Drop Checker: how long does it take to update?

fablau

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Hello,
I am new to Co2 and I got a complete CO2 system from Green Leaf yesterday:

Choice CO2 System | Green Leaf Aquariums


so, I set it up with the following diffuser inside my 75g tank:

CO2 Diffuser 5000 | Green Leaf Aquariums


To improve the diffusion of CO2 bubbles inside the tank, I have placed a small water pump with the outflow right over the diffuser in order to "blow" the bubbles everywhere in the tank, and actually works great (I can see micro bubbles everywhere).

Now, I placed the Drop Checker I got from the same Green Leaf inside my aquarium as read on the instructions:

CAL AQUA LABS Double Drop Checker | Green Leaf Aquariums


and well after 24 hours it is still blue! I started with 1 bubble per second and, seeing no results, I increased CO2 injection to 2 bubbles per second this morning at around 9:00am. Now is almost 3:00pm and it is still blue! The water is really plenty of bubbles (it looks like treated with alka seltzer!) but the checker doesn't change color: keeps showing a blue color.

My question is: how long the checker takes to react to the different concentration of CO2 in the water? Do you think I should try to increase bubbles per second?

Any thoughts are very welcome! I repeat, I am novice on CO2...

Thank you.

Fabrizio.
 

Carissa

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I don't think it should take more than a couple of hours. When I used to change my diy co2, if I did it at supper time my drop checker would be changed before I went to bed.
 

Panda

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I'll say that in about 2 hours mine changes color. I think you should increase the CO2
Maybe you need to use the small water pump to crush the CO2 bubble and then disperse it in the tank
I'm using this one:
Powersweep 228 Powerhead, Powerheads | Pet Solutions

There's a thread here that explains how to use it. You need to take the impeller out and with a hot needle ( with a lighter) drill a few hole in each leg of the impeller.
 

Gerryd

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Hi,

As long as the reference solution is de-ionized water of a known kh, say 4 or 5, it should take about 2-4 hours to change color. I looked at the link quickly and will see if they provide any details on this.

If it hasn't moved at all, then try increasing the bubble rate a bit at a time and observe. Since the drop checker will never be real time in measurements, this must be done slowly.

Watch your fish too, so if they are gasping or heading to the surface, cut it back.
 

Panda

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it includes a reference solution but I don't know the kh. I have another DC that changes at about the same time and with the same colors on both sides of the aquarium and for that one I use 4 kh solution

Fabrizio, did you make sure you place the solutions in the correct order ( reference solution on the button and close it )??

Also, to notice the color once you set your bubble rate you can place a white object behind the cal aqua to see both colors. I always place my Mag-Float Cleaner :

Mag-Float Cleaner, Maintenance/Cleaning | Pet Solutions
 

VaughnH

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Two bubbles per second isn't nearly enough for that size tank. At least 5 bubbles per second are needed, probably more.
 

fablau

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Thank you guys for your replies. Well, I increased bubbles up to 3 per second and the checker begins to looks like green despite it is still light blue... today I will try to increase them to 4 per second then I will let you know.

My only question now is: is it correct to see so many bubbles in the water? Is that a good sign or is it a sign of "not" proper dissolution of CO2 in the water? Just wondering, I never used CO2 in my previous aquariums and my water looked very crystal clear. This one looks like "gas water" or "Sprite" to drink!

Answering to Gerryd: I don't have yet fish inside the tank, I set it up one week ago and I am waiting to have it running correctly before to put fish inside.

Answering to Panda: yes, I think to have setup the checker correctly, I read the instructions on the manual carefully and they didn't look so complicated. I didn't close the reference solution because the instructions said that was not necessary for a normal use in the aquarium. Actually the reference solution (at the bottom) didn't change its color at all since 2 days ago , it is always green so I assume it is working fine. Also, of course, as I wrote in my first post, I put a small powerhead (actually a mini filter I didn't use anymore) right over the diffuser, so my bubbles are spread all over the thank. The diffusion looks excellent to me.

I am going to increase bubbles to 4 per seconds, then I will let you know.

Thank you again.

Fabrizio
 

fablau

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Yes, with 4 bubbles per second I got the green checker. My only concerning is still the "look" of the water, very, very "gaseous"... is that normal or should Co2 be more dissolved?

Thank you.

Fabrizio.
 

rich815

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VaughnH;29369 said:
Two bubbles per second isn't nearly enough for that size tank. At least 5 bubbles per second are needed, probably more.

