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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Background:

Im in the process of setting up a new 40B tank. Its a relatively new tank...I have only 2 plants (amazon sword and a small patch of dwarf hairgrass) with 10 neon tetras.

Im running 2x39W 6500k Aquamedic, will be 4x39W later this week.

For filtration Im running a Eheim 2217.

My question is: Im just getting the co2 part setup and Im a bit confused. I am using the red sea drop checker. Added 1mL of tank water (as recommended by instructions) but I have 4DKH solution on order.

With the 2 drops of indicator solution, the color is yellow, corresponding to the "+" sign. This indicates high co2. Im not running any co2 right now, so Im a bit confused. Is this because of my low amount of plants or new tank? Or perhaps my level is obscured since Im using tank water?

Thanks for any help.
 

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Tank water will not read properly it will read high if you have a low Kh and will read low if you have a high Kh. It is very easy to make your own 4Dkh solution just take some distilled water about a cups worth add a pinch of baking soda and test if it tests over 4 dillute with more water and test again. Keep repeating until the 3rd drop barely changes the color of the test water and on the 4th drop it fully changes. This I figure puts me in the neighborhood of 3.5-4Dkh at least thats how I do it because it errors on the safe side of co2 levels when more yellow then green. To hold you over until you get the real stuff.
 

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Also I had the red sea drop checker and it broke trying to remove the clear part. I would use a pippette ( like the ones that come with hagen test kits ) to rinse and refill instead of taking it apart.
 

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As TheKribKeeper mentioned, you should not use aquarium water (or tap water, RO water, DI water....) in your drop checker. 4 dkH reference solution is most commonly used (though some like to use 3 or 5 dkH reference solution as well).

TheKribKeeper also mentioned one way of making a 4 dkH reference solution, but if you have access to a scale, you can make it much more accurately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The 4DKH solution should be here within 2-3 days, so I'll hold off. I was going to make it, but I don't have accurate measuring devices. For the $7.50 shipped, it seemed worthwhile to buy it.

What should I expect to see once I get the proper solution? With just 2 plants, would I even have to dose co2 at this point? - or is the co2 needed with the amount of light I will have (4x39W) regardless of amount of plants?

Somebody from my reef club is selling a pinpoint PH controller (minus the probe) for $75.00. Seems like a good deal, so I might pick that up and get a solenoid for the tank. I like accuracy and automation.

EDIT: So I read your write-ups, Darkblade48 - maybe the controller isn't really necessary...
 
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