8 Best pH Meters For Hydroponics

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Hydroponics is a farming method whereby you grow plants on water or other nutrient high media instead of in the soil. To run a successful hydroponics system, you must maintain good water chemistry and pH levels. Hence, the need to get the best pH meter for hydroponics.

Getting a good pH meter for your hydroponics system is not as easy as you would think. You must get one that serves its purpose and monitors every detail.

If this sounds like what you are looking for, you are in for a good surprise. This article covers everything you need to know about the best pH meters for hydroponics. Keep scrolling!

Best pH Meters For Hydroponics

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What is a pH Meter for Hydroponics?

A good pH meter will help you to monitor the growing process of your plants. It also maintains or adjusts pH levels and temperatures of your hydroponics system.

This measurement ensures that your plants get the needed minerals or nutrients and adequate temperature for growth.

How Does a pH Meter For Hydroponics Work?

Why Is Measuring pH In Hydroponics Important

Ideally, tepid water contains an equal number of hydrogen and hydroxide ions. When other factors or materials are introduced to the water, it changes the pH levels. The hydrogen ions either increase, thereby making it more acidic or more alkaline because of increase in hydroxide ions.

A pH meter for hydroponics has a tube for reference and a glass sensor. The probe generates a nominal voltage across the reference tube and sensor by measuring hydrogen ions activity. Then, it converts the voltage to the pH value. This value is displayed on the digital screen.

Most pH meters have an in-built thermometer that detects and automatically adjust any difference in the baseline temperature of 22oC or 77oF. This function is called automatic temperature compensation (ATC).

Why Is Measuring pH In Hydroponics Important?

Measuring pH levels in hydroponics is very important. There are frequent abrupt changes in pH levels because of the process involved in metabolizing nutrients in plants. These changes can block the absorption of nutrient in some elements.

These changes can affect the health, flavor, and appearance of the plants. In some cases, it can result in stunted growth leading to plant death. PH levels must be kept at its optimum between 5.5 and 6.5.

Although this varies from one plant to the other, a fluctuation in pH values and poor nutrient concentrations can predispose your plants to diseases and pest attacks.

PH Meters for Hydroponics Reviews

1. Vivosun pH And TDS Meter Combo

VIVOSUN pH and TDS Meter Combo, 0.05ph High Accuracy Pen Type pH Meter +/- 2% Readout Accuracy 3-in-1 TDS EC Temperature Meter
  • Great for all home and laboratory TDS & pH testing applications including aquariums, swimming pools
  • pH meter: Full measurement range of pH 0 - 14, reliable and quick readings
  • 3-in-1 TDS meter: Measurement Range 0-9990ppm, 0-9990µs/cm; Accuracy ± 2%, 0.1- 80.0°C, 32.0-176.0°F. Note: This meter can't test sea water.
  • Comes with protective case; Lightweight, handheld design for portability and convenience
  • Due to recently reviews about 1413 solution, please note that TDS Meter had been calibrated by 1413 solution in advance; You can use it directly and it could last for 1 year without second calibration; So 1413 calibraiton solution is not included

Last update on 2020-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Vivosun pH and TDS meter combo is reliable, accurate and very easy to use. It has a pH meter that can measure pH levels and a TDS meter that includes TDS, temperature, and EC function. Hence, it is referred to as a 3-in-1 designed tester meter.

It has other features such as a protective case and a lock function that makes it very easy to read the pH value. This pH meter also has a 9 minutes automatic shut off feature.

