Which drop checker would you trust?

Wookii

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lilirose

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Thanks for that. I won't deal with them anymore, in the main because they list every possible thing they can get on their website, and often as not tell you "sorry, can't get that" after you actually order it. I had a manager there tell me to my face that there was no possible way to keep the website up to date with what's actually in stock (despite the fact that literally the entire rest of the retail Internet can do it).
 

lilirose

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And today we finally have green, but it still doesn't match the other one, though to be honest. they look closer in real life than they do in this pic.

I suppose I must assume that the Blau DC will take a minimum of 48h to indicate a change in the pH? (No, I still don't really want to give up on it, though I likely will.)
 

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A lot of this will come down to the surface area mentioned earlier on in the thread. I once put three types in one tank just out of curiosity, I was testing with multiple DC's to see the co2 in different areas, to be fair the blau type you have there for me wasn't meant to stick on the side of the tank it hung on the glass with the fluid side on the outside of the aquarium which made the colour easier to read. The down side of this was it was also closer to the water surface where co2 content was higher (gas rises out) I also had a large DC and a nano one in the same style as the other one you have there.

At the end of the test I put them beside each other to see if they would give the same readings and waited until the following evening so they both had plenty of time to level up. What I found was the nano one was slower to react to change, the more surface area of fluid per volume you can expose to the air the quicker it will react. This made the nano one not much use tbh. Injecting gas has a relatively small window if you want to do it properly, you are looking for optimum saturation when lights come on and once lights come on plants start using up that co2. You also have to allow for an hour or two lag, the DC will tell you roughly what the levels were a couple of hours ago. Ideally you want your DC to be as close to real time as possible, without knowing the lag time if the DC is slow to react you may be looking at 4 hours until you get a reading that was somewhere from around lights on at which point your lights are going off shortly.

With a design like the Blau with very little surface area exposed you might not get a real reading until your lights are going out. Measuring using DC's has never been an exact science that people can obsess over. Measuring PH drops in real time is marginally a better option but when you start doing water checks every half an hour you hit the point where you aren't looking at the lovely fish and plants any more which is why I no longer inject co2 :D I maybe will again in the future though if I ever find the time.

It isn't what you wanted to hear I know as these things do look cool, I have some myself but they are more aesthetic than practical IMO
 

lilirose

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A lot of this will come down to the surface area mentioned earlier on in the thread. I once put three types in one tank just out of curiosity, I was testing with multiple DC's to see the co2 in different areas, to be fair the blau type you have there for me wasn't meant to stick on the side of the tank it hung on the glass with the fluid side on the outside of the aquarium which made the colour easier to read. The down side of this was it was also closer to the water surface where co2 content was higher (gas rises out) I also had a large DC and a nano one in the same style as the other one you have there.

At the end of the test I put them beside each other to see if they would give the same readings and waited until the following evening so they both had plenty of time to level up. What I found was the nano one was slower to react to change, the more surface area of fluid per volume you can expose to the air the quicker it will react. This made the nano one not much use tbh. Injecting gas has a relatively small window if you want to do it properly, you are looking for optimum saturation when lights come on and once lights come on plants start using up that co2. You also have to allow for an hour or two lag, the DC will tell you roughly what the levels were a couple of hours ago. Ideally you want your DC to be as close to real time as possible, without knowing the lag time if the DC is slow to react you may be looking at 4 hours until you get a reading that was somewhere from around lights on at which point your lights are going off shortly.

With a design like the Blau with very little surface area exposed you might not get a real reading until your lights are going out. Measuring using DC's has never been an exact science that people can obsess over. Measuring PH drops in real time is marginally a better option but when you start doing water checks every half an hour you hit the point where you aren't looking at the lovely fish and plants any more which is why I no longer inject co2 :D I maybe will again in the future though if I ever find the time.

It isn't what you wanted to hear I know as these things do look cool, I have some myself but they are more aesthetic than practical IMO


I bought the Blau DC thinking it was intended to hang outside the tank- in fact, that's what I wanted to try specifically- but it has a glass "post" (for lack of a better term) sticking out the back, which attaches to a provided suction cup, and it will only do so sideways and underwater (as seen in my pics), at least if I want the air in the DC to have contact with the tank water. If I tried to install it hanging outside the tank, the glass "post" would stick out sideways, would not attach to anything, and be useless other than to detract from the appearance of the DC. If you like I'll take it out and get a pic, as I'm certain I installed it as intended . Possibly Blau does another that hangs outside the tank, but it's not what I bought. :)

I do thank you for the explanation, I'm well aware that I need my drop checker to take less than 48 hours to react and the reasons for that- that's why the testing is being done in a tank with no livestock. :) I honestly didn't start this thread because I needed help and explanation- it was meant more of a product review/experiment than a plea for assistance. :)
 
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From Aquarium Gardens "This Drop Checker is designed to effortlessly hang on the aquarium rim or can be stuck on the inside of your glass. It’s sleek low profile U-shape minimizes distractions from your aquascape while still giving you a clear Co2 reading."
You can use it in an either or situation mate. Hanging on the rim also causes other issues I mentioned earlier where knowing what co2 levels are close to the surface isn't much use either. The original shape DC's are that shape for a reason, when filled to half way up the bulb at its widest point gives the most surface area of DKH fluid per volume of fluid, the narrow neck causes it to airlock when taking it out of the tank to prevent spilling into the aquarium and the widened bell opens up to more exposure to the gas.
Measuring co2 using a DC is a blunt instrument to start with, the shape of the Blau one makes it even blunter. Whether it's "fit for purpose" is like if you buy a chocolate teapot you will get a teapot made of chocolate so no issue there, it just isn't vert good at it. The Blau DC will be accurate at some point in its life like a broken clock is. It's just a case of finding out when it was telling you the time :)
 

lilirose

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I'd love to see one installed on the side of an aquarium. Can't even attempt it in this tank as it has a glass lid and I'd break the post that the suction cup attaches to as soon as I put the lid on it, and break the lid in the process. But I honestly don't see how it can go on the rim with that post for the suction cup, it would look awful.

Thanks for the long explanations, as I said this is more "experiment that I'm sharing with the forum" than "please help me, I have no idea how a drop checker works or how to use one"... I reckon I shouldn't ask rhetorical questions on a forum. :) I'm sure the info will be useful to others.
 
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I'm sure the info will be useful to others.
Hopefully so, it still is a review of the product just with reasons behind the review :thumbup:
 

lilirose

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Just a couple more photos taken as I permanently removed it from the tank, for the sake of product review.

Even if you didn't mind the post for the suction cup on the DC, this DC is extremely wobbly when balanced on the tank rim- it doesn't "effortlessly hang" as cited in the AG blurb. Even if the DC were accurate, I would avoid it due to the post and the wobbliness. My water line is low (though the DC tip is barely below it), as this will be a Betta tank and there's nothing worse than finding your Betta dried out on the floor after it escapes from a 5mm gap in the lid (speaking from experience).
2020-11-11 13.35.53.jpg



.Here's one of it in my (small female) hand. I honestly think that enormous post out the back negates any hope of it "minimising distraction" the blurb suggests:

2020-11-11 13.37.39.jpg


I have removed it from the tank, I'm reckoning it's a pointless waste of DC solution (of which I'm running very low and can only obtain by post right now) to experiment with it in a high-flow tank.
 

jaypeecee

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The Blau 'U' Bend one is a poor design as it has limited surface area at the solution level, it will take a long...... time to change colour.
Hi @Zeus.

I 100% agree. Poor CO2 exchange and a long path to the indicator solution. It is no doubt slow to respond at both beginning and end of the photoperiod.

JPC
 

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