Tag Archives: ph

My drop checker won’t change from blue – is it working?

Sure is and its giving you a clear message too.

If your drop checker is staying blue, there is almost zero CO2 in your water. But here’s the thing…

Drop checkers don’t actually monitor CO2, they monitor pH. When you add CO2 (an acidic gas) into your tank, it reduces the pH. When your drop checker is showing blue, it’s telling you the pH is around 8 (far too high for plants). As you inject CO2 your drop checker will change colour (assuming you’re injecting enough CO2). The solution will begin to look a bit more green. When it hits a nice shade of green it means your pH is about 6.8 and your CO2 levels are 30ppm (parts per million). Green is the ideal colour to aim for and what you need to strive for.

But all too often hobbyists don’t inject ANYWHERE ENOUGH CO2. In a 100L tank, you need to start with 1 bubble per second for 8 hours a day.

Any changes you make to your CO2 flow rate needs to be done slowly. Remember your drop checker operates in the past – it’s not like a test kit in the respect that you take a sample of water and do a reading. There’s a delay of about 2 hours – this is how long it takes for your drop checker to change colour. So if you tweak your CO2 levels now, wait 2 hours, then see what colour it has changed to.

Always make small gradual changes to CO2 flow rate, otherwise you could overdose your fish with CO2 and see them gasping at the surface of your tank.

Make sense? Any questions?

Pagoda Rock – great for planted aquariums

Pagoda Rock can be summed up in one word – excellent. It’s a highly unusual but very attractive rock which in my opinion is particularly suited for planted aquariums. The texture is unusual with the layering which takes place within it making it look like over the years, day by day, a thin layer has been added leaving you with a rock which looks…old.

One of the biggest difficulties when choosing decor for a planted aquarium is to select rocks which give the aquarium maturity. Choose rocks which aren’t aged, and it can throw the whole scape off immediately. Want to know what they look like in a planted aquarium? This is how Mark Evans uses it…

Look closely at it and you can see the detail – this is a fantastic feature. Pagoda Rock is versatile, easy to scape and looks terrific in a planted aquarium as I am sure you will agree. One question I am regularly asked is rock and pH, and my answer is nearly always the same. It may effect your water parameters a little but certainly nothing to be worried about, especially if you are using CO2.

So why not treat yourself today with this terrific rock. If you’re wondering what 10kgs of rock looks like…

And to top it all off, if you invest in 10kgs, you also qualify for the cheaper price of £30. The other benefit of investing in 10kgs or more of rock is choice – you literally have so much more to play with and the end result always means a better looking aquascape.