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Old 05-07-2007, 07:16 PM   #1
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Re: Drop Checker Accuracy vs Kh/PH method

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkilling1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramer
After reading some threads, I want to get a drop checker. Also, my LFS (big als) sells the Red Sea CO2 Indicator. This is a drop checker? And I was wondering if anyone knows at what level is it calibrated to indicate a good co2 level? Also can I change the reference solution in it and use the method given in the sticky?
I use the Red Sea one and don't have any problems with it.

You can get certified KH standards here:

http://liquidarthome.net/khstandard



I ran a KH test on the KH standard and it showed up as 4 just as it should have, but I have never checked the difference between pH/KH and the drop checker.

Even if my aquarium didn't have anything that would distort the results, you need a more accurate test kit to be able to measure CO2 effectively. ie having a KH of 4 in your tank means it's between 3 and 5. It doesn't mean it is exactly 4.

Lets just say my pH kit is 100% accurate, if I use the pH/KH charts and knowing that my KH is between 3 and 5 I would end up with:

A CO2 of 22.6 is I use a KH of 3 and a CO2 of 37.7 is my KH was 5.

That's a 15 PPM difference. Quite a margin of error. If I were to take out the KH error, my error margin decreases dramatically. This is the main reason for using a drop checker and a certified standard. I know, within a small percentage of error, what my CO2 really is.

There is no reason for me to check the KH/pH vs drop checker due to the wide band of the KH test kit. (Granted you are still using the KH/pH chart with the drop checker)
i have the same drop checker .. red seas .. i use the red sea drops .. im gonna assume u dont use the red sea drops .. and u use the one from that kh standard link .. i went to the link .. if i was to get one .. which one should i get ?? unfortunaly mine stays on negative ..
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:22 PM   #2
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There are lots of shapes and sizes of drop checkers. They all work on the same principal. Switching the kind that you use isn't going to change the results that you are getting. Using a KH reference solution ensures that the color results are meaningful and should be done inspite of any directions stating to use aquarium water. If you are using a drop checker with a KH reference solution of 4 dKH and it's still registering blue, then you have to correct your CO2 levels.
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrbox
There are lots of shapes and sizes of drop checkers. They all work on the same principal. Switching the kind that you use isn't going to change the results that you are getting. Using a KH reference solution ensures that the color results are meaningful and should be done inspite of any directions stating to use aquarium water. If you are using a drop checker with a KH reference solution of 4 dKH and it's still registering blue, then you have to correct your CO2 levels.
i think ya misunderstood me ... i have the same drop checker as what u have .. the red sea .. i was trying to find out .. according to the link ya posted ... which kh reference solution should i get ??

as for the co2 levels go .. i think its just the system i have .. i have the red sea turbo bio co2 kit running .. and its crap OR their red sea co2 mix is crap .. i boiught my own yeast gonna make my own solution .. any good reciepes.. i bought fleischmans yeast mix .. i can use regular sugar ??
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:16 PM   #4
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The basic mix is something like a cup of regular white sugar 1/8-1/4tsp. of yeast and about the same of baking soda for every liter of water if iI remember correctly.

There are many variants on the theme such as using champagne yeast or adding brown molasses and protein powder to increase the nutrient quality of the mixture but I haven't used diy in so long I don't recall specifics.

Oh, and you'll want either the 4 or 5dkh solution to use in your drop checker. The difference being whether you want green to indicate 30(4dkh) or 38(5dkh) ppm of CO2. Probably go with 4 since you're using diy. It's hard enough to get a stable 30ppm on yeast so 38 might be beyond what you can achieve.
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikon
i think ya misunderstood me ... i have the same drop checker as what u have .. the red sea .. i was trying to find out .. according to the link ya posted ... which kh reference solution should i get ??

as for the co2 levels go .. i think its just the system i have .. i have the red sea turbo bio co2 kit running .. and its crap OR their red sea co2 mix is crap .. i boiught my own yeast gonna make my own solution .. any good reciepes.. i bought fleischmans yeast mix .. i can use regular sugar ??
You're right, I misunderstood. As Hoovercat has stated a KH reference solution of 4 dKH indicating 30ppm would probably be the best one for you to start with.

Often those Commercial DIY Kits sit on the shelf so long that the Yeast is expired by the time you get it. Check to see if there's an expiration date stamped on the packets. Standard mix for a 1 Liter bottle is as follows:
1/8tsp Yeast (Champagne Yeast recommended, but the fleischmans will work fine too)
1tsp Baking Soda (optional, should be halved or eliminated if you have hard water)
3/8 cup Sugar
3/4 Liter tepid water

Adding too much baking soda or water that is too hot will kill the yeast. In the Hagen unit the Yeast is labeled as Activator and the Baking Soda is called Stabilizer. Not sure if the Red Sea unit has the same labeling or not.
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Old 05-10-2007, 07:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrbox
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikon
i think ya misunderstood me ... i have the same drop checker as what u have .. the red sea .. i was trying to find out .. according to the link ya posted ... which kh reference solution should i get ??

as for the co2 levels go .. i think its just the system i have .. i have the red sea turbo bio co2 kit running .. and its crap OR their red sea co2 mix is crap .. i boiught my own yeast gonna make my own solution .. any good reciepes.. i bought fleischmans yeast mix .. i can use regular sugar ??
You're right, I misunderstood. As Hoovercat has stated a KH reference solution of 4 dKH indicating 30ppm would probably be the best one for you to start with.

