Hydroponically grown plants require a pH range of 5.5. – 6.5. A Digital pH Meter simply provides reliable and quick pH measurements for most regular water solutions’ pH testing, such as hydroponics, pools and spas, home brewing, winemaking, education, water treatment, cooling towers, etc.
WHY IS pH IMPORTANT?
Hydroponic nutrient solutions are designed to provide everything a plant will need. The pH of the nutrient solution is a major factor in determining the uptake rate of essential nutrients. If your pH is too high nutrient lockout occurs. Often the first sign of trouble is that the plants younger foliage pales or yellows as the plants struggle to take in the nutrients they need.
In the case of Lettuce, the most common hydroponically grown veggie – if you are not providing the correct amount of nutrients at the right level of pH your lettuce will not be as crisp as you would expect. And no one likes wimpy lettuce. Check out my post on pH.
KETOTEK DIGITAL pH METER
From setup to actual use the KETOTEK Digital pH Meter comes with everything you need to get going. In the kit is the Meter, pH Calibration Powders and Step-by-Step Instructions.
Follow the instructions to prepare the pH calibration solutions. You will need three clean resealable containers that hold 250 ml of distilled water. A smaller 4th container to wash your tester tip between solutions, if you do all three calibrations and do not use tap water. You will be keeping the calibration solutions for future use. Mark your containers with the pH level of the solution they will contain, then add and completely dissolve the enclosed pH calibration powder.
The powders will allow you to calibrate to an accuracy of +/- 0.1 pH or if you desire a +/- 0.01 ph. For most hydroponics, you will only need a +/-0.1 accuracy. Once calibrated you will be ready to go – as you see I tested both my indoor Kratky system. A pH of 3.31 is definitely out of the ideal range. No wonder why my lettuce sprouts were not growing as well as they should. I used common baking soda to bring up the pH. If your nutrient is alkaline you can use distilled white vinegar to bring it down (acidic).
While both of these common household cooking products will work, you might consider using solutions designed for hydroponic systems such as Bloom City Professional pH Up + Down Control. Bloom City comes in 2 one-quart bottles, just remember a little does go a very long way. As previously mentioned, I was able to adjust my indoor Kratky unit into an acceptable range using common baking soda.
As for my outdoor Verti-Grow tower, the pH was good. The tower reservoir tank’s pH tested at 5.62, a little alkaline – but within range. I am a former U.S. Air Force Orthopedic Tech. An Orthopedic Surgeon that I was once assigned, one-day shared with me something that I have always remembered, that was:
“There is nothing better than good. Every time you monkey with good to make it better – the odds are you are going to screw it up.” In this case and 12 gallons tower reservoir tank to consider monkeying up – I once again remembered his wise advice.
Other than having to calibrate the KETOTEK Digital pH Meter and keeping the calibration solutions stored. This an inexpensive, easy to use and accurate way to measure your hydroponics’ pH. At a price below $15 U.S. this meter will deliver for most beginning and intermediate growers what they need. If you would like use a liquid pH Up and Down hydroponic safe solutions, rather than baking soda and vinegar, I recommend the Bloom City Professional pH Up + Down Control Kit
I look forward to your comments and if have any questions please either use the comment box or contact us. Thanks, and you can definitely hydro grow.