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Hanna Checker 1
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1 4166 Thu March 24, 2005
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers $26.00 9.0

Description: An inexpensive digital pH meter that fits in a shirt pocket. Provides consisten results, once it has been calibrated.

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Registered: January 2005
Posts: 89
Review Date: Thu March 24, 2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $26.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Consistent (once it\\\'s calibrated), simple, quick, CHEAP
Cons: Sometimes takes 30 seconds or so to settle, freaks out near CF ballasts

I\'ve had this pH meter for about four months. It is easy to use, jut turn it on, dip the tip in the stuff to be tested, wait for it to stop changing, and read the digital display. If you\'re like me and have problems differentiating the subtle colors of a pH test kit, a meter is the only way to go.

If you get this (or any other electronic pH tester) you MUST get the standard buffer solutions for calibration (they don\'t always tell you that). My Checker came with three little capsules to make a small amount of buffer for initial calibration. The good thing is that the buffers are only $5 for a half-liter bottle, and it only takes a couple of milliliters to calibrate. You need two buffers - pH7.0 to set the \"neutral\" point, and either pH4.01 or pH10.01 to set the other, depending on which way you usually test. Specifically, for soft, acid waters (S. American fishes, for example) get the pH4, and for more alkaline waters (African cichlids or marine tanks, for example) get the pH10. I calibrated the Checker when it arrived, but didn\'t get the calibration solutions at first. When I checked the pen after using it for six weeks or so it was off by more than a half point - the tank that I thought was at 6.4 was actually at 5.7! I check the calibration about once a week now, and it\'s never off by more than 0.04 (usually less).

The probe is a relatively inexpensive glass-bulb type, and does not have to be stored wet, though some consider it better to store it in a pH4 buffer solution to keep the bacteria at bay. I don\'t consider bacteria to be a problem for our uses, so I just use the cap that came with the Checker and don\'t worry about wet or dry.

Compact fluorescent ballasts freak out the Checker (and, apparently, most other pH meters). The electronic field put out by the ballast interferes with the circuitry in the meter, so you have to turn off your light fixture to test. Standard fluorescent fixtures don\'t affect it; I don\'t know about metal halides. On my Checker, if the CF fixture is on the meter tests the water at about pH2.3 - and I don\'t see any fish dissolving!

Summary: The Hanna Checker 1 is a very inexpensive, apparently accurate, simple-to-use pH meter. It gives consistent results, once it is calibrated to a standard buffer solution.

Eschew misoneism.
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