nipple is, which would be pretty small and lots of air. Dont know if buoyancy would be an issue.
 

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You might want to try these (click for link):


They are small 2 oz containers, and I used a 3/4" hose barb:

with a good coat of Silicone.

Should probably use a 1" threaded to smaller diameter hose barb.


HTH
 

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do you still have the original pictures somewhere? I can't see them here, nor can I open them up seperately. Thread is no good without pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry my webserver is down. I'll hopefully have time to work on it next week, I'll probably have to reinstall linux or maybe my hard drive is toast, not sure. My actual website link still works since I have a mirror running on a friends computer but just whats on my website, photos and stuff I have on the hard drive arent on my friends computer.
 

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drop checker and solution

hi, thats a nice diy drop checker
how do you make the solution for the dropchecker?
what are the ingredients?
sorry newbie here.. so got no idea whatsoever.

is there a fixed or minimum volume of solution needed to be inside any drop checker in order for it to work? or just any volume would do?
what about the air and fluid ratio?
 

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My version of the DIY Drop Checker

Just finished making my first drop checker.

It's a little vial that contact lenses come in. The white tube is part of a cheap pen, cut to size.

I just drilled a hole so that the tube fit snugly into the opening. Then, I used plastic cement for a final seal on top of the lid.

(Sorry for the blurry pics.) :redface:





You can't really see that the fluid is BLUE. But, it IS definitely Blue.

 

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My DIY Drop Checker is working!

Well, I didn't notice any change in the DC's color after being in there around 6 hours. So, I increased the CO2 from 2 to 3 drops/s. This morning, it had changed from the obvious blue color to a distinct GREEN!



I have not yet received the 4dKH solution that is normally used with these things, (and I really don't want to make my own at this point) so I am temporarily using the tank water, which has a dKH of 5.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but, having a 5dKH solution will mean that when the checker is green, the CO2 level is a little higher than it would be with a solution of 4dKH. Right??

Anyway, I'm just happy to see a color change, and that the DC is working as expected. Three plants have even started pearling!!

It's the little things that get me excited! I had been on a long hiatus from planted aquaria; it's nice to be back.



 

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Using tank water, whatever its KH, means the drop checker isn't at all accurate. Tank water almost always has other things in it that affect the pH and alkalinity, so the KH/pH/CO2 equation doesn't work accurately at all. But you certainly did demonstrate that your device will work.
 
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