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I recently developed some black, furry algae on my slowgrowers (cryptos, anubias, java fern) due to low CO2 levels. I had been using a Red Sea reactor in the aquarium with now problem, but it was limiting the amount of CO2 I could get into the water in my 75 gallon aquarium. So I installed a DIY PVC reactor with no bioballs onto the inlet of my XP3 (I know this is somewhat unconventional, but should work the same as sending the CO2 directly to the XP3, with the added benefit of increased dissolution prior to getting to the XP3). However, it hasn't seemed to make a difference in my CO2 levels. I increased the bubble rate from 1 to 2 bps to 3-4 bps with little result. So I increased to 4-5 bps. These two increases have occured over the last 2 days. I put 2 red sea drop checkers into the tank, along with the double drop checker (1 reference solution, 1 reading solution). The double checker still reads blue. One red sea drop checker has 2 drops of CO2 indicator, and that one reads blue. One red sea drop checker has 4 drops of CO2 indicator and that one reads bluish green. Despite how the drop checkers read, my fish are telling me differently. I have noticed some gill damage on a few fish over the past few days and I am confused. I am leary of using KH and pH to calculate CO2 as this has proved to be erroneous in many cases. Has anyone had a similar experience or some advice for me? I am at my wits end. Also, I am wondering about the quality of the CO2, since I just refilled at an Army/Navy store. Oh, I use paintball tanks, I have 5 of them.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate it.
 

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Are you using a 4dKH solution in the drop checkers or just the water in the tank? This can make huge difference in the pH of the solution in the drop checker.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
just water in the tank.....so that will alter the reading??
 

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All you are reading with your drop checkers is the pH of the water in the tank. If you want to read how much CO2 is in the water you need to use distilled or dionized water with a tiny amount of baking soda mixed in to get 4 dKH. Then add the pH reagent and the drop checker solution will be green when you have about 30 ppm of CO2 in the tank water.

If the drop checker with the two balls is the Cal Aqua Labs one, the solutions they provide are all you need to add to the balls - they already have the distilled 4 dKH water in them. I find it helps to add a drop of pH reagent to the solutions in the balls to make it easier to read the colors.
 

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All you are reading with your drop checkers is the pH of the water in the tank. If you want to read how much CO2 is in the water you need to use distilled or dionized water with a tiny amount of baking soda mixed in to get 4 dKH. Then add the pH reagent and the drop checker solution will be green when you have about 30 ppm of CO2 in the tank water.

If the drop checker with the two balls is the Cal Aqua Labs one, the solutions they provide are all you need to add to the balls - they already have the distilled 4 dKH water in them. I find it helps to add a drop of pH reagent to the solutions in the balls to make it easier to read the colors.
Can u explain more about it? i have always used tank wateer in my ada drop checker
 
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