How To Find The Best PH Meter for Hydroponics

(Last Updated: October, 2021)

Hydroponics is an advanced farming method whereby you grow your plants on other nutrient high media, such as water, Instead of using the soil. To run an effective hydroponics system, you must maintain suitable water chemistry and pH levels. Thus, the urgency to purchase the best pH meter for hydroponics.

With an efficient hydroponic pH meter, you'll monitor your plants' growing process as well as adjust or maintain the temperatures and pH levels of your system. That way, your plants will get an adequate temperature and the needed nutrients and minerals for growth.

However, getting the best pH meters for your garden isn't as easy as you'd think. You must go for one that monitors every detail and serves its purpose. Without careful selection, you can end up paying for a product that will not help you out or miss out on specs that could've made your task far more manageable.

To make your research easy, we've listed seven of the best pH meter for hydroponics. We'll also share some tips on choosing a pH tester for your system and how you can effectively take care of it. Keep reading!

7 Best PH Testers for Hydroponics

More About Bluelab pH Pen Tester

The Bluelab pH Pen tester is ideal for measuring pH for alkaline or acidic conditions in the water. It comes with a 2-point calibration system with calibration reminders, a backlit display, and an ATC feature, which makes it handy. It has a double junction glass probe which improves its reliability, lifespan, and accuracy.

Other unique features include auto-off function, battery indicator, temperature units, and a kit that contains AAA battery, lanyard, and calibration solution. This digital pH meter is installed into your reservoir permanently and monitors your water pH levels regularly.

Pros:

  • Double junction probe
  • Fully waterproof
  • Low battery indicator
  • Automatic temperature
  • Successful calibration indicator

Cons:

  • Fragile sensor bulbs

Superior Design and Manufacturing

All Bluelab products, including the pH Pen Pocket tester, are New Zealand-made quality, built and designed with growers for growers. Generally, their unique design focuses on ergonomic qualities, thus helping with regular use in different growing environments. That means you can rest assured your pH tester will withstand the drops, knocks, and deep-water plunges associated with everyday growing.

Aside from the top-quality and user-friendly design, Bluelab's pH Pen Pocket tester comes with an easy calibration. Thanks to its simple two-point calibration process, you won't have difficulty calibrating your pH tester. Don't forget to calibrate before first use. Remember that each pen has a 30-day
calibration indicator that you can easily monitor on a backlit LCD.

Fast and Accurate Readings

The Bluelab pH Pen is among the latest and most advanced innovations for handheld hydroponic pH testers and is the leading handy solution for measuring and monitoring pH. Hydroponic gardening allows you to give your plants the best care possible. Here, the quality of care and maintenance is in your control.

Fortunately, the Bluelab pH Pen offers a compact, quick, and best way to manage your crops' success and ensure maximum uptake of nutrients and minerals. Teamed with this digital pH meter, you have a convenient and accurate system that guarantees you optimum plant growth and health. It features a double-junction probe for superior accuracy. Unlike the standard glass electrode, the double-junction probe minimizes build-up on the probe, ensuring accurate readings and increasing lifespan.

Related Products

Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus

AMTAST Pocket pH Tester Kit

AMTAST Pocket pH Tester Kit

2 in 1 Digital pH Temperature Meter Monitor Tester

2 in 1 Digital pH Temperature Meter Monitor Tester

More About Bluelab Combo pH Meter

The fundamental parameters of temperature, pH, and conductivity play an essential role in achieving optimal nutrient uptake. With the Bluelab Combo pH meter, you get to measure all these parameters in one simple, convenient, and portable device. While conductivity shows the nutrient content level in your solution, pH indicates how alkaline or acidic your solution is, thus determining nutrient absorption.
Temperature, on the other hand, affects the growth rate and structure of your plant. The Bluelab Combo pH meter measures temperature, pH, and conductivity in nutrient reservoirs and water supplies. Plus, you can use it on the go, meaning you'll enjoy fast and accurate readings whenever you need them.

Pros:

  • Includes calibration-free Conductivity Probe
  • Allows you to customize scales to your preference
  • Automatic calibration
  • 2-meter cable ideal for measuring in hard-to-reach areas
  • Auto-off function
  • Replaceable double junction pH probe

Cons:

  • Fragile probe

Simple and Sturdy Design

Bluelab takes all the specifications you love about the Combo pH meter and combines them with their toughest and powerful probe - the Bluelab Leap pH probe. This advanced probe technology enables you to receive ultra-fast pH level measurements direct from the in solutions. As a result, you'll be able to unlock your plants' full potential.

