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Apera Vs. Blue Labs pH//EC//PPM Pen meters

Which one do YOU prefer?

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Rev. Green Genes

Time is an Illusion. Lunchtime doubly So.
AFN Gladiator
Dec 20, 2016
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Alien V. Triangle, Double Grape
The Apera set cost is comparable to Blue Labs, each set was around $150 full price. I am not paid, and I did not receive these for free.

Unboxing Blue Labs growers toolbox and a comparison with Apera meters.

Overview of Apera vs BL

Close up of each pen


Blue Labs Wall Chart


At unboxing the Apera meter was great, better packaged and usable after a soak in pH 7 water. Calibration was easy with provided tubes that the held tightly to the meter, and stayed upright on their own, and are reusable and refillable. The Apera comes in wonderful foam packed hard cases as well. Both meters have a compression fitting to keep water in the caps at all times. The caps are clear, and unless you keep them in the hard box, algea will grow in the caps. The Apera has little instructions or information with it and no cleaning equipment.

Blue Labs

The Blue Labs pens were in a single cardboard box, and had limited use calibration packets. The meter cap has a rounded hole that the bulb fits into, and store it with solution in that hole. Although it does have a tether cord so as not to lose the cap. It seems less foolproof than the Apera design to me. The BL pens however have a large ring at the top for hanging in the grow room, and the caps are not clear like the Apera. The calibration solution is not as easy to use, because you have to support the pen, it could easily fall over and be damaged. The BL meters come with two probe cleaning devices, and solutions. BL also includes a lot of documentation and useful information.

Overall Review and impressions:

As expected the storage aspects of the BL system are lacking. The cap is not water tight, so it will require a few drops of storage solution every time you use it. All the solutions however, come in onetime use packets. I will have to buy some droppers and bottles to keep the stuff in, because the cups that came in the package do not have lids. That is a major usability factor for Apera. But the BL pH pen did calibrate well, and correctly got the measurement of my water at 7.4 even with a wide swing in temperature. It performed well in the hydro reservoir as well. I am confident that either is accurate. In active use going from one to another reservoir the Apera was quicker to lock on, and the BL meter takes it's time, and occasionally throws an error between tanks and needs to reset itself.

The BL EC meter did not require calibration, although there are solutions to do so in the box. The EC meter also does not require wet storage like the pH pen. There is no real world difference between the meters except that the BL meter will hang on a wall hook, and the Apera has a water filled cap. Both are very accurate, have lighted displays, and can show EC as well as PPM (two calculations of PPM are possible)

I expect that the Apera pH might last longer (if I hadn't dropped it) because of the wet storage technology. It is hard to say which one will outlast. I can not really tell much change between the two EC meters. Overall I give the advantage to Apera, but you would not be disappointed in either.

If I had to do it all over again I would go with the BL EC meter, and the Apera pH meter. I think that the more often I use the BL however, the more accurate it will be. Keeping it clean will be a must. With the Apera water filled cap I found myself getting lazy, and not rinsing the meter after every use, leading to algea and bacterial growth in the cap.This would probably kill the sensor over time. So the BL will force me to be more careful.

Manufacturers websites:



Adios People. AutoWonders Has Left the Building.
Jul 14, 2014
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I have the Apera PH60 and like it, but it's still within a year since purchased. My Bluelab tester got wonky, so I bought the Apera. I find that most of my ph meters start drifting after a while.

arty zan

Oat willie
Sep 1, 2014
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I have the Blue Lab truncheon and it is a solid workhorse. it is waterproof and doubles as a great stirring tool. It shows EC, CF, 500 ppm scale & 700 ppm scale.
It is a solid build and I have never had a problem with it.
The Blue Lab truncheon works on the ppm 700 scale which is the scale that is generally used in Europe.
I have just received a Hanna meter which does PH, EC and Hanna ppm which is the ppm 500 scale, which is the most common scale used in the USA.
I also have a couple of inexpensive PH which have been doing fine for a good couple of years.
I use calibration powders which come in little sachets and you need 3 clean beakers each with 250 ml of ionised water in each. PH4 in one beaker and PH8.86 in another beaker and the othe beaker is the control beaker and should be @ PH7. I do this at the start of every grow.
One PH meter does auto calibration at the press of a button and the other PH meter has a little screw which needs to be turned to set the calibration.
When sharing PPM data make sure you know which PPM scale you are reading. If two people are using different PPMs and one person give the PPM for their solution and says it works great , the other person may end up making their solution either too weak or too strong. By knowing which PPM scale each person uses these incidences can be avoided