C02 Drop Checker Queries

Nutrients, fertilization, substrates etc

C02 Drop Checker Queries

Postby FishNChips » Tue May 22, 2018 9:16 pm

I have a GLA drop checker, with the indicator solution.

http://greenleafaquariums.com/products/ ... ecker.html

A couple of questions

1. Is it essential for my indicator solution on a daily basis to reach the maximum saturation (C02)?
. It seems like I have to really crank up the C02 for this to happen in my 55 gallog tank?
2. Do I ever need to replace the reference and indicator solutions in the drop checker?

The Drop Checker – Regardless of whether you decide to use a pH Controller or a timer, it’s always a good idea to use a drop checker to monitor and fine tune CO2 levels. The drop checker is a glass reservoir designed to contain an indicator solution with a known KH (Carbonate Hardness). When submerged, carbon dioxide in the aquarium is absorbed into the indicator solution, until a point of equilibrium is reached between the aquarium water and the solution. As CO2 gas is absorbed into the indicator solution, it lowers the pH of the solution, which in turn changes the solution color. This color, when compared against a pH color chart, allows you to gain an accurate perspective of the concentration of CO2 in the aquarium.
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Re: C02 Drop Checker Queries

Postby Wobblebonk » Wed May 23, 2018 12:21 pm

I'm gonna go with "maximum" is way past the green reference so I'm not sure what you mean with that exactly. If you are going for 30ppm or whatever suggested baseline, yes the solution should get to green every day. What exactly is cranking up the co2, to me that means you are trying to kill snails? The idea of counting bubbles on any of the tanks I'm running co2 on is preposterous and would require a high speed camera. The color change is hours behind too, I use them just incase as a backup but mostly measure ph drop. I suppose this is also doing that on a delay and requiring you to match colors?

Just guessing but I would think the "reference" solution is just water and green dye? It's sealed in a chamber no? I bet you could stretch out that reference solution almost forever. I personally am real lazy about replacing the solution, I do it if the checker gets algae on it and I decide to clean it. I mostly hardly even look at them though... it not being perfectly accurate does not concern me. They recommend changing every water change but that is beyond excessive imo.
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Re: C02 Drop Checker Queries

Postby FishNChips » Wed May 23, 2018 4:09 pm

I guess I wasn't as specific as I thought... good questions

I meant: how critical is it that I reach the C02 saturation that is, presumably, ideal (for me that is matching the reference to indicator solution), but in technical terms perhaps it is 30ppm. I have seen multiple recommendations to run the bubble counter at about 1 drop per second, but this approx rate doesn't lead to my indicator solution to turn green, stays largely blue green. I could increase the C02, but also don't want to be filling the tank monthly. I have no idea how long a 10lb tank lasts. You make an interesting point that I hadn't though of regarding that the color change may not occur until after the solenoid has kicked off for the night. I hadn't thought about that idea.

While I am at it. Someone recommended running an O2 airstone after the C02 has kick off for the night. Any opinion on how important this is to do?
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Re: C02 Drop Checker Queries

Postby Wobblebonk » Wed May 23, 2018 6:09 pm

Bubbles per second is a poor measurement method... my tanks are literally running at least 10 or 20 bps which is nigh uncountable. Bubbles are not created equal, mine are only running at 10 or 15 PSI into reactors, a big 30 psi bubble is probably like 5+ of my bubbles. The larger the tank the more absurd bubble counting becomes (maybe if you do no surface movement whatsoever this isn't true but I do high surface agitation). Mine at completely uncountable bubbles per second last a long time (WAY more than 1 month) but I use 20# tanks, regardless it won't run out near as fast as you think unless there's a leak. I shut off the co2 at least an hour before lights turn off and it kicks on 90 mins before the lights. The drop checker is still very green at lights out, and this is using a sump which must be offgassing more than a hob or canister filter is likely to.

The airstone is necessary if you continue to leave it at whatever is making it 30ppm overnight, otherwise it shouldn't matter too much. It's an extra safety net for your livestock... maybe if you run the co2 all the way till lights out it might help a little?
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