Besides nutrients, water is one of the most important components in cannabis growing. In hydroponic gardening, it is the main growing media. Whether growing hydroponically or in soil, all the crops need water anyway. Water comes from many different sources and not all of it is clean and healthy.
Just like humans and animals, even your weed crops do not just need water but they need CLEAN water always. This may not always be the case considering that some of the water sources contain impurities which are harmful to the crops. To check the quality and purity of the water, you need to test it with a TDS meter.
TDS stands for total dissolved solids and it is a portable simple tool that measures the purity of the water in parts per million (ppm). Besides measuring the purity of the water, TDS testers also test for EC (Electrical Conductivity) and pH levels in the water. Some of the TDS testers also come with in-built temperature testers that check if the temperatures of the waters are conducive for the growing crops.
Below is a look at some of the best TDS testers in the market that all come with modern features and a buying guide to take you through what you need to know before buying your water testing meter.
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top Picks of the Best TDS testers
- 2 TDS Tester Buying Guide
- 3 Wrapping it up
Our Top Picks of the Best TDS testers
HM Digital TDS-EZ Water Quality TDS Tester
This is one of the most efficient TDS testers in the market today. The meter measures the water quality with great accuracy in the range of 0 to 99 ppm. The reason for the efficiency and great accuracy is the advanced microprocessor technology that the meter uses to give out the readouts. Its accuracy level is +/-3%.
The device also comes with ease of use as it saves all its measurements giving enough time to read and record every measurement. It also comes with a hold function to make reading and recording easier. The TDS meter uses two LR44 batteries that come with a battery life of 1000 hours. It also comes with an auto-off function that shuts the meter off automatically if it stays unused for over ten minutes.
This function also helps to conserve the battery power and life. The meter boasts of an adequate LCD display which shows the levels of the water purity. A translucent strong plastic casing protects the LCD display and other essential parts of the meter from damage. The affordable meter is a great asset to have for any hydroponic grower that cares about the welfare of their crops.
Generic Digital LCD TDS Meter Waterfilter Tester
This is efficient water meter that tests the purity of water with accurate results. The versatile tester is ideal for hydroponics, aquariums, water filters, tap water, spas, pools and many more. The device is small and highly portable. It comes with built-in digital thermometer that measures the water temperatures and a hold function that makes it easier to use.
For ease of portability, the meter comes with a carrying case. Another notable feature is the auto-off function that turns the meter off automatically in case there is no activity after ten minutes. The measurements from the meter range from 0 to 999 ppm with a resolution of 1 ppm. If the measurements are from 1,000 to 9,990 ppm, the resolution is 10 ppm.
All the measurement come with factory calibrations. The accuracy of the tester is +/-2%. The meter uses two, 1.5V button cell batteries. Besides the carrying leather case, other accessories in the package are the TDS meter, two, 1.5V button cell batteries and a user annual. The unit measures 155 by 28 by 15 millimetres and weighs 68 grams. The user manual is easy and clear to read even for first time users.
HoneForest Water Quality Tester
HoneForest is one of the most flexible TDS testers in the market. The diversity of the tester beats many others and it comes with great efficiency and accuracy. The meter measures water ranges from 0 to 9,999 ppm for hydroponics, aquariums, tap water, and RO or reverse osmosis.
One of the most notable features of the meter is its automatic temperature adjustment function. This feature helps to ensure that the analysis of EC, water temperature and TDS are all very accurate. It also comes with an auto-off function that shuts the meter automatically if there is no activity for over two minutes.
The affordable easy to use meter also comes with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty. Professionals use the meter in laboratories but it is also easy enough to use at home. Other features that make the meter stand out are the LCD display that comes with a back light and a protective cover case that comes with a convenient to use belt clip. This makes the meter easily portable and hands free allowing you to do other things as well.
Lxuemlu TDS Meter Digital Water Tester
Lxuemlu TDS meter digital water tester is a highly rated device that tests the purity of your water with great accuracy and efficiency. It is a simple to use device that only requires the push of a button to start testing the water. It comes with a LCD screen that displays all the results in parts per million.
