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pH probe problems/solutions

Figured I post some solutions to common pH probe problems that I've solved
since getting my controller last year.

PROBLEM: My pH reading fluctuates like mad!

SOLUTION: There may not be enough water current on the probe.  Its best to
install the probe in front of an outlet of a pump or power head.  I haven't
had good results with placing it next to a drain.  There's also the chance
that your probe is dirty and needs to be cleaned with a little lemon juice
and a Q-tip.

PROBLEM: My pH reading is stable but it is not correct.

SOLUTION: Calibrate the probe first.  If it is still off you may be receiving
some electrical interference from your lights (or worse a broken heater).  Use
a multimeter to test for a small AC or DC voltage between the tank and ground.
If you see a voltage then determine the cause and ground your tank.  Note: I've
found that VHO lighting can produce a 1.5V AC voltage in an ungrounded tank!
Even with a grounded tank, a probe exposed to lights can give incorrect
readings.  It's best to install the probes in a dark area (or even better,

PROBLEM: My pH probe was too expensive and now I'm broke.

SOLUTION: Treat your probe nicely and it can last a couple of years.  Don't
move the probe too much and keep it clean.  Also, never let the probe dry
out, this an easy way to kill one.

Has anyone had other problems?

Happy probing!
Regan Nantz