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Drop Checkers - How They Work

Discussion in 'Lighting, CO2, Ferts & Flow' started by aaronnorth, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Planted Section

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    :good:
     
  2. waterdrop

    waterdrop Enthusiastic "Re-Beginner"

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    At least that's a "doable" suggestion, but for dreaming sake I keep thinking that web forum software should have a "wiki" component that constitutes the "group knowledge," although perhaps that would have unforseen problems of its own, sigh.

    I read this excellent Post by Aaron again and I have a couple of suggestions for the "pinning" aspect:
    1) In the third paragraph, the filling of the drop chkr, even though the B.Blue has "blue" in its name I still think the fact that the liquid will -look blue- should be introduced explicitly, prior to the statement "when the drop checker turns green." Part of refining a "pinned" type ref article is removing as many assumptions as possible for the newbie.
    2) "DI" should be immediately defined, so the newbie can not confuse DeIonized with DIstilled or such.

    (that's all I noticed for now)

    Hey, another question for you guys that comes under the "I know this isn't important but for completeness" kind of department... So the whole goal of this apparatus is to inform the hobbyist accurately of the CO2 level and to have the reported CO2 level be slow to change (can't think.. how would we describe what the delay effect is doing...) So I assume, like so many other things, that perhaps there exists some very expensive electronic apparatus that laboratories use that probably needs calibrating on regular basis and thus remains rediculously out of question from an expense and effort point of view for hobbyists. But if any among us (sometimes we get surprised to find a lab person as a member here) knew of this it would be good to mention for completeness. Even in the expensive lab world, the advances of electronics and sensors sometimes delivers the shock of a cheap new device.

    -wd-
     
  3. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth www.ukaps.org

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    Thanks for the comments WD, i will amend as soon as.

    As for the expensive CO2 measurent option - yes there is a device that accuratley and consisitently measures the levels of CO2 within the aquarium, Tom Barr (plantbrain) uses one, and i am not 100% sure, but i think i remember reading they are around $1000 although i could be wrong!

    Thanks.
     
  4. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth www.ukaps.org

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    Here is a Portable CO2 Analyser and the brochure can be found HERE

    and i have just found out the above unit is $7000/ £4800 and that was last March so it may have dropped in price... a bit lol.
     
  5. waterdrop

    waterdrop Enthusiastic "Re-Beginner"

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    Price Drop! We'd all better run out and get one of these.. no, wait, maybe a huge planted tank instead, can't decide lol.

    Thanks aaron, I just always think with testing equipment its probably good to try to get the occasional look in case the world of sensors and electronics might have delivered some new affordable tool. Too bad that product area probably never sees enough demand to look very hard for low-cost solutions that compete in accuracy and ease of use with the traditional chem methods.

    ~~waterdrop~~
     
  6. mfcphil

    mfcphil Member

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    Thanks for a great post Aaron

    Got everything from your list and as the drop checker arrives without any instructions your guide saved a fair bit of mess not going on the carpets :lol:

    Just got to work on getting that green colour....more toward the blue at the moment
     
  7. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth www.ukaps.org

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    your welcome.
    There seems to be a lot of posts asking/ stating kH is affected by CO2 injection. Just thought i would post it here.
    When we inject CO2:

    CO2 + H2O <=> H2CO3

    H2CO3 <=> H+ = HCO3-

    HCO3- <=> CO3-- + 2H+

    Put it all together and that is the equation for when we inject CO2. As you can see it lies in equilibrium:

    CO2 + H2O <=> H2CO3 <=> H+ + HCO3- <=> CO3-- + 2H+

    At around a ph of 7, there is equal amounts of CO2 and HCO3-
    when we move to pH8.5 almost all of it is converted to HCO3-
    when we move to pH10 it moves to equal amounts of HCO3- and CO3--

    EDIT: Here is a table explaining the above
    [​IMG]

    hence why some species such as vallisneria prefer higher pH's because there is more bicarbonates available for them to use as a carbon source.
    It is the bicarbonates produced that lower the pH because they are acidic.
    kH is not affected. kH is a measurement of alkalinity. Adding CO2 to the tank doesn't affect alkalinity (or KH test kits) at all. This is because equal amounts of H+ and HCO3- are formed so in affect cancelling themselves out.


    H2CO3 (carbonic acid)
    H+ (hydrogen)
    CO3-- (carbonates)
    HCO3- (bicarbonates)
     
  8. Aqua Tom

    Aqua Tom Member

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    Where can i get 4dkh solution in uk & exactly what is it?
     
  9. JenCliBee

    JenCliBee PleC & CorY MaD

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    Water that has been deionized to give it a stable value. This allows as Aaron has mentioned a good base to see the levels of Co2 into the tank and regulate from there with a bit of monitoring and tweaking :good:

    Solution can be brought from.... HERE!!!!

    At one point only AE were selling, im sure others do aswell now but AE are a superb supplier hence why i linked to them and not an inferior company that also may sell it :good:
     
  10. Aqua Tom

    Aqua Tom Member

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    Thanks for that. Can it be any de-ionized water or does it have to be that perticular one?
     
  11. JenCliBee

    JenCliBee PleC & CorY MaD

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    Yes any deionized water will work but it's a mixture of this water with sodium bicarbonate that makes the solution.

    This is how to make the solution, taken from the first page of the tutorial and written by Aaron

     
  12. Aqua Tom

    Aqua Tom Member

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    excelent. ty
     
  13. Aqua Tom

    Aqua Tom Member

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    I have orederd 100ml of 4dkh from them. It is premixed with the blue reagent stuff so even I cant mess it up.
     
  14. rdstars

    rdstars Member

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    Sorry to bump this up, read through it lots of times now and think I understand it.

    Just checking I have these test kits in my hands, there is nothing written on the labels but was wondering if one contains Bromothymol blue

    [​IMG]


    Other question is the 4dkh solution, would most LFS sell this as I dont fancy making it up.

    Going to make the Drop Checker tomorrow,,,,, Well try to.......
     
  15. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth www.ukaps.org

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    Doubt any fish shops sell would sell it, you can purchase it from Aqua Essentials,

    Bromo blue works between pH 6.0-7.6 so it will be in the low range kit.

    Thanks, Aaron
     

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