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Drop Checker Never Blue

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by GTR, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. GTR

    GTR Prolific Poster

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    I had run out of 4 dKH solution so I mixed some up. Tested it with API test kit at four times the sample and it took 16 drops to turn color. Added 2 drops bromothymol blue and got a nice blue color. Within a couple hours is was a nice green but shifting towards yellow. All is well I guess. Next morning it's still green 10 hours after CO2 injection was turning off.

    Couple weeks later... So I bought some 4dKH solution mail order thinking there was just something wrong with my DIY. Filled it last night again, nice blue, soon towards the yellow side. This morning it's still green.

    Twin XP3's each driving a Rex-style reactor with a spray bar at each end of this 90g tank. Drilled an extra hole on the top of one spray bar to ripple the surface. Also have a Tom surface skimmer on one canister.

    Fish have never been at the surface looking distressed. Most stem plants could use a trim twice a week. All this and I'm still fighting BBA on any carpeting plant I try. Those I've planted where there is so much direct flow from one canister that I can hardly keep the substrate from blowing away.

    Is this a sign of an overstocked (fish) tank?

    Sorry for the long post, I hate it when people do that. lol

    SteveU
     
    #1 GTR, Jan 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2010
  2. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    "soon towards the yellow side" ... Turns Blue-Yellow-Green? ... I'm not following you. Yellow?

    I'd crank up the CO2 a bit at a time until you can see stress and then turn it down from there until they are OK.

    I'm having a hard time viewing your aquarium to see how stocked it is. :)

    Well, if you hate it, why did you do it too? LOL

    I don't. It's less typing for me. :)


    Using your fish to determine your optimum CO2 level may help you.
     
  3. GTR

    GTR Prolific Poster

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    DC does go from blue to green to yellow. But the only way it goes back to blue is if I take it out of the tank.


    I'm still taking first grade CO2 lessons and use a controller. pH range is 6.6 - 6.1 with a dKH of about 6.

    So would overstocking be a reason for the DC to never turn blue again even though CO2 injection is off for 1/2 a day?
    Do I have to answer your question? lol

    If I stood back from the tank and took a picture you might be able to count 30 small fish. If you stood at the "feeding corner" you'd think you where at a LFS that just got several boxes of new stock. lol



    I just know sometimes people tend to glance over finger-numbing posts. But if you ask without any background there's always more questions than answers to your original post. lol


    See above, plus since I've never OD'd my fish on CO2 it kinda scares me to think I could kill them all before I knew what was happening.

    Thanks...
    SteveU
     
  4. BigFlusher

    BigFlusher Prolific Poster

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    i may not be totally clear on what you are asking.

    it sounds like normal fluctuation of co2 .

    i agree with Left C, let the fish and plants be your guide. I would also recommend slowly increasing your co2 a little bit every day.

    a post take whatever length it take to say what you have to say.

    Joe
     
  5. GTR

    GTR Prolific Poster

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    I'm feeding both reactors more bubbles than I could possibly count. By the end of the day I can hear the gurgles of trapped air inside of both.

    Hmmm. maybe that's why the DC stays green or yellow all night.

    SteveU
     
    #5 GTR, Jan 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2010
  6. BigFlusher

    BigFlusher Prolific Poster

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    Bubbles really do not tell us much about how much co2 is getting into solution.

    I think you may need to rethink the whole CO2 delivery thing.

    Joe
     
  7. GTR

    GTR Prolific Poster

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    I'm really not trying to determine in this thread if I have enough CO2 in the tank. The real question is why the DC never goes back to blue overnight.
     
  8. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    Mine do not turn blue until I remove them either.

    This is ramblin' a bit:
    - Tom has mentioned using riccia to adjust the CO2 level ... When it pearls, you have enough CO2.
    - your aquarium's pH doesn't approach 7.6 which is what it needs to be close to in order to turn blue ... not sure of the precise pH where it starts appearing blue
    - CO2 dissolves in water much quicker and with much more ppm than O2.
    - Bromothymol Blue is quite sensitive to CO2
    - you are using a pH controller ... if it is on 24/7 ... you won't see a blue DC unless your setting is somewhat alkaline
    - the CO2 produced by the fish, bacteria and critters is very low ... it is not enough to worry about unless you have extreme overstocking which you probably don't have ... is your aquarium stocked like fishing minnows in a bucket?
     
