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What is pH?

WillGrow510

Well-Known Member
Its been such a long hard battle. TBH, I startedin soil and then switched to coco. Using worm and Recharge microbes in there too. 5.8 is my sweet spot. Live and learn. Now on to grow some dank and find my next limiting factor.
:Namaste:
 

WillGrow510

Well-Known Member
Wow. Big question, lots of options. How much money do you have to spend? Lol. I have been using the cheapo amazon dot com yellow pH meter (the one with the bigger led read out - cost like $10.99) and got some calibration powders and special pH meter probe storage solution. All together cost about $30. I rinse in distilled water after every use and pat dry and put a little of the storage solution in the cap before putting it back on.

With calibration, i use my scale to weigh out precisely 250 grams of distilled water and disolve one of the calibration powders in it. I think it’s pH 4.1. I do the same for the other which is 6.86pH. I store them in little glass jars with a tight fitting lid and only remove about 50ml at a time into a tiny plastic cup whenever I calibrate which is about once a month. This way the 250ml calibration solution lasts almost half a year. I always confirm with the GH pH drops just to have a non-digital redundant system to verify. Sometimes I have to go through the calibration steps 2-3 times begore it starts reading correctly. I don’t wait for it to go out of calibration before calibrating. I do it around the first of the month all the time.

Have been doing this for about 8 months now and so far it works well. The process would be similar for the more expensive meters, but i’m cheap. Not saying being cheap is better or the way to go, its just how I am. All in $30 and it works. Since the meter and the probe are one unit, i just get a new unit when the probe stops working. Cheaper than replacing probes on the more expensive units.

Again, its just what I do. You may feel more comfortable with the expensive units. The bottom line is, dont bother if you cant commit to maintaining your meter.
:Namaste:
 

Foto

Member
Any recommendations on an accurate meter? So many out there in the market
Not concerned with price
More concerned with accuracy and reliability.
Thank you
Hanna Instruments H198129.

These are the best in my opinion but remove the batteries if you don't use it for years and it will last a very long time.

Found that out the hard way.

Hanna Instruments H198129 is very expensive but worth it and also reads TDS which you can convert to EC for those readings if you want.

Around $238 USD but I never needed to calibrate it over the two years that I used it in DWC and it is a multi meter.

Hanna Instruments are the best.

If you just wanted a PH tester only the Hanna H198127 would be the best at $143 USD.

You can go upwards on the Hanna Instruments testers as they are lab grade manufacturers so these ones I mentioned are the bottom of their range.

Don't have anything to do with the company but they make great products ;)

I am on my second HM-80 PH meter which costs around $37 USD but because they are nearly as cheap to buy a new one then use calibration solution I just replaced the other one which went out of whack when I dropped it.

I have recorded my tap water ph which can swing a little bit but if the cheaper meter is significantly off then I know it needs replacing.
 

PurpleGunRack

Well-Known Member
got some calibration powders and special pH meter probe storage solution. All together cost about $30. I rinse in distilled water after every use and pat dry and put a little of the storage solution in the cap before putting it back on.
I know I'm late, but STOP rinsing in distilled water it will wear out the probe much faster, rinse under tap water and then a dash of storage solution.

The storage solution is very un-special, it's just salt water, you can use seawater or water from a puddle in the street if you like, works just as well.

It's a general misunderstanding that pH-meters have to be cleaned, you want to keep the probe ''dirty'' to prolong its life :)
You only need to clean pH-meters if you use them in scientific, medico or other clinical applications.
 

Slowpuffer

Well-Known Member
I've been storing my meters dry. I rinse them in tap water with a splash of 35% h202, and use a paper towel to sponge dry it, before putting on cap. I'm having good success with this method.
 

Slowpuffer

Well-Known Member
Can someone share a good, inexpensive pen for testing pH?
Jellas Direct is an amazon co. i wouldn't recommend them for their meters, although they're pretty good, but if one goes bad, they will send you another one, no questions asked.
 

Weaselcracker

Nug of the Year: 2016 - Member of the Month: Sept 2015, Nov 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2016 - Plant of the Month: May 2016
The eternal question... I gave up on the pens a few years back and got a larger unit. But around the time I checked out of PH pen world, the ones that seemed to get best reviews were the Bluelab ones, Eco2, and possibly some of the Hanna pens. Maybe something better has come along in the last couple of years - but Bluelab seems to usually be the safest bet. I suspect you won’t find a very cheap one that isn’t basically....disposable. Good luck :thumb:
 

Slowpuffer

Well-Known Member
The eternal question... I gave up on the pens a few years back and got a larger unit. But around the time I checked out of PH pen world, the ones that seemed to get best reviews were the Bluelab ones, Eco2, and possibly some of the Hanna pens. Maybe something better has come along in the last couple of years - but Bluelab seems to usually be the safest bet. I suspect you won’t find a very cheap one that isn’t basically....disposable. Good luck :thumb:
But he asked if anyone knew o a CHEAP one. Blue lab is not cheap.
 

