New borate drop test at piscines-apollo vs. test strip

lightmaster

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As much as anyone with a TF-100 kit, yes. You still need BTB, Mannitol powder, 50 mL breaker, 1/8 teaspoon (or metric equivalent), and preferably a Speedster since there is a lot of stirring.

R-0007 = Total Alkalinity Buffer
R-0009 = Total Alkalinity Titrating Reagent
R-0010 = Calcium Hardness Buffer


Source: Test Kit Reagent Compatibility Chart Clear Choice Labs

hi would i have the chemicals needed to do this test with a clear choice labs salt water pool test kit? Total Pool Water Testing Kit, Salt Water Clear Choice Labs


right seems I have what i need except the mannitol and Bromothymol Blue solution.

- - - Updated - - -

has anyone found Bromothymol Blue as a solution in Aus in the % stated earlier?

I'll look online for you, but I don't know off the top of my head.
 

lightmaster

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has anyone found Bromothymol Blue as a solution in Aus in the % stated earlier?

Honestly not sure the exact concentration that we but I'm there US, but BTB is a standardized pH indicator used in labs, so they are all likely the same concentration. Furthermore, the amount of BTB used won't effect the test, so it should be fine regardless. Just add enough BTB to see a color change to blue.

https://reptiledirect.com.au/products/bromothymol-blue-100ml sells a 100mL bottle for around $7, not sure if American dollars or Australian dollars.
 

JoyfulNoise

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You might have a harder time finding mannitol. I believe there was another Aussie who was trying this out and, if memory serves me, he was trying to use sorbitol instead of mannitol because mannitol was not easy to get.

Give it a search. Finding some of these chemicals outside the US can be a significant challenge.
 

lightmaster

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Be sure to update us if that BTB does work. Do your test twice and see if you get the same results and if the results make sense. Hopefully the post with directions can be updated with the Aussie links and reagents names.
 

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lightmaster

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That SDS sheet says that it's basically BTB in alcohol, which is what the BTB we use in the states is. It's BTB, Sodium Hydroxide, Water, and Ethanol Alcohol. I believe it should work fine. The BTB I use is a brownish yellow color in the bottle, and when I add .5 mL to a 50mL pool sample, it turns a nice light blue color.
 

Rogue959

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May 12, 2018
65
Adelaide (Australia)
ok i think i have found it somewhere most Australians can get it (national hardware chain)

Aquapro 50ml Pond pH Test Kit | Bunnings Warehouse

so ill test and post results

- - - Updated - - -

That SDS sheet says that it's basically BTB in alcohol, which is what the BTB we use in the states is. It's BTB, Sodium Hydroxide, Water, and Ethanol Alcohol. I believe it should work fine. The BTB I use is a brownish yellow color in the bottle, and when I add .5 mL to a 50mL pool sample, it turns a nice light blue color.


thanks aill compare them all

would ;love to know whats in this one!
 

Rogue959

Well-known member
May 12, 2018
65
Adelaide (Australia)
After discussion with fellow member smackdab, it was decided that the test should be re-written to be more clear especially in light of some of his recent data on thiosulfate reductions of chlorine (dechlorination). See HERE - R-0007 FC drop in a sample size .

Equipment Needed
SpeedStir (is really, REALLY useful!!!)
50mL Beaker* (can be purchased on Amazon HERE)
A 1/8th teaspoon measure (can be purchased on Amazon HERE)

*The 50mL beaker can sit on the SpeedStir allowing easy mixing of reagents

Chemicals Needed
Taylor R-0007 - Chlorine neutralizer reagent
Taylor R-0009 - Sulfuric acid reagent
Taylor R-0010 - Sodium hydroxide calcium buffer reagent
Bromothymol Blue (BTB) - (See Post #134 where I show two different manufacturers)
Mannitol Powder - From Amazon HERE

Test Procedure (50mL Water Sample)***
1.) Collect a 50mL sample of pool water
2.) Add 2 drops of R-0007 to neutralize the chlorine
3.) Add enough BTB until the water turns to an easily visible blue color. The volume of BTB applied here will not affect the results of the test; it's just an indicator.
4.) Add enough R-0009 drop-wise to lower pH. You want the indicator dye to transition from blue to blue-green to yellow-green to straw yellow. Straw-yellow is the color one wants to see and it should take anywhere from 8-12 drops to get there depending on your starting pH and TA.
5.) Now add approximately 2 drops of R-0010 until the water just turns pale blue. This is the hard part - you want to get the indicator dye to just turn blue, like a baby-blue and not go all the way back to a deeper blue. Typically 2 drops is all that is needed.
6.) Add 2 level spoonfuls (1/4 teaspoon total) of Mannitol. If the water has boron in it, then the sample will turn yellow again.
7.) Add R-0010 drops until the water transitions from straw yellow to greenish-blue to baby blue, i.e., similar shade of blue from Step 5. Record how many drops of R-0010 are used in this step.
8.) Calculate ppm boron/borates by multiplying the number of drops of R-0010 used only in step 7 by 4ppm/drop in units

