How much do you care about PAR and how are you measuring it?

BRS

How much do you really care about the PAR values in your reef aquarium?

  • Very Much

    Votes: 152 25.7%
  • Somewhat

    Votes: 294 49.7%
  • Not At All

    Votes: 135 22.8%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 10 1.7%

  • Total voters
    591

revhtree

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Back in the day we never measured lighting PAR. We looked at how the coral was doing and either moved it up or down in the tank. I Got a suggestion from a member that we should ask about PAR and measuring PAR so let's talk about it today and how much you consider it!

From World Wide Corals: What is PAR? Photosynthetically active radiation, otherwise known as PAR, is roughly the number of light particles penetrating the surface of the water and saturating your tank. These particles supply photosynthetic organisms such as corals and plants with the energy they need to break down sugars, produce food, and cycle toxins out of their bodies. As such, they’re key to maintaining the health of your tank inhabitants and keeping the ecosystem in check. However, you must regulate the amount of PAR you allow in your tank to ensure your specimens are neither over- nor undersaturated with light. This is why reef tank owners often use PAR meters during the building process to find the proper light range for their specific aquariums. Read More Here

1. How much do you really care about the PAR values in your reef aquarium?

2. If you do care then how are you measuring your par values?



image via @Joe Batt
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gabrieltackitt

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1. I am not really concerned about the par values in my tank. I try to just go by whatever is considered most normal for a coral, bigger or lower light.

However I did rent a meter when I was setting my lights up, just to be sure I was in the right range where nothing was getting blasted with too much light and nothing was too dark
 

NanoReefLovers

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1. How much do you really care about the PAR values in your reef aquarium?

I want to know so I can care the best I can for my corals. I used a par meter to make sure I had my lights set exactly where I wanted them.

2. If you do care then how are you measuring your par values?


I actually bought a par meter. Although I knew I didn't need to measure par over and over, I do like I can check it if I think I need it. If something seems off, I know I can test for it. This also gives me the ability to help other, local reefers with their lights
 

ID-Reefer

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I care... But its a guess at this point as Ive yet to buy, rent or borrow a PAR meter. Instead Im going with intensity settings of 50% for my G5 Radion XR30s based on BRS videos and what others are doing for similar setups as mine. So far corals all seem happy. I have growing Acros in the top half of the tank and healthy looking LPS in the bottom half. Id still like to confirm PAR at some point - especially hot spot and low level locations.
 

Rubberfrog

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I cared enough to use a meter to map out the par on my tank. I use those numbers as a general guideline of where to place corals.

I have a few spots in the high 300s, I won't place softies there. I have lots of places in the low to mid 100s, I won't place sps there.

I also found a few places where the overlap from my lights elevated par more than I would have expected.
 

2Wheelsonly

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I'm more concerned with what the par is on those shadowy areas on my sand bed and the impact larger colonies have on corals below them as they grow and create shadows. I know that near the top of my tank I see little difference between 700 and 450+. Since anything that's up top has generally been acclimated I know if it's not burning it's bright enough but not too bright. Middle to down low I generally need to know if lighting will potentially cause issues (low 120ish par where I want place an acro).
 

SPS2020

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1. How much do you really care about the PAR values in your reef aquarium?

I want to know as much detail as within reason for the health of my SPS.

2. If you do care then how are you measuring your par values?

I rented a PAR meter from BRS and also utilized Randy's guide in the configuration of my four Hydra32 HD's.
 

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iMi

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Since I've been out of the hobby for a while, I ended up researching modern LED lighting before buying one. Par is important, but more important is the spectrum.

Par seems a little bit like watts back in the day. You still run into websites recommending x number of watts per hour, without really specifying the light source. It doesn't make any sense. Intensity of light is just one element in the equation.

If, for example, you could have high par values with incorrect or misbalanced wave bands or you could have lower par value but precisely dialed in spectrum, which would you prefer? I'd take the latter any day of the week.
 

Quietman

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I have not and likely will never measure PAR in my tank. I'm aware of PAR - really how you can not be with all the info out there. Is it useful as a reference when purchasing lighting? Yes.

Is it useful to my understanding of my system and providing what's needed? Meh. I don't measure it, so how can it be. Granted, I am not running high demand SPS tank either. Mixed lower demand here.

When it comes down to it, I bought a Radion XR-15 for my tank because I read/heard that was enough. I just added some Reefbrite Add-ons because had some shadowing I didn't like and thought maybe impacting growth in the bottom 1/3 and read/heard it would help.