Weaselcracker

Nug of the Year: 2016 - Member of the Month: Sept 2015, Nov 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2016 - Plant of the Month: May 2016
I know he did. But he also asked for a good one. You take what you can get. I paid $400 Cad for my meter at the time - so $100 or whatever it is for the ones I mentioned, is relatively cheap.
Maybe there’s such a thing as a cheap and good one- but I never found one at the one I was looking.
 

Slowpuffer

Well-Known Member
The eternal question... I gave up on the pens a few years back and got a larger unit. But around the time I checked out of PH pen world, the ones that seemed to get best reviews were the Bluelab ones, Eco2, and possibly some of the Hanna pens. Maybe something better has come along in the last couple of years - but Bluelab seems to usually be the safest bet. I suspect you won’t find a very cheap one that isn’t basically....disposable. Good luck :thumb:
And yes, they're all disposable. But I have double checked my $30 pen, with the blue lab my partner has, and If mine is calibrated, then It reads same as the blue lab. Main problem is with the cheap disposable pens, is you have to commit to checking calibration often. As It's more common for them to go haywire at about 5-6 months old. But if this one goes bad in the 1st. yr. , I had a new one 4 days after I contacted them. How can I beat that !! Now I'll get back to reading PurpleGunRacks, 1st. highbrix grow. Have a great day !!
 

Weaselcracker

Nug of the Year: 2016 - Member of the Month: Sept 2015, Nov 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2016 - Plant of the Month: May 2016
Yeah I agree - they tend to work the same, till they screw up. Helps if you take care of them well. I went through plenty of pens. I just found that when they did screw up I lost so much more overnight in ruined plants than I saved in money. Doesn’t help that I live on the North Pole and it takes weeks to get anything here by mail order.
But yeah- if you take care of them, calibrate often, and always have a backup handy- you should be fine.
:48:
 
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Slowpuffer

Well-Known Member
Yeah I agree - they tend to work the same, till they screw up. Helps if you take care of them well. I went through plenty of pens. I just found that when they did screw up I lost so much more overnight in ruined plants than I saved in money. Don’t rent help that I live on the North Pole and it takes weeks to get anything here by mail order.
But yeah- if you take care of them, calibrate often, and always have a backup handy- you should be fine.
:48:
And that backup i don't have right now !! Got to fix that. I will eventually but a good one that lasts.
 
I have a Ph question which I decided to add to this thread, rather than begin a new one. Soil around here is largely clay-ish, and alkaline, between 7 and 8. For practical reasons, I can only deliver so much composted manure etc., per plant, and can't fill the entire hole with what I carry in, so I must use the native soil as well at a rate of about 50%. (a) One site tells me: ""Most clay soils are on the alkaline side, meaning that you'll probably want to lower the pH of the soil. The most common substances to add to clay soil are builder's sand, gypsum, composted manure, compost or other coarse organic material."" (b) Other folks suggest that peat moss is the most useful stuff for adding a bit of acid.

Where do you stand on those suggestions?
Secondly, when components such as peat moss are added, do they have to sit for a while - days, weeks, months - before they affect the Ph change, or is the change measurable immediately?
Thanks for any wisdom.
 

PurpleGunRack

Well-Known Member
@Felix the Dog try posting this in a new thread in the organic sub forum, this thread is old and is more about the technical aspects of measuring pH.

I don't recommend mixing peat moss in real soil, it's actually not beneficial for the microbiology in the soil before it's composted. It's basically just for growing in containers.
When you mix peat moss into real soil it becomes less adaptable to pH fluctuations.

7-8 is fine, mix in some perlite/diatomaceous earth, and whatever amendments you like, and it'll be great for growing weed.
You should worry about the compactness of the clay soil, not the pH ;)
 
@Felix the Dog

I don't recommend mixing peat moss in real soil, it's actually not beneficial for the microbiology in the soil before it's composted. It's basically just for growing in containers.
When you mix peat moss into real soil it becomes less adaptable to pH fluctuations.
;)
Dang! I have 4 peaty holes done. I have some adjustments to make.

I'll move any further remarks to the thread, "Adjusting alkaline soil."
Thanks
 

saltybluegrass

Active Member
My city water uses chloromine and other additives- i get my ph to 6.1 - ish and the next day it’s 8+ . Is this due to the city waters additives? I’ve dumped my 25 gal res twice now
 
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