DIY tip to determine drop checker color

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
20
38
South Florida
Hi all,

I cut a 1.5 -2" section from a plastic drink cup that has a white interior color....

I then positioned this behind/by my drop checker and used the interior reflective color with the tank lights and was able to shine a very bright light through the checker......

The color of the DC was then very clear and visible and can be easily compared to your ph color chart.

The plastic is flexible and thin and can be easily positioned so the tank lights reflect against the background and is easily seen........

Hope this helps :D
 

swylie

Prolific Poster
May 23, 2007
35
0
6
I wouldn't do it any other way. (With a white background, my setup is a bit different. ;) )
 

Crazy Loaches

Guru Class Expert
Nov 20, 2006
103
0
16
Ohio
I've made my own completely from parts laying around (meaning free), and since I used a funnel for the inside, I decided might as well use a white one so it also helps to tell the color by.

dropchecker6_med.JPG
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
3,011
94
48
85
Sacramento, CA
Nice looking DIY drop checker! I agree that having a white background is extremely useful. Gerryd, can you post a picture of how you used that piece of cup?
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
20
38
South Florida
I agree, that is a nice DC!

Nice Java fern BTW.......

As requested here are pics in action lol

1. DC was just changed with 2 drops of reagent in 4 kh ref solution so is a nice blue.

2. DC is on front glass and we are looking through the right side view.

3. Lights are up and to the right as would be normal for most tanks.

4. Last picture is 4 hours later. Going green...........

The difference is huge, I hope the pics show the diff well!

P.S. You have to pause dramatically and say 'abracadabra' or 'TA-DA' before putting the cup section behind the DC..... lol
 

Carissa

Guru Class Expert
Jun 8, 2007
678
0
16
Crazy Loaches;20513 said:
I've made my own completely from parts laying around (meaning free), and since I used a funnel for the inside, I decided might as well use a white one so it also helps to tell the color by.

Hey that's awesome...I have just the thing here to make one like that!! I'm kind of mechanically challenged...hadn't figured out that method myself. Free is good. How did you adhere the funnel to the lid?
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
3,011
94
48
85
Sacramento, CA
Wow!!! The white background is spectacular. I will try that - cement a segment of a cup to a stick of some kind so I can dip it in behind the drop checker. Simple, but extremely effective idea.
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
20
38
South Florida
Vaughn,

Please also remember that I have a 150w 6500k MH bulb right behind the cup, so it makes a HUGE difference.

Like shining a searchlight thru it..... Not sure how bright other light fixtures will be in comparison..........

Also, I notice that some cups do not have as bright a interior as others.

The SOLO brand cup I find is the best....

I didn't think of the 'stick' thing, is why I stuck the DC on the front glass, so I had easy access.....

Let me know if it makes it easier for you.......
 

Crazy Loaches

Guru Class Expert
Nov 20, 2006
103
0
16
Ohio
Carissa;20537 said:
Hey that's awesome...I have just the thing here to make one like that!! I'm kind of mechanically challenged...hadn't figured out that method myself. Free is good. How did you adhere the funnel to the lid?

Sorry for the delay. To answer your question I just used a good layer of silicone. Seems to be working fine. Its just a baby food jar (the tiniest ones) and a small white plastic funnel. i was worried about the metal cap rusting but so far it hasnt and its been several months. BTW I have it detailed in this thread on TPT: Another DIY Drop Checker - The Planted Tank Forum it does require a little bit of work though as far as drilling the hole in the lid for the funnel to pas through.
 

creighton

Guru Class Expert
Jun 18, 2007
192
0
16
Another thing that works well is a white-out pen. Just color a small circle just big enough to see through the glass. Just scratch the white out off if you decide to change position. I'm not sure if its safe for fish/plants but I did it to a drop checker in my 120 gal and had no problems so far.