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does the hole that lets the co2 in when submerged need to be a specific size. The diy one that I built has a channel with an opening about the size of a pencil tip for the co2 to travel up to fill the chamber with the blue 4dkh water in it. I guess my question is do you think this will be effective? My thoughts are that it will take more time because the hole for the gas to travel is smaller, but I still think that it should work. Any thoughts? I'll post pics in a sec.
 

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Here's what I did. It's from a journal I keep in another forum so sorry if it's wicked pic heavy:

I was bored today and wanted to build my own DIY drop checker. So I used an old scented oil container, mixed up a batch of 4dKH and went to town. Here's some photos. My only concern is that the modified plastic tube is too small and will take a long time for the gas to change the color of the ph reagent. I'll wait till tomorrow to see what becomes of it. But since I've put it in, I haven't been noticing any real significant change in color. Could it be that even with the pressurized setup, I'm not pushing that much CO2 into the water? Will I have to kick it up a notch? stay tuned.....

Here's what I did:



took the plastic wrapping off, boiled it and scrubbed all the oil off of it.


removed the oil distributor, my idea being that I could use the small pin hole channel for the gas to travel up and into the basin.



took some sun cure resin that I use to repair the dings on my surfboards and filled in a hole on the distributor. (this one comes with two channels. One that is positioned in the middle of the plastic, and another one that is positioned deeper and travels the length of the plastic shaft. If you happen to see one of these containers, twist off the top and look at the holes and you'll see what I mean.
Here's what I used to seal the one hole so that I could create a basin.

Here's the section I filled in:

used a suction cup setup that you can get at your LFS that will fit around a 1"heater. Fit like a glove. Then stuck it to my window in my dining room...just for good measure.

You can see the plastic channel better here.
got some distilled water

mixed in some baking soda and tested and tested and tested until I got roughly 4dKH-4.5dKH. Added .2ml 4dKH water with a baby dosing syringe and 4 drops of pH reagent.
Then carefully put it in my aquarium.



finishing touches...


Now, the issue that I'm having is that the drop checker solution is still blue and does not look like it has changed. It's been roughly 3 hours. I'm about to hit the hay here and will revisit the project in the morning. I have another option that I can use, but I like the way that this looks compared to some other diy setups that I have seen. I may run the second one I made next to this one to see if the gas really is making its way up the chamber. I used .2ml 4.5dKH and 4 drops pH reagent for the solution. I moved the drop checker to the far left corner under the glass and cranked the filter up to move the bubbles around. so far so good. just wait...after running the pressurized for this long, I'm gonna be kicking myself a little if I find out that I need to add more....at least the fix is an easy one. Just open up the needle valve a little and see where that takes me. After all...it's only moss were dealing with here.

Thanks for looking and any advice on my drop checker dilemma is much appreciated. Really thankful for the great tips in this thread. If mine is fully functional I'll be glad because it doesn't look too DIY.

-el g
 

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A key to speeding up the reaction time is reducing the air space in the bottle. For example, you can use the sun cure resin to fill up much of the bottle.

The less air in the bottle, the faster it is for the water CO2 to reach the 4 dK solution.
that makes perfect sense. It's not perfect yet, but as it is, it does the trick. Thanks for the replies. Best,

el g
 

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I've had a lot of free time the past couple of days. And with the rain in NYC, I've been spending a lot of time working on the aquarium. I wasn't happy with the drop checker chamber so I decided to make it bigger, without making it over complicated. It was taking way too long to get readings with the drop checker and I felt like it was because the gas wasn't traveling very rapidly into the chamber with the reagent. So I removed the cap, and took half inch airline tubing, cut it to size, and fit it through the opening in the glass vial, filled the container with approximately 3ml dKH4/4.5 H2O, added 6 drops pH reagent, tested the seal, and placed it in the aquarium. It went a little something like this.

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