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  • Using this Red Sea Drop Down Checker

    Hi,
    I have been using the Red Sea Drop Down Checker to get an idea of the ppm of Co2 in the water. ( I know that the plants and fish are the real indicators- but am trying to get to around 30 ppm due to algae.) After increasing Co2, and using 4dKH water, in the DC, I seem to be encountering a problem.
    About three to four days of being in the tank, my solution in the checker turns from green to clear.( I do put 2 drops of solution per instructions.) This has happened twice. The first time I thought perhaps the DC itself was not closed or sealed properly and the solution leaked out. Now I see that I still have 1ml of liquid in the DC, its just clear.
    Has anyone experience this?
    The Rockster

    72 Oceanic Bowfront; BML Dutch Planted 6300K-XB; Eheims 2128 & 2028 ProII, Marineland C-530 Canister; Caribe Substrate;6X-18 UV; Full Auto Co2; Cal Aqua d/c; Roseline Sharks;Angels; Gouriamis: Clown Loaches; Tiger Barbs.

  • #2
    Hi,

    Is it possible that it is in fact YELLOW and just looks clear because you are expecting blue or green?

    I know my DC colors are always yellow, and at some angles can look clear.

    If in fact they are clear, I would suspect something wrong with the dye you are using........
    Thanks,

    Gerry.

    'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

    Current 220 scape

    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanxs for the input,

      I checked the clear color with the wife prior to posting. I have two bottles of indicator solution, both bought less than 6 months ago, both Red Sea.
      I was just wondering if my moving the DC, prior to W/C had an effect on the solution.(Don't think that it would .) I mount it 4 inches from the surface originally,(per instructions) but move it up & down when I do my weekly 50% W/C.
      The Rockster

      72 Oceanic Bowfront; BML Dutch Planted 6300K-XB; Eheims 2128 & 2028 ProII, Marineland C-530 Canister; Caribe Substrate;6X-18 UV; Full Auto Co2; Cal Aqua d/c; Roseline Sharks;Angels; Gouriamis: Clown Loaches; Tiger Barbs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, the DC need to be redone pretty much every other week. I usually change my DC solution AFTER a water change.

        Once I attach the DC to the inside glass, it stays there until the next cycle.
        Thanks,

        Gerry.

        'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

        Current 220 scape

        http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

        Comment


        • #5
          I have read that the solution lasts 2 weeks. I do my W/C every Sunday. I bought the D/C & solution at Big Al's in Tamarac. (Noticed your from S. Florida)

          I will monitor the solution.
          The Rockster

          72 Oceanic Bowfront; BML Dutch Planted 6300K-XB; Eheims 2128 & 2028 ProII, Marineland C-530 Canister; Caribe Substrate;6X-18 UV; Full Auto Co2; Cal Aqua d/c; Roseline Sharks;Angels; Gouriamis: Clown Loaches; Tiger Barbs.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi,

            For the 2-3 days before the clearing occurs, does the DC change from blue to green and back again? Does it 'work' for a couple of days and then not?

            If you are using 4 dkh solution, then maybe the indicator solution is not viable. You can use the reagent from a lot of ph test kits for the coloring.

            Remember too that placement of the DC is very important. Try moving it around the tank every couple days........
            Thanks,

            Gerry.

            'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

            Current 220 scape

            http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Gerryd View Post
              Hi,

              For the 2-3 days before the clearing occurs, does the DC change from blue to green and back again? Does it 'work' for a couple of days and then not?

              If you are using 4 dkh solution, then maybe the indicator solution is not viable. You can use the reagent from a lot of ph test kits for the coloring.

              Remember too that placement of the DC is very important. Try moving it around the tank every couple days........
              Yes, it seems to work for a few days. I am using 4 dKH water that I made with distilled water, and baking soda. Tested with a Hagen KH test kit. Will move DC around in tank. If the problem continues I am thinking of getting the Cal Aqua Double Check Drop Checker from Greenleafaquariums.com (after the holidays)
              The Rockster

              72 Oceanic Bowfront; BML Dutch Planted 6300K-XB; Eheims 2128 & 2028 ProII, Marineland C-530 Canister; Caribe Substrate;6X-18 UV; Full Auto Co2; Cal Aqua d/c; Roseline Sharks;Angels; Gouriamis: Clown Loaches; Tiger Barbs.

              Comment


              • #8
                I haven't used that Red Sea unit, so I don't know exactly how it is assembled, but this looks to me like it is leaking a bit. When it is in the tank the water inside is gradually diluted with tank water or the indicator dye is gradually seeping out. When I was experimenting a lot with various configurations of drop checkers I often had this type of problem when I had a small leak.

                Here is one of the most practical devices I have seen lately, CAL AQUA LABS - The Oracle. It has the elegance and simplicity of the glass units, with a white background to better see the colors. But, I haven't tried it yet. I did try the double bulb device you mention and wasn't pleased with it after a few weeks. I found it was a real pain to do maintenance on, and the indicator dye fades out in both bulbs just as fast, leaving you having to clean and refill two bulbs each time. There is a lot to be said for simplicity.
                Hoppy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by VaughnH View Post
                  I haven't used that Red Sea unit, so I don't know exactly how it is assembled, but this looks to me like it is leaking a bit. When it is in the tank the water inside is gradually diluted with tank water or the indicator dye is gradually seeping out. When I was experimenting a lot with various configurations of drop checkers I often had this type of problem when I had a small leak.

