- When you get a new bulb, make sure it is still wet. When the membrane dries out, it damages the bulb and limits if lifetime. To make sure this doesn't happen during shipping, they are kept in an acidic buffer solution with a pH of 4. If you're going to store your bulb, put the cap back on with some cotton soaked in pH 4 buffer solution. Never store your bulb dry!
- DON'T TOUCH THE BULB DIRECTLY! The membrane is very sensitive and the oil from your fingers will throw them off.
- Mount the bulb where it will have a constant stream of relatively clear water. Don't let it dangle into the bottom of your tank, where gunk collects. This will lead to wildly incorrect readings.
- Don't mount the bulb over your air stone. Water circulation is important, but too much turbulence can lead to incorrect readings.
- If your bulb gets dirty or needs recalibrating, clean it with a soft cloth and a mild detergent. Again, never touch the bulb directly!
- If your bulb isn't staying calibrated for very long, try soaking it in a 4.0 pH buffer solution for a few days. This can reopen the pores in the membrane. If this still doesn't work, then get a new one.
- Bulbs have a lifetime! If you are recalibrating constantly, it's time to get a new one!
pH is incredibly important to monitor in hydroponics and aquaponics. pH bulbs are relatively inexpensive and can last a long time, but improper handling of pH bulbs is a big reason that some folks get incorrect readings. Here's some ways to make sure you're bulb will last as long as possible: