Finally, A Better PAR Sensor - Apogee's ePAR

Dana Riddle

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This arrived this morning - an Apogee Instruments MQ-650 with the ePAR sensors that measures radiation from 380-760nm (as opposed to most sensors that 'see' 400-700nm.) The sensor will measure PPFD from all light sources, including LEDs (but will be useful for measuring PAR from light sources that produce UV and Far-red radiation, such as metal halides). This meter automatically corrects for the immersion effect. It will be interesting to get some measurements under my belt. More ASAP.

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Dana Riddle

Dana Riddle

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If you need a tank to test it on, you can come by and take some reading of my tank Dana, LOL!!!
I will, as soon as the remodeling job is done on my late Mom's house.
 

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Dana, I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this par meter. Also know that we are cheering for you on the remodel - be safe and be well!
 

A. grandis

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Emerson effect is one more important find to prove the advantages in science in understanding the great benefits using metal halides for our reefs at home. Infra red is used in photosynthesis and it actually boosts it to another level. This is cutting edge info in regards to the true full spectrum utilization by corals.
Thanks for posting, Dana.
This is also indeed the greatest step in measuring light intensity for the avarage hobbyist, for what the value of intensity sits on.


 

Jerlet80

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This arrived this morning - an Apogee Instruments MQ-650 with the ePAR sensors that measures radiation from 380-760nm (as opposed to most sensors that 'see' 400-700nm.) The sensor will measure PPFD from all light sources, including LEDs (but will be useful for measuring PAR from light sources that produce UV and Far-red radiation, such as metal halides). This meter automatically corrects for the immersion effect. It will be interesting to get some measurements under my belt. More ASAP.

IMG_6948 (2).JPG
Is there a place to rent one of those dudes?
 
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Dana Riddle

Dana Riddle

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Dana, I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this par meter. Also know that we are cheering for you on the remodel - be safe and be well!
Thank you so much. That house was built in the late 80's and is in desperate need of updating. I've just let contracts on electrical work and kitchen cabinets. New windows on the way. Awaiting clarification from a general contractor. It doesn't help that the house is an hour's drive away. Plus dealing with probate. With all this, on top of my normal responsibilities, testing on the new SKY LED light is completed and report is about half written, two new PAR meters (Apogee PQ and new ePAR) have to be evaluated, and my tank reboot is almost complete - just need time to get the photos together for a tank build thread here on R2R. If I could figure out how to do away with sleeping....
 
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Dana Riddle

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Is there a place to rent one of those dudes?
Not to my knowledge. Apogee sent me the very first underwater meter with ePAR sensor off the production line. When time permits, I'll build a jig to hold PAR and ePAR sensors and test with various light sources.
 
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Dana Riddle

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Emerson effect is one more important find to prove the advantages in science in understanding the great benefits using metal halides for our reefs at home. Infra red is used in photosynthesis and it actually boosts it to another level. This is cutting edge info in regards to the true full spectrum utilization by corals.
Thanks for posting, Dana.
This is also indeed the greatest step in measuring light intensity for the avarage hobbyist, for what the value of intensity sits on.


Yes, I think this new sensor will particularly valuable when testing metal halide lamps (and LED luminaires with UV and far-red diodes.)
 
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iggy

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Just an idea for thought as you are evaluating this potential step-wise improvement.

I recently retired 5+ years old 3x "gen2" lights and put up a legacy T5 x 8 using an old school bulb selection of Blue Plus, Coral Plus and UV. A 9 year old daughter and grandmother offered an unprompted comment that it looks like I took down christmas tree lights and put up some sunshine. While humourous because it is true, the older apogee sensor does not read a huge difference in PAR aside from more even coverage on a 160 gallon tank. My reaction after an adjustment to more white is there is no going back.

I check alkalinity daily with Hanna checker (ppm as CaCO3). After a brief adjustment period, what I see is a real need to test alkalinity daily. I see a large drop every once in awhile in alkalinity that I did not see before. What I mean is if I use standard meter kalk of 2.5 liters, every once in awhile the alklinity will drop 10-15 ppm, and other days is drops 2ppm or stays same. I attribute it to new light in a very stable algae free tank. This is not measured nor predictable by PAR either, and obviously the real desired effect, growth!

