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Hi,

I built a co2 set up with a regulator/solenoid/paintball bottle along with a reactor from pvc and got a drop checker. Everything was great for the first 2 months while my bottle lasted and I managed to get the checker to go to green, plants grew and black beard algae was under control since my co2 wasn't fluctuating anymore. I recently refilled my bottle and now for some reason I cannot get the drop checker to read green - it stays on deep blue. Nothing is different in the tank.

Does anyone know if there are sub par kinds of co2 out there? I haven't changed the solution in the checker either - but it hasn't been contaminated and looks clean ... I'm not sure why it's reading blue and not going to green at all. I don't really want to crank the gas...

Thanks for any answers or suggestions
 

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Thanks for the reply. I'm using the solution that came with it. It's been in there since mid October ? I think. I just read that the DC is supposed to be placed near the bottom of the tank or it gets inaccurate co2 readings? I'll try changing it.
 

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I changed the DC solution but it still reads deep blue. I increased the gas to 3 bubbles per second but there appears to be no change. The water pH tested really high at 7.6 which is strange because there is nothing new in the tank and as far as I understand that's all the DC does - is to monitor the pH fluctuations. Could it be because my plants have grown and now need more CO2? I'm really confused. I even took most of the rocks out just in case some of them might have been limestone...
 

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I understand that's all the DC does - is to monitor the pH fluctuations. Could it be because my plants have grown and now need more CO2? I'm really confused. I even took most of the rocks out just in case some of them might have been limestone...
The drop checker does not monitor the PH of the tank. Instead it monitors the PH of the indicator solution in the drop checker. The indicator solution is never in contact with the tank water due to the air bubble in the drop checker.

What is happening is that when you have the proper level of CO2 the water will start to release CO2 into the air. In the drop checker air bubble CO2 levels start to increase. That CO2 then dissolves into the drop checker indicator solution and the PH of the indicator solution changes and that causes the color change. So I would change the indicator solution first. But since you did that then it is not the drop checker.


If you plants need more CO2 then you might be deficient in a nutrient. More demand for CO2 means more demand for fertilizer. But regardless of the CO2 need of the plants it is hard to imagine that they are growing so fast that they are consuming all the CO2 you are injecting. Even after increasing the flow.

A KH increase from rocks would affect the tank water PH but I don't believe that will cause any change in CO2 levels and the drop checker is only sensitive to CO2 out gassing from the tank. In any case if you want to remove the rocks do a water change at the same time. If the rocks are leaching calcium or magnesium the GH KH levels would only go down after the rocks were removed and a water change is performed.

Perhaps they filled your tank with compressed air or some other gas instead of CO2. I have not seen any reports of that happening but it would explain what you are seeing. Compressed air, nitrogen, oxygen, or helium will not cause a PH change in your tank water or in the drop checker solution.
 
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