The screen makes it easy to read and record the results. The meter which goes only an inch into the water is compact, waterproof and does not need too much maintenance. To protect it further, the meter comes with a rugged carrying case with a convenient belt clip. The belt clip makes it possible to carry the meter everywhere and use your hands for something else.
The device also comes with an auto-off function that shuts the meter off automatically if there is no activity after two minutes. A hold function that saves measurements is also another notable feature that makes reading and recording all the details easy. The meter measures water ranges from 0 to 9990 ppm.
There is resolution increment of 1 ppm if the measurements are from 0 to 999 ppm and a 10 ppm resolution increment if the measurements are from 0 to 9990 ppm. The full package comes with the TDS meter, a user manual and customer care service details.
Health Metric Professional TDS Ppm Conductivity Meter
The Health Metric Professional TDS ppm conductivity meter makes it very easy and convenient to test the purity of water without sacrificing any energy. It is especially good for cannabis growers that know the importance of testing EC levels in the water especially those that grow their crops hydroponically. The 3-in-1 meter has a great accuracy of +/-2% and measures ranges from 0 to 5000 ppm.
The device also reads the water temperatures in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. The temperatures ranges are 32 to 176 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.1 to 80 degrees Celsius. The device uses a single lithium 2032 battery that comes with a capacity of 200mah. The battery has a life of 400 hours.
The factory calibrated meter comes with a user manual for anyone experiencing trouble using it. This is so especially when it comes to re-calibrations. The meter is compact, small and comes with an ergonomic design that makes it highly portable and easy to use. The meter also features a digital LCD display where you can read all the recordings of the measurements with ease.
TDS Tester Buying Guide
Considering that there are dozens of TDS testers in the market today, choosing the right one to use for your hydroponic cannabis crops is not a very easy thing. The following guideline takes you through the things to look for when you go TDS tester hunting from the stores or from amazon.
Majority of the TDS testers do not measure only the water purity. Some also come with features that allow them to measure the water temperature, the water pH levels, and the EC levels. If you want to keep up with all the details of the water you are using for your crops, then look for a meter that comes with these features. For majority of hydroponic cannabis growers, a tds meter that also measures the EC levels is enough to start you going.
One of the things that limit many people from buying the products they want is cost. Luckily for you, majority of the TDS meters are very affordable. Some however come with high prices and before you buy them, make sure that they have reliable and effective qualities worth their cost. Do not go for too cheap in order to save money only to buy a product that you will keep replacing year after year. A good TDS tester will last you a long time making it worth the money you pay for it.
Buying a device that will give you accurate measurements goes without saying. Luckily for you, majority of the TDS meters in the market today and especially the ones reviewed above all come with modern technologies that make them give accurate measurements that stand within the range of 2%.
Some of the meters even come with further calibration abilities to make them even more accurate. Calibrating the meters should however be a job for the professionals or people that know how to calibrate.
Almost all the modern TDS testers are highly portable so this should not worry you much. You should however go for devices that also come with belts with clips to make them hands free allowing you to do other things in between measuring the water purity.
Look for a TDS meter that you are sure will last you a lifetime. Do not go for unreliable devices that will only work for a short while and then die on you. The meter you buy should have a sturdy construction, come with a secure housing cover to protect the display and other delicate electric parts.
If possible, buy a meter that is waterproof too even though you only submerge about an inch of the device into the water.
It is very important to read reviews of the testers before choosing the one you want. Compare the reviews and go with the product that has the best reviews.
TDS meters come in different brand names. To be on the safe side, buy products from the most popular brands to avoid any disappointments. This is because the likelihood of top brand products going through testing to prove their worth is more than the less known brands going through the same. Avoid imitations or less known brands.
Wrapping it up
Though growing your hydroponic cannabis crops may seem like an easy thing to do, water contains many contaminants that would harm your crops. If you want the crops growing healthy with quality and high yields, you need to ensure that the water purity is at its best. You can only do that by testing the water from time to time.
With the buying guide and reviews on some of the best TDS testers in the market, it will be easier or you to purchase your favourite one with confidence. The products come with great accuracy, they are easily portable and they have sturdy constructions that will ensure you use them for long. They also affordable and worth the money they cost.