PH pen what do you use? good/bad and recommended


If you can afford it Id buy. But was just thinking ive been buying the bluelab pens on amazon/ebay for about the same as the replacement probe cost ($60-$80)??
Im lucky and mix with a different set than I grow with and can see a problem meter very fast and normally not harm the plants
Ive had problems with some bluelab pens but have never heard anything bad about the Apera, I’ll probably get an Apera soon


Great info from all, thank you…started looking at this Testo 206 ph1 maintenance free if there is such a thing, i know about the no link option so i guess if you search it and tell me what you think, please.
The multi test has got me interested though with the PPM test included, so many choices = confusion.

thanks again all


Thanks heaps for the info, went to the link and the review had only one star, but then noticed it was from a brewer who wanted a higher temp meter. Is this what you use? does this one do the PPM and is this function necessary?

Thanks again


The Apera Instruments PC60 Premium 5-in-1 looks very interesting @basementstealth, any thoughts on this model @garrigan65 @MAXHeadRoom @raustin @dbrn32 @Missiles @BCPAgrower @BigJon @neckNflu @MT3 would love all your feedback on this .

cheers all


Since I am Ph focused on brewing, ppm/ec was never on my radar screen. My Hach ph meter serves only as a ph device and not dual purpose. In brewing the mash ph is pretty specific so it was worth investing in a $125 ph meter. I really don’t have the experience to say how critical it is to split hairs in ph for growing, but my meter reads for example 6.35 which is real accurate to the .01 or hundredth. Would a reading of 6.4 be ok…that’s the question.
Again, I’m not sure how accurate dual purpose instruments are, but for the sake of argument, my guess is single purpose meters will be of higher reliability.


Yes i got my hopes up about the 5 in 1, but your comment makes a lot of sense, 5 in 1 means more things can go wrong, am now looking at what @garrigan65 recommended the Hanna GrowChek HI98128.Now what to do about the PPM. Then there is the Hanna HI98129 which does the ppm also


Of course exactly how accurate do we need to be for growing? I would look for feedback from members who may have this meter to give better advice.

It would be easy to overspend for “too” much of a meter, but if you aren’t careful, you don’t want to end up with junk to replace in a short time.


Yes i agree, i guess its all about balance, dont want too many colorful pens in the drawer doing nothing. Also what adds to the price is the storage solutions and the cleaning solutions any cheaper alternatives that do the same thing? I got one of these Hanna Instruments pH Tester HI98107 pHep to keep me going for $40.00 Australian, thought it was a bargain, only two at this price now one.


Too the tenth is what many measure to, and incidentally how most if not all references to ph are made with regard to mj

FWIW Apera ph20 also here and I love it.


Good info…pretty much what I figured since all I have seen in references is to the tenth. Getting accurate meters to the hundredth is way more expensive and seems unnecessary if all we need is tenth accuracy.


@Hungrybud check this out. hope it helps
with 600 PPm for week 1
900 PPm for week 2
1200 PPm for week 3
if you go over 3 weeks veg
1500 PPM week 4
1800 PPM week 5 and hold there
at bloom I flush and go to 1000 PPM week1
1300 ppm week 2
1600 PPM week 3
1900 PPM week 4
flush weekly…VERY IMPOTANT
and hold there until last 2 weeks and ad your bloom enhancers.


Thanks heaps for that valuable info @garrigan65 , was wondering if you knew anything about this model PH the Hanna HI98129 which does the ppm also.

thanks again for the info


This will answer all your questions my friend

The Hanna Instruments HI 98129 is a multi-parameter tester that measures pH, electro-conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), and temperature, and features automatic temperature compensation (ATC), an LCD screen, automatic shut-off, and a waterproof body that floats in water. The tester automatically compensates for the effects of temperature when taking pH and EC/TDS readings, so additional measurements and manual temperature entries are unnecessary.

The HI 98129 meter has a replaceable pH electrode with an extendable cloth junction, and an EC/TDS graphite electrode that is resistant to salts and other corrosives. These features extend the life of the meter by allowing for replacement of the electrodes. Calibration is automatic at one or two points, with two sets of memorized buffer values (pH 4.01/7.01/10.01 or 4.01/6.86/9.18). The EC/TDS conversion factor and temperature compensation coefficient (&Beta) is user-selectable.

The tester functions in temperatures of 0.0 to 60.0 degrees C/32.0 to 140.0 degrees F (+ or - 0.5 degrees C/1 degree F), and has a range of pH 0.0 to 14.0 (+ or - 0.05 pH). EC range is 0 to 3999 uS/cm, TDS range is 0 to 2000 ppm (+ or - 2% F.S), with respective resolutions 1 uS/cm and 1 ppm. At 3.5 ounces and 8.3 x 2.7 x 1.3 inches (H x W x D), the HI 98129 is sized for taking measurements in the field. (H is height, the vertical distance from lowest to highest point; W is width, the horizontal distance from left to right; D is depth, the horizontal distance from front to back.)

pH testers measure the acidity or alkalinity of a substance and are commonly used by researchers, manufacturers, and hobbyists.

Hanna Instruments manufactures analytical instrumentation and supplies, including pH meters, electrodes, chemical reagents, and buffer solutions. The company, founded in 1978 and headquartered in Woonsocket, RI, meets International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 standards.


FWIW @Hungrybud, Hanna is a very well respected meter. Looks like the HI 98129 is an awesome unit - of course that comes with a price tag equal to the higher quality of the unit.

If you want to go with 2 meters, I bought the Bluelab PPM/EC meter and really like it. Then the Apera 20 looks like a good unit for ph, then you’d come in right around $100 for both.

Good luck with your selection!


sorry for the misunderstanding @garrigan65 i thought you might have had contact/use with one of the Hanna combo Hi98129 or know someone who has, i like personal reviews with direct experience, i never trust what the manufacturers say, as they will not negative there own product, same with anything i guess.
Thats why this site is amazing kind people giving up experience so others dont make the same mistakes, very generous forum.


Yes @MT3 have purchased one, the Hanna Instruments pH Tester HI98107 pHep it was only $40.00 Australian = around $29.00 American which i have mentioned before but thought that it was such a good deal i would mention it again :wink: @garrigan65 please check it out tell me what you think, so i got this one for a backup as you never know when one will fail, Murphys law and all.
So i am now in the Market for the main PH pen thats why all the questions sorry for so many.
The Apera looks good and a lot of positives of same from this forum @Slackoff , plus it comes in a kit with everything where as most of the others you have to buy the cleaner and storage solution seperate making it even more expensive :frowning:


Do you need to buy something like crystal clear for flushing or can you just use distilled water? also your opinion please on the organic sensi pro products, eg rhino k aloevate and marine ca mg +

thanks in advance


Some flush with just ph’d water. Something like 3x the volume of the container as I recall.

I’m using florakleen, as suggested by others and so far so good. Simple and not tons of water everywhere. I’m using Fox Farms nutes and intended to get the FF Sledgehammer. Amazon was out of stock on size I wanted so I went this route. No complaints.

Keep in mind I am on my first late season grow, so take anything I say with a grain of salt :shushing_face:


I have cheaper apera sorry.


Sorry for all the questions on PH meters, starting to over think things a tad, what do you think about this meter @MT3 @garrigan65 @basementstealth @boardsbird @neckNflu @MAXHeadRoom @dbrn32 the word maintenance free is very attractive