Par meter worth it?

VanDalsenReef

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So an odd question

Is a par meter worth it in my case.
No one in my area has a par meter I could rent or borrow. I could do the brs one but shipping and all just makes me nervous to shell out 500 some dollars.
My tank is a standard 90 gallon (48x18x24)
The lights are
2 orphek compacts (13 inches above the water. Highest I could go. Ceilings in basement are low)
4 or120 blue+ (angled to cover all of the tank) (9 to 10 inches I believe)
2 kessil 360w angled on the side for more shimmer( 8 inches to 9)

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REEFTIDE

PeterC99

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Great question - You don’t know what you don’t know.

Thought my acros at the top of my aquarium were about 300 par. Bought a used par meter and found out they were at 230 par. Have since slowly turned up the lights and they are now getting 350. Starting to see better coloration.

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brmreefer

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That is a matter of personal preference in terms of how much one wants to get invested into the hobby. Definitely not a requirement though, but has helped.

I've bought a PAR meter, and would do it again. When I got readings off my systems, I was surprised at the amount of PAR I was getting in certain locations within the tanks. Plus, that is another parameter that helps me make decisions based on information versus guesses.

In addition, I did not get a PAR meter near the start of getting into this hobby, but decided to get one around 2 years in when I was getting well into corals. I also plan on upgrading to a bigger tank later down the road (That is how much I like reef keeping).

Hope that helps.:)

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Bpb

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In my opinion yes. Worth every penny. Not checking your par because of visual guessing is like guessing your salinity or alkalinity by a taste test.

Guessing your par by manufacturer recommendations is similar to guessing your salinity and alkalinity based solely on what the bucket says it is.

Are corals light adaptable? Sure. They’re parameter adaptable as well. But we dial in ideal ranges of parameters to help them thrive. Not just survive. Same goes with light to me. Beyond growth you can start mapping and moving pieces based on color preference. Some sps will look different at a couple hundred more par. Or less par. You can find the surprising low par spots for things that don’t need as much light. It surprised me to find my highest par spot is one of the lowest points on the rocks. The information is incredibly valuable and I like to spot check here and there because i tend to forget what I had in certain spots.
 
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areefer01

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They are a tool. Similar to other items within our hobby.

Are they needed? No.

Can they help? Yes.

When you have some free time or want to read do a search on DLI. There is a such a thing as too much light. Dana here has written some great articles on it based on his studies. Our corals are several generations removed from the wild I'm sure and have adjusted to captivity and our lighting but a number is still good to know.

Point being is that a light, regardless of brand, will give you a value based on the point in the aquarium sampled. Out of water, at surface, top, middle, bottom, etc. Pick a series, be consistent in sample, make the notes, and now you can calculate DLI based on intensity and spectrum of your light kit.

Par meters do not have to be expensive. Buy used or maybe pick up Seneye. Seneye is 200 bucks and will also give you out of water alerting and can be used in QT or isolation tanks. You can make a holder for it out of PVC and get consistent numbers.

TL; DR - not needed, it provides a number to help guide you, nice tool to have, consider used or Seneye.
 

fachatga

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Get a seneye if you can. Will you eventually want a ph probe? Good one is over $100. Will you rent a par meter one day? $70 there. There’s the $200 the seneye costs and now you own both plus more. I think par meter is a great tool. You can do fine without it but for me it’s important to know the lighting and there’s no way to guess accurately.
 

Spare time

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That is a lot of light to have without knowing how much light your corals are receiving.


The best thing I did for my tank was borrow one. My euphyllia grew insanely slow, until I realized they were receiving way too much light, and one was in a 350 hotspot. Now that I have adjusted things, my frogspawn that was very slow, now constantly divides.
 
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VanDalsenReef

VanDalsenReef

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Get a seneye if you can. Will you eventually want a ph probe? Good one is over $100. Will you rent a par meter one day? $70 there. There’s the $200 the seneye costs and now you own both plus more. I think par meter is a great tool. You can do fine without it but for me it’s important to know the lighting and there’s no way to guess accurately.
I actually have the apex.
 
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VanDalsenReef

VanDalsenReef

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I've used 4 kessil 360 and orpheks 120 (just 2) and had great results. Lost all my acropora to an alk spike and had been wanting to go to orphek so this gave me the chance to, while also adding another set of orpheks strips.
 

Nhjmc

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I have a Seneye Reef for $200 can’t complain one bit. Works great to read par. Really need to pick up (costs around $15 online) the handle with stick to mount monitor to read par or is a real pain. It works excellent and way cheaper than an Apogee par meter for around I think $500-$600.
 

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