Best tool to measure light for coral placement

Discussion in 'General Equipment, Hardware, Filtration' started by Buckwilds, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Buckwilds

    Buckwilds Well-Known Member

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    So I have a cheap (relative to other lights in this hobby) fluval reef 2.0 led and I've had a hard time keeping anything but softies and feel like I want to see about making a change to the lighting schedule or just swapping to a pair of used generic black boxes I got cheap. I really want to see what kind of par (or if there is any measurement of light I also should be looking at please let me know) I'm getting in what spots of the tank. I own a Neptune Apex unit that I got to help babysit my tank while I went on my honeymoon and can use something like the Par Monitoring Kit (https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/par-monitoring-kit-pmk-neptune-systems.html) if that seems like the best option as my wife said a par reader/meter could be my big christmas gift. There other thing I was looking at was the Seneye Monitor Kit (https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/seneye-reef-monitor.html); it never hurts to have more redundancy in readings on certain things, I'd get ammonia readings as well (though hopefully I won't ever need it) and it's 100 bucks less if I plug it into a cheap netbook instead of buying the web server. The other option is to just get a plain old par meter; then it becomes a measure of quality vs price and not going too far above the price of the others. Does anyone have any experience with one or more and have any input on what is reliable/easy to use especially if it interfaces with my apex unit?
     

  2. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    The seney is the most affordable and quite accurate.

    And yes. The light you own is underpowered for many types of coral.

    Myself I would ask santa for new lights. And you could get a $15 lux meter as a stocking stuffer.

    Lux is a measure of intensity alone. Par is spectrum + intensity.
     
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  3. Buckwilds

    Buckwilds Well-Known Member

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    So par covers both of what I need and lux is just a portion of that, got it. I think I'd feel more comfortable knowing the par since that's gonna make a sizable difference. The problem I have with upgrading the lights without a par meter is that I feel like when I was trying to turn it all the way up as I started getting up there (was bumping it a few percentage of the max brightness each day) it felt like the corals were unhappy with the amount of light and were bleaching. Now that could have been other factors at work as I was still pretty new (not like I'm a seasoned vet at this now or anything either but I have a little more experience). So I suppose I could try to start upping it again until I get a par meter. Have you had any experience with the par monitoring kit from neptune or just the seneye? And how much of a hassle is the seneye to move around the tank to grab readings, does it update them instantly or does it take a few moments to pick up the new reading? And does the seneye get tempermental when you move it around a bunch or is it fine?
     
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  4. Jason mack

    Jason mack Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Seneye is quick and Very easy To use if you can see Your pc screen .. i Love my Seneye not just the par meter but also monitoring ph ammonia and temp ..well worth the money in my opinion and the par meter has really helped me understand my lights .. have I sold you it yet !!!

    So too recap ...BUY THE SENEYE !!:p:D:D
     
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  5. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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  6. mcarroll

    mcarroll Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Listen to your gut....it's more correct than your brain in this case. Don't upgrade your lights without a meter.

    I would not reef without a light meter.

    If there's anything holding you back from a higher end meter, do not hesitate to start with a lux meter. Start with what you can afford.

    There are plenty of us using them around here now so you can always ask for help and get it. :)

    You might find this interesting: Beginner’s Lux

    By the same token I'd suggest every reefer have a microscope too. I got a $12 toy scope and it works fine up to 1200x – better than fine considering the cost! It's helping me to get me started with having and using a scope and I didn't have to break the bank to do it....I'm saving for a real scope.

    Which BTW a real scope doesn't have to cost a lot....even a $50 scope is MUCH better than this toy scope. The problem with a $50 scope is that a $75 scope is MUCH better than the $50 scope. And the $100 scope is MUCH better...up to as much $$$$$ as you're willing to pay just to look at small things. :rolleyes: So I'm trying to figure out "how much scope" to buy when the time comes....still not too sure. Check out my thread: Selecting a microscope Also check out very-not-my-thread to see the opposite of a toy scope: Our tank's biology up close ;)
     
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