Should a PAR meter be a 1st suggestion for a new reefer?

Should a PAR meter be a 1st suggestion for a new reefer?

  • Yes

    Votes: 13 16.3%
  • No

    Votes: 65 81.3%
  • Never your wrong

    Votes: 2 2.5%

  • Total voters
    80

William Mumford

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 9, 2019
Messages
575
Reaction score
499
I have been suggesting PAR meters to a few new reefers and I'm starting to think it should be a top suggestion to all reefers starting out.

Anyone eles think a PAR meter is one of the most crucial parts of setting up a reef tank? I think in general we give our corals way to much light and when something goes wrong we think lights especially when first starting out.

I have been telling new reefers buy your stuff use a par meter make a picture of your PAR then never touch the lights until you switch what corals you want to keep and then again use a PAR meter again.

I think so many problems can be saved with a good par meter reading. From algee because of excess light to dying and bleaching corals from not enough or too much light.
 

Ron Reefman

Lets Go Snorkeling!
View Badges
Joined
Aug 12, 2012
Messages
4,878
Reaction score
11,404
Location
SW Florida
Why?

Pros: You can fine tune your leds.

Cons: Expensive (for a good one). Not much use on MH or t5. Even for leds you can set levels that are perfectly safe with out using a PAR meter and finally, for an expensive bit of equipment, you hardly ever use one after you got things set up properly.

Advice: Borrow or rent one from a friend, fellow reef club member, LFS or online supplier.
I own one and I let fellow club members locally borrow it and almost nobody uses it.
 

AZMSGT

Crazy ole man
View Badges
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
2,546
Reaction score
3,586
Location
Surprise, AZ
It would depend. First the new reefer needs to get through the cycle process and not a 1 week cycle. Then add fish, snails, inverts... after the tank stabilizes with those. Then adjust lighting to start preparing for first test corals. In this situation renting a Par meter is a much better method than buying one.

Nothing worse than a week or 2 week old tank full of fish and corals.. teach Patience First!
 
OP
W

William Mumford

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 9, 2019
Messages
575
Reaction score
499
I feel like the only option is renting 1 buying 1 unless you are a coral store is a little to much. But I am saying that issues people run into come from way to much light and or messing with the lighting all the time. You might be thinking that your lighting is doing fine cause your corals are but in reality your coral just adapted to it's new lighting situation. I'm huge on trying to mimic real life and I feel like this is a big step in the process.

I say for sure cycle and do you husbandry but when its coral adding time and you have LEDs it's kind of dumb not to use 1. I know you can get by without 1 but for a 50 dollar rental for the peice of mind its needed.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

redfishbluefish

Stay Positive, Stay Productive
View Badges
Joined
Mar 22, 2012
Messages
9,849
Reaction score
17,500
Location
Sayreville, NJ
I agree that setting lights correctly is extremely important, but strongly believe that this can be accomplished with considerably less cost. It took me some time to accept this premise, but I was eventually convinced.

The way you do this for approximately $15 is to use a LUX meter. It's not perfect, but will put you in the ballpark. I can't take any credit for this.....it was @saltyfilmfolks who did all the work. I don't think he's on much nowadays, so search for the posts he made. HERE is but one example.
 
OP
W

William Mumford

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 9, 2019
Messages
575
Reaction score
499
I agree that setting lights correctly is extremely important, but strongly believe that this can be accomplished with considerably less cost. It took me some time to accept this premise, but I was eventually convinced.

The way you do this for approximately $15 is to use a LUX meter. It's not perfect, but will put you in the ballpark. I can't take any credit for this.....it was @saltyfilmfolks who did all the work. I don't think he's on much nowadays, so search for the posts he made. HERE is but one example.
I like this.
 

Mical

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 7, 2017
Messages
2,510
Reaction score
3,923
Location
Montrose, Minnesota
I would hesitate telling new reefer to buy one, but they should expect to at least rent one down the road. Most new reefers are already overwhelmed at the costs of lights, pumps, etc... I would avoid adding any negativity to the experience.
 