Often those Commercial DIY Kits sit on the shelf so long that the Yeast is expired by the time you get it. Check to see if there's an expiration date stamped on the packets. Standard mix for a 1 Liter bottle is as follows:
1/8tsp Yeast (Champagne Yeast recommended, but the fleischmans will work fine too)
1tsp Baking Soda (optional, should be halved or eliminated if you have hard water)
3/8 cup Sugar
3/4 Liter tepid water

Adding too much baking soda or water that is too hot will kill the yeast. In the Hagen unit the Yeast is labeled as Activator and the Baking Soda is called Stabilizer. Not sure if the Red Sea unit has the same labeling or not.
thanxs to the both of yall ... ill put a order in tommorow for the 4dhk solution .. now do i use tank water or tap water ...

i cant remember if i seen a expriation date on the red seas version .. their co2 mix isnt labled but it is seperated .. they have the "sugar" in a bag and the " yeast / activator " in a small tube ..

i do plan on getting a pressurized system .. but maybe a few months down the road ..

now when i goto make the diy yeast mix .. how long does it NORMALLY take b4 i start to see results .. a cpl days im gonna assume .. and lets say for insantce everything checks out .. and turns out the powerhead diffuser is working properly .. will the co2 kill the bba ?? or do i have to yank the plants and put new ones in .. cuz every single leaf is covered with bba .. i htink its bba .. but its small fuzzy and on the edges of the leaves .. and if i try to remove it the the leaf will tear ..

im also gonna put a order in for the macro nutrients also ..
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:45 AM   #7
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You don't use either tank water or tap water, you use the 4dKH solution.

Without an expiration date there's no way to tell if the yeast is still viable. Try another packet or use your own yeast. Definately no problem using regular white sugar instead of their packaged sugar.

The longest it should take to see bubbles is 24 hours, long than that and you've got a bad batch. If you foam the yeast and have a nice warm house, you'll often see bubbles within a few short hours.

Getting your CO2 straightened out will only halt the growth of BBA and won't kill what's already there. You'll either need to prune the affected leaves or treat them to remove the algae. In your situation I'd probably use Excel to spot treat the BBA and try to rescue as many of the plants as possible.
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrbox
You don't use either tank water or tap water, you use the 4dKH solution.

Without an expiration date there's no way to tell if the yeast is still viable. Try another packet or use your own yeast. Definately no problem using regular white sugar instead of their packaged sugar.

The longest it should take to see bubbles is 24 hours, long than that and you've got a bad batch. If you foam the yeast and have a nice warm house, you'll often see bubbles within a few short hours.

Getting your CO2 straightened out will only halt the growth of BBA and won't kill what's already there. You'll either need to prune the affected leaves or treat them to remove the algae. In your situation I'd probably use Excel to spot treat the BBA and try to rescue as many of the plants as possible.
with the red sea mix .. i was getting a lot of small bubbles every few seconds for a few to several weeks .. but like i said .. for some reason the co2 is low .. ive got the water at the highest it can be .. no airstones .. no biowheel ( im using flourival rings ) .. i use carbon filter pads .. light is on for about 8-10 hours a day .. at the end of the month ill open the canister and it will have a funky smell and a lot of foam at the top .. hmm ..

anywayz .. i went to put some excel right on sum of the algae and a day or 2 later some of the bba turned red .. im gonna assume that means that part of the algae died ...

is there some kind of excel dip that i can use to dip the entire plant ? or would it be best to dump a crap load into the tank after i do a water change ?

im not sure on how to prune the plants .. do i cut where the leaf stem meets the main stalk .. or do i cut where the leaf ends on the leaf stem ..
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:58 PM   #9
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With a 20 gallon tank you really do need a pair of 2 Liter Bottles to supply enough CO2. It would be really quick and easy to try adding them and seeing if it fixes your low CO2 levels.

A quick search of the forum should turn up several threads where people have experimented with Excel dips. Also you're correct that the algae turning red is a sign that it's dying. Be careful about overdosing Excel as too much can kill plants and/or fish. There's a reason for the warning on the bottle.

If you're talking about trimming stem plants then it's best to trim the stem directy above a set of leaves.
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Old 05-14-2007, 06:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrbox
With a 20 gallon tank you really do need a pair of 2 Liter Bottles to supply enough CO2. It would be really quick and easy to try adding them and seeing if it fixes your low CO2 levels.

A quick search of the forum should turn up several threads where people have experimented with Excel dips. Also you're correct that the algae turning red is a sign that it's dying. Be careful about overdosing Excel as too much can kill plants and/or fish. There's a reason for the warning on the bottle.

If you're talking about trimming stem plants then it's best to trim the stem directy above a set of leaves.
well im gonna get the champagne yeast co2 going ... i have a extra 2 liter bottle .. but i need to review the thread on how to set up 2 bottles...
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