If I'd never heard of PAR, would it have changed my purchase or my adjustment. No. I would have bought what the consensus says is enough and see how it goes.

I do find it very useful in comparing lighting systems when shopping around but only as a standard (especially when listed with depth of water) so I can compare apples to apples.
 

Rubberfrog

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I have not and likely will never measure PAR in my tank. I'm aware of PAR - really how you can not be with all the info out there. Is it useful as a reference when purchasing lighting? Yes.

Is it useful to my understanding of my system and providing what's needed? Meh. I don't measure it, so how can it be. Granted, I am not running high demand SPS tank either. Mixed lower demand here.

When it comes down to it, I bought a Radion XR-15 for my tank because I read/heard that was enough. I just added some Reefbrite Add-ons because had some shadowing I didn't like and thought maybe impacting growth in the bottom 1/3 and read/heard it would help.

If I'd never heard of PAR, would it have changed my purchase or my adjustment. No. I would have bought what the consensus says is enough and see how it goes.

I do find it very useful in comparing lighting systems when shopping around but only as a standard (especially when listed with depth of water) so I can compare apples to apples.
If not running SPS, par becomes a little more academic. As does dosing and testing nutrient levels.
 

burningmime

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Tangentially related, if you want to buy the apogee but save a few (hundred) bucks, I saw this post a few weeks ago:
You can buy the sensor and make one yourself.

Really wish I'd seen that before I splurged on the USB version. $165 shipped is about the same as 2 weeks of BRS rental.
 

LRT

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I care very much about par. Lights are way to powerfull nowadays one could quickly burn a coral up not knowing how intense light is.
Or on the flip side cheating your corals and not giving enough light to reach maximum potential.
That being said on the other hand the pros give us a good guideline to go by and be safe. Like anything else these days you just can't give one size fits all.
Some do better in more light some dont do as good. Some wont do anything until specific light needs are met. I move mine around until I find sweet spot during acclimation.
Spectrum is also key im also finding I like to stick with BRS reccomended schedule for my particular lamp because they did the work and it definetely shows that is what my corals do best in especially mushrooms. Some are quite picky and just a 1-3% change in intensity up or down to certain color channels can certainly make or break a mushroom fast.
Can't comment on any corals aside from mushrooms regarding light intensity and spectrum other than mushrooms.
 

Mical

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After all the articles and threads about par, I bought one of these -> https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/usb-smart-quantum-par-sensor-apogee.html It's not the full blown meter but it got me in the ballpark. I was just curious as to how well my "Kessil Investment" was actually working. Once I got an idea of where I wanted to be on 2 mixed tanks it was a matter of adjusting height & intensity. BRS vids are helpful. This par meter saved me months of "hit & miss" adjustments and I'm happy with the outcome.
 

JCTReefer

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Apogee MQ-510 is what I use. I find it helpful on coral placement. Depending on what led lighting you’re using, it can be a guessing game without one. Especially running the lights I do. Now with T5’s I don’t think one would be necessary. Thankfully there’s enough videos out there “BRS” , that have been made on most the major LED brands. So, those would be super helpful for someone without a par meter.
 
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Reefer Reboot

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1. How much do you really care about the PAR values in your reef aquarium?
As it is a parameter that can help or kill corals and anemones, I do feel it's worth knowing about.

2. If you do care then how are you measuring your par values?

Started by using a Seneye, then after reading many posts questioning it's accuracy, bought an Apex meter just to compare. The one thing I would like to see a comparison for that I have not come across yet is the accuracy of the light spectrum graph on the Seneye.
 

PAreefer710

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I go by eye, with everything. I do not test parameters either, and haven’t in quite some time. I feel that going that way you are the most in tune with what’s going on in the tank. And my tank is looking pretty awesome if I must say so myself. Lol.
 

ca1ore

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Measuring PAR is one of those things that seems like it ought to be really important in theory, but is actually completely unnecessary in practice. Of the very many Apex modules that I have bought over the years, par monitoring and oxygen monitoring head the list of the least useful. I can easily eyeball my tank (or any tank, frankly) and know that there is too much or not enough light - I think all seasoned reefers can. Most corals can easily adapt to varied light levels anyhow.
 
BRS

What temperature do you think it too high for your reef tank?

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  • 83

    Votes: 81 15.1%
  • 84+

    Votes: 70 13.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 16 3.0%
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