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Discussion Starter #1
milwaukee PH controller 6.7
drop check .. light neon green
snails on top of the tank and floating around
plant: never pearling in my tank , but growning

co2 is plug into the PH controller ...which one do you guys think i should trust? controller or drop check?
 

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A pH controller is a good way to maintain the pH in an aquarium, but pH isn't CO2 concentration. A drop checker, used correctly, with 4 dKH distilled water in it, is a good way to determine that you are in the right ballpark for CO2 concentration. The two devices do different things. A drop checker has one very big advantage - it is dirt cheap.
 

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A pH controller is a good way to maintain the pH in an aquarium, but pH isn't CO2 concentration. A drop checker, used correctly, with 4 dKH distilled water in it, is a good way to determine that you are in the right ballpark for CO2 concentration. The two devices do different things. A drop checker has one very big advantage - it is dirt cheap.
i got them both in my tank ... reason i asked cause i use to ran co2 with timer ( hours before and after light) but seen like i cant get enough of co2 , drop check never green like now , and PH always same like now when the light out 6.6-6.7 , and hair algae all over the tank , switch co2 to controller now , seem like 2/3 of hair algea is gone , but co2 running almost constantly all day ( i set controller at 6.5) and snails looking like they gaping for air. thats why i need to know which one that i can trust . thinking to ad fish soon , dont want to kill them all when i not home ,
 

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I dont think you can really "trust" one over the other. A pH controller measures pH and injects CO2 to lower it. However, you still need to figure out what pH gives you the desired CO2 concentration. If your pH controller says 6.7, and its properly calibrated, the pH is 6.7. But that pH doesn't mean anything on its own other than the amount of H+ ions in the water. In terms of CO2, for someone using RO/DI water, 6.7 means very low CO2. Someone who has liquid rock water, however, 6.7 means a lot of CO2.

Your drop checker on the other hand, measures CO2 directly so it is telling you how much CO2 is in the tank.

Both devices are likely correct and accurate, you just have to determine how they relate. What I would do is find out which pH gives you the desired drop checker color and set your pH controller to that point. Then your pH controller will keep adding CO2 to maintain that point.

I personally adjusted mine by just slowly dialing down the pH until I saw my plants pearling like mad and no fish stress.
 

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You may not get pearling for awhile. I don't know if is because the plants need to adjust, or they just begin to grow better but I didn't get any pearling for about 3 months. Now I get it and it seems to increase as time goes on.

I would personally go with a drop checker and just watch what is going on. A drop checker works but it is still ball park. I can go to yellow without my fish getting stressed but once it goes into the yellow, you are at the end of the color change so if you double your co2, you won't be able to see. Then, if you feel the need to use a ph controller, you can set it up after you have everything right.

The only real advantage of a ph controller is the fact you get more things out of the tank. It reacts more quickly for sure but it is much more complicated to setup, unless you depend on it, and not your bubble rate/needle valve/etc, to get everything right.
 
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