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Just do it yourself with 2 gatorade bottles and cheap defuser. It is cheaper. All you will need is yeast and sugar. It is worth it!
 

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I live in STL also and could not tell a difference with or with out it. I had 3 bottles running into one bubble counter (small bottle with H2O) and it worked fine. I used it for 6 months till I got pressurized. Make SURE you use check valves. I didn't the first time and got a 20 gallon back flow from my 30 gallon tank. Your plants will love it. Good luck, you will be buying lots of sugar!!! And get the yeast in the glass containers from the grocery store. It's like $7.50.
 

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...i read that people add baking soda to harden their water, so i am wondering about that.

B
Hi B

Baking soda raises the KH and the pH. It has no effect on GH.
 

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If you want to use Chuck's pH/KH/CO2 calculator instead of the newer drop checker device to determine CO2 and if the only phosphate in your aquarium is from your dosing and it's not excessive; it's not enough to skew Chuck's calculator.

Here's some products that you can use for that.

I've used AP's and Hagen's KH kits. The AP kit measures in dKH and the Hagen measures in ppm. I also have a Lamotte Alkalinity test kit. I use it when I want a more accuract measurement. It measures in ppm.
AP's KH kit: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater/Saltwater High Range pH Test Kit, Test kit of 250 tests - Marine Depot - Marine and Reef Aquarium Super Store
Hagen KH & GH kit: Hagen Carbonate and Total Hardness Test Kit for Fresh & Saltwater - Marine Depot - Marine and Reef Aquarium Super Store
Lamotte Alkalinity kit: LaMotte KH/Alkalinity Test Kit 4491- DR / Direct Reading Titrator Method - Marine Depot - Marine and Reef Aquarium Super Store

You'll need a good way to measure the pH too. One of the electronic meters is a better way to go. I use my pH controller to measure pH. Here's one at AES that isn't very expensive. I've never used it though. pH Tester by Vital Sine
The Dr.'s have Hanna pH meters on sale. Check out the pHep 5. It has more precise readings (±0.01) according to the add: Aquarium Water Quality & Testing: Hanna Instruments Testers

Many people are going to the drop checker method to measure the CO2 level a little more accurately. Have you read about this method?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
nope, i sure havent (heard about the drop checker method).

is there any reason in your oppinion that i should get a pHep® 4 when the Vital Sine on is roughly .3 of the cost? except for the temp feature on the pHep® 4, and a bit more accuracy they look the same to me. either way its a hell of alot better than trying to rely on color scales!

what about the phosphates? is there a certian level that you cannot be above/below for the test to be accurate?

im really intrigued with this whole deal and im sure that youll get tired of all of my questions before too long ;) .

B
 

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It's up to you to determine how much you want to pay for accuracy and if this added accuracy is actually beneficial to you. Of the three that I showed you, I would get the pHep 5 but that's me.

Chuck says that his chart/calculator is only good if the only buffering agents are carbonate buffers. People have been using it for years that had slight amounts of phosphates in their water. Also, we've seen people report very high CO2 levels but the fish weren't stressed. What was causing this, I wonder? I don't know the actual amount of phosphate in an aquarium that will skew the chart.

Hoppy and some others have come up with a way to accurately determine the CO2 levels. They use baking soda with distilled water to make very accurate solutions of either 4 dkH or 5 dkh and place them in a drop checker device. Then you can use Chuck's chart. With an accurate 4 dKH solution in the drop checker and a pH of 6.6 you get a CO2 level of 30 ppm. Hoppy has made quite a few different models of these drop checker devices. All of these articles about Hoppy and his drop checker method are great to read. He's done a great job with this.

Here's one of the many articles about it: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/g...urement-technique.html?highlight=drop+checker

Here's how to make or get the KH solution: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/g...9-kh-standard-how.html?highlight=drop+checker

Here's some drop checkers:
Aqua Design Amano USA/ADGshop.com- now available in the U.S.A, prouldy offered by Aquarium Design Group. The finest planted aquarium products. and RedSeaFish

Good luck, B!

I'm going to buy me some next payday.
 

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I love my pHep 4. Very well made. Hanna is a good company, FWIW.
 

