OK, I'm tired of liquid PH tests. Any tips on a good PH/ EC tester?

bombtombadil

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Messages
101
Reaction score
218
Location
Inverted
I'm a newbie and learned the hard way about the importance of PH during my first grow. I'm using a liquid PH test kit now but need a little more accuracy. I'd also like to start monitoring EC in my water/feed. Can anyone recommend an accurate PH tester that will last? I'd like the ability to replace the sensor as it wears out and I'd like to keep the cost under $300. Bluelab?
 

bombtombadil

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Messages
101
Reaction score
218
Location
Inverted
my bluelab pen cost me less that 40 bucks, all it does is pH and solution temps...

Is EC measurement important in soil or is it me reading too much as a newbie? Hey, if I can get by spending only 40 bucks I won't complain.

All **** is breaking loosed on my latest grow, week 7 flower. I'm not sure if I'll make it another 3 weeks. I'm either overfeeding, underfeeding, or have some type of lockout. I figured checking EC might help, maybe my water has too many minerals etc...
 

Carty

Mars Hydro Tester
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
1,051
Reaction score
3,744
Location
Inside my tent
What's a PH pen? hahaha been growing for 20yrs now and have never used a PH pen or nothing..

Tap water, filled and allowed to sit out uncapped so it allows chlorine and other badness to evaporate out... I've lived in 2 different locations now and because neither uses well water it's safe for me to do something like this.. some waters you can't.

To get your tap water tested, simply take it to a pool supply store. they will test if for free and tell you what it needs to be brought to ph neutral. Most can be repaired by simply adding a little lime, but I never do that either. I feed with a light hand, buy good soil and for the most part have no issues. can't be just luck as many many others use this same method to water..

not suggesting you do, just saying don't over think it. Hydro of course you absolutely have to do this, dirt though is
much more forgiving.. luck man
 

WeedHopper

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
23,365
Reaction score
42,207
Location
Dallas
Same here. Pretty much play by ear and if I really need to know I have a swimming pool and test kit. Other then that I never needed a pen. Had one yrs ago when using DWC and didn't care for it.
 

SubmarineGirl

Well-Known Member
Bud of the Month Winner
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
4,562
Reaction score
16,453
Location
Virginia Beach

WeedHopper

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
23,365
Reaction score
42,207
Location
Dallas
I honestly have never been into all the ppm things. I have grown long enough to pretty much know what my girls need or what they are missing. I'm a gardener and love growing just about everything. I have Blueberries two different kinds, 5 Blackberries bushes that I cloned from one., Pears, Apples, Peppers, and Tomatoes. My Pepper plants are 5yrs old and i have cloned every one of them from one plant.
 

SubmarineGirl

Well-Known Member
Bud of the Month Winner
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
4,562
Reaction score
16,453
Location
Virginia Beach
I honestly have never been into all the ppm things. I have grown long enough to pretty much know what my girls need or what they are missing. I'm a gardener and love growing just about everything. I have Blueberries two different kinds, 5 Blackberries bushes that I cloned from one., Pears, Apples, Peppers, and Tomatoes. My Pepper plants are 5yrs old and i have cloned every one of them from one plant.
I was gifted blackberry roots last year. I buried them next to my blueberry bush in hopes that they will start to grow there. If so, I think the will need something to climb on. Never saw the mother plants but have enjoyed blackberry preserves from them. I love gardening too. My yard is much smaller now but still enough room to keep me in veggies and share some all summer long in my little square foot beds and flowerbed space. Never cloned anything veggie tho. Never even started anting inside. Will this year tho since I will have room in the little greenhouse as soon as my spring seedlings finish with it
 

pute

One Toke Over The Line
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
11,481
Reaction score
39,506
Location
Here, been banned everywhere else
Like most of the long time growers I don't need a pen. My pH does climb throughout growing but I know how much pH down to use from repetition. I do use one in flower anyway.

Listen to Boo. My pen, even though I like it has to many functions. All the bells and whistles aren't necessary. Keep it simple and get one that only measures pH.
 

WeedHopper

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
23,365
Reaction score
42,207
Location
Dallas
I was gifted blackberry roots last year. I buried them next to my blueberry bush in hopes that they will start to grow there. If so, I think the will need something to climb on. Never saw the mother plants but have enjoyed blackberry preserves from them. I love gardening too. My yard is much smaller now but still enough room to keep me in veggies and share some all summer long in my little square foot beds and flowerbed space. Never cloned anything veggie tho. Never even started anting inside. Will this year tho since I will have room in the little greenhouse as soon as my spring seedlings finish with it
Yep my Blackberry plants climb like a mother fker. I let them start on my fence and grow on trellises that are leaning on my fence and the edge of my rooftop. When they are vegged out they make a tunnel you can walk under and pick berries..
 

OGKushman

Don’t eat that pancake.
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
2,936
Reaction score
2,186
I’ve used ph drops for 15 years. The first 5 I also used pens but eventually they needed calibration and never returned to the same calibration. I must have gone through 10 Ph pens.

Drops are new and fresh every time. No calibration needed. (Hydroponics) Lime green for veg and clone, transition to well hydrated urine color (light yellow) mid flower and never let it get red or blue and you are GTG. I find keeping an exact number isnt just not important but it’s detrimental. Ph swings are ideal.

PPM pens are much easier to rely on then PH. They don’t need calibration. I have used a Hanna dual TDS monitor for a very very long time, and it’s maybe the 2nd one I ever bought in all this time.

Good luck - whatever you decide.
 