Since all Bluelab products are designed with growers, you can have peace of mind knowing that your pH tester will help you carry out vital tasks with ease. Additionally, Leap pH Probe's toughened tip helps your device withstand the harsh conditions that come with every day growing.

Expand Your Toolkit

Bluelab comes with a carry case that's the perfect companion for your Combo pH meter. This case helps you free up your hands off any distractions so that you can measure pH, while the outer casing is firm enough to protect your pH meter. Featuring pockets as well as straps, both external and internal, you'll be able to use your carry case to protect your pH meter and store all its accessories. Note that stocking your case with Bluelab Probe Care Kits makes cleaning, calibration, and maintenance even more straightforward.

Related Products

Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus

AMTAST Pocket pH Tester Kit

AMTAST Pocket pH Tester Kit

2 in 1 Digital pH Temperature Meter Monitor Tester

2 in 1 Digital pH Temperature Meter Monitor Tester

More About Hanna Instruments HI 9813-6N pH/TDS /EC Meter

The Hanna Instruments HI9813-6N is an easy-to-use, water-resistant, portable pH meter that measures conductivity, temperature, total dissolved solids (TDS), and pH with a single probe. This TDS meter includes the Hanna Instruments CAL Check that enables you to know when you need to replace or calibrate the probe. It has a simplified meter operation with specified buttons for measurement modes that are displayed on the LCD. The knobs are majorly for single-point calibration of conductivity and pH. Thanks to its variable TDS conversion factor, your results will be right the first time.

Pros:

  • On-screen user and calibration guides
  • Simple operation and calibration
  • Automatic temperature compensation
  • Low battery indicator
  • Fast response multi-parameter probe

Cons:

  • No anti-slip feet 

Design and Features

The HI9813-6 portable meter comes with a large LCD that displays conductivity, pH, temperature or TDS readings, and tutorial instructions. It's a basic pH, conductivity, and TDS meter manually calibrated to a single point with two trimmers. The LCD screen includes a battery life indicator and on-screen tutorial messages. Its supplied HI1285-6 probe comes in a polypropylene body with an amplified pH electrode and built-in TDS/conductivity and temperature sensors.

Amplified pH electrode

The pH electrode circuit features a built-in amplifier that minimizes the adverse effects of electrical noise on high impedance-pH measurements. Some of the common sources of electrical noise include pumps, ballast, and motors.

Amperometric TDS/Conductivity Sensor

An amperometric sensor conducts the TDS/conductivity readings. An alternating voltage flows to the sensor where the level of current passing through the steel pins depends on the amount of salt in the solution—the greater the amount of salt, the more conductance.

Polypropylene Body

The polypropylene body is durable and houses all the sensors in a single body design. The probe, on the other hand, is gel-filled for a maintenance-free operation. So, you won't have to refill it periodically for it to function.

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Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus

AMTAST Pocket pH Tester Kit

AMTAST Pocket pH Tester Kit

2 in 1 Digital pH Temperature Meter Monitor Tester

2 in 1 Digital pH Temperature Meter Monitor Tester

More About Bluelab Guardian pH Monitor

The Bluelab Guardian pH Monitor allows you to continuously monitor the essential parameters of pH, temperature, and conductivity. Instead of conducting spot checks and manual measurements, you'll only need to adjust for nutrients and pH. By consistently tracking the three key parameters of nutrient uptake, you'll have an easy time spotting any fluctuations, thus enabling you to solve problems as and when they occur.

Remember, when you keep these fundamental parameters steady, the chances of ending up with healthier plants are high. Besides, the Bluelab Guardian pH Monitor helps you save on time and labor so that you can focus on taking care of your plants.

Pros:

  • Simple push-button pH calibration system
  • Water-resistant design
  • Plant-safe green LED displays
  • Adjustable display brightness
  • Non-volatile memory

Cons:

  • Digital displays bug out at times

User-friendly Design and Features

Specially designed for indoor use, you can mount your Guardian pH Monitor on a wall or hung it on a support bar. Besides being easy to use, this pH meter comes with user-friendly features. So, all you need to do is set up your reservoir, put the conductivity and pH probes in your solution,then adjust and glance. Don't forget to set low and high alarm states - If your acidic or alkaline solution moves away from the perfect pH range, the display flashes. Always check at the monitor to know whether or not you need to adjust your pH. With its large backlit LED display, you can view all three key parameters at a glance. What's more, this pH meter allows you to set discreet visual alarms in your preferred parameter range. That way, you'll always remain on top of your reservoir conditions.

