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Old 02-10-2013, 10:52 PM   #1
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Drop Checker

Just a quick question. I was reading that when the drop checker is green that means there is about 30 ppm of CO2 in the water. Means the pH is 6.6? Is that the pH of the water to? I was confused because the article said that the pH is of the air? Confused :p
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:59 PM   #2
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That question was confusing LOL....I'm not sure, my drop checker is green and my pH is between 6.6-6.8 and I think pH is in the water...not air...lol but whatever I may be wrong haha. But yes- green is supposed to have around 30ppm which is what you are shooting for, blue is too low and hello is too high.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:01 PM   #3
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Thanks! I don't know what the air part was... Haha. One last question, if I am not even dosing co2, will this still tell me how much co2 is in my water?
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:09 PM   #4
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If you are not injecting CO2 and your tank is open to the air (even if it has a lid) the CO2 is going to be at equilibrium with the air in your house - normally around 7ppm.

A drop checker is indirectly measuring the quantity of CO2 in the water. It is measuring the pH of the solution in the drop checker, not the air. The pH inside the drop checker may or may not be the same as that in your tank - it depends on if you are using tank water in the drop checker, or if you are using a reference solution of 4 degrees KH, which is the recommended method to get the most accurate reading.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:11 PM   #5
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Getting a drop checker and not even injecting CO2 in your tank, whether it be pressurized or DIY seems like a waste of money...and what fort means is you use the 4dKH solution in the checker, add a few of the pH test drops and It uses that solution to measure the CO2 in your water, if when put together that makes sense lol.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:51 PM   #6
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I would be injecting CO2 eventually, and wait... So it's giving you the pH of what when you use 4dKH solution?
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:55 PM   #7
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The pH of the 4dKH solution. Co2 is acidic and lowers pH. We know the value of the pH of a standard solution at incremental levels of co2 so as the pH of the liquid in the drop checker changes we can tell approximately how much co2 we have in the tank.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:56 PM   #8
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Thanks, that makes sense.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:24 PM   #9
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What kind of error are we looking at with DIY dkh test solutions? I've got a gallon of distilled water on hand, a pH test kit, KH test kit, digital scale to the 0.1 g. I'd rather not make 5L of 40dkh solution and then dilute.

If I was to make 500mL of 4dkh solution based on adding a small amount of baking soda, test KH, test pH, add more as needed.... By doing it this way I could estimate a 4 dkh solution pretty easily. I mean, effectively, the drop checker goes blue, green, dark green, yellow - it doesn't seem exactly precise, more of a range of CO2 concentration - Low, Good, High.

So again, I ask, how precise do you have to be to make the 4 dkh solution?

btw, I intend on making a drop checker from a vinyl hose & nailpolish jar, seems pretty simple.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:39 PM   #10
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The problem is it is such a small change in KH that effects the level of co2. But like you said it is all kind of an estimate anyway so if you can make 500mL and get it to test reasonably close to 4dkh it is still better than using aquarium water.
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