                  Here is one of the most practical devices I have seen lately, CAL AQUA LABS - The Oracle. It has the elegance and simplicity of the glass units, with a white background to better see the colors. But, I haven't tried it yet. I did try the double bulb device you mention and wasn't pleased with it after a few weeks. I found it was a real pain to do maintenance on, and the indicator dye fades out in both bulbs just as fast, leaving you having to clean and refill two bulbs each time. There is a lot to be said for simplicity.
                  Thanxs for the 411.....
                  Have pretty much figured out that the DC is leaking. Did notice the fish around the unit the other day. Just can't believe that 1ml of solution leaks out and 1ml leaks in to replace it..........
                  Read on this or another site, that you (Vaugh), were going to try the Cal Aqua Double Checker, and was curious about your experience.

                  I have spent a fair amount of money on this hobby. But I don't think I would spend $45.00, on the Oracle CO2 Checker. (Maybe if I can't stop the leak) I like the DC I have. It's got a white center; it's not as weird looking; it is made of plastic (unbreakable- had a glass heater explode once); I think it cost about $12.00. The only down side is taking it apart and putting it together. I will probably lube the center gasket and fix that. The last factor as we all know is that the fish are a better indicator than any DC, so why spend the extra money?

                  I really appreciate all of your inputs!!
                  The Rockster

                  72 Oceanic Bowfront; BML Dutch Planted 6300K-XB; Eheims 2128 & 2028 ProII, Marineland C-530 Canister; Caribe Substrate;6X-18 UV; Full Auto Co2; Cal Aqua d/c; Roseline Sharks;Angels; Gouriamis: Clown Loaches; Tiger Barbs.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've had 2 Red Sea drop checkers and they both leaked. I now use a tear drop type checker.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Vaughm

                      Simplicity, eh????

                      I REMOVED both of my drop checkers last week and now use my Hanna ph meter and visual clues such as pearling, fish behaviour, canister PSI, etc to see if something is off.

                      Tank looks better and I don't have to change the solutions either....

                      I will see if I need to add them back in at some future point.
                      Thanks,

                      Gerry.

                      'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

                      Current 220 scape

                      http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gerryd View Post
                        Vaughm

                        Simplicity, eh????

                        I REMOVED both of my drop checkers last week and now use my Hanna ph meter and visual clues such as pearling, fish behaviour, canister PSI, etc to see if something is off.

                        Tank looks better and I don't have to change the solutions either....

                        I will see if I need to add them back in at some future point.
                        Very Valid Point..............
                        How much $$ should I put into this Drop Checker Project??................$75.00?......$100.00?
                        How obsessed am I ? Maybe mount 2-3 of the $44.00 ones around my tank...........lol
                        for what?
                        The Rockster

                        72 Oceanic Bowfront; BML Dutch Planted 6300K-XB; Eheims 2128 & 2028 ProII, Marineland C-530 Canister; Caribe Substrate;6X-18 UV; Full Auto Co2; Cal Aqua d/c; Roseline Sharks;Angels; Gouriamis: Clown Loaches; Tiger Barbs.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well I used mine for months to help me determine my co2 levels and to get them STABILIZED.

                          It is worth every penny or $ spent to get a stable and sufficient c02 level.

                          I spent a lot more in time and effort attempting various c02 injection methods. Spent much more than the 2 drop checkers, fer sure!
                          Thanks,

                          Gerry.

                          'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

                          Current 220 scape

                          http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The purpose of the drop checker is for novices to be able to see that they have about the right amount of CO2 in the water, without relying upon their judgement about whether or not the fish seem stressed. When we rely just on looking at the fish, we tend to get gun shy and stop well short of an optimum amount of CO2. This tendency is aggravated by the fact that the KH/pH method almost always gives a CO2 concentration well above what you really have. Once you learn about what bubble rate gives close to the right amount of CO2 in the water, and you see how the fish react to that, then you can probably do just as well by not using the drop checker. I keep mine in the tank, but almost never look at it now.
                            Hoppy

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by VaughnH View Post
                              The purpose of the drop checker is for novices to be able to see that they have about the right amount of CO2 in the water, without relying upon their judgement about whether or not the fish seem stressed. When we rely just on looking at the fish, we tend to get gun shy and stop well short of an optimum amount of CO2. This tendency is aggravated by the fact that the KH/pH method almost always gives a CO2 concentration well above what you really have. Once you learn about what bubble rate gives close to the right amount of CO2 in the water, and you see how the fish react to that, then you can probably do just as well by not using the drop checker. I keep mine in the tank, but almost never look at it now.
                              TY for laying it out so clearly. If I understand it correctly, after the learning curve is mastered, and the CO2 is stabilized most DCs are used for reference or for the convenience of visually checking the levels of CO2, or retired. Perhaps, if the goal is to stabilize and max out the CO2,within safety perimeters, the simplest approach for a novice, would be the acquisition of a DC, with lab certified KH water and this new regulator AquariumPlants.com's Electronic Co2 Regulator ( or one like it). Dialing in the proper amount of CO2 would be a lot easier and constant, and would only need adjustment with changing bio loads?
                              In any case, thanks for the education!!!
                              Best site on the internet!
                              The Rockster

                              72 Oceanic Bowfront; BML Dutch Planted 6300K-XB; Eheims 2128 & 2028 ProII, Marineland C-530 Canister; Caribe Substrate;6X-18 UV; Full Auto Co2; Cal Aqua d/c; Roseline Sharks;Angels; Gouriamis: Clown Loaches; Tiger Barbs.

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