***Please note - This test protocol was done using my pool water where the following was present -

FC: 6ppm
CC: 0ppm
TA: 60ppm
CYA: 90ppm
pH: 7.6
CH: 1150ppm
Borate: ~ 56ppm
Temp: 85F
Salt: 3800ppm

Alternative Test Method Volumes

For a 25mL sample, each drop of R-0010 used only in step 7 equals 7.9ppm
For a 25mL sample, you will likely only need 1 drop of the R-0007


Notes:

*Dechlorinating the sample is important. The bromothymol blue (BTB) dye is sensitive to chlorine and will be bleached by it. 2 drops of R-0007 is usually more than enough for FC in normal ranges.

*If your pool water has high levels of TA (>100 ppm), I would suggest experimenting with the the number of drops in Step 4. It is important to get the sample down below the transition point for the BTB indicator and a high TA water sample might make it necessary to use a few more drops of R-0009 (See smackdab's analysis HERE). The presence of high TA will not affect the end result.

*The amount of bromotymol blue (BTB) used in Step 3 should be adjusted to give you the best color shade you can see. The standard BTB bottles in the chemical section don't use dropper tips but are rather more like squeeze bottles. So just add enough BTB so that you can see the colors.

*The R-0010 reagent (sodium hydroxide) has a very STRONG effect on raising the pH. So it should not take much to go from pale yellow to blue in Step 5. You don't want to overshoot this and add lots of R-0010 in this step. It would be easier if the R-0010 were less concentrated but we're stuck with what we have available.

*Yes, you have to try to remember the shades of blue unfortunately. This is a titration test where you are trying to measure something called the "equivalence point", i.e., the exact pH value where there's a sharp transition from yellow to blue. This is very easily see with a pH probe (which is what you would use in a lab) but it's much harder to do with a visual color determination. So what you're really after is that exact point when the BTB changes from a greenish-blue color to baby-blue as that is the point in the pH curve where the sharpest change occurs. If anyone is interested in the chemistry details, this website has a decent explanation -

Titration Fundamentals - Chemistry LibreTexts



so i ended up following these steps with these kits avail in Aus and measured 52ppm so spot on what it should be going by pool math.

BTB - Aquapro 50ml Pond pH Test Kit | Bunnings Warehouse

Mannitol - Mannitol Powder - The Melbourne Food Depot, Melbourne Australia

Test kit - Total Pool Water Testing Kit, Salt Water Clear Choice Labs
 

lightmaster

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Jun 22, 2017
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so i ended up following these steps with these kits avail in Aus and measured 52ppm so spot on what it should be going by pool math.

BTB - Aquapro 50ml Pond pH Test Kit | Bunnings Warehouse

Mannitol - Mannitol Powder - The Melbourne Food Depot, Melbourne Australia

Test kit - Total Pool Water Testing Kit, Salt Water Clear Choice Labs

That's fantastic. Thanks for testing those Aussie versions of the chemicals. Aimed for 50ppm and tested 52ppm, sounds like a perfect result to me. :mrgreen:





As a side note, apparently the only people that buy BTB from Amazon in the US are from this thread, lol.

image.png
 
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JoyfulNoise

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out of interest how important (how much will it change result) is the volume of mannitol used in this test?

You want an excess of mannitol and given how low it’s density is (and how “fluffy” the powder is), 1/8-1/4 teaspoon works out about right. Adding too much is fine, not adding enough would cause the final answer to be lower than expected.
 

JoyfulNoise

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I did the calculations once for how much volume it would take of a saturated mannitol-water solution (essentially create a liquid reagent) but it was too high. The overall volume change of the solution would require a correction factor to keep the results accurate. That’s the benefit of adding a powder to water, there’s almost no volume change upon addition.
 

JoyfulNoise

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In case anyone is interested and can’t find mannitol, xylitol will work as well.

Mannitol structure -

9DF87686-6351-43FD-821A-06214AFA1A3B.jpg

Xylitol structure -

09ACBCD9-B396-4264-87F3-530F78C710AD.jpg

Really I suppose the test should be renamed the “Polyol test for borates” as it is the polyol structure that is reactive to the borates though not all polyols will react. I leave it to the reader to explain the functional differences between those two molecules and why, even though they are different, either will work.

Note : Just don’t consume more than two teaspoons of the stuff in your coffee....you may not like the results :shock:
 

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