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Re: Lab stuff

> Tom,
> Speaking of quick tests - could you elaborate a bit on those "ion meters" you
> spoke of recently?  If I remember, I think you said they enable one to
> quickly and accurately test for N, K, P, and trace etc.

How much money you got:) That's pretty much what it boils down to. Better
stuff cost more:) Do ya need it for something special? There are a few
companies out ther that sell the stuff but they start in the 150 to 200$
range and sometimes this also includes another 150-250$ probe. Still

> I've looked through the archives and done a netsearch - but the results were
> a bit incomplete and confusing to me. I get the impression they somehow
> measure total dissolved solids (TDS?) by gauging the resistance or lack
> thereof (conductivity) to electrical current passing through the sample of
> water in question.

I don't worry about TDS. They seem to have little bearing. Too general too.
> 1. Does this devise give results which would allow one to detect and then
> separate out the chemicals by percentage? By that I mean the macro and micro
> nutrients we plant people are concerned with.
> 2. Are these devises hand held or of the lab bench variety? Which type would
> be best for our purposes?

Again, how much $. For me a bench model would be nice but I have it at
> 3. Could you recommend a particular type, brand, model or give us a good
> source for purchasing or finding out more info of them?

Most lab testing places have them. Lamott, Hach carry the stuff and Omegaand
a number of other places do also.
> I think most peoples gripe with testing is the amount of time and effort it
> takes - plus when color comparisons are employed - judgment calls have to be
> made - and losing count or miscounting the number of drops can easily occur.
> At least it does for me...
Lamott has good enough stuff for hobbyist without getting too costly(that's
a relative term!). At least you spot trends.
> As always, thanks for your help. If it wasn't for generous, patient and
> knowledgeable folks like yourself - many of us would have given up on plants
> long, long ago...

That's the only reason I keep plants. I've failed so much but I just refuse
to give up. If you like something enough it's hard to give up.
Tom Barr