Visually there is better dispersion without shadowing, and a bit more heat, with some as light energy. I did go over 350+ par a bit and will stay course.
 
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oreo5457

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Just an idea for thought as you are evaluating this potential step-wise improvement.

I recently retired 5+ years old 3x "gen2" lights and put up a legacy T5 x 8 using an old school bulb selection of Blue Plus, Coral Plus and UV. A 9 year old daughter and grandmother offered an unprompted comment that it looks like I took down christmas tree lights and put up some sunshine. While humourous because it is true, the older apogee sensor does not read a huge difference in PAR aside from more even coverage on a 160 gallon tank. My reaction after an adjustment to more white is there is no going back.

I check alkalinity daily with Hanna checker (ppm as CaCO3). After a brief adjustment period, what I see is a real need to test alkalinity daily. I see a large drop every once in awhile in alkalinity that I did not see before. What I mean is if I use standard meter kalk of 2.5 liters, every once in awhile the alklinity will drop 10-15 ppm, and other days is drops 2ppm or stays same. I attribute it to new light in a very stable algae free tank. This is not measured nor predictable by PAR either, and obviously the real desired effect, growth!

Visually there is better dispersion without shadowing, and a bit more heat, with some as light energy. I did go over 350+ par a bit and will stay course.
You need to add a bit of clarity.

Which Gen 2's ...30's... pro... regular?

Did you measure the PAR gen2's and match or exceed w/ t5's?

What did you run them at? Full color or dimmed white?


For reference on pros:
Max Wattage of radion Fixture: 170 Watts
Max Wattage of LED Channels: 155 Watts

I have no doubt you saw what you saw but as the saying goes.. devil is in the details.
See one guess is you increased wattage and thus photons by 25% over how you used the Radions.
Could be wrong. IF equal PAR def. wrong.
 

iggy

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Hi Oreo,

I do not take joy in making disparging remarks so I was intentially a bit vague and bit off topic from Danna's interesting announcement. Evidence provided is anecdotally away from more blue more better trends, but trying to be serious. This may be half of what I saw. Much more talented aquarist can make anything work. To me a plug and play system is aquacultured live rock, T5s to 9" height, kalk reactor, and aquacultured corals!

A two year grow out contest from a common sump would be ideal but out of scope of hobbyists for MH, T5s and latest LEDs as a moving target. Moving LEDS higher up and higher powered would make it work better.

Here is comparison I made.
4' Reef Savvy 151 - 4' 28" x 28" rectangle

Old and out going - >>>> 250-350 par as best I could
Ecotech XR30s gen 2 x3 - AB+ 9+ hrs a day

New --->>> 250-350 par as best I could and left ALONE!!!

ATI Dimmable 8x54wT5 2 channel - Bulbs broken in 100hrs
ATI standard program suggested of 9 hrs blue and 7 hrs white
9" high over tank with more spill over into room.
ch1 - 2x blus plus, 2xATI actinic
ch2 - 2x coral plus, 1, blue, 1 purple. or close to this.

Diffusion, power consumption, and light quality past PAR numbers are all different. Engineers will want to talk about things that are measured and green thumb experts are more eccentric but often correct in their own way.

Iggy
 
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oreo5457

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Hi Oreo,

I do not take joy in making disparging remarks so I was intentially a bit vague and bit off topic from Danna's interesting announcement. Evidence provided is anecdotally away from more blue more better trends, but trying to be serious. This may be half of what I saw. Much more talented aquarist can make anything work. To me a plug and play system is aquacultured live rock, T5s to 9" height, kalk reactor, and aquacultured corals!

A two year grow out contest from a common sump would be ideal but out of scope of hobbyists for LED, T5s and latest LEDs as a moving target. Moving LEDS higher up and higher powered would make it work better.

