Best tool to measure light for coral placement

Discussion in 'Aquarium Controllers' 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. crabs_mcjones

    crabs_mcjones I was a drab little crab once. R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I, along with Matt @BoomCorals use the Seneye, it's pretty accurate and ranks up there with some of the big boy par meters. I used mine to dial in my Kessil AP700 and Matt uses his for all of his frag tanks. I am not familiar with the Apex system however, so hopefully someone else can chime in on that.
    Here is Bulk Reef Supply's analysis of the Seneye
     
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  3. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Excellence Award SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Ive read some good things about the Seneye PAR meter function. I was surprised at how accurate it is. I'd probably go that route
     
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  4. Jason mack

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

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    Love mine !
     
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  5. XNavyDiver

    XNavyDiver Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I use the Apex PAR meter. I've only had it now for close to 2 weeks. I can't give you a comparison to other par meters, so I really don't know how accurate it is. You put it in your tank and can move it around to get a feel for the different areas and heights of your tank. It comes with a rock that the sensor fits in, so it's supposed to blend in with your rock work. I doesn't achieve that goal because of the cord it's attached to that connects it to your Apex. So unless you want to place it in an area in your tank and cover/hide the cord with rocks/sand/rubble, you and everybody else will know its there.
    But, it monitors par and it's available to you live and updated continuously via Fusion, so that's the plus.

    P.S- I've been moving mine around the tank quite a bit to get a feel for the par levels in different parts of my tank, and I don't bother hiding the cord since it's just me and my wife that see the tank. Its seems that a few of my turbo snails like to tightrope the cord when its stretched out across gaps in the rock work. It makes for some entertaining viewing watching a turbo snail inch his way on it over the sand bed. The wife and I sometimes make bets as to whether or not it will make it across or fall to the sand bed. So, there's another plus. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  6. jml1149

    jml1149 Well-Known Member

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    If I had unlimited money, the PMK would already be on my tank, no question.

    But I don't so I usually rent one from my LFS a couple times a year when I feel the need to measure something. You might ask around at your LFS or post on your regional forum to see if anyone knows where to borrow one from.

    However, if I may, and in my experience, if you want to grow anything other than sofities and maybe duncans, I would recommend taking the money you would have spent on a PAR meter and upgrading your lights. I don't know what size tank you have, or how stringent you are on astethics, but for that kind of money, you can get a decent T5 fixture, combine it with your Fluval light, and you would be good to go with pretty much anything. SPS up high, LPS down low, and fill in the middle.

    I did the Chinese black box thing for a while, and while things did grow, only when I upgraded to my current T5/LED combo did I really find success.
     
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