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Old 03-24-2009, 12:49 PM   #141
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You may also want to consider raising them a bit. I know with the Lumebrights it was found they need to be mounted much higher off the surface of the water to get the best results.

Neilan is correct though, having a PAR meter and getting some actual numbers would be pretty cool.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:38 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy953 View Post
You may also want to consider raising them a bit. I know with the Lumebrights it was found they need to be mounted much higher off the surface of the water to get the best results.

Neilan is correct though, having a PAR meter and getting some actual numbers would be pretty cool.
How high do you think they are off the water...and how high do you think they should be? These are not Lumenbrights. They are a totally different design. These are the same design as LumenArc III minis. What's the recommend height for LA's vs LB's?

Buy a PAR meter and send it over. I'll try it out and send it back.
If you check Sanjay article on reflector performance, the same bulb/ballast combo on parallel reflectors maxed out at 800 PAR and with LA's it maxed out at 2400 PAR.

Here's Sanjay's latest article on LumenArc III, LumenMax, LumenMax Elite and LumenBrights.
From the article....
"The reflectors seem to fall into 2 separate groups, Group 1, the Lumenarc and the Lumenmax and Group 2 comprising Lumen Brite and Lumenmax Elite. The Group 1 reflectors seem to be better at providing a wider coverage, whereas the group 2 reflectors tend to focus the light slightly more creating higher peak values and smaller spread."
In other words, LumenArc and LumenMax can be mounted lower and LumenBright and LM Elite higher.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:46 PM   #143
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I don't agree with his test numbers. They are not real to what actually happens in your tank. That grid he used to test was not under water with flow. It was in open air. IMO that doesn't count for what a bulb/reflector generates in real tank situations.

Take a PAR meter and test a bulb in open air on the grid and you will get the maximum the bulb/reflector can generate. Take the same combination of reflector and bulb and test it in a tank with water in it and you get a totally different set of numbers. I seriously doubt you will get any where near 2400 PAR in your tank. With the bulb ballast and reflector combination you have I expect your numbers are more like 700-800 at the surface (1/2" or so below the water) and drop off to around 200-300 at the sand bed. Again all of that changes with flow and ripple effect and how clear you water is.

Those tests are great to get an idea of what bulbs and reflectors can produce but I don't think they are as accurate as they could be.

BTW...Lumenbrights are supposed to be mounted 14-18" off the surface of the water. I understand they are not the same as what you built.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:56 PM   #144
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Ziggy the hobbyist is allowed to disagree with Dr. Sanjay Joshi, PhD (Industrial Engineering) and his methodologies. If you read some of his many articles (which obviously you haven't), you will see water has an across the board affect. It does not affect 1 reflector performance more than another. So if water prevents, for example, 10% of the possible light penetration in 6" of water, it's 10% for every reflector. What would the benefit be testing under water as far as the differences in performance...which is what his tests are all about. The difference in performance. This is all mentioned in his articles if you take the time to actually read them and not just look at the pics and graphs.

I find Sanjay's work an invaluable tool in selecting lighting. I can look at 2 bulbs and compare their output and choose what I want and know how that bulb performs. I can then take that and apply it to reflector performance. If the bulb I choose gets 75 PPFD per Sanjay's test (which are done with no reflector), I can trust that the performance of that bulb will react the same as the results in the reflector tests. If it gets 100 PPFD with a parallel reflector, I believe it will get 300 PPFD with a LumenArc, per Sanjay's test results. You just have to understand, these are all tests done to show the differences in performance. Real numbers in a tank at 6" deep may only be 50 PPFD and 150 PPFD, but the ratio (3:1) does not change.

When I was building my system, I asked Sanjay for recommendations on my lighting including what kind of reflectors to use. In fact, I think way back in this thread I mentioned I asked him about my lighting. I think I'll take the advice of Dr. Joshi.

BTW...my bulbs are 12" above the water.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:35 AM   #145
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I think I might be all DIY'ed out on my build. I finally added the last thing I needed to do....an ATO. I bought the double switch sump model from www.autotopoff.com.

The bottom switch controls the water level in the sump. The upper 1 is a safety shutoff incase the lower switch fails.


This is my 28g RO/DI storage container. The powerhead is controlled by the ATO. The float valve is connected to my RO/DI to keep the container full.


Everything all setup and running.


And this is "my" section of the basement. From right to left: RO/DI container, sump, Ranco temp controller mounted on the wall, MH ballasts, DIY 2-part ingredients, test kits etc, on the far left is a 20g qt ready for my new fish and a 20g tank full of new saltwater ready for a water change.
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:47 PM   #146
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Nicely done! Your sump and plumbing look so neat and orderly. Makes me want to get to work on my new sump.....
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:37 AM   #147
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Thanks Ziggy. The setup makes working on the tank really easy.
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Old 05-05-2009, 03:00 PM   #148
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When my wife and I build our house my sumps and equipment will be in the basement below the tank. It will be so nice to have room around everything to work.
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:38 PM   #149
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That`s a nice set up there Larry. Everyone should see that if they have questions about a refuge.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:58 PM   #150
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How thick is your sand bed? How many bags did you use?
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