Pros
  • It is portable
  • Made with high-quality materials and so it’s durable
  • Easy usage
Cons
  • The battery runs down quickly
Check Price & Reviews on Amazon

 

2. Digital pH Meter and Water Quality Tester

Digital PH Meter, PH Meter 0.01 PH High Accuracy Water Quality Tester with 0-14 PH Measurement Range for Household Drinking, Pool and Aquarium Water PH Tester Design with ATC
  • ✔HIGH ACCURACY: Ensure Your Pool, General Hydroponics Ph or Even Drinking Water Has a Perfect Ph Balance and Safe for Use with Tester Precision Ph Accuracy. Tester Has a Sensitive Electrode Sensor to Read Accurate Ph Levels. The Included Detailed Manual Will Show You How to Get the Best Accurate and Stable Reading
  • ✔AUTO CALIBRATION: The Ph Meter Has an Auto Temprature Compensation Feature That Adjusts to Water Temperatures and Water Quality to Give Ph Readings Almost Instantly. As Well, You Can Calibrate the Tester with One Touch Button Using Buffer Powder.
  • ✔AUTOMATIC TEMPERATURE COMPENSATION: No more need to take care about the temperature of testing liquid, as ph meter has built in (ATC) automatic temperature compensation, so that it can accurately determine pH value of the sample at any temperature in a range of 0°C - 80°C (32°F - 176°F)
  • ✔WIDE USE: Ideal for Household or Laboratory Use, Suitable for Testing Ph Balance of Drinking Water, Pool, Aquarium, Ro System, Spa, or Hydroponics; Appropriate for Wide Range of Applications
  • ✔MAKE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE PRODUCTS: Come with 1x PH meter, 1x user manual, 2x 1.5V LR44 button cells(build-in), 3x PH Buffer Powders

Last update on 2020-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The digital pH meter and water quality tester have two built-in 1.5V button cells and three pH buffer powders.

It has high accuracy, auto-calibration and an ATC feature that adjusts temperature and quality of water giving pH values almost immediately. It can read pH value at any temperature between 32oF-176oF (0oC-80oC).

This pH meter is easy to use. Remove the protective cap and insert the meter’s electrode in the water you want to test. Then turn it on.

Pros
  • It is fast and gives reliable readings
  • Very easy to use
Cons
  • Difficult to calibrate for first-time users
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3. Apera Instruments AI311 Premium Series PH60 Waterproof pH Pocket Tester Kit

Apera Instruments AI311 Premium Series PH60 Waterproof pH Pocket Tester Kit, Replaceable Probe, ±0.01 pH Accuracy
  • NOTE: A few drops of water are added to the electrode cap before the product leaves the factory. This is to maintain the sensitivity of the electrode. Therefore, when you use it for the first time, it is normal to find water droplets in the electrode cap
  • Accuracy: 0.01 pH; range: -2.00 to 16.00 pH, 32 to 122˚F (0 to 50˚C); Auto. Power-Off: 8 minutes without operation
  • Easy 1-3 points auto. calibration, recognizes 5 types of solutions (1.68, 4.00, 7.00, 10.01, 12.46); Auto Temp. Compensation (ATC) ensures accuracy in various temperatures (32-122˚F)
  • High quality replaceable glass pH probe, suitable for regular water solutions e.g. pools&spas, hydroponics, environmental monitoring, cooling towers, beverage, etc.
  • Large LCD with 3 backlit colors (indicating different modes), dual display of temp./pH, and reminders of completed calibrations and stable readings

Last update on 2020-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This pH meter is specially designed for professional pH value measurements. Its self-diagnostic feature signals you when you wrongly calibrate it and show you how to fix it. It has a high-sensitive replaceable pH probe with a sensor shield at the top.

Additionally, it has an ATC feature that ensures accurate temperature readings. Other features include reading alarm, a battery operation up to 2000 hours and an automatic reading lock (optional).

Pros
  • Easy to install replaceable glass probe
  • Easy usage
  • Gives stable readings
  • It has three large color backlit screens
  • Fully waterproof
Cons
  • It takes some minutes before the temperature probe warms up for measurement
  • It can be affected by freezing conditions
  • Replaceable glass probes can be expensive
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4. Bluelab PENPH pH Pen Fully Waterproof Pocket Tester