Here is comparison I made.
4' Reef Savvy 151 - 4' 28" x 28" rectangle

Old and out going - >>>> 250-350 par as best I could
Ecotech XR30s gen 2 x3 - AB+ 9+ hrs a day

New --->>> 250-350 par as best I could

ATI Dimmable 8x54wT5 2 channel - Bulbs broken in 100hrs
ATI standard program suggested of 9 hrs blue and 7 hrs white
9" high over tank with more spill over into room.

Diffusion, power consumption, and light quality past PAR numbers are all different. Engineers will want to talk about things that are measured and green thumb experts are more eccentric but often correct in their own way.

Iggy
Thanks .. Best "apples to apples" comparison is PAR..
Seen too many "Ran X (real photon output) but swapped lights out to get 2X X and growth increased" type threads.
Then implying it was the "quality" of light than the increase in quantity.
Even more complicated by FAKE black box ratings like 165W is really at best 110W and then almost dimmed by 1/2 leaving 50 watts of photons (and usually at less than ideal conversion like 50 "lumens" /watt.
T5's can do like 100L/ watt Sorry just for ratios not gross photons.

No doubt you had less shadowing ..that's T5's shtick....
 
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iggy

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My favorite local fish store can grown SPS quite well with black box LED and many generations of local aquaculture corals. My best growers are all from them. They are on a shoe string budget growing SPS under no-name black boxes and other chinese type inventions. It does work to my own amazemen
 
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A. grandis

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Just an idea for thought as you are evaluating this potential step-wise improvement.

I recently retired 5+ years old 3x "gen2" lights and put up a legacy T5 x 8 using an old school bulb selection of Blue Plus, Coral Plus and UV. A 9 year old daughter and grandmother offered an unprompted comment that it looks like I took down christmas tree lights and put up some sunshine. While humourous because it is true, the older apogee sensor does not read a huge difference in PAR aside from more even coverage on a 160 gallon tank. My reaction after an adjustment to more white is there is no going back.

I check alkalinity daily with Hanna checker (ppm as CaCO3). After a brief adjustment period, what I see is a real need to test alkalinity daily. I see a large drop every once in awhile in alkalinity that I did not see before. What I mean is if I use standard meter kalk of 2.5 liters, every once in awhile the alklinity will drop 10-15 ppm, and other days is drops 2ppm or stays same. I attribute it to new light in a very stable algae free tank. This is not measured nor predictable by PAR either, and obviously the real desired effect, growth!

Visually there is better dispersion without shadowing, and a bit more heat, with some as light energy. I did go over 350+ par a bit and will stay course.
Many kids have told me the same thing so many times. LOL!
Not to worry, results is what dictates what lights are the best anyways.
I have been saying that for years here... ask your kids or your grandma.
 

iggy

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That is very funny! I measure sucess by increase in alkalinity demand. This is quantifiable with tons of variables. Moving to an established system and making one change is all you can do while keeping PAR near same levels. Par in reality is not the same level because even coverage is more light.I kept alkalinity at 140-150 ppm the whole. A broad spectrum with even diffuse lighting is best.
 
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GuppyHJD

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That is very funny! I measure sucess by increase in alkalinity demand. This is quantifiable with tons of variables. Moving to an established system and making one change is all you can do while keeping PAR near same levels. Par in reality is not the same level because even coverage is more light.I kept alkalinity at 140-150 ppm the whole. A broad spectrum with even diffuse lighting is best.
I am not sure I understand. I am setting up a new tank (it's 4 months old) and added lights (Noopsyche K7 Pro II (two on a 120g tank). I can measure alkalinity but I do not have a reference and very few corals (6 frags) so PAR is so far the only thing I can measure to try to get my tank setup correctly?
 

iggy

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That is fine for now. I might suggest looking KP Aquatics mariculture rock to get off to good start. Tampa may have some other mariculture rock options not needing much cycling.
 
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Dana Riddle

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Let clarify - measurements from Apogee's other PAR meters are still valid. The ePAR sensors will help us understand how radiation below 400nm and above 700nm affects zooxanthellae. Likely to be a work in progress for quite a while.
 
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