2Wheelsonly

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
906
Reaction score
1,221
Location
Floyds Knobs, IN
Just under 12 years in, I’ve found with LED you usually need more than you think and you learn right away that you can slowly ramp up without burning your corals. Never have I had an issue where lights caused my corals to die. I think par meters are better suited for when a tank gets mature and you’re trying to get the best color out of your expensive sps or figuring out how badly your grown colonies are shading the few spots left to place new corals.

I think par meters just add another mental roadblock for new reefers trying to filter past all confusing advice they get in this hobby.
 

MattDaReefer

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 12, 2019
Messages
127
Reaction score
77
Location
Massachusetts
Differently not for a beginning reefer. If you are planning on an SPS only tank then maybe you want to map your tank. Not all corals have the same lighting requirements as we know.

Most people don't start this hobby on sps if you do GOOD LUCK...
 

EMeyer

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2016
Messages
705
Reaction score
979
The problem with a Lux meter is that you have to convert Lux to PAR to make any use of the measurement, but the correction factors are incredibly specific for particular lamps. As soon as you change the blend of blue and white on your LEDs, or measure a different lamp, your correction factor becomes wrong.

I would not say this is the first thing to buy.

I do think its a critical piece of equipment if you want to grow corals.

We only know what we measure, light intensity matters, and a PAR meter is the only way to accurately measure it. Apogee's lower end models work fine. This is less expensive than a single mid-range LED, and you only ever need one.
 

blstravler

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
3,111
Reaction score
487
Location
Coastal New Jersey
Why?

Pros: You can fine tune your leds.

Cons: Expensive (for a good one). Not much use on MH or t5. Even for leds you can set levels that are perfectly safe with out using a PAR meter and finally, for an expensive bit of equipment, you hardly ever use one after you got things set up properly.

Advice: Borrow or rent one from a friend, fellow reef club member, LFS or online supplier.
I own one and I let fellow club members locally borrow it and almost nobody uses it.
I don't understand how they wouldn't be useful for MH or T5? If you mount any light to close to the water you will have issues. If you don't know what PAR you have at x height for MH, T5 or LED (running at x%) you can have a big problem. As you said the best way is to borrow/rent one.
 

Glott3133

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Messages
271
Reaction score
830
Location
Sleepy Hollow
Being fairly new to reefing, I think it may be important to know your PAR levels; but definitely not the first thing that comes to mind when getting your tank to a mature level. All beginners in this hobby need to research each and every coral they place in their tank. Only adding starter type corals that are more hardy. There are many things that I want to add to my 6 month old tank, but I'm not seasoned enough to take that risk. I only stick with the corals that look nice, but easier to keep. And there is always good knowledge around these common corals.

Just my 2 cents.
 
OP
W

William Mumford

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 9, 2019
Messages
575
Reaction score
499
Differently not for a beginning reefer. If you are planning on an SPS only tank then maybe you want to map your tank. Not all corals have the same lighting requirements as we know.

Most people don't start this hobby on sps if you do GOOD LUCK...
Sps are the only coral that like correct lighting? I think that lps and lower light corals are the ones we should watch because we blast them with too much light.
 

ca1ore

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Messages
9,899
Reaction score
13,173
Location
Stamford, CT
1st suggestion? Certainly not. 30 years in the hobby and I literally have never measured PAR in any of my displays. i do have the APEX PMK on my frag tank (bought in 2017) but find it essentially useless.
 

Are you someone who cares what the cords and cables look like around your reef tank?

  • Yes and very OCD about it

    Votes: 52 22.8%
  • Yes but not OCD about it

    Votes: 124 54.4%
  • Meh I don't care too much

    Votes: 38 16.7%
  • I do not care at all

    Votes: 8 3.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 6 2.6%

Online statistics

Members online
2,552
Guests online
6,342
Total visitors
8,894
Top