Which is the best ph tester and EC meter? How to balance pH automatically? You can learn from this article!
The pH and EC values of the irrigation water ( or nutrient solution) are one of the most important factors for indoor growers, as it is necessary to set the appropriate levels required by the plants. Depending on the composition of the fertiliser the manufacturers recommend the pH level between 5.0-6.5 and the EC level 0.3-2.5 ms/cm. For the most efficient use of the fertiliser, the irrigation dosage is displayed on the packaging of the plant fertiliser. By measuring the pH we get the chemical effect displayed. By measuring the EC of the solution we get the amount of dissolved salts (minerals) in the nutrient solution, which should be kept at the level of the plant needs. Let’s look at these two determinants values in more detail.
pH level (Latin: pondutia Hydrogeni)
pH value shows that the solution is acidic(pH<7) or alkaline(7<pH).
Most of the plants can uptake nutrients efficiently at PH 5-8, so it is good to find out what is the right level for the chosen plant (table at the bottom of the article). If the pH level of the soil (or nutrient solution) differs significantly from the plant needs, use acid (pH-) or alkali (pH+) buffer solution developed for indoor cultivation to set the correct level. There are several instruments and techniques suitable for PH measurement, which are presented in this article.
Measuring the pH is a quick and easy process. You put the pH meter in the water and you can see the exact value. If the pH level is high, then use pH- (minus) acid, if the level is low than pH+ (plus) alkaline should be added to reach the ideal pH level.
The pH value of the tap water are ususally between pH 6.5-7.6. In both cases, we recommend the use a pH stabilizing fluid developed for indoor cultivation. For accurate measurement, the pH meter should be calibrated at the frequency specified by the manufacturer and approximately once a month.
If you want to know the pH level of the soil, you should take a sample from the soil near from the rootzone. The sample has to be mixed with 1 part soil and 2 part of water (distilled or RO purified water). Measuring after 20 minutes it gives you the value of the soil pH. Another solution is to buy a soil measuring pH device, which is also available in a variety of designs in our webshop.
EC Level (Electric Conductivity)
The EC level indicates the electrical conductivity of the nutrients dissolved in the water, which is the amount of minerals in the given amount of water. The unit of measure is ms/cm (millisiemens per centimeter).
During the plant lifecycle, the nutrient demand is increasing and therefore the mineral content of the nutrient solution used for irrigation should be constantly increased, thus the EC level will also raise. It is very important that no plants should be irrigated with too much fertiliser because the accumulated salt blocks the nutrient uptake. Unfortunately, trying to add more nutrients to the plant feeding is useless as it will not be able to absorb more than necessary, so it’s important to know how often and how much you need to fertilise your plant. The average EC of normal tap water is 420-630 ms/cm, while the RO (reverse osmosis) for purified or distilled water is 0-0.1 ms.
EC levels in line with the plant life cycle are as follows:
- seedlings, clones: 0.3-0.6
- growth, vegetative phase: 0.6-1.4
- flowering, fruit production stage: 1.4-2.5
Click on the product name to see the features in our webshop.
Milwaukee pH and EC Meters
Milwaukee devices are a great help in measuring and calibrating the nutrient solution. Milwaukee manufactures a variety of tools for different sized systems and applications.
The CD611 and PH600 devices are simple, easy to use, have an LCD display and 1-level calibration.
The mid-range models such as the Milwaukee EC-EC60, PH-PH55 have multiple functions such as temperature display, two-tier calibration, automatic temperature compensation, hold function and changeable electrode.
These models have an IP65 fully waterproof casing and thanks to the removable electrodes they are reliable tools for pH and EC measurements for many years.
Automatic calibration allows you to quickly and easily set the electrodes for accurate measurements.
These devices are perfect for accurate measurement of aquariums, hydroponic systems and large water tanks.
Wall-mounted models such as EC-MC310, PH-MC110, PH-MC122 are automatically measure the values of the nutrient solution. In case of excessive deviation in the system the control monitors flashes and sound indicates the changes.
The Milwaukee MC720 is a professional automatic pH calibration unit, is one of the most advanced pH balancing tool from Milwaukee.
It has all the important features and automatic settings you need for automatic pH balancing.
The MC720 pH calibration device automatically pumps the buffer solution from the connected pH solution tank, so it provides an automatic ph balancing system.
Bluelab pH and EC meters
Bluelab’s product range includes simple but quality pocket-size pH and EC meters such as BlueLab pH Pen and Bluelab Conductivity Pen or the Grower’s Toolbox. Both measuring devices are easy to calibrate, fully waterproof and has the automatic temperature compensation for accurate measurements.
Grower’s Toolbox is a very good value-for-money kit, as the manufacturer also packed a book and a cleaning kit with pH and EC measuring tools.
Bluelab Truncheon is easy to use for EC measurement of deep tanks due to its large size, and there is no need for calibration.
The probe was built into a massive tube, which growers like very much around the world, because the exact value is easy to read thanks to the blue LED lighting.
This 40 cm EC meter is the perfect choice for determining the ppm level in a hydroponic systems.
Bluelab Combo Meter is a 2 in 1 advanced EC and pH meter that allows you to measure two data at the same time.
Bluelab Combo Plus measures the pH, EC, CF, ppm and Celsius of the nutrient solution at the same time, either directly at the root zone.
The device is lightweight, easy to use, one-button calibration and a large readable display make your life easier.
The Combo meter has a 5-year warranty and a 6-month warranty for the replaceable probe.
Playgrowned offers the Bluelab Pro controller which is the most advanced system to fully automate the pH, EC levels of the nutrient tank.
This modern nutrient doser also has a data backup function and cloud-based access with device control option to make sure everything is going well.
By attaching the Bluelab PeriPod doser, the pH stabilizing fluid is automatically added by the automatic irrigation system.
Torus Hydro PerfectpH pH stabilizer
Torus Hydro PerfectpH is new revolutionary pH stabilizing device for hydroponic systems that automatically balances the pH of the nutrient solution for optimal nutrient absorption.
With the next-generation ionization technology, PerfectpH eliminates excessive pH fluctuations that inhibit plant growth and weaken the plant’s immune system.
There is no longer need for buffering the nutrient solutions or to dispose the watertank wasted by frequent replacement of the nutrient solution. With NASA’s technology, you can dramatically increase yields and reduce operating costs.
Simply place the PerfectpH stabilizer in the solution tank and look for other work because the pH calibration is done for 8-12 weeks by Torus Hydro PerfectpH.
The latest product of Torus Hydro Inline series that you can use for TFD systems.
We have presented the latest pH and EC meters and control tools available at Playgrowned in a user-friendly way, so you can be sure to make the best choice when you purchase a pH or EC meter.
#ph #ec #phmeter #ecmeter #bluelab #milwaukee #torushydro #growdirector
More articles about indoor growing:
- Hydroponic systems comparison
- Grow LED lamp comparison
- Grow tent comparison
- Sprouting, growing microgreens at home
- Plant nutrient deficiencies
- Correct plant irrigation, premium plant fertilisers
- Coconut, the ideal growing medium
- Temperature, Humidity, Co2 and environment control in the grow room
Here is a table of pH values for growing vegetables:
|Optimal pH level for growing vegetables|