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^^I think this would show 20-30ppm Co2, but I plan to run DIY Co2, so the 10-15 range is what I would really expect. You have a real good point though, the in between numbers like 15ppm or 25 ppm would be to much of a pain to try and decipher. As long as I can get above 10ppm for a lowlight I will be happy!
 

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I see a lot of simple designs for the drop checkers but I don't see any mention of where to buy the fluid to put in the drop checker. Where do you buy the fluid to put in the drop checker?
 

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I see a lot of simple designs for the drop checkers but I don't see any mention of where to buy the fluid to put in the drop checker. Where do you buy the fluid to put in the drop checker?
You DIY!

Use distilled water and add tiny-tiny amounts of baking soda. By trial and error, take samples of your water and measure until you know you have a 4 dKH solution. If you use 10ml of water as sample instead of 5, your reading will be more accurate; just divide by two the number of drops you added until the color changed. Once you get it dump the sample you added the KH reagent to, use your solution to add some drops (I like adding at least 7 of bromthymol blue) pH reagent solution and insert it in your DIY drop checker device.

Pepe
Santo Domingo
 

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Looking at some of these designs I would like to offer up another idea.

Why not use a test with a single hole rubber stopper. The insert a glass tube into the hole. Invert the whole thing and your done.

I was looking around and you can buy these parts for < $5.

The only question I have is the effect the rubber stopper would have on the solution.

Comments?
 

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The amount of water you use will not matter as long as you keep some air trapped between the two fluids (#1. water tank; and #2. 4dKH -sodium bicarbonate solution in distilled water- with a few drops of pH reagent).

Pepe
Santo Domingo
 

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Looking at some of these designs I would like to offer up another idea.

Why not use a test with a single hole rubber stopper. The insert a glass tube into the hole. Invert the whole thing and your done.

I was looking around and you can buy these parts for < $5.

The only question I have is the effect the rubber stopper would have on the solution.

Comments?
I used a catheter (medical use rigid plastic tube for Intra-Venous administrations) and a glass test tube. Here is a pic of one I just made. I am working in a smaller unit now.
 

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My DIY is very simply

This is my personal idea, please respect :)

From some test kit plastic pipette, cut off only narrowest end of a pipette, mix 1-2ml 4dkh water with 1-2 drops test solution, after water blue take all mixture inside pipette and put down in to aquarium with open end and fit in to some sucker mount, if too big - cut piece of silicone tubing, Pull on legs of a sucker to fix a pipette. Also be convinced that air between a liquid and water is present
Easy tricky setup just in few minutes.
 

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my friend came by and i showed him this thread he came by the next day with this what do you think?
You can make something smaller using a ball that you get in candy machine which has a toy in it.
 

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I don't trust to drop checkers. Too slow reaction and not so correct, sometimes i think my eyes are wrong, lol.( I found info in internet - Japan people see much more colors and tonalities as White Europeans !) This piece is nice, but need check ph minimum 2 times every day. Drop checker can show green but ph can be much lower.
And if will be some electrical shortcut or lights go off - overdosing, disease - fish can die,algae, ...
I bought digital ph meter for self in Ebay for 23 GBP, highly recommended.

Plese look chart standard co2 test solution what use all drop checkers - bromothymol blue



green on PH 6.4 can be too low and can be too late - overdosing, i keep min. 6.6ph and in morning before co2 on is 6.8
Situations is different, possibly 6.4 can be fine, depend from many factors kh,gh, temperature,..
My info just for reference, i hope this info helps avoid some mistakes

I tried once shut off at 6.3ph co2 and switched on air pump with open top of aquarium and for raising in 44gal tank ph from 6.3ph to 6.6ph needed half day

Very carefully with all co2 things
Also almost all ph tests is wrong +-1,2 due different temperatures or have color scales like 6.4:6.8:7.2 - potencial overdosing or too low level
I highly recommended digital ph meter with ATC(Automatic temperature control), once calibrated shows very exact ph longtime +-0.05

Fish Health is more important, and i don't understand why need extreme fast growth if later plants throw away :)
 

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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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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 guessing your design would take longer to show changes because the water/air interface is so small. It will take gas longer to reach equilibrium. This is the reason the commercial drop checkers have the bell-shaped horn... the half-dollar sized area where the water and air meet allows CO2 to diffuse more quickly into the air pocket. The size of the air pocket might also matter (seems a smaller air space would transfer gas more quickly?) but not sure.
 
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