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Thread: Using this Red Sea Drop Down Checker

  1. #1
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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; 4x65(6500K)CF; Eheims 2128 & 2028 ProII, Marineland C-530 Canister; API Substrate;6X-18 UV; Full Auto Co2; Cal Aqua d/c; 5 Jack Wattley Discus; 4 Clown Loaches.

  2. #2
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    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/album.php?albumid=34

  3. #3
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    Question

    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; 4x65(6500K)CF; Eheims 2128 & 2028 ProII, Marineland C-530 Canister; API Substrate;6X-18 UV; Full Auto Co2; Cal Aqua d/c; 5 Jack Wattley Discus; 4 Clown Loaches.

  4. #4
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    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/album.php?albumid=34

  5. #5
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    South Florida
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    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; 4x65(6500K)CF; Eheims 2128 & 2028 ProII, Marineland C-530 Canister; API Substrate;6X-18 UV; Full Auto Co2; Cal Aqua d/c; 5 Jack Wattley Discus; 4 Clown Loaches.

  6. #6
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    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/album.php?albumid=34

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Talking

    Quote 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; 4x65(6500K)CF; Eheims 2128 & 2028 ProII, Marineland C-530 Canister; API Substrate;6X-18 UV; Full Auto Co2; Cal Aqua d/c; 5 Jack Wattley Discus; 4 Clown Loaches.

  8. #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

  9. #9
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    Talking

    Quote 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; 4x65(6500K)CF; Eheims 2128 & 2028 ProII, Marineland C-530 Canister; API Substrate;6X-18 UV; Full Auto Co2; Cal Aqua d/c; 5 Jack Wattley Discus; 4 Clown Loaches.

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

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