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Bluelab PENPH pH Pen Fully Waterproof Pocket Tester, Easy Calibration, Double Junction Probe for Improved Accuracy and Durability
  • Measures pH in solution for acid or alkaline conditions to make precise up and down adjustments with lab quality glass probe used for the pool, drinking water, hydroponics, brewing, and growing
  • EASY two point calibration and auto temperature compensation makes this digital meter a handy tool with backlit LCD display and calibration reminders
  • Double junction probe improves accuracy, reliability, and probe lifespan compared to regular probes, more accurate than comparable pens, test strips and other testing methods
  • Other features: auto off function, low battery indicator, units for temperature; KIT INCLUDES: AAA battery, lanyard, and calibration solution
  • Made in New Zealand and manufactured by Bluelab, the industry leader in hydroponic testing equipment; 1 Year Limited Warranty with proof of purchase

Last update on 2020-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It measures pH for acidic or alkaline conditions in the water. The Bluelab PENPH meter has a 2-point calibration system with ATC feature, calibration reminders, and backlit display which makes it handy. Its double junction glass probe improves the lifespan, reliability, and accuracy.

Other unique features of this pH meter include battery indicator, auto-off function, temperature units as well as a Kit (contains lanyard, AAA battery and calibration solution).

Pros
  • It is fully waterproof
  • Inclusion of an ATC feature for reading accuracy
  • 2-point calibration process
  • It has a double junction probe
Cons
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5. pH Meter with Automatic Calibration

PH Meter with Automatic Calibration - 7Pros High Accuracy Pen Type Water Quality Tester with built-in ATC, 6 pH Calibration Packets, Best Tool to test PH of Hydroponics, Kombucha, Wine, Drinking Water
  • EASY MEASUREMENT AND ACCURATE RESULTS – no more time consuming paper strips or other inaccurate pH test chemicals, our device is a digital pH tester which will allow you to test your liquid quickly and accurately within ±0.01 pH - no matter what your liquid is or whether you are a new or experienced user
  • AUTOMATIC CALIBRATION – our 7Pros PH meter comes factory calibrated, but recalibration is required in case of long period of inactivity or after a frequent use. For a proper calibration you get 2 sets of calibration powder (6 packets), no need of any kind of screwdrivers to calibrate, you just have to push the auto-calibration button. Easy Instructions manual is included
  • IDEAL FOR ANY HOUSEHOLD- You can use this small, but powerful, device to measure your aquarium, pool, pond in a garden, bath tub to test the levels of alkalinity in your drinking water, urine, RO System, spa, soap mixtures, food, wine, beer or any other liquids. Do you Travel a lot? Make sure the water you drinking abroad is good enough - take your 7Pros pH meter with you and test the water before drinking. Along with a tds meter it will form a perfect travel kit.
  • FAST RESULTS, CONVENIENT SIZE - it only takes a few seconds for your result to appear on screen. Simply press "ON", stir gently and the reading will stabilize on the display in moments. This portable size instrument allows you to carry it around easily in your pocket and do your measuring anywhere. Its special plastic case will protect it whether you take it to the pool, on a trip, to the beach, camping or a picnic
  • AUTOMATIC TEMPERATURE COMPENSATION - no more need to take care about the temperature of testing liquid, as 7Pros meter has built in (ATC) automatic temperature compensation, so that it can accurately determine pH value of the sample at any temperature in a range of 0°C - 80°C (32°F - 176°F)

Last update on 2020-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This pH meter comes with two sets (6 packets) of powder for calibration and gives accurate readings. It is easy to use and very portable. Also, it has a built-in ATC that can determine pH levels at any temperature ranging from 0oC to 80oC.