OGKushman

Don’t eat that pancake.
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
2,936
Reaction score
2,186
*** wow they still sell the same TDS meter and have 73 in stock lol I remember buying it from an aquarium place too prob the same one.
You know why they have 73? Probably because no one ever needed to replace one :p

the unit has 2’ leads with probes to put in your tank so the meter itself is never near water

 

bombtombadil

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Messages
101
Reaction score
218
Location
Inverted
I’ve used ph drops for 15 years. The first 5 I also used pens but eventually they needed calibration and never returned to the same calibration. I must have gone through 10 Ph pens.

Drops are new and fresh every time. No calibration needed. (Hydroponics) Lime green for veg and clone, transition to well hydrated urine color (light yellow) mid flower and never let it get red or blue and you are GTG. I find keeping an exact number isnt just not important but it’s detrimental. Ph swings are ideal.

PPM pens are much easier to rely on then PH. They don’t need calibration. I have used a Hanna dual TDS monitor for a very very long time, and it’s maybe the 2nd one I ever bought in all this time.

Good luck - whatever you decide.

OK, thanks ! I'm using General Hydroponics PH drops at yellow to ever slightly yellow green, which I'd like to think is 6.2. I can live with the drops and like what your saying, second guessing the accuracy of a pen sounds like more hassle than its worth. I'm sold, good job !

So, I'm after a PPM pen. I'll look into Hanna. Thanks.
 

OGKushman

Don’t eat that pancake.
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
2,936
Reaction score
2,186
OK, thanks ! I'm using General Hydroponics PH drops at yellow to ever slightly yellow green, which I'd like to think is 6.2. I can live with the drops and like what your saying, second guessing the accuracy of a pen sounds like more hassle than its worth. I'm sold, good job !

So, I'm after a PPM pen. I'll look into Hanna. Thanks.
Try the one with the leads so the meter itself is never near water. It’s ALWAYS the batteries leaking out to the circuit board after they got moisture in them. The pens never last.
 

bombtombadil

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Messages
101
Reaction score
218
Location
Inverted
What's a PH pen? hahaha been growing for 20yrs now and have never used a PH pen or nothing..

Tap water, filled and allowed to sit out uncapped so it allows chlorine and other badness to evaporate out... I've lived in 2 different locations now and because neither uses well water it's safe for me to do something like this.. some waters you can't.

To get your tap water tested, simply take it to a pool supply store. they will test if for free and tell you what it needs to be brought to ph neutral. Most can be repaired by simply adding a little lime, but I never do that either. I feed with a light hand, buy good soil and for the most part have no issues. can't be just luck as many many others use this same method to water..

not suggesting you do, just saying don't over think it. Hydro of course you absolutely have to do this, dirt though is
much more forgiving.. luck man
What's a PH pen? hahaha been growing for 20yrs now and have never used a PH pen or nothing..

Tap water, filled and allowed to sit out uncapped so it allows chlorine and other badness to evaporate out... I've lived in 2 different locations now and because neither uses well water it's safe for me to do something like this.. some waters you can't.

To get your tap water tested, simply take it to a pool supply store. they will test if for free and tell you what it needs to be brought to ph neutral. Most can be repaired by simply adding a little lime, but I never do that either. I feed with a light hand, buy good soil and for the most part have no issues. can't be just luck as many many others use this same method to water..

not suggesting you do, just saying don't over think it. Hydro of course you absolutely have to do this, dirt though is
much more forgiving.. luck man


I live in the city and tap water is a no go. I already checked a website that analyzes water in each county, my county is a big fail.

Yes, I am feeding my plant bottled water with minerals added. I'd like to know how much minerals have been added?

Don't laugh at the silly newbie feeding his plants Perrier and Evian... Hey, I want some F ing flowers this grow and want to "pamper" my plants. They deserve a good life while they have time if you ask me.
 

OGKushman

Don’t eat that pancake.
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
2,936
Reaction score
2,186
I live in the city and tap water is a no go. I already checked a website that analyzes water in each county, my county is a big fail.

Yes, I am feeding my plant bottled water with minerals added. I'd like to know how much minerals have been added?

Don't laugh at the silly newbie feeding his plants Perrier and Evian... Hey, I want some F ing flowers this grow and want to "pamper" my plants. They deserve a good life while they have time if you ask me. I'm getting attached to my plants like pets !
If it’s over 250ppm I would carbon filter and RO your water and mix it back up to ~100ppm with your tap. There’s still good stuff in your tap but if you are living in an area with piped municipal water it’s likely you are in the 250-500ppm range
 

bombtombadil

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Messages
101
Reaction score
218
Location
Inverted
If it’s over 250ppm I would carbon filter and RO your water and mix it back up to ~100ppm with your tap. There’s still good stuff in your tap but if you are living in an area with piped municipal water it’s likely you are in the 250-500ppm range

I'd really like to be able to use tap water, as I say I have no ability to test ppm now. I'm considering getting a RO system installed in my house just for grow water, that seems to be the ticket.'

Walmart also has a machine in their store that sells purified water for 37 Cents a gallon, (you have to bring your own container).
 

OGKushman

Don’t eat that pancake.
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
2,936
Reaction score
2,186
.37 cents a gallon isn’t great. 5-55 gallon drums is now the cost of an RO machine that will produce ~10x as much or 2500 gallons.
*oh and don’t forget waste water cost
**Google your “location” followed by “water quality report” for PPM/TDS and the contaminants in your water
 

bombtombadil

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2022
Messages
101
Reaction score
218
Location
Inverted
.37 cents a gallon isn’t great. 5-55 gallon drums is now the cost of an RO machine that will produce ~10x as much or 2500 gallons.
*oh and don’t forget waste water cost
**Google your “location” followed by “water quality report” for PPM/TDS and the contaminants in your water

I did, there is a site that analyzes water per county, mine is bad, very bad, I wont use it.
 
Top