  9. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    never turning blue

    If you have lots of left over CO2 in your reactor and it never fully empties overnight then you're constantly adding the CO2 to the tank throughout the night. In other words, you effectively never really shut off the CO2 at all. You should take a look at your reactor and try to figure out why you need to pump so much CO2 into it, my guess is that you don't and that's probably also part of the problem. Also, if you're using a pH controller, consider using a timer instead and use the pH controller to monitor the pH. If you still want the controller, plug the controlled outlet into a time and set the timer for when you want the CO2 on. Then set the controller to either the value you want, or as low a value as you'd ever think you'd want. It will still feed CO2, but can only do so when the timer is set to ON and won't feed at night when the timer is off.

    Personally I'd just use the controller as a monitor if you still want to use it. Many ( most? ) of us use simple timers since we can get a steady rate of CO2 into the tank and we don't need to worry about fluctuating levels. Plus when the timer is OFF we know there shouldn't/won't be any CO2 flowing.

    -
    S
     
  10. GTR

    GTR Prolific Poster

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    Thanks, I'm using a controller and it's on a timer. CO2 is shut of at 8pm when 2 x's 54 w T5 goes off, those are on for 8 hours. One remaining 54W stays on for another hour at the extreme back of the tank, that light is only on for 3 hours daily and seems to help the stems along the back wall keep from leaning forward towards the main lights. All lights are within 5" of the surface. I won't raise them because I don't care for all the stray light in the room that hanging fixtures produce.

    Thanks, that was my question.

    SteveU
     
  11. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    Do you know why this is? Your aquarium doesn't get near a pH of 7.2 to 7.6 which is near where the Bromothymol Blue turns blue.

    Check out the right pH checker card. It uses the BB solution.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Singtoh

    Singtoh Prolific Poster

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    Hello All,

    I am having the same problem with the drop checker never returning to blue and was a bit confused:confused:. I also use Bromothymol Blue and 4dKH solution in my DC and I run an air pump at night after CO2 and lights off. CO2 misting is the method I am using. I also have ADA Aquasoil so my PH would in my aquarium would not ever come close to the 7+ range to allow the checker to turn Blue again. So am I correct in assuming that since the aquarium water is always acidic, that is not allowing the acid in the DC to come out of the DC solution?? I to have taken my DC out and have shaken it for about 2 minutes and it then turns back to blue. So I guess the use of a DC initially to set things up is a good thing, but after that unless you take it out of the tank and shake it for a bit and put it back in its not such na good thing?? Would the use of a different PH indicator solution, such as found on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PH_indicator , be of any use. Just thinking of another way to make it work. If it's always green then it is of no use to us, I guess unless you push the CO2 to make the DC go light green/yellowish, then it would change back to a darker green. I hope this isn't a stupid post, just trying to get my head around it. Thanks in advance for anyone that replies to this (maybe) stupid post.:eek:

    Cheers,:)

    Singtoh
     
  13. Darkblade48

    Darkblade48 Guru Class Expert

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    The only way I can see a drop checker not bouncing back to the original blue colour is if there was a leak in the drop checker itself. Or, perhaps your CO2 levels never really drop at all during the night, but that does not make sense due to the presence of an air pump (and thus surface agitation at night).

    However, any of the other pH indicators will not work, as they do not have the correct pH titration range, which bromothymol blue does.
     
  14. GTR

    GTR Prolific Poster

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    Singtoh, You pretty much summed up my thoughts exactly. I've just come to the realization that it is what it is. lol

    What I've considered so far...