Pros
  • It is portable, durable, and easy to use
  • Easy to read
  • It does not require any storage fluid
Cons
  • It does not have an auto-lock reading feature
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6. Water Quality Tester

Water Quality Tester, Accurate and Reliable, HoneForest TDS Meter, EC Meter & Temperature Meter 3 in 1, 0-9990ppm, Ideal Water Test Meter for Drinking Water, Aquariums, etc.
  • ✔ACCURATE AND RELIABLE: To achieve high accuracy, equipped with premium quality titanium alloy probe, and reliable Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC) ensures reading always be accurate at various temperatures.
  • ✔MULTIFUNCTIONAL AND UPGRADED: Professional TDS, EC and Temperature Pen 3 in 1. Upgraded with big backlit LCD for easier reading, and auto-lock function for easier use.
  • ✔EASY AND INSTANTLY: Just turn TDS meter on and stir water gently, then stabilized readings will be auto-locked on LCD in seconds, and the tds ppm meter will shut off automatically if without operation over 2 minutes.
  • ✔MULTIPURPOSE TDS TESTER: Test drinking water purity to ensure it's healthy, monitor if Reverse Osmosis (RO)/DI System works properly, whether filter need replaced, maintenance aquarium, hydroponics(test nutrients), pool and spa, etc.
  • ✔3 YEARS WARRANTY. And we offer 90 days Money Back Guarantee if not totally happy with the digital TDS water tester meter.

Last update on 2020-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This specially designed meter pen has an advanced microprocessor technology, TDS (total dissolved solids), EC (electrical conductivity), and ATC (temperature) meters.

It is equipped with backlit LCD for easy reading, hold, and auto-lock function for easy read and record.

Pros
  • Factory calibrated
  • Auto-off feature (2 minutes) to conserve battery
  • It comes with a protective case
Cons
  • It does not measure pH levels
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7. Bluelab MONGUA Guardian Monitor for pH

Bluelab MONGUA Guardian Monitor for pH, Temperature, and Conductivity Measures, Easy Calibration and Wall Mounted
  • Mountable unit measures pH, temperature and (tds) EC, ppm 500, ppm 700 and CF with lab quality glass that can be used for the pool, drinking water, hydroponics, brewing, and growing
  • EASY two point calibration and auto temperature compensation makes this digital meter a handy tool with backlit LCD display and calibration reminders
  • 24/7 monitor for your nutrient and ph level to maximize your grow and ensure plants get the balanced feed they need; high and low alarm when outside parameters
  • Other features: international power supply, high RF tolerance, units for temperature; KIT INCLUDES calibration solution
  • Made in New Zealand and manufactured by Bluelab, the industry leader in hydroponic testing equipment; 2 Year Limited Warranty with proof of purchase

Last update on 2020-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Bluelab MONGUA guardian monitor has a 2-point calibration. Once the pH probe of the monitor is calibrated, you don’t need to calibrate it for temperature and conductivity.

A unique feature of this pH meter is that it can be hung on the support or fixed on the wall, which makes it suitable for indoor use.

It is also temperature compensated and always give accurate readings. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about your meter getting damaged on exposure to water. The Bluelab MONGUA Guardian meter is water-resistant and has green LED lights that are safe for your plants.

Pros
  • Requires no calibration for temperature and conductivity
  • It is water-resistant
  • Large displays
  • Presence of flashing alarms
Cons
  • The probes can be burnt without proper calibration and care
  • The digital displays can bug out
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8. Apera Instruments AI209 Value Series PH20 Waterproof pH Tester Kit

Apera Instruments AI209 Value Series PH20 Waterproof pH Tester Kit, ±0.1 pH Accuracy
  • Easy auto. calibration with buffer recognition; auto. temp. compensation (ATC) ensures accuracy in various temperatures (32 to 122F)
  • Backed by Apera quality pH sensor with low impedance, ensuring high response rate
  • Comes in a rugged carrying case with pH 4&7 buffers and a lanyard
  • Auto recognition of stable values improves consistency, so you don't have to guess when to manually hold measurement
  • Up to 2000 hours' continuous operation, powered by AAA batteries

Last update on 2020-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This high-quality pH meter has an easy calibration system with high buffer recognition and ATC. The ATC feature gives accurate results in different temperature ranging between 32-122OF. Its sensors also have low impedance. This feature ensures there is a high response rate.

Also, it has the pH buffers 4 and 7 as well as a lanyard. Its auto-recognition of balanced values contributes to its consistency. So that you know, the Apera Instruments AI209 Value Series is powered by AAA batteries and can run for 2000 hours non-stop.

