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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Alex, that will be fine. Just call or PM to let me know when. I have an appointment from 2-4 Tuesday afternoon, but am free otherwise. Give me enough lead time to catch some shrimp for you.

Next up for the PAR meter is fishyspots, then Ben. Fishy, please confirm that you still want the meter, and tell me where you live.

Thanks,
Michael
 

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Yes, I would like to use it. I live clear up by Whitesboro so would be great if I could get it when it was in the north part of the Metro, around DNA or for pick up or drop off at an APC meeting. Just let me know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
The PAR meter has returned to east Dallas, ready for the next user.

Most of you have heard my rant on the high price and low quality of T5 tubes sold for aquarium use. In particular, I scorn the T5 NO tubes sold by Coralife--they are expensive, and rarely last longer than 6 months for me.

After the last set of Coralife tubes over my 40 gallon died, I decided to replace them with Phillips 4100K from Home Depot. Yes, the light is yellow, and not as attractive as the light from the 6700K Coralife tubes.

BUT! The Coralife 6700K tubes gave me 30-35 umol of PAR at the substrate. The Phillips tubes give 50 umol of PAR, and cost less than half the price of the Coralife!

Aquarists, throw off your chains! Effective lighting for planted tanks can be cheap and easy!
 

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So glad to hear I'm not the only one that HATES Coralife! I've had bulbs in both my fixtures go out in less than 6 mos and had issues with both of the actual fixtures as well. I'll definitely check out the Home Depot bulbs. Thanks!
 

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Yeah, have found that out the hard way :( My friend and I each bought multiples of them and have had problems with all but one of them or they've totally gone out in less than 6 months.
 

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...I decided to replace them with Phillips 4100K from Home Depot. Yes, the light is yellow, and not as attractive as the light from the 6700K Coralife tubes.
My Home Depot has 54W 5000K (if I remember correctly) T5HO tubes for under ten bucks a pop. I checked both Home Depot and Lowes for T5HO bulbs before I purchased a retrofit kit from AHSupply. I ended up buying bulbs from AHSupply also, but plan on using Home Depot for at least half of my replacement bulbs from now on...
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Our well traveled PAR meter is in Whitesboro for use by Fishyspots and friends. I believe Ben is next in line.

Depending on the date and location of the January meeting, we can arrange to pass the meter on then.

I am really happy to see the meter getting so much use!
 

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Thank you so much for your tour, advice and the endler fry today! We so enjoyed our visit and can't wait to get readings done on the tanks!! I'll post results as soon as I can get everything organized.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Thanks! However, I do know that some of our members have measured their tanks and have not posted the results, some of which were surprising.

Come on everybody, let's see those numbers!
 

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I was on another forum and one member said the par light reading will be the same if you measure in water versus with out water. Basically you can test the par reading in filled tank or empty tank and the reading is the same. Can anyone verify this, if so then we can just bring our fixtures to the next meeting to get the reading rather then waiting on the par meter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Sorry, but that is contrary to the laws of physics and patently untrue. If it were true, the bottom of the ocean would be as bright as the surface.
 

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I was on another forum and one member said the par light reading will be the same if you measure in water versus with out water. Basically you can test the par reading in filled tank or empty tank and the reading is the same. Can anyone verify this, if so then we can just bring our fixtures to the next meeting to get the reading rather then waiting on the par meter.
I think this is what your referring to and the logic behind it. Not the forum but the source. Read the 6th paragraph on the right.

I don't really agree with that, because even if there was some truth to it, it doesn't take into account water conditions and any kind of bending based on flow etc, that would take it possibly away from the plants.
 

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Going to start adding some of my readings. Will start with the small tanks and work my way up :p

Aquarium size:
3 gal Marineland crescent (13x7x9.5)
5 gal Marineland crescent (16x8x12)

Type of light fixture AND reflector:
stock LED bar that comes with the tank (same for both sizes)

Number of lamps, bulbs, or tubes, and wattage:
can't find details anywhere but there is 2 rows of 8 LEDs in the fixture

Age of lamps, bulbs, or tubes:
all are 3-6 mos old and gave very similar readings

Distance from light fixture to substrate:
9.5" on the 3 gal size
11" on the 5 gal size

PAR VALUES MEASURED AT SUBSTRATE:
8 :(
12-15 at mid column


Comments: I didn't expect much in the way of light in those tanks but reading was even lower than I thought. I've had decent success with low light plants "surviving" in them but not many "thriving".
 

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Aquarium size:
standard 10g (20x10x12)

Type of light fixture AND reflector:
smaller clamp lamp shop light from Lowes with metal reflector
Desk type clamp lamp from Lowes with white reflector
(both types gave very close readings)

Number of lamps, bulbs, or tubes, and wattage:
CFL 13W 6500k
mounted vertically

Age of lamps, bulbs, or tubes:
about 1-2 mos

Distance from light fixture to substrate:
13"

PAR VALUES MEASURED AT SUBSTRATE:
These were interesting as there was a noticeable difference in lighting throughout the tank. With only one bulb in the center, reading at the substrate would be about 42 in the middle of the tank but only 15-20 in the corners. With two bulbs mounted on the ends, readings in the corners were 30-36 and about 26 in the middle.

Comments: Just for fun, I pulled out one of the stock hoods like someone else had reviewed and put the same two bulbs in it, mounted horizontally now, and got readings in the upper 20s to mid 30s consistently throughout the tank and honestly thought the overall look was a lot better as no spotlight effect.
 

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Aquarium size:
10 gal Marineland half round (17x11x17)

Type of light fixture AND reflector:
stock LED fixture that comes with tank

Number of lamps, bulbs, or tubes, and wattage:
no details available but has 3 rows of 8 LEDs

Age of lamps, bulbs, or tubes:
6 mos

Distance from light fixture to substrate:
15"

PAR VALUES MEASURED AT SUBSTRATE:
4
8 at mid column

Comments: yeah, not much grows in there!
 

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Aquarium size:
36 bowfront (30x11x21)

Type of light fixture AND reflector:
standard fluorescent Aqueon light that comes with tank (because my danged Coralife went out!)

Number of lamps, bulbs, or tubes, and wattage:
single Aqueon 17W 8000K full spectrum daylight bulb

Age of lamps, bulbs, or tubes:
3 months

Distance from light fixture to substrate:
17"

PAR VALUES MEASURED AT SUBSTRATE:
8
20 at mid column

Comments: Definitely going to have to get a new light for this tank ASAP! Suggestions?
 
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