Stay Connected to Your Parameters

Although no calibration is needed for temperature and conductivity, you must calibrate the pH probe of your monitor regularly. That said, ensure you stock up on everything that will help you maintain and calibrate your probes for consistent pH testing. Here, it's wise to buy a Bluelab Probe Care Kit that contains a probe cleaning brush and other things that can help clean your temperature probe.

Related Products

Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus

AMTAST Pocket pH Tester Kit

AMTAST Pocket pH Tester Kit

2 in 1 Digital pH Temperature Meter Monitor Tester

2 in 1 Digital pH Temperature Meter Monitor Tester

More About Apera Instruments AI311pH Test Kit

Apera's AI311 pH test kit is specially engineered for professional pH testing and pH level monitoring. It's a step up from the PH20 that offers the same fantastic features as the lower Apera series model but with a few extras. This pH meter presents a multi-color backlit display indicating various modes - Green for calibration, blue for pH value measurement, and red for out of pH range readings. It can also function for up to 20000 hours on one battery set and provides an auto-off feature after eight minutes, thus saving your battery life. One of the best specs of the premium series models is their replaceable glass probe. Even with expensive, top-shelf pH meters, probes can only last so long. So, being able to replace your probe is a big plus.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-install replaceable probe
  • Rugged design, perfect for operating in harsh environments
  • Complete kit with ready-to-use storage solutions, calibration solutions, and calibration bottles
  • Easy auto calibration with pH buffers recognition

Cons:

  • Replacement probes are expensive

High Sensitivity pH Probe

Apera's premium pH test kit's proprietary, sensitive lithium glass membrane acts as the basis for accurate and stable readings with a fast response. It features a sensor shield on top of the probe that protects the sensitive glass membrane from damage. The probe is also designed with Swiss sensor technology, including an impact-resistant spear membrane with a built-in temperature sensor and a long-life reference system.

Related Products

Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus

AMTAST Pocket pH Tester Kit

AMTAST Pocket pH Tester Kit

2 in 1 Digital pH Temperature Meter Monitor Tester

2 in 1 Digital pH Temperature Meter Monitor Tester

More About Oakton Eco Testr Pocket pH Meter

Oakton's enhanced pH tester offers user-friendly viewing angles and simultaneous parameter readings for easier and faster water measurements. It comes with a new housing that's waterproof, lanyard-compatible, and floatable if dropped. Its waterproof and dust housing make it perfect for damp and dirty field conditions.

Pros:

  • Four 1.5 V button-type batteries included
  • Displays pH and temperature simultaneously
  • Auto-off to maximize battery life
  • Improved Cap functions

Cons:

  • Must be calibrated more often

Design

This new addition to Oakton's product line comes with updates that make measuring water quality faster and easier. For starters, it has a larger display with a better viewing angle and shows both the temperature and parameter readings simultaneously. For maximum field use, Oakton Eco Testr Pocket pH Meter features a leakproof that you can attach to the top of your meter when not using it - no more losing caps! The cap includes a fill line that helps you to know the amount of sample needed for an accurate reading.

It's also wider, thus providing a base to keep your pH meter upright for hands-free ph level measurements. Its keypad now features a fourth key, simplifying menu navigation while still keeping convenient one-touch calibration.

Related Products

Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus

AMTAST Pocket pH Tester Kit

AMTAST Pocket pH Tester Kit

2 in 1 Digital pH Temperature Meter Monitor Tester

2 in 1 Digital pH Temperature Meter Monitor Tester

More About Apera AI209-T Value pH Test Kit

Unlike other brands, Apera Instruments specializes in manufacturing pH testers and sensors, and their expertise shows in all their products. The AI209-T Value pH kit incorporates sensor technology you'll find in top-quality Apera gadgets, but without the price tag to match. As a result, this pH tester presents fast response times that growers can't typically find on products in this price range. So, if you're looking for cheap pH meters from high-end brands, you can check out the Apera AI209-T.

