Reliable & Affordable pH Meter

All of the reading and research is pointing me toward getting a pH meter for measuring my water. As I understand it, growing in soil affords you some flexibility if using tap water. But many of the grow journals here an online video journals, it is quite consistent that the better grows are using spring or RO water and almost all of them regulate the pH and confirm with a meter. There are various ones I have seen online but it is hard to know what is worth it and what is not. Basically, what I am asking is if a $20 pH pen will do the trick for a basic home grow or should I be spending $70+ for the nicer ones. I cannot see myself spending anywhere near $100 at this point. What are the pros and cons of the cheaper units and pricier models?

I would like something that has good accuracy, reliable, easy to calibrate (and stay calibrated), and is not a huge expense. Please share your preferences. Thanks
 
there are differing levels of ph pens even among decent brands.

i love the apera 60 series. i have that and an hmcom 300 all in one. don't recommend the all in ones.

decent brands: blue lab is pretty much top. apera. hanna. hm. those are all good. but you have to get out of the bottom end even in those brands. there are a couple others i'm forgetting.
 
i love the apera 60 series.

I was looking at the Apera PH60 tester. $80 on Amazon? Is that the one you're talking about? Do you know if there are any sponsors here that have something similar?

decent brands: blue lab is pretty much top. apera. hanna. hm. there are a couple others i'm forgetting.

I was also looking at the HM PH200 meter. Saw it somewhere and they really like it too. $70 for that one. Is there anything else you would recommend in the $40-50 range? Or just fork out the extra to go with something like I mentioned?
 
I was looking at the Apera PH60 tester. $80 on Amazon? Is that the one you're talking about? Do you know if there are any sponsors here that have something similar?


that's the one. get the nifty case too. take the bottle of storage solution out of it tho. the others are fine.

the one draw back is the rather exposed bulb. i have two ph60's and bought two replacement probes as a back up. it's a good thing as i needed one not so long ago. the replacement probes were a cheap impulse buy on amazon.

i really don't know any sponsors selling a ph pen.
 
X2 for apera. Just as high of quality as blue lab without the premium name tag price.
Thanks for the input! Thoughts on the cheaper Apera?

I was also seeing the Apera PH20 kit ($45). Less expensive but from the same company. From what I can deduct the PH20 does not have the replaceable probes. Is that important? I read what you mentioned about having to replace the probe. The PH20 only comes with a 6 month warranty on the probe but 2 years for the device. That's stupid confusing TBH. Starting to look like a replacement probe option would be better.

Also, @bluter when you said to remove the storage solution, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. As in don't use it or to take it out of the case indefinitely?
 
Thanks for the input! Thoughts on the cheaper Apera?

I was also seeing the Apera PH20 kit ($45). Less expensive but from the same company. From what I can deduct the PH20 does not have the replaceable probes. Is that important? I read what you mentioned about having to replace the probe. The PH20 only comes with a 6 month warranty on the probe but 2 years for the device. That's stupid confusing TBH. Starting to look like a replacement probe option would be better.

Also, @bluter when you said to remove the storage solution, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. As in don't use it or to take it out of the case indefinitely?


I have the ph20 the initial probe has lasted for about two years and I don't take good care of it by any means. It's very rarely stored in solution, usually just left to hang dry. I check calibration between grows but it's never needed redone.

A ph20 is perfectly fine as an initial investment, problem is if the probe goes bad you have to replace the whole thing. If you can afford a replace probe model I would. I could not, and am perfectly happy with my Apera ph20
 
Thanks @TurboBucket ! That's the tough part. Technically should not be spending any more money but at the same time, it's a long term investment for quality grows right?! Urgh... maybe I should just :bong: and think about it some more. Keep doing that and by this time next year, I'll make up my mind!
 
Also, @bluter when you said to remove the storage solution, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. As in don't use it or to take it out of the case indefinitely?


there is a tiny bottle of storage solution in the Apera ph60 case. it leaks when opened. the calibration fluid bottles do not leak and are perfectly fine.

i do not believe the warranty on the probe covers breaking the bulb. just be careful and it's no trouble.
 
Yeah...good point! This made me laugh. Looks like it fits perfectly! :laughtwo::laughtwo::laughtwo:
 

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I have a pretty cheap meter that's been lasting me a while now. it's one of the ones with the little screw driver to adjust. I didn't want to be forced to buy packets of 6.86 all the time when they sell big bottles of solution for 7.0. you can't calibrate most of these meters to 7.0 because it want's 6.86.
 
@bluter How do you feel about the calibration process. How do you keep the constant temp it recommends? How long does the calibration last and/or how do you know when it is no longer calibrated?
 
@bluter How do you feel about the calibration process.

easy. simple. if you even have to do it.

How do you keep the constant temp it recommends?

i don't. the 60 series don't really care. there is an internal correction factor.

How long does the calibration last and/or how do you know when it is no longer calibrated?

i will occasionally check it with the calibrating fluid or against the other pen i have.
only if i'm bored, really.

the factory calibration on the 60s is a three point calibration, greater than the two point calibration done if you need / want to re-calibrate later. the things are generally gold out of the box, and stay that way a long time, especially if in regular use.

of the two pens i own, i re-calibrated one once, because the bulb broke and i replaced the probe tip. other than that they've stayed within +- .02.
 
I ended up getting this one...looks like I need to start making adjustments to my filtered tap water. The calibration process was simple and straight forward. This tool will be very useful for all my plants and trees.
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That was my thought as well. I would prefer to see an actual number versus interpretation of a color shade.


used to be that's all we had. you can get pretty good at sussing out the different shades. helps to hold a piece of paper up behind the test bottle when checking color.

you can't get it near as precise as a good ph meter tho.
 
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