Pros
  • Calibration is easy
  • It comes with calibration solutions and cleaning brush for the probe
  • Fully dust and waterproof
  • Displays pH level and temperature of the water
Cons
  • It takes approximately 30 seconds longer before it displays readings
  • Bubbles can form inside the probe sensor
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What to Consider When Buying A pH Meter for Hydroponics

The following are factors to consider when buying a pH meter for hydroponics:

Portability

Taking samples to the lab for testing can compromise your pH readings. So, you should collect your samples and test their acidity at the point of usage. Portable pH meters help to get correct readings of the pH levels of your hydroponics system.

Precision

When managing a large hydroponic farm, there is more risk of damage involved resulting from fluctuations in pH levels compared to smaller farms. This fluctuation is as a result of lots of biological processes involved in big hydroponics farm.

In this case, the need to get accurate results cannot be overemphasized. So, get a pH meter that can balance the pH levels at all time.

Temperature

Temperature is a key factor in measuring pH levels. So, it must be put into consideration when you are getting a pH meter for hydroponics.

Intended Usage

The purpose of usage should be considered first before buying a pH meter. There are different pH meter products available today, each built with specific features to meet your needs.

How to Calibrate a Hydroponic pH Meter

Before calibrating your hydroponics pH meter, make sure you read the product manual to know the best way to clean your model. Here’s a general method of calibrating most hydroponics pH meter below.

What you will need

  • PH meter calibration buffer solutions.
  • 2 Plastic containers.
  • Flathead screwdriver (for manual calibrations).

Step 1

Pour a small quantity of buffer solutions into the plastic containers.

Step 2

Clean or rinse the pH meter probe.

Step 3

For electrical calibrations, turn the pH meter on and press hold on the button marked ‘set/hold’ or ‘mode’ on the pH meter. For manual calibrations, turn the screw using the screwdriver until the pH value is 7.

Step 4

Place the pH meter in the container containing a pH buffer solution wiggling it a little.

Step 5

Press and hold the ‘set/hold’ or ‘mode’ button on the pH meter for electrical calibrations. Place the meter in the buffer solution of pH value 4.

Caring for Your pH Meter for Hydroponics

To care for your pH meter for hydroponics, do the following:

  • Calibrate the pH meter frequently
  • Maintain the pH sensor
  • Store reference tubes and glass sensors in the right solution
  • Rinse pH sensors in distilled or deionized water before storing in its solution
  • Take proper care of the electrodes

Note: There are different methods of caring for your pH meters, read the manufacturers manual for specific instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should pH Meter for Hydroponics Be Calibrated?

PH for hydroponics should be calibrated as often as you use it. If it is used daily, the meter should be calibrated once every week. If you usually use the pH meter weekly, endeavor to calibrate it monthly.

How Do You Maintain pH Balance in Hydroponics?

To maintain a pH balance in hydroponics, always use products specially formulated for this system. You can use weak acids like citric acid or vinegar for a small hydroponics system. Preferably, use automatic pH controllers that can keep the pH level balanced.

Why does pH Go Up in Hydroponics?

PH goes up in hydroponics because nutrients added to the system are acidic. When your plants consume these nutrients, the pH level increases; this leads to a natural pH swing from 5.5 to 6.2. It can be brought back to a pH value of 5.5 and then allowed to drift up slowly for optimal plant growth.

What is pH Water Best for Plants?

The best pH water for plants is a pH value between 5.5 – 6.5.

Conclusion

Using a pH meter for hydroponics is the easiest way to measure the pH, nutrient levels and temperatures of plants in your farm.

However, you must ensure you calibrate it often to get the right readings always. Besides, you must take proper care of the meter and store it properly to prevent total damage.

Always remember that the pH meter is a sensitive instrument and must be treated as such. Also, read the manufacturer’s manual carefully before use. Hope you found this best pH meter for hydroponics review helpful and that it has put all your doubts to rest.

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