To ensure your plants grow to their full potential, and produce phenomenal yields, you need to accurately measure the conductivity of your hydroponic systems nutrient solution. That’s why it’s important to choose the best EC meter for hydroponics, so you can be sure your plants are always getting the right amount of nutrients.
If you’re in a rush and you just want to know our top pick we recommend the Apera Instruments PC60-Z Premium Smart pH/EC Meter (Buy Online).
Table of Contents
- Best EC Meter for Hydroponics
- Portable Conductivity Meters
- Realtime / In-Line Conductivity Meters
- How To Use a Conductivity Meter
Best EC Meter for Hydroponics
|PC60-Z Bluetooth Smart EC Meter|
|Bluelab Pen BLU2221 EC Meter|
|Bluelab BLU27100 Guardian Monitor EC/TDS/pH Temperature Meter|
|Hanna Instruments HI 9813-6N Waterproof pH/EC/TDS Temperature Meter|
Portable Conductivity Meters
The Apera Instruments PC60 Premium 5-in-1 pH/EC Meter (Buy Online) is a full-featured conductivity meter that will allow you to measure all of your hydroponic system’s water parameters. The Apera PC60 is capable of measuring pH, EC, TDS, Salinity, and Temperature. In addition, it comes with all the calibration solutions you’ll need to ensure that the meter always produces accurate measurements.
Apera Instruments PC60 can measure pH with an accuracy of 0.01 pH within a range of -2.00 to 16.00 pH. In addition, it can measure conductance from 0 to 20.00mS/cm, and it can detect total dissolved solids in a solution that range from 0 ppm to 10.00 ppt.
The Apera Instruments PC60 is also built to last since it uses a replaceable Brush-Resistant Platinum Black sensor that always provides reliable measurements even in extremely saturated nutrient solutions. The meter is also backed by a full 2-Year Warranty, and the probe is covered by a 6-Month accuracy guarantee.
The Apera PC60 will also run for up to 100 hours on 4 AAA batteries, and it has an easy to read backlit display, so you can quickly measure the pH/EC/TDS of your hydroponic system’s nutrient solution. Another great thing about the Apera PC60 is that it also comes in a rugged carrying case that will keep the meter and all of its accessories organized and well protected.
The Bluelab EC Pen (Buy Online) is a very accurate and easy to use EC meter that’s perfect for keeping track of nutrient levels in a small scale hydroponic system. The Bluelab Conductivity Pen is capable of measuring either EC or ppm, and it also has the ability to measure the temperature of your nutrient solution.
The Bluelab EC Pen can measure conductivity within a range of 0.0 to 10.0 EC with a resolution of 0.1 EC. It can also measure dissolved solids in a range of 0-7000 ppm (700 ppm/TDS), 0-5000 ppm (500ppm TDS) in 10 ppm increments.
In addition, the Bluelab Conductivity Pen can measure temperature from 0° to 50° C / 32° to 122° F, with an accuracy of 1° C / 2° F. The meter is also ready to go right out of the box since it is fully calibrated at the factory.
The Bluelab EC pen also has a backlit LCD display that makes it easy to read the EC/TDS and temperature of your hydroponic nutrient solution. The meter runs on a single AAA battery, and it also has an Auto-Off function to help preserve the battery. In addition, this EC meter is covered by a full 1-Year manufacturer warranty.
The Apera PC60-Z Bluetooth Multi-Parameter Smart Tester (Buy Online) has all the same great features as the regular PC60 EC Meter with the inclusion of Bluetooth support, so you can track your hydroponic systems nutrient levels using an application that runs on either an iPhone or Android Smartphone.
This meter has the same level of accuracy as the Apera PC60, and you can read the specs here for more details. Where this model really stands out is with its added Bluetooth connectivity and Smartphone application.
This will allow you to quickly and easily connect this meter to your iPhone or Android device and communicate with the EC Meter using the ZenTest mobile App. The mobile app is capable of recording long-term and short-term trends in EC/TDS, pH, Salinity, and temperature, so you can accurately track changes over time in your hydroponic system.
