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Old 12-19-2018, 12:35 AM #41
DrDee
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Originally Posted by Bobby Boucher View Post
I haven't found much difference between the $5-$150 pens. They work. Using and maintaining them however was too monotonous an endeavor for me to try and keep up with every day.

I bought myself a bluelab wall mounted continuous monitor/doser after my neck started failing on me and it feels like it has cut my workload in half. $350 was a small price to pay the convenience. No rinsing, no storage solutions, no capping, no manual ph adjustments, no kneeling around for what felt like forever waiting for the pens to pick up a reading.. Would have saved me a lot of time, money, and neck ache on the backend if I bought 'er when I set up instead of having to cycle through every different brand of pen out there after either dropping them or letting them dry out.

Just my 2 cents.
I'm with you on that approach Bobby. I bought the Hanna Gro-check continuous monitor...and while I haven't used it for too long, it looks like it will simplify things.
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:11 PM #42
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Quite certain he meant the opposite about the 4.0 and tap. Neither is a good idea.
Wow, I just had another "Homer" moment...thanks man.
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Old 12-21-2018, 11:03 PM #43
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If you loose the cap off a PH meter, it's as good as dead. I don't use a storage solution though. I tried. It fell over. I shook my head.

A couple of flicks with the wrist clears off most fluid, then pop the cap on. It should last ages.....

I do like a waterproof meter. This means they spend a lot of time bobbing around, which may contribute towards them staying alive.
Short of continous monitoring (with digital record) I'll stick to the drops - 800 tests really is just 200 for me (cos I do it 4x). So I made the drop and sample size smaller - because pH test fluid is also not cheap @ $18oz($13usd) a bottle.

Finally, the pH colour code on the Flairform bottle varies and some are too dark, like when you use too many drops, ----- at the correct levels a pH of 6 is light yellow (NO orange) and pH6.1 has a tiny green tint
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Old 12-22-2018, 08:55 PM #44
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I am down with the Bluelab Connect monitor. It is a great product and makes things very easy to monitor as i am new to hydro and indoor growing. The price is certainly worth the peace of mind. If you use the "connect" version/line you can monitor via your phone app.
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Old 12-23-2018, 06:42 PM #45
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^^^^I might look into that. If I combined that with a wifi controlled thermometer I could not go in my room for days. My Rez is so big it drops 5 inches max over 1 week.
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Old 12-24-2018, 05:00 AM #46
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What PH meter would you recommend?'

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Originally Posted by Gazoo31 View Post
^^^^I might look into that. If I combined that with a wifi controlled thermometer I could not go in my room for days. My Rez is so big it drops 5 inches max over 1 week.
The the Bluelab Connect Monitor on Amazon includes a thermometer, PH and EC/PPM; however you do need to obtain the "connect" usb portion as an additional purchase. I would suggest buying it as a stand-alone item as opposed to as part of a "kit". Stand-alone is a hundred bucks. Check out the prices of the connect line in Bluelab product "kit" packages and you will see what i mean.

Good Luck.
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:56 PM #47
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Originally Posted by Dr Watt View Post
Short of continous monitoring (with digital record) I'll stick to the drops - 800 tests really is just 200 for me (cos I do it 4x). So I made the drop and sample size smaller - because pH test fluid is also not cheap @ $18oz($13usd) a bottle.

Finally, the pH colour code on the Flairform bottle varies and some are too dark, like when you use too many drops, ----- at the correct levels a pH of 6 is light yellow (NO orange) and pH6.1 has a tiny green tint
I started with drop kits before hydro shops appeared in my city. I still have one for emergency use. The indicator solution has changed colour in it's bottle, but it still works as it should. I also make smaller samples than it suggests, and had bad cards. Though you don't need the reference cards after a while. Like you say, you know exactly what colour you want, and feel your as accurate as a 0.1 resolution meter. Anyone who likes tight control of their finances, has to like them.

I wouldn't part with my floating meters though. It's not as good as one you don't even need to pick up and switch on, but that's not a particularly consuming experience. The manufacturers are presented with the same choice of parts for either device, so I can't see any difference in life expectancy is likely. Oddly enough, I have a ph/cf twin screen constant submersion meter, but have never used it as I know my method works. I have had separate cf and ph monitors I doctored to run dosing pumps, but sold them on as my methods changed. The twin thing was about $30 delivered and I could use a camera to record it, or simply a skype account with auto answer to take a look remotely. Old phones are so cheap. It's a bit messy, but might prove that looking at your plants is more use than your tank.


The middle ground of handheld meters, isn't a bad place to be. Not for most of us. Test kits are common in industry though, with scale being unimportant. They always work. Unlike some fancier kit, where breakdowns are to be expected. It's all good.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:02 AM #48
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Blue Lab Pens not monitors they get gunky and must be cleaned much more often than the pen. BL's probes are also swappable if you have a crack, shatter or other problem.

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Old 12-25-2018, 02:53 PM #49
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I run dm zone and I have never found any gunk or slime or algae of any kind on my probes. These last couple runs, I haven't even bothered giving them a scrub. I just slosh my water over the probes every time I top up and calibrate whenever the machine asks for it, which isn't often.

I do suspect they would gunk up if I removed the zone from my regimen.

Having dropped and broken at least $500 in pens, frankly it just tickles me pink to have my monitor anchored into a concrete wall. That's just me, though.
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Old 12-28-2018, 07:10 PM #50
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I had a $40 pen but through one grow it read 6 when drops said 3-4, so now I'm just doing drops again instead of starting to invest in calibration solutions and all that, good thing I was in somewhat alkaline soil and it was just vitamin c dropping it
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