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What is a drop checker?

Discussion in 'Planted Aquariums' started by masterchris16, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. masterchris16

    masterchris16 AC Members

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    I am new to planted aquarium and I have been seeing some nice glass thing inside people's planted aquarium called a drop checker. What does it Do? Is It important to get one?
     
  2. Squawkbert

    Squawkbert Senior padder

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    They're the best way (IMHO) to monitor your tank's CO2 level. If you have no CO2 injection system, you don't need one. If you use DIY CO2, you might want one. If you use pressurized CO2, you'll sleep better if you have one.

    What it is:
    A little vessel like a diving bell or a little container sealed off with a gas permeable membrane.

    What's in it:
    A presicely prepared solution of sodium bicarbonate (4dKH) and a little bromothymol blue indicator solution and a little air.

    How it works:
    There is more CO2 dissolved in your aquarium water than there is in your drop checker's solution. A CO2 concentration equilibrium between the tank water and checker solution is reached in 0.5-2hours (depending on checker design). This means that your checker's CO2 conc. goes up to match that of your tank water. The result of CO2 addition to the checker solution is a lower pH. Lowering the pH causes a change in the color of the indicator solution. Blue solution means low or no CO2. Green means you're in the 15-40(?)ppm range (perfect). Yellow means you're overdoing it.

    There's a ton of info available both here and at APC. Just search either forum for things like "Drop Checker" and "KH solution" and you will be lead to some good threads on the subject (how to make your own checker, how to prepare your own 4dKH solution, why using KH & pH charts doesn't give accurate CO2 results, checkers & solutions for sale, merits of different designs etc. etc.)

    <<< \/\/00T for 1000th post. A decent one if I say so myself.
     
  3. masterchris16

    masterchris16 AC Members

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    Thanks Squakbert for the detailed information. I guess I have to get one to monitor my co2 levels
     
  4. Squawkbert

    Squawkbert Senior padder

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    I found your new tank thread... looks good so far, I really like the big piece of DW.

    Is 15W of lighting a typo?

    What plants are in there?
    Looks like some glosso, either bacopa or a ludwigia, anubias and dwarf sag (I'm probably wrong on several)?

    If there are any med/high light plants in there, you probably don't need CO2 & ferts as much as you need more light...
     
  5. masterchris16

    masterchris16 AC Members

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    Thanks Squakbert for checking out my tank. I got the T8 Fluorescent Tubes with my Juwel 60 lighting hood and i will be upgrading the lights in a few weeks time. There are no glosso's in there but there is bacopa,anubias lilaeopsis brasiliensis and cuba. I got the co2 because I wanted to get some more plants in the future.
     
  6. Mgamer20o0

    Mgamer20o0 BobsTropicalPlants.com
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    a really good way to check your co2 levels. dont have one my self but you leave it in the tank that way you know if you have too much or too little co2.
     

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