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eBay Drop Checker arrived, but...

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Detritus Mulm, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. Detritus Mulm

    Detritus Mulm Guru Class Expert

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    My Drop Checker arrived from H.K. with a shiny bottle of Blue Water, but zero instructions. So I'm assuming the Blue Water is premixed reference solution and not PH solution. It looks too light to be PH solution and there is too much to be PH solution. There is enough in the bottle for about two fillls of the little light bulb glass.

    So far though the colour is staying blue (1 hr) and does not match any of the colurs on the enclosed PH chart (light green for 6). Any thoughts or experience with this checker.
     
  2. Bartman

    Bartman Prolific Poster

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    If the "blue water" you refer to came in a small, 10ml dropper bottle, then that is your indicator solution.

    You need to mix up (or buy from Bill) a 4KH solution. Add a couple ml of that to your drop checker then add a couple of drops of the blue indicator solution that came with the drop checker.

    You will notice color changes in an hour or two.
     
  3. Detritus Mulm

    Detritus Mulm Guru Class Expert

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    I was hoping this was not the case. But it makes sense based on what I'm seeing.

    Thanks.
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    If you have a pH test kit that gives a yellow color at about 6pH and blue at about 7.2 pH, such as the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals test kit, you can use that test reagent. I am not impressed by the reagent sent out with the ebay drop checker. From what you are describing I wonder just what the stuff in the bottle you have really is. Bromothymol Blue indicator, which it should be, is yellow in the reagent bottle, but turns blue in typical tap water.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Bromo blue is what you should be using, I use the 3 drops of Bromo blue+ 6mls of 4KH(71.44ppm) solution inside there.
    Bromo blue is cheap.

    You can vary this, but this amount is a good general range and should be changed out every 2 weeks or if you get tank water etc inside.

    Light photo degrades Bromo blue to some degree also.
    Not sure how much.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. Detritus Mulm

    Detritus Mulm Guru Class Expert

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    Not sure, this stuff is Blue in the bottle and the colour sheet ranges from 6 to 10. I thought Bromo Blue stopped at about 7.4.
     
  7. Bartman

    Bartman Prolific Poster

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    I got the same thing you did I think. Did it come in a white bottle with green lettering?

    It seemed to work for me in the 4KH reference sol'n, but it's tough to tell exactly what pH you're at since each color change indicates a 1 pH step.

    I just changed out to bromo blue last night and I think its easier to get a more accurate reading with it.

    At 30 ppm CO2 in 4Kh solution you will have a pH of 6.6 which is right in the good range for bromo blue.
     
  8. Detritus Mulm

    Detritus Mulm Guru Class Expert

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    Sounds like the same stuff.

    Did you get your Bromo Blue and KH Reference from the same place?
     
  9. Bartman

    Bartman Prolific Poster

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    I got my KH standards from Bill. You can find more info on them in the Sale/Swaps forum. He's got a thread called "KH Standards" with more info on. It was fast and reasonably priced.

    The bromo blue I got was the Red Sea CO2 checker drops (I'm pretty sure its bromo). I got it from my LFS for $3-4 for a 10ml bottle.

    Does anyone know if the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals "pH Indicator Solution" is bromo blue? It seems about right because the indicator card that comes with it shows a color change from yellow at 6.0 to dark blue at 7.6.

    The Aq Pharm pH checker runs about $5 for 1.25oz (37ml). You can find it at many LFS or online at places like Big Al's and That Fish Place. It may be a cheaper option than the co2 checker drops, plus it comes with a color chart. You'd probably want to check it against a standard to get a more accurate idea of what pH the colors match up to.

    Tom Barr and others may know of cheaper sources of bromo blue.
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The AP pH test reagent is bromo blue. It's the one I use. It is possible to buy bromothymol blue from chemical supply places, but what you get isn't a test reagent. It is a dye, which you then have to mix your own reagent with. Maybe it's cheaper, but it sure is a lot more work for a lot more reagent than you could possibly use.
     
  11. WAX

    WAX Junior Poster

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    i have the red sea drop checker and it tells me to use 1 ml of the aquarium water and the two drops of the reagent. should i also use the 4KH solution and not the aquarium water?
     
  12. Bartman

    Bartman Prolific Poster

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    Yes use a 4KH standard. Your readings will be more accurate. Other substances in your aquarium water can change the pH and could give you a different pH reading for a given CO2 concentration.

    There are quite a few good links that can give you lots of details if you want to read more. Here are two for you to start with.

    http://www.barrreport.com/articles/2661-drop-checkers-co2-indicators-why-how.html

    http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-plant-fertilization/2289-old-co2-idea-good-new-idea.html
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    How accurate can you get with 1 ml measurements and drops? :cool:

    I'd rather use more liquid KH solution and drops, that will reduce some error but.......longer response time.
    So that's the trade off there.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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