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Professor_X

Do I really need an EC pen?

57 posts in this topic

Do I need an EC pen as necessity? What is it for? Can someone point me towards a guide pls? I'm about to start my first coco gro...

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I'd say yes mate , an e.c meter basically measures the level of feed in yer water by reading the electric conductivity in either parts per million or a decimal number , you'll need to ec both the feed you input and run off/waste growing in coco , this will help you determine how much feed yer plants are up taking and you can adjust accordingly.

as far as i'm aware ec pens require regular calibration much like a ph pen (you'll be wanting one of those too), i have a bluelab e.c truncheon and thats an idiot proof bit of kit just dip it in and it lights up on a scale from 0.2 to 3.6 depending on how strong yer feed is .

I'm sure a coco grower will be along shortly with a less garbled , more useful reply 

:yinyang:

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I would say You defiantly need one so you know what your feeding your base EC out of the tap etc will all play a part in how much nutrient to add. I’m not sure of any guides but I’m sure you’ll find it by searching. If your doing any sort of hydroponics then it’s a must in my eyes. 

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31 minutes ago, BilgePump said:

parts per million

Penny dropped, cheers mate

 

32 minutes ago, Auto gorilla said:

I would say You defiantly need one so you know what your feeding your base EC out of the tap etc will all play a part in how much nutrient to add. I’m not sure of any guides but I’m sure you’ll find it by searching. If your doing any sort of hydroponics then it’s a must in my eyes. 

Is the purpose mainly to know when to add feed and save on nutes?

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Posted (edited)

The beauty of an ec pen is that it will tell you the right number, instead of guessing from the nute makers instructions, which are geared to make you use more than you need. Whatever nutes you buy you will know exactly how much you are giving, regardless of the different strengths of nute types. The Blue Lab truncheon is fab and idiot-proof but  it won't tell you the purity of the water because it won't read a few ppm's. If you know the ec of your tap water it doesn't matter but a digital ec meter would be needed for that. The bluelab displays readings as a series of LED markers with the values beside them. It is a stirrer as well and completely waterproof. It doesn't require and can't be calibrated. Chuck it when it fails... maybe in five years use. You can check it occasionally with a calibrating solution. If it goes out of calibration, check the sensors are scrubbed clean.

Edited by catweazle1
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1 hour ago, catweazle1 said:

it won't tell you the purity of the water because it won't read a few ppm's

this is true , a bluelab pulse meter will do this though , bloody expensive unfortunately (lucky my mate has one)

:yinyang:

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12 minutes ago, BilgePump said:

this is true , a bluelab pulse meter will do this though , bloody expensive unfortunately (lucky my mate has one)

:yinyang:

I've got a HM meter, about 30 quid, which I've only used a few times for purity testing, because the Truncheon just blows it away for easy everyday use. Knowing what I know now,  I could have just looked online for my water board's water analysis to find the base carbonate levels.

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yeah , i've done that before (and again just now) , apparently mines 20mg/l of calcium , 50ppm or 4 clarke degrees

:yinyang:

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Its a really ,really useful tool and well worth 40 quid , but in terms of the question of "is it a necessity?" not really , it depends a little on your system but you can manage just fine without.  

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You can get buy without,  you can just calculate feed with mls per litre. It does help to tell you if you are over feeding though by giving you the option to test your runoff.

If you are going to get one i can recommend a blue lab truncheon, ive had mine years, bomb proof and no need to calibrate just clean it occasionally. 

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24 minutes ago, murran said:

You can get buy without,  you can just calculate feed with mls per litre. It does help to tell you if you are over feeding though by giving you the option to test your runoff.

If you are going to get one i can recommend a blue lab truncheon, ive had mine years, bomb proof and no need to calibrate just clean it occasionally. 

 

 

 

I was going to say I have had my blue lab truncheon for about 10 years, but when I think about it, its closer to 15 years.

 

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Yes a EC pen is really useful... I use the blue lab truncheon it has EC and ppm on it... Very reliable in my opinion... 

 

I have use the essentials EC pen before and that was decent as well

 

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You drastically reduce the chances of success without one.

 

A cheap and powerful tool to have. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Above is the ppm pen I brought

 

Here are charts that confuse me

 

 

 

How do I know which chart my pen is working to? nothing was said in the advert or manual to my pen.

Does it really make that much difference? As long as it's in range and you keep it there each feed?

 

Also I go of ml per liter written on the bottle of feed, currently in third week of flower using 1200ppm / ish.

I'm in coco, coco a&b half pk recommended, calmag in 8 liters of water.

Edited by Joolz
no ebay or amazon links thanks
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Posted (edited)

One thought: if the coco was scavenging calcium and magnesium to the extent of symptoms, how would you know without checking runoff ec against feed ec? Unless you wash and buffer the coco yourself you can't be confident without an ec pen.

Edited by catweazle1
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