Bubble counter and drop checker

Discussion in 'Carbon Dioxide (CO2)' started by tennis4you, 31 Aug 2008.

  1. tennis4you

    tennis4you Member

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    OK, CO2 is flowing into my 125 gallon for the first time.

    The guy at the store told me that a good start would be 3 bubbles per second for the bubble counter. That is what I am set out now.

    I put the Drop Checker in the tank. I submerged the entire thing, was that what I was suppose to do? I put it in upright so no water got in it. There was really no instructions except the amount of aquarium water and drops of the solution to put in it.

    So 2 questions.

    1. 3 bubbles per second OK to start to see what the drop checker will read later today?

    2. Did I do the drop checker right? Man, it only had me put in 1 ml of water and 2 drops of solution. it wasn't much!!! I am using the red sea CO2 indicator.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. JamesM

    JamesM Member

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    Read the drop checker article in my sig... you shouldn't use tank water in the drop checker.
     
  3. tennis4you

    tennis4you Member

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    Hmmm, I did read that. For some reason though the instructions actually say aquarium water. Weird. I will try regular tap water instead...
     
  4. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

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    that's no good neither. you need 4dkh water for a correct reading. i cant explain the science bit. (clive's your man) you can get that from aqua essentials.
    but as im finding out even if you have 30ppm of co2 you still have room for much more. all tanks are different so it wont work for everyone.
     
  5. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    You need to use 4dKH water as the indicator solution will be green when 30ppm of CO2 are dissolved in the solution. If you use water of 2dKH for example it will mean that it is green with only 15ppm of CO2. This is because the indicator solution is simply a pH indicator and we need to know that the only thing influencing the pH is the relationship between the concentration of CO2 and the carbonate hardness and we can only do this if we have a known KH and no other acids influencing the pH.
     
  6. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    I can't remember the details of how large your tank is or how you're diffusing the CO2 but I'd always start lower and build up the CO2 concentration. Personally I'd start with 1 bps and work up. The thing is that bps is so subjective as a bubble is not a fixed volume and unless you're really careful measuring the rate then you can't know you've got exactly a set rate, especially with high rates such as 3 per second. The only way I can accurately judge levels like that is to use a beetle counter (which I think are excellent BTW as well as looking pretty cool!).

    Whatever level you start at keep a careful eye on your fish and turn the CO2 off an hour before lights out. Any sign of distress or rapid/extra gill movements then cut down the CO2 rate.
     
  7. tennis4you

    tennis4you Member

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    Thanks! I will look into the 4dkh water and try that.

    I am running a 125 gallon tank and I have a reactor between the filter and the tank on the outflow side.
     
  8. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    Reactors are a very efficient way of dissolving CO2 so really watch your fish and turn the bubble rate down at the first sign of any stress.
     
  9. tennis4you

    tennis4you Member

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    Excellent, thanks!

    What kind of stress would I look for other than faster breathing?

    I use this forum as the end all for plants. But at another forum I frequent they have me anywhere from 1-5 drops per second. Scary. But like I said, I use this place as the final say, so I am at 1 dps right now.
     
  10. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    gasping at the surface (or anything similar)
     
  11. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

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    remember also bubbles are different sizes in different bubble counters! ;)
     
  12. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

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    1 mans bubble is another mans dead fish :lol:
     
  13. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    Erratic swimming or other movements, sluggish behaviour, hanging around near the top and rapid respiration. Bascially if you see your fish acting in any way strangely then I'd err on the side of caution and reduce the CO2. You can then slowly increase it once the signs of stress are gone.

    Nice of you to say so! :lol: They're right though, it really depends on your tank and you may need a higher level (although 5bps seems very high to me and I'd think that a lot of it would be wasted at those levels). The thing is that it's best to start low and then gradually work your way up rather than starting too high and causing problems with your fish. In my opinion anyway. The thing is you can't measure CO2 rate as bps as you don't know how big the bubbles are. In theory you could have 5 little bubbles that are less CO2 than 1 huge bubble!

    That's why you need a drop checker filled with 4dKH water as that will be green when it has 30ppm CO2 dissolved into it.
     
  14. tennis4you

    tennis4you Member

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    True. There seems to be a lot of variables to all of this. Shoot, the drop checker I bought is 100% useless apparently, I cannot even use the yellow solution that came with it I think. I hunted down where I can get the 4dkh water but I *think* I need to hunt down some kind of solution to put in it...
     
  15. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    you can make your own 4dkh water & use a low range ph test kit chemical.
     
  16. tennis4you

    tennis4you Member

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    Oh, the stuff you put in the 4dkh water is just 3 drop of the low range pH test drops?
     
  17. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    yes (bromothol blue)
     
  18. tennis4you

    tennis4you Member

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    Crud, my API Master Test Kit's pH solution stuff is yellow.
     
  19. Garuf

    Garuf Member

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    Mine too, it turns blue when added to the water.
     

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