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If an accurate carbonate based KH solution is used in it; you still use Chuck's chart. Let's say you use the 5 dKH solution in a drop checker and your pH is 6.7. Using his calculator you get 29.9 ppm of CO2.

The question about how long the drop checker solution lasts has been asked several times but I haven't read those articles. I believe the best idea is to use a fresh bottle of pH indicator solution for best results.

Hopefully, Hoppy and others will chime in for better info because I haven't tried it yet. I've only read some of the articles.

I just remembered that I have two of the Sera CO2 test kits around here somewhere. They are a drop checker type device. If I can find them, I'll probably try them and make some 4 dKH solution. I used them when I first started doing DIY CO2 but I used aquarium water in them instead of this 4 dKH solution. I'm using pressurized CO2 now.Sera Essentials - Test Kits, Water Conditioners, Aquarium Heaters, Aquarium Lighting, Fish Food, Reptile Food
 

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The ladder will work, and can be bought seperatly. I am not sure if the bamboo chop stick (1" piece 1/2 stuck in the airhose) will create too much back pressure or not - but it is a cheep diy microbubbler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
"If an accurate carbonate based KH solution is used in it; you still use Chuck's chart. Let's say you use the 5 dKH solution in a drop checker and your pH is 6.7. Using his calculator you get 29.9 ppm of CO2."

i thought that you used the color of the water in the drop checker to figure out the co2 concentration. if you use a solution of 5dkh and the solution is green then you have about 35-40 ppm of co2 in the tank, right?

"The question about how long the drop checker solution lasts has been asked several times but I haven't read those articles. I believe the best idea is to use a fresh bottle of pH indicator solution for best results."

i was talking about what was in the drop checker, in the tank.

if you have a co2 test kit what the point of the calculator and the drop check test?

B

ps.sorry i dont know how to quote specific portions of a message
 

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"If an accurate carbonate based KH solution is used in it; you still use Chuck's chart. Let's say you use the 5 dKH solution in a drop checker and your pH is 6.7. Using his calculator you get 29.9 ppm of CO2."

i thought that you used the color of the water in the drop checker to figure out the co2 concentration. if you use a solution of 5dkh and the solution is green then you have about 35-40 ppm of co2 in the tank, right?
You asked "what if my ph isnt 6.6? what then?" I was using some different numbers to show you that Chuck's calculator is still valid.

It turns green at a certain pH level, right? If the 5 dkh solution turns green at a pH of 6.6, you get 37.7 ppm of CO2 or ~ 35-40 ppm of CO2 like you mentioned.

"The question about how long the drop checker solution lasts has been asked several times but I haven't read those articles. I believe the best idea is to use a fresh bottle of pH indicator solution for best results."

i was talking about what was in the drop checker, in the tank.
You asked "how long is the ph solution in the drop checker good for before you need to change it?" I don't know how long it lasts. Like I said, I haven't read the articles. Using a fresh bottle of pH indicator solution will make it last longer. I know that much.

if you have a co2 test kit what the point of the calculator and the drop check test?

B

ps.sorry i dont know how to quote specific portions of a message
The Sera CO2 test kit is a drop checker similar to the others and it works the same way. The Sera device is placed in the aquarium. Here's the contents: CO2 long-term indicator with suction cup, 15ml indicator solution, color chart

That's just what Sera decided to name the device. It's not actually a test kit like nitrate, phosphate, etc. kits are. There's no test tubes or anything like that. It's too bad that the web site doesn't show an actual picture of the device.

I can't find a picture of it but it is exactly like the Azoo CO2 indicator. It's the clear plastic part in the center. It's hard to see, I know. But it's the only picture that I could find. More than likely the Sera and Azoo device are made by the same company but with different packaging. AZOO Web



Well, this is about all I can tell you about the drop checker device. Like I said earlier; I haven't used it. I just wanted you to be aware of this method. If you've read the articles about it, you know as much about it as I do.

The best way to get correct answers for this device is to direct them to the people that have actually used this device.
 

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I have only had a drop checker in the tank for about 5 weeks. Still turns from blue to green with CO2 changes. I was out of town for a week with CO2 off and it was quite blue when I came back. Without contamination, I would think it (the pure KH water in the checker) would last indefinately... months at least.
 
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