Pros:

  • Water and dustproof
  • Features calibration solutions and a probe cleaning brush
  • Easy to calibrate

Cons:

  • Bubbles can quickly get into the probe sensor, thus affecting readings

Build and Design

Apera AI209-T features a relatively large LCD that displays temperature results as well as discovered pH values. The sensor is designed from a sealed glass bulb that's perfect for water testing. What's more, it's paired with an IP67 waterproofing rating that's fully equipped to enable temporary submersion in water.

With its four AAA batteries, you'll enjoy up to 2,000 hours of accurate pH measurements and constant operation before changing them. Apera AI209-T test kit also comes with a sturdy carrying case and bottles of pre-mixed calibration solutions, which are fit for about 10 to 15 calibrations.

Lastly, it includes a two-year warranty, but it's limited to only six months for the pH probe.

Testing and Accuracy

This digital pH meter is optimal for spas, pools, water treatment, and, most importantly, hydroponic gardening. As you'd hope, it includes a total soil pH 0 to 14 measurement range. Plus, it utilizes an automatic temperature compensation feature that ensures correct readings, as long as you stick within the supported testing range (32 to 122°F). Here, the accuracy of your results will be to a precise +/- 0.1 pH, while temperature readings remain accurate to within a range of half a degree Celsius.

The Apera AI209-T includes auto-calibration and a self-diagnosis feature that alerts you if pH levels are likely incorrect or if out-of-range measurements are taken. With its auto recognition circuits, this pH meter helps you to remember stable readings for consistent measurements. This, in turn, results in more reliable pH level calibration, regardless of how long you end up utilizing your digital pH meter.

Related Products

Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Apera Instruments SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus

Bluelab Combo Meter Plus

AMTAST Pocket pH Tester Kit

AMTAST Pocket pH Tester Kit

2 in 1 Digital pH Temperature Meter Monitor Tester

2 in 1 Digital pH Temperature Meter Monitor Tester

Best PH Meter for Hydroponics: Buyers Guide

Now that you know our picks for the best pH meter for hydroponics, we need to present the criteria you can use to settle for the best. There are tons of viable options on the market, and they all claim to offer the best solution, which makes it challenging to choose one. But certain features make the best pH testers for hydroponics truly the best!

Precision

When dealing with a large hydroponic garden, there's more risk of damages involved due to fluctuations in pH levels. This fluctuation is caused by the many biological processes involved in large-scale hydroponic farming. In this case, the urgency to get accurate readings can't be overemphasized. So, purchase a pH meter that offers the perfect pH balance at all times.

Calibration

Calibration is another factor to consider. All measuring instruments need calibration at some point to check them against a standard. It's vital to ensure accuracy since even a finely calibrated device can wear out its accuracy over time. So, ensure your pH testers, digital pH meters included, are calibrated with colored liquids that contain known pH values.

Temperature

Keep in mind that temperature massively affects pH readings. The temperature of your pH meter must be the same as that of the solution you're testing. Here, you'll be better off with ph meters that feature automatic temperature compensation for optimum reading.

Caring for Your pH Tester

Purchasing the best hydroponic pH meter is a good investment for growers planting their crops in hydroponics systems. However, it's only worth your money if you take care of it and maintain it properly. If you store your meter carelessly, the temperature probe will dry up, thus losing effectiveness the next time you want to use it.

For instance, you need to store your Bluelab pH Pen with its pH Probe KCI Storage Solution which keeps the probes hydrated.

Plus, you should constantly calibrate your pH meters for hydroponics with calibration solutions to ensure you're receiving accurate and stable readings. Otherwise, what's the point of even testing and monitoring pH levels?

Closing Thoughts

Now that you know some of the best pH testers for hydroponics, you can comfortably pick one that suits your cultivation needs.

Note that, irrespective of the product you settle for, you'll be able to tap into your nutrient pH for a potent, healthy harvest. If you're searching for something inexpensive, the Apera AI209 is up to most tasks. Alternatively, if you're looking for the best pH meter for large-scale production, give the Bluelab Guardian pH monitor a try.

Finally, the Bluelab pH Pen Pocket tester is your choice if you need remarkable accuracy from your results. We hope that by listing seven of the best pH tester, we've made finding a reliable pH meter easier for you. You can always reach out to us for more information on pH meters for hydroponics.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any extra suggestions, or have you tried any of the above pH meters for hydroponics? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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