Maintaining proper CO2 levels is an important factor in the health of your planted tank. A CO2 drop checker is an essential tool for monitoring CO2 levels. The drop checker is a reservoir designed to contain an indicator solution and an airspace. The indicator solution is a combination of KH Standard / 4 degree KH (4 dKH) and pH indicator (Bromothymol Blue).
When the drop checker is submerged in the aquarium, the carbon dioxide will outgas from the aquarium water into the airspace of the drop checker and will eventually be absorbed into the indicator solution. The CO2 gas will seek a point of equilibrium between the indicator solution and the aquarium water. As equilibrium is achieved, the color of the indicator solution inside of the drop checker will change based on the concentration of CO2 in the aquarium water.
If the indicator solution is green in color, then appropriate levels of carbon dioxide exist in the aquarium, and no action is required. If the solution in the drop checker changes to blue or yellow, then the CO2 levels in the aquarium are too low or too high, respectively.
The Drop Checker - How to & the Science behind it - learn about KH standard, proper placement of the checker in the aquarium, color indications, and the science behind it all.
How to Install a Drop Checker - instructional video on how to properly install the CO2 checker in your planted tank.