100% agreement with VaughnH here. I have at least 5 bps going with my 72 gal. However your description of the tank looking like alka seltzer maybe means you have co2 bubbles going all around the tank but makes how much is actually dissolving in the water and being used by the plants questionable. My tank has bubbles in the water except from those coming off all the many plants that are pearling- more like a champagne glass than alka seltzer. I use a PVC type online reactor and see no bubbles coming into the tank at all since it is all dissolving. My checker is a nice lime green. You may be not using the co2 as efficiently as you could be. What and how many filters are you using? I have one eheim 2028 as my main and an eheim 2026 in which the online co2 reactor is attached on the outflow line. I also use a koralia 2 to aid even further in the dispersment of the co2 water that comes out of the 2026 outflow pipe.
 

fablau

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Very interesting rich815, I am currently getting a perfect checker match (green) with 4 bubbles for minute, but with my internal glass diffuser the water is really "alka seltzer" like. Can I ask you what kind of PVC inline reactor are you using? I have an external sump and I could put an inline reactor to the outflow. I am using an Eheim 1000 compact pump there (265 gph):

Eheim 1000 Compact Pump, Compact Pumps > Powerheads > Saltwater Aquarium Supplies

Do you think I could have better results by using such a reactor instead of my current internal glass diffuser? Above all: a clearer water?! I am really interested to learn more about your equipment. What gph do you get from your eheim 2026?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you again!

Best,
Fabrizio
 

rich815

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fablau;29427 said:
Very interesting rich815, I am currently getting a perfect checker match (green) with 4 bubbles for minute, but with my internal glass diffuser the water is really "alka seltzer" like. Can I ask you what kind of PVC inline reactor are you using? I have an external sump and I could put an inline reactor to the outflow. I am using an Eheim 1000 compact pump there (265 gph):

Eheim 1000 Compact Pump, Compact Pumps > Powerheads > Saltwater Aquarium Supplies

Do you think I could have better results by using such a reactor instead of my current internal glass diffuser? Above all: a clearer water?! I am really interested to learn more about your equipment. What gph do you get from your eheim 2026?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you again!

Best,
Fabrizio

The reator I use was not built by me but by Bill Harada of SFBAAPS and I bought it used from another guy. It sort of resemble this one:

DIY Inline Co2 Reactor - Fantasyreef Forum

Whether your results would be better I am not sure as I have not the long experience to answer with confidence, however from what you describe I would think it indicates the CO2 has not dissolved in the water and while some may be a good amount of it may be merely rising to the surface and in essense leaving into the atmosphere. I have no bubbles at all coming into my tank from the outflow of the 2026 in which the reactor is attached yet my drop checker (with 4dKH water) is lime green and my plants grow well.

The eheim 2028 is rated (by manufacturer, take that for what it's worth) at 280 GPH and the 2026 at 250 GPH.
 

fablau

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rich815

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fablau;29444 said:
Thank you, that's very interesting. I'd like to do such a reactor myself, but I am not sure I find the time to assemble it in a timely manner... I was thinking to buy the following by Aqua Medic:

CO2 Reactor - Closed external CO2 reactor for aquaria up to 500 gal - Aqua Medic


What do you think? Thank you again for all your provided information, really appreciated.

Best,
Fabrizio.

Not sure as I've never used that type of diffuser. It seems based on the same principle as the one you have: pushes the CO2 through something to break it into tiny bubbles to help dissolve it in the water. That one does it through a bunch of slotted balls instead of the ceramic diffuser you now use. Unless it is more successful at getting the CO2 to dissolve before it comes out you'll have the same as you do now. That "DIY" PVC reactor I showed you is good as the water and CO2 come in the top, and the water exits to the tank thru the bottom. Since the CO2 rises it cannot just flow down and out the reactor, instead it churns over and over again as the pump pushes water in and the CO2 tank pumps CO2 in. So the CO2 churns in the water inside the reactor and evenutually fully dissolves since it cannot go anywhere else.

Although people call those PVC reactors DIY since most people just make them with simple and easy-to-find parts from a hardware store it can often be found for sale new or used. I got mine for only $10, and the guy I bought it from bought new from a guy who made it (for only $20). I think the parts are only about $12 or so. Check some other popular aquatic plant sites and post a WTB and you might find one.
 

fablau

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rich815;29462 said:
Not sure as I've never used that type of diffuser. It seems based on the same principle as the one you have: pushes the CO2 through something to break it into tiny bubbles to help dissolve it in the water. That one does it through a bunch of slotted balls instead of the ceramic diffuser you now use. Unless it is more successful at getting the CO2 to dissolve before it comes out you'll have the same as you do now. That "DIY" PVC reactor I showed you is good as the water and CO2 come in the top, and the water exits to the tank thru the bottom. Since the CO2 rises it cannot just flow down and out the reactor, instead it churns over and over again as the pump pushes water in and the CO2 tank pumps CO2 in. So the CO2 churns in the water inside the reactor and evenutually fully dissolves since it cannot go anywhere else.


Well, that's what the Aqua Medic 1000 should do: water enters from the top, then it is mixed with the CO2, then the flow exits from the bottom... isn't that the same process?

Thank you again Rich.

Best,
Fabrizio.
 

Carissa

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rich815;29463 said:
Have you read the product description at that link? My god, who WROTE that?

LOL that's pretty funny. Sounds like it was written by search engine software gone wrong.
 

prjct92eh2

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fablau;29464 said:
Well, that's what the Aqua Medic 1000 should do: water enters from the top, then it is mixed with the CO2, then the flow exits from the bottom... isn't that the same process?

Thank you again Rich.

Best,
Fabrizio.

Yes, the Aquamedic and the DIY reactor use the same principle. Those type of reactors are usually a little more efficient at dissovling CO2 than the glass diffusors.