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Discussion Starter · #301 ·
The sand paper idea didn't work well for me - the water makes the white become almost transparent. Nail polish is acrylic, the same material as the tubes, so it is the perfect "paint" for acrylic. And, that idea definitely works, if you can find white nail polish.
 

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White acrylic nail polish is the way to go unless you can find white acrylic tubing.

I would like to throw my hat in the ring when I first read this thread I had no idea what a drop checker was now I know and have built my own thanks hoppy

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...?attachmentid=5620&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1194151497
Nice work. :) looks familar. Did you use the post from the airline hose? I found that they don't like to attach to the acrylic so well. (they are plastic not acrylic) So what I do now I cut acrylic rod the same size of the hole of the suction cup. It makes a MUCH stronger bond.
 

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Well I have to agree with the nail polish when it is all blue sitting in the tank all is well. But when that bugger turns color to green it get hard to really see if it is green or yellow .I put a white piece of paper behind it to see its true color. I can see it now "Honey were is your nail polish" her reply "do you want some lipstick too!" Also I used a heater holder cut it down and used weld-on #16 hope it holds up, but that is a great idea with the acrylic rod, and it just so happens I have some very small rod and I will go that route if I should make another or this one does not hold up.Thanks guys
 

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I have successfully made 4dKH water, and added ph solution and put it in drop checker, it is in the tank. Thanks a million Hoppy. I didn't think, even after reading this thread, that I would be able to do it. Wasn't as hard as it seemed it would be. Patience and distilled water lol. Thanks again it was easy with your instruction and everyones input! :D
 

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Is there a certain time that is best to use the drop checker? It probably takes some time for the tank water to become saturated with c02 right? (sorry for the noobie questions, just found this thread a good chance to get them out there)
 

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Discussion Starter · #308 ·
The solution contains a dye - the bromothymol blue dye that is the pH indicator reagent. Dyes do fade over time. Also, the drop checker will gradually accumulate biofilm and need to be cleaned thoroughly. Most people seem to be replacing the fluid and cleaning it about every two weeks.

It is intended to be left in the tank full time. If you remove it, the solution in it will start evaporating and that will make it inaccurate.
 

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Okay so i made the very original rectangular drop checker out of acrylic and silicone sealant. The acrylic was from a clear picture frame. I worked out great. I think this one will just be a model because i would like to do a better job with the silicone. All i did to cut the acrylic was score it, and i snapped perfectly along the line.
Devon
 

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Discussion Starter · #312 ·
Acrylic cement is just a solvent that softens the acrylic, so it welds to another piece of acrylic. The high viscosity type cement has pieces of acrylic dissolved in the solvent, so it can also fill gaps or make filets at the corners. I use the high viscosity type. I buy it at the "Tap Plastic" store near me.
 

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The reason for setting the KH of the indicator solution to 4 is so that with 30 ppm of CO2 the indicator color will be green, and an unequivocal green. That gives the maximum accuracy. If you had a lower KH, the 30ppm color would be near yellow, almost impossible to judge, and if you had a higher KH, the color would be blue green, again very hard to judge. Actually, any KH that is within .5 of 4.0 will work, but 4 seems to be just about the perfect KH. Since it is easy to get the KH to whatever you want it to be, as accurate as you want it to be, why not shoot for 4.00 KH? (You can even use 10X the usual water sample size, so that each drop of KH solution will equal .1 degrees of KH. I used 4X and could judge it even closer by noting how nearly each drop came to tipping the color over to yellow. (I use AP test kits)
I know that this is a dead thread...but I couldn't help myself. If you are interested in the dilution practice that hoppy is using, look up the principles of titration. It's exactly what he has described here and you'll feel all smart and sciency and stuff. I'm a chem major and I'm glad that I'm seeing people titrating things!
 

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Thanks so much Hoppy, and everyone else who posted ideas and questions in this thread. I had no idea how a drop checker worked, but all of my questions are already answered!

Someday I will try Sebas' style of drop checker, nice clean and easy. just wondering if anyone has tried using 2 drop checkers in one aquarium, 1 w/3dKH + 1 w/4dKH?

Is it possible to get an accurate reading in between them?

Thanks again!
 

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^ not really, though together, they will cover a larger range. The 3dKH one will cycle from blue to yellow and stay yellow as the 4dKH one starts to think about going green. I guess if 3d is yellow and 4d is blue, you're somewhere near 10-15ppm(?-been a while since I looked at the charts).
 
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