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Old 05-03-2017, 08:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: What and where of Test kits for planted beginner??

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So according to the link provided, the drop checker is not of much use if the CO2 is less than 20 ppm. Typical low tech CO2 is in the 0 to 5 ppm range which is unmeasurable unless one is willing to spend on a $1000 CO2 probe. Same with light intensity which is unmeasurable unless one is willing to spend on an expensive PAR meter. Since light and CO2 are the primary plant growth parameters, all we can afford to measure are the less important, secondary parameters.
No, that isn't correct. You can measure CO2 down to the 5 ppm range by using low KH water in the bulb of the drop checker. See the chart in https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...tml#post920090 I'm using 1 dKH water in my drop checker now. And, you can borrow a PAR meter to measure the amount of light you have, for no more than the cost of the postage to get and return it.
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: What and where of Test kits for planted beginner??

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No, that isn't correct. You can measure CO2 down to the 5 ppm range by using low KH water in the bulb of the drop checker. See the chart in https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...tml#post920090 I'm using 1 dKH water in my drop checker now. And, you can borrow a PAR meter to measure the amount of light you have, for no more than the cost of the postage to get and return it.
I just ordered a drop checker per your recommendation from Ebay. So I have to dilute the 4dKH test fluid with 3 equal volume of distilled water to get 1dKH, right? I am wondering why the test fluid only comes with 4dKH and not more diluted form that is more appropriate for low tech tank. I am afraid my dilution may not be precise enough. The ISTA drop checker only comes with yellow, green and blue color corresponding to too much, adequate, and too little CO2. Where did you get hold of the multi color chart that tells the CO2 levels relative to dKH?

Are you renting out your PAR meter. If so, let me know the fee. Thanks.

I have just set up my first planted tank and want to know how I am doing scientifically.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: What and where of Test kits for planted beginner??

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Originally Posted by tiger15 View Post
I just ordered a drop checker per your recommendation from Ebay. So I have to dilute the 4dKH test fluid with 3 equal volume of distilled water to get 1dKH, right? I am wondering why the test fluid only comes with 4dKH and not more diluted form that is more appropriate for low tech tank. I am afraid my dilution may not be precise enough. The ISTA drop checker only comes with yellow, green and blue color corresponding to too much, adequate, and too little CO2. Where did you get hold of the multi color chart that tells the CO2 levels relative to dKH?

Are you renting out your PAR meter. If so, let me know the fee. Thanks.

I have just set up my first planted tank and want to know how I am doing scientifically.
Here are the details for renting my PAR meter: https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...par-meter.html

I diluted about half of my 4 dKH water 50-50 with distilled water, to get 2 dKH water. Then I diluted about half of that 50-50 with distilled water to get 1 dKH water. And, I diluted about half of that 50-50 with distilled water to get 0.5 dKH water. So now I have small bottles of 4 dKH, 2 dKH, 1 dKH and 0.5 dKH water. I use the one that my DIY CO2 will give me slightly green yellow when I have my maximum concentration of CO2 in the water. That happens to be 1 dKH with the set-up I now have.

The theory behind the color vs CO2 with a drop checker is so simple that I made that chart myself. I never use the solutions that come with a purchased drop checker, nor do I pay any attention to the manufacturers directions - most of them don't know how a drop checker works.
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