All the data that you capture on the app can also be backed up to a Cloud-based Data Management System. This will ensure that the data is never lost, and you’ll be able to access the data from multiple devices in any location. You also have the ability to add extra meta-data to your measurements like the location, sample name, pictures, and memos.
Overall, this is the best EC meter for hydroponics if you have multiple systems to maintain that are in different stages of growth and maturation. The Smartphone app makes it easier to keep track of each system individually, and the log data will make it easier to diagnose any nutrient deficiencies with more certainty.
The Bluelab Commercial Truncheon Nutrient Meter (Buy Online) is the perfect EC meter for large hydroponic systems. This meter is specially made for crops that require a higher than normal EC to grow in their vegetative stage, or for plants like beans, brassicas, and nightshades that need high nutrient concentration in all growth phases.
The Bluelab Commercial Truncheon Nutrient Meter makes it simple to acquire accurate conductivity measurements in large commercial scale hydroponic systems. The probe in this meter will also last longer than most consumer EC meters. That’s because it can tolerate high nutrient concentrations without losing accuracy, or needing constant maintenance and calibration.
The best thing about the Bluelab Commercial Truncheon Nutrient Meter is that there are no buttons to press or screens to read. The meter turns itself on automatically when the probe is dipped into a conductive solution, and all you need to do is take a glance at the flashing LED’s to quickly get an EC measurement of your nutrient solution.
Overall, the Bluelab Truncheon Meter is perfect for someone who needs to test large commercial hydroponic systems that have a higher than average concentration of nutrients in solution.
In most cases, a meter like this wouldn’t be necessary for a small scale low EC hydroponic system, but if you’ve run into problems with regular EC meters in the past then the Bluelab Truncheon Meter will definitely provide more reliable and accurate measurements in nutrient-rich solutions.
Realtime / In-Line Conductivity Meters
The Bluelab BLU27100 Guardian Monitor (Buy Online) makes it easy to keep track of the EC, pH, and temperature of your hydroponic system 24 hours a day. This system includes 1 pH probe and 1 conductivity/temperature probe. It also comes with a universal AC Power Adapter, so it will work on any countries electrical system.
The probes that come with the Bluelab Guardian Monitor also have a 6-foot long cable, so you can easily mount the Monitor on a wall, or any other convenient location.
The realtime tracking ability of the Bluelab Guardian Monitor makes it easy to keep an eye on all of your plant’s critical growth parameters every time you check on your hydroponic system. That means you won’t ever forget to take an EC measurement like what often happens with a handheld EC meter.
The display on the Bluelab Guardian Monitor is also very easy to read thanks to the bright green plant safe LED display. The monitor also has programmable alarms that will flash a light on the unit if the parameters of your system deviate from your desired levels. You can set these alarms to trigger if the EC, Temperature, or pH rises or falls beyond a certain level.
The Bluelab Guardian Monitor is definitely the best EC meter for a hydroponic system if you’re looking for accurate realtime EC measurements. It also can help improve the health of your plants since you’ll know immediately when to add more nutrients to maximize your plant’s growth and yield potential.
The Hanna pH/EC/TDS Temperature Meter (Buy Online) is one of the most popular EC meters used in small commercial greenhouse operations. This meter comes with a single probe that measures pH, EC, TDS, and temperature. You also get a starter set of calibration solution, cleaning solution, and a 9-Volt battery included in the package. In addition, the probe itself is attached to a 1 m/ 3.3 ft cable
The probe on the Hanna Instruments HI 9813-6N can measure conductivity that ranges from 0.00 to 4.00 mS/cm with a resolution of 0.01 mS/cm, and it can measure TDS that ranges from 0 to 1999 ppm with a resolution o 1 ppm.
The Hanna Instruments HI 9813-6N can also measure the pH in a nutrient solution that ranges from 0.0 pH to 14.0 pH with a resolution of 0.1 pH. In addition, it can measure temperatures that range from 0.0 to 60.0 degrees Celsius.