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Old 08-07-2013, 02:36 PM   #1
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I need a par meter!

Please if anyone owns a PAR meter would you be willing to help a fellow planted tank member? I need to figure out how much light I'm getting and no one around me has one that I know of. I can pay shipping there and back if anyone can help. Don't have the money to buy one
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:38 PM   #2
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Sometimes you can figure par out by the light. Sometimes it comes with the box you got the light from
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:54 PM   #3
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Sometimes you can figure par out by the light. Sometimes it comes with the box you got the light from
True but what the box says and what you get aren't always the same
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:01 PM   #4
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You can always buy a DIY PAR meter from Hoppy on TPT. They're about 50$.

What state do you live in? Some local planted clubs have PAR meters they sometimes share with one another. This is the case with SCAPE (southern california aquatic plant enthusiasts).

Last method, research... look online for posted PAR numbers from either other hobbyists or manufacturers pertaining to the specific lighting you have... add up PAR numbers from there to get a rough estimate. It's what I do and it's sufficient enough..
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:12 PM   #5
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The annoying this is I have 130 watts of the SunPaq CFL over the tank. It 40 gallons so that's just a little over 3 WPG. The fixture is 14 inches from the substrate. Is my lamp too close?
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:10 PM   #6
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Do you have algae issues?


There's really not much of a reason for most hobbyists to own a par meter simply because the information it gives you isn't useful. Let's say you get one and you find that it gives you a measurement of 70 mmol. What does that mean? Is that too much? Too little? These questions don't have answers because this isn't a quantitative question. 'Too much' isn't <70 mmols, its more than your setup can handle; it's the point at which your algae/growth is unacceptable. It's a similar story with 'too little'.

Do you get what I'm trying to say? I'm not saying that there's not a place for fancy doohickies in the hobby, but simply that if you listen to your tank, it will tell you everything you need to know about light levels, fertilization levels, etc.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:56 PM   #7
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Do you have algae issues?

There's really not much of a reason for most hobbyists to own a par meter simply because the information it gives you isn't useful. Let's say you get one and you find that it gives you a measurement of 70 mmol. What does that mean? Is that too much? Too little? These questions don't have answers because this isn't a quantitative question. 'Too much' isn't <70 mmols, its more than your setup can handle; it's the point at which your algae/growth is unacceptable. It's a similar story with 'too little'.

Do you get what I'm trying to say? I'm not saying that there's not a place for fancy doohickies in the hobby, but simply that if you listen to your tank, it will tell you everything you need to know about light levels, fertilization levels, etc.
I get what you mean. My struggle is BBA and it's annoying as hell. Plus my plants are not doing too well, especially my reds. Phosphates an nitrates are in good order and I'm properly dosing micros. Co2 is plentiful so I can't figure out what the issue is
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:45 PM   #8
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Also, my light rests on a glass plank I had made by my friends glass shop. Could that also be a problem? Not letting some of the spectrum through?
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:24 PM   #9
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How are you measuring CO2? Can you link to your light? I'm not familiar with it.

BBA is commonly a CO2/Excel vs Light imbalance issue. I think raising your light is a good first step, especially if you're confident in your CO2. Are you spot treating what's already there? Do you happen to have some Excel you can start using?
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:44 PM   #10
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How are you measuring CO2? Can you link to your light? I'm not familiar with it.

BBA is commonly a CO2/Excel vs Light imbalance issue. I think raising your light is a good first step, especially if you're confident in your CO2. Are you spot treating what's already there? Do you happen to have some Excel you can start using?
I have the GLA drop checker with the white piece in the middle for more accurate color reading. It's a light green so over 30 ppm. I was spot treating with H2O2 but haven't had time recently to keep it up.
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