    • CO2 is lingering overnight and not gassing off as much as I would think.
    • CO2 is still entering the water after the CO2 shuts off from build-up in the reactor.
    • high fish load
    • Plant respiration after lights off

    I've switched to using a DIY 6dKH solution so the colors are little more readable. Still won't go anywhere near blue though. After some more CO2 adjustments at least now when the drop checker turns yellow the fish show some signs of distress.

    SteveU
     
  15. Singtoh

    Singtoh Prolific Poster

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    DC never blue, Still confused.

    Hello Again,

    Well, still confused:confused:, it had been awhile since I checked the PH of my tank water so I checked it this morning before the CO2 came on and it was 7.3 or light blue, drop checkers( I have 2 in different parts of the tank) still remain, Green/Lime Green. I have ADA Aquasoil and thought that was why the DC's wouldn't change back because of the acidic nature of Aquasoil making the water acidic and not allowing the acid in the DC's to come out of solution:confused:, but also read somewhere that this acidic affect on the tank water from ADA aquasoil only lasts about 2 months, which is where I am at now. As i posted before, take them out of the tank and shake them up for a bit and they come back to blue. They do respond quickly after putting them back in though, about an hour I guess. I give up:( how can such a simple thing like a DC not work correctly?

    Cheers,:confused:

    Singtoh :D
     
  16. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    Isn't the thing that changes DC color CO2?
    If your water's acidity is from ADA AS, not CO2.
    And you use 4dKH solution in your DC. Then the acidity of
    your tank's water doesn't has anything to do
    with your DC staying green.

    I found that the liquid that came with my DC worked better
    than the one that came with Tetra's PH test kit, which
    turned clear permanently after a few days of use.
    (Never tried shaking it though).
     
    #16 nipat, Feb 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2010
  17. Singtoh

    Singtoh Prolific Poster

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    Ya, that is correct, but I read on this thread that if your tank water never reaches, say above PH 7 which would give you a blue color, that the DC would never go back to blue. This seems absurd to me due to the fact that a DC is suppose to be its own little environment eliminating the tank water altogether. Go figure. I use Bromothymol Blue in my DC's and they never come back to blue unless I take them out of the tank and shake them around for a bit in front of a fan. Obviously, the CO2 is not coming out of the Brompothymol Blue solution. I use 4dkh solution as well. I can find the post if I have to. Its just the shits that you try to do something rite and it still doesn't work. So in order for me to dial in my co2 other than pushing the fish to gasping at the surface or killing a few Ammano Shrimp. DC's out of the tank, shake the crap out of them, make them blue, then reinsert, to hopefully get a nice green to light green color. WTF, for 1 day then your back to DC's always green/lime green. Also, the reagent that came with my DC's was old and after checking it many times, found that it was useless therfore I purchased a bottle of Bromoyhtmol Blue. My DC's work, but only after shaking the crap out of them to make then go blue, which makes sense, after all you are driving off the co2, same as shaking a can of coke a cola. I have one DIY DC and one purchased DC and they go green/lime green nearly at the same time, response time is about an hour. Any ideas, I run an air pump at night to drive off co2 as well and still the DC's never change????? I give up???? The post I am refering to is 4 posts above this one quote:"
    Do you know why this is? Your aquarium doesn't get near a pH of 7.2 to 7.6 which is near where the Bromothymol Blue turns blue." Please explain this one to me???? Also the instant notification for replies to this thread is not working, anyone know the problem there??


    Cheers,

    Singtoh
     
    #17 Singtoh, Feb 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2010
  18. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    At night, after CO2 is shut off, if you shake the DC, bringing it back to blue
    then put it back into the tank. Will it still be blue in the morning before CO2
    injection begins?
     
  19. Singtoh

    Singtoh Prolific Poster

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    Hi Nipat,

    I haven't thought of trying that, thanks for the idea, i'll give that a try and see what happens tonight. I'll post what happens tomorrow. Thanks Nipat.

    Cheers,

    Singtoh
     
  20. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    I think it would be better if you do that 2-3 hours after shutting CO2 off.
    Just to make sure the CO2 from the lighting hours doesn't affect it.
    I'm curious to see the result too.
     
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