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Bluelab - Know Your Measures

Bluelab - Know Your Measures

Hytec Horticulture |

When you can test something easily and accurately, you can manage it.  /more specifically, you can get the most from water-based plant growing systems.

And that’s Bluelab’s world. This product range of pH meters, pH controllers, nutrient meters and controllers measure parameters such as pH, electronic conductivity and temperature. They’re used worldwide in applications from home-based hydroponics through to the most demanding of commercial food-growing environments.

Bluelab are a young company, so they’re innovators by nature. More crucially, they’re people focused so their products are people-friendly. Bluelab place great emphasis on simple design and straight forward functionality. They’re sticklers for accuracy, reliability and ease of use. They use the toughest materials and advanced, robust technologies.

Importantly too, it’s not just about products.  Open information-sharing advice, reliable service, individual responsiveness – these matter a great deal.  They’re a big part of the unique Bluelab promise.

 
 
 

Bluelab Pro Controller Connect

The simple solution for automatic feeding systems - perfect for hobby and large scale growers alike.

  • Monitor, data log and remotely control your system in real time (pH, conductivity & temperature)
  • Respond fast to the needs of your plants
  • Troubleshoot and optimize for crop success
  • Integrated automation for more profitable returns
  • Compatible with Bluelab® Peridoser & Bluelab® Solenoid dosing systems

 

Features

  • Simple, friendly user connect interface
  • Optional control functions - you can control one, two or all three parameters (pH, conductivity and temperature)
  • Individual High and Low alarm functions
  • Large easy to read displays with adjustable display brightness
  • All probes are removable / replaceable
  • Calibration “Quality” indicator for pH probe
  • Selectable values for conductivity and temperature
  • Selectable internal lockouts. E.g. Temperature high alarm can prevent nutrient dosing
  • Provision for External lockouts (both Normally Closed and Normally Open contact) E.g. a water flow switch can prevent all dosing action
  • Automatic safety lockouts built in – E.g. Prevents dosing of pH and nutrient solution if a fault is detected

Optimise crop performance by providing consistent and accurate management of the feed system by using the Bluelab Pro Controller to take care of your dosing kit. It’s the easy way to control your system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 12 months a year, so you can focus on tending to your plants from within or outside the garden.

Simply program the controller with the conductivity and pH values that you want your system to run at and tailor the dosing intervals to suit the size of your pumps, mixing tank and dilution of your stock solution. You can also choose to control either the nutrient solution temperature or the air temperature.
 
Compatible with the reliable Bluelab Triple Peridoser or Solenoid pumps, built tough and strong for ongoing performance. The Peridoser manages the dosing of two-part nutrient solution (A & B) and either pH up or down. The Bluelab Pro Controller will then take care of the hard work for you and connect you through the connect software and Bluelab Mobile site.
 
Has the same functions as the Dosetronic® (which has proven itself in the hydroponic market worldwide for over 20 years and has earned itself an international reputation for excellence) but with added features.

It is one of the most simple, robust and reliable controllers in its class!

MASTERING PH WITH BLUELAB

When the pH is slightly acidic most nutrient elements are available to a plant.

Slightly acidic range:
Hydroponic solutions: between 5.5 pH and 6.3 pH
Soil crops: between 6.2 pH and 7.2 pH

Individual crops have their own preference for pH values. That is, they do best at certain pH levels.

Whatever food solution you use, keep your pH in a fairly tight band. Consistent balance gives consistent growth.

It’s not just the nutrient mix... it’s the right pH that delivers the food. 

Accurate pH readings in solutions with a ppm (500 Scale) of less than 250ppm [0.5 EC] can be challenging to obtain, and require the pH probe to be extremely well maintained and in excellent condition. For this reason Bluelab recommend that for general applications the ppm of the solution being measured should be greater than 250ppm (500 scale). If pH measurements in solutions of less than 250ppm are required then Bluelab recommend that guild lines for measuring pH in low ionic strength solutions be followed.

 

Choosing a Bluelab pH meter


Bluelab has a range of products suitable for measuring the pH in nutrient solution or soils. Have a look at the range by application(intended use) or view the pH pen, soil pH pen, pH meter and soil pH meter to see which might be best for you.

If you'd like an instrument that measures pH, ppm/EC (conductivity) and temperature, try the Combo Meter, Guardian Monitor or a Dosetronic Controller.

 

What is conductivity?

Conductivity (measured in ppm, EC, TDS, CF) is the total soluble salts contained within a liquid solution.

Pure water does not contain salts, so it has a conductivity measurement of zero. By adding soluble elements to the water, electricity is able to move through the solution giving it a conductivity rating.
 
So why is it important?

Using hydroponics as an example, different crops grow well at different levels of nutrient strength (Electrical Conductivity - EC). Controlling this nutrient strength is all important in providing the best conditions for your crop. Without proper measurement your crop could fail from root burn brought on by too high a nutrient level, or death by natural causes from not receiving the vital elements they need to grow.

Different crops grow well at different levels of nutrient strength. It is important to control the nutrient strength to provide the conditions in the root zone which provide maximum uptake of balanced nutrition into the plant, while minimising stress.

For each crop there is a range in which the nutrient strength is optimal, providing enough nutrient for growth, but not so strong that the concentration of salts in the plant gets too high. Electronic meters are available to measure the conductivity of the nutrient solution.

Hydroponic food

Wherever you are in the world, some soils lack certain elements. Or the elements may be present but not in forms that will allow the plant to absorb them. So, left to their own, plants will display deficiencies. This is one of the ways in which hydroponics comes into its own. It’s part of the reason why plants grown hydroponically show rapid, strong, healthy growth. With hydroponics, you can make sure plant nutrients are always available in the right proportions. You manage and measure the nutrients you supply to your plants.

For a start, of course, you’re using a soil-less growing medium. When you can add micro- and macro-nutrients as liquid as needed throughout crop life, you can increase your control over the crop. You can easily adjust nutrient levels, compensating for any environmental factors you meet.

 

So how do you manage food strength?

It doesn’t have to be difficult. Sure, there are all sorts of meters, monitors, feed charts, calibration fluids, etc. Don’t let them scare you. Plants can stand a fair amount of stress and still produce well. But if you’re prepared to learn what’s necessary, you’ll get consistently good results. Learn first rather than trying to fix afterwards.

While we’re talking about plant care, let’s mention insects and diseases. It’s best to stop them getting a foothold. Be proactive. The number one thing is to keep the grow area and all your equipment clean, and thoroughly clean between crops. These are the best ways to avoid common plant diseases. It’s simple: healthy plants are better at avoiding disease than stressed-out ones.