The Ultimate Guide To The BlueLab pH Pen
Bluelab is the pinnacle of the pH meter mountain. They aim to manufacture products which competitors envy and customers look to when they need to tame unruly acidity. Have they managed it? Read on to find out if they've accomplished world-class status.
The Ultimate Guide To The BlueLab pH Pen
Pros of The BlueLab pH Pen
- Measurement accuracy
- Diverse product range
- Exceptional battery length
Cons of The BlueLab pH Pen
Why did we choose the bluelab?
There are loads of brands out there selling pH meters but a lot of them - honestly, they're crap. If they aren’t well made you aren’t going to get precise measurements, it’s as simple as that. Even tiny errors will have a negative effect on your plant’s growth. We’re all here for the highest yield, right? Oysoco write about products with great consumer reputation so we can provide you with the power to make the best possible hydroponics decisions.
Bluelab pH meters are used in universities and industry-leading scientific laboratories. You can be confident the build quality is to a high standard. If laboratory staff are using their equipment every day it has to be robust enough to withstand the wear-and-tear, even with careful usage.
Note: not a collectible toy. Much better off out of the box
What's the problem they're solving?
Hydroponics and testing your pH level doesn’t immediately spring to mind. However, it's one of the most important variables to consider if you want your money to go as far as it can.
Here’s an example. Painstakingly measuring precise concentrations of powdered or liquid nutrients and adding them to your reservoir doesn't guarantee continued health. In fact, there remains a high chance your plants could die if you haven’t monitored the pH. It’s counterintuitive, but we’ve explained nutrient lockout further in a previous article. Your plants function within strict biochemical limits and if the pH lies outside that species’ range, they can’t extract the nutrients from the nutrient solution effectively. Without the nutrients, they die. Imagine roaming the desert, the sun’s beating down and you come across the ocean. There’s so much water and you’re at the point where you could drink it all. Kneeling down you cup your hands, fill them, put your lips to the liquid and drink but the salt is overpowering and leaves the water worse than pointless. You can’t drink any of it. It’s a similar situation for plants in abnormal pH solution. The nutrients are there, if your plants had eyes they'd be able to see them and yet they’re so very far away. It's a self-perpetuating issue too. If the dissolved chemicals aren’t absorbed they build up in the reservoir, accelerating the pH alteration.
Without a pH meter, you run the risk of wasting time and money on building out your system, only for it to fail at the first hurdle.
There are products suitable for beginners through to serious growers. New to hydroponics? Get a hold of a pen - it’s sole function is to read and display the pH of the nutrient solution. Intermediate and advanced growers will buy more intricate kit in the form of portable combo meters which measure extra variables including conductivity and temperature. Owners of large-scale commercial outfits will purchase wall-mounted monitors with powerful data-logging capabilities and cloud connectivity. Fancy.
How's their solution to the problem unique?
What makes Bluelab unique amongst their competitors are the reliability of their products. If a company ensures a high-quality product they keep the business of people who’ve already bought their equipment and earn themselves the sort of reputation which brings regular new customers.
You can search the halls of Amazon for pH pens and find terrible models. Really just pathetic excuses, devices with the accuracy of a plucked arrow. The beauty of business is that sometimes you don’t need to differentiate yourself from the rest of the playing field other than crafting something which does the job it’s intended.
Do you have sickly, desperate plants? Sort out the nutrient solution pH and we guarantee you’ll get them well on their way to growing luscious crops again.
The Ins and Outs of The BlueLab pH Pen
Bluelab originates from New Zealand and has been selling for over thirty years. Because their products are a generally higher quality build than their counterparts this pushes the price up and can put less serious growers off purchasing.
New Zealand - where pH pens are carved from the very mountains themselves
The design of Bluelab equipment is in keeping with the clinical setting they market their products to but they do well to keep a stylish tone with the simple blue and white coloration. The LCD is clear and large enough to satisfy most eye sights, but if you’re looking for a detailed breakdown on one screen you may be disappointed. Bluelab keep their displays minimalistic, showing only the most important of information.
Working in hydroponics comes with certain hazards. One such hazard involves mixing water and your electrical equipment. It doesn’t take a genius to understand the damage this’ll cause your highly sophisticated apparatus. The good guys and gals of Bluelab, however, have been clever enough to create waterproof portable pH meters.
Here’s a tip. Eventually, your equipment is going to fail regardless of how well you look after it. As time goes on the accuracy will deteriorate and you’ll get unhelpful measurements. With Bluelab pH monitors, you can actually replace the probe itself instead of buying a whole device.
The purpose of this article is to review the Bluelab pH Pen. Let’s not beat around the bush here, are they expensive? Yes. Is the build quality high? Yes. Can you get survive using a cheaper brand’s product? No.
These aren’t the most sophisticated pieces of equipment you’re ever going to use but they have to do their job really well. When you only have a scale of 1-14, even an error of 0.5pH is pointless if it’s the difference between producing a great yield and malnutrition from nutrient lockout.
These pens are designed for people who grow fast and die young. I don’t know, maybe you have three homes each with a balcony overlooking your vast hydroponic empires. It can take a long time to manage and measure every variable needed for a successful yield and you want a meter suitable for speedy recording. Perhaps you haven’t been to the gym for a while and you’re in need of a pocket-sized, portable pH meter.
If you fall into one of the above categories or somewhere in between, you’ve searched the right search and landed on the correct page.
Just like Brad Pitt, you want to know what’s in the box. Makes sense. Mercifully you get your pH meter - that’s important. It also comes with AAA batteries, so you can use your pen straight away.
There’s calibration fluid to ensure your pen is going to give you correct initial results. You will have to buy your own storage fluid though, however. This is usually 4.01pH and 7.0pH and because you know the storage solution pH you can confidently gauge whether your pen is lying to you or not. The cheeky rascal.
Our understanding is there’s nothing explicitly stating you can’t use competitor’s storage fluid to maintain your pen but what’s the point in risking it? If they use different chemicals the chance of damaging the pH detection component. Remember, if you don’t use storage fluid and you let it dry out it’s as good as ruined.
SETUP AND CALIBRATION
Check out this official video by Bluelab on how to setup and calibrate you pH pen. It's produced like every great instructional video should be, with elevator music and calming voices to soothe you on your way to pH supremacy.
For instance, they describe how, when you first get your pen, you should soak it for 24 hours in potassium chloride solution to ensure the wick is completely saturated. Continue to do every 30 days for improved speed of functioning and make sure you don't use distilled water as it will disrupt the chemical-electrical components.