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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about to increase my light, and I wanted to make sure I understand everything.

I know that when I increase my light, I'll have to increase my CO2 to avoid algae. Currently, my drop checker is always bright green. Will my increase in light mean that I will have to add CO2 to the point that my drop checker is yellow?

Or, will the increased light make my plants use more CO2, and if I leave my CO2 the same as it is now, my drop checker would turn blue, and I would have to add more CO2 to make it green?

I may have worded that poorly, but is my question clear?

Thanks.
 

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The more light you have the more important it is to keep the CO2 concentration as high as you can without harming your fish. I'm not sure it is possible to give any more specific information about it.
 

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From what I have understood, green on the drop checker is your target, as long as you are using 4KH water in your drop checker. Using 4HK is the most accurate way to read 30ppm of CO2 in your tank with a drop checker.

I have been proven wrong on things before but I think that I am correct on this.

I'm sure you will get more feed back on this.

I think what Hoppy means is, depending on how much light you have, give the plants as much CO2 as the fish can take. Might be more then 30ppm? Correct?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
From what I have understood, green on the drop checker is your target, as long as you are using 4KH water in your drop checker. Using 4HK is the most accurate way to read 30ppm of CO2 in your tank with a drop checker.

I have been proven wrong on things before but I think that I am correct on this.

I'm sure you will get more feed back on this.

That's where I'm confused. My drop checker is currently green. When I raise my light level, should I go for yellow in the drop checker?
 

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The drop checker is more of a guide... Do your fish look happy? Are thay gasping? Inject what you can without hurting your fish.
 

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That's where I'm confused. My drop checker is currently green. When I raise my light level, should I go for yellow in the drop checker?

I am still learning and reading up on all of this also. I'm sorry that I can't be more of a helping hand. From what I have been reading, more light does equal more CO2 and the drop checker reading is more of a guideline.

Allot of people don't even use drop checkers. They Just keep an eye on the plants and fish. I have even read, not word for word but close, "Inject slowly until you see your fish gasp, then turn it down a notch and start from there as the plants grow" I am trying to find that thread.....
 

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Without a drop checker an inexperienced planted tank hobbyist can't really tell if he is putting 5 ppm of CO2 in the water or 20 ppm, and there is a huge difference in effect between those numbers. With a drop checker you can pretty well ignore the fish behavior as you slowly increase the bubble rate, until the drop checker color is green. Now you know you are somewhere near 30 ppm of CO2, which is a good goal. Then, the best idea is to increase the bubble rate a tiny bit, watch the plants and fish for a day, looking for the plants to pearl sometime in the middle of the day, and the fish not to cluster in a top corner "gasping" for air, or lay on the bottom, or other similar odd behavior. Do that slight increase once a day, until either you get the pearling or the fish do act distressed. If it is the fish, back off slightly, and leave the bubble rate there until something else changes in the tank.

The green color just gets you in the right ballpark, and may indicate 20 ppm or 45 ppm, or somewhere in between, depending on your ability to judge the color. And, never forget, the drop checker is only telling you what the average concentration where it is located is, but other spots in the tank will have much different concentrations.
 

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I'm also new to planted tank and would like to share how I control/adjust my CO2 level when I set-up my tank a week ago.
I use the readings on my tank's PH & KH to determine CO2 level base on a calculation in other forum. Of cause, the 1st day was low (7.2ppm), so I raised my CO2 injection. Next day, I got 66ppm which is too much (notice my cardinal tetras gasping for air):icon_frow. So re-adjusted again. 3rd day, I got 15ppm, increase again slightly (damn! its really difficult to adjust).So I went to get a CO2 drop checker and introduce it into my tank. Finally, the reading I got from the drop checker was green and base on my PH / KH level = 24ppm.
Now I set the CO2 on timer 1 hour before my lights come on and shutdown 1/2 hour before i turn off my lights. Seems to work well for my tank.

Cheers,
K.C
 

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I'm also new to planted tank and would like to share how I control/adjust my CO2 level when I set-up my tank a week ago.
I use the readings on my tank's PH & KH to determine CO2 level base on a calculation in other forum. Of cause, the 1st day was low (7.2ppm), so I raised my CO2 injection. Next day, I got 66ppm which is too much (notice my cardinal tetras gasping for air):icon_frow. So re-adjusted again. 3rd day, I got 15ppm, increase again slightly (damn! its really difficult to adjust).So I went to get a CO2 drop checker and introduce it into my tank. Finally, the reading I got from the drop checker was green and base on my PH / KH level = 24ppm.
Now I set the CO2 on timer 1 hour before my lights come on and shutdown 1/2 hour before i turn off my lights. Seems to work well for my tank.

Cheers,
K.C
Unless you use distilled water with the KH adjusted to 4 degrees of KH, the drop checker just measures the tank water pH the hard way. Using the tank water pH and KH rarely will give you an accurate reading of CO2 concentration, and almost always it will give you a much higher reading than you really have.
 

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That's where I'm confused. My drop checker is currently green. When I raise my light level, should I go for yellow in the drop checker?
When you raise your light level it will cause your plants to uptake more CO2. You will most likely need to raise your bubble rate a bit to keep the drop checker green due to the increased uptake caused by the additional light.

Green means you are in the ballpark, you make incremental adjustments from there based on how your plants and fish are reacting. You may end up with a yellow reading and may not.
 

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Well speaking of drop checkers and high CO2, I used DI water and not 4dkH solution and I think my CO2 readings were off. It always read high but I think I had low CO2, thats why my plants were not really growing. Going to make 4dkH solution right now and recheck.

-Saul
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
When you raise your light level it will cause your plants to uptake more CO2. You will most likely need to raise your bubble rate a bit to keep the drop checker green due to the increased uptake caused by the additional light.
Thank you so much. That answered my question perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So how often do I need to change the 4 dkH solution inside the drop checker? Heard from someone, he only change every 6 months!
I haven't changed mine in over a year, but it shows blue, green, and yellow at the right times.

I've been told recently that dye is unstable under strong light, so we should change our solution every month or so.
 
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