Is the Satellite Freshwater Plus bright enough?!
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:21 AM   #1
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Is the Satellite Freshwater Plus bright enough?!


A lot of hobbyists have been asking us whether the Satellite Freshwater LED Plus (SAT+) is bright enough to grow plants or light a tank that is deeper than 24 inches. The measurement Current USA use is Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) which is measured in micromoles. The more micromoles measured, the brighter it is. We measured the highest PAR readings when the SAT+ was set at yellow on the remote. PAR readings resulted in the following:

Depth in Inches PAR Readings in Micromoles
12 36
18 28
24 21

For planted aquariums, low PAR values can result in stunted growth of plants or lack of pigment. If PAR values are too high, algae blooms and takes over the aquarium. So the optimal amount of light for most hobbyists is the minimum required to sustain healthy growth, which is also referred to as the light compensation point. In nature, aquatic plants grow in depths ranging from just under surface of water to 20ft deep. Some plants such as moss and ferns only require 5 micromoles of light to thrive. So our goal is to reach the light compensation point for best growth with lowest maintenance. From our years of combined experience, 30 micromoles is the light compensation point for most aquatic plants. What about tanks that are deeper than 18 inches? Generally speaking, tanks with depths greater than 18 inches will have a larger opening and which like any other wide topped aquarium, will need another light fixture for optimal light spread. From the PAR readings of the SAT+, it is perfectly suited for planted aquarium hobbyists looking for healthy growth and a low maintenance beautiful planted aquarium.

For hobbyists who would like more light, we will have a Satellite Plant fixture built completely for light output coming out in the near future. Please follow our blog and Facebook page for the newest updates!
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:34 AM   #2
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Here are some photos of the Satellite Plus over our planted tank in the office. 18" deep and growing HC!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/current...6349/lightbox/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/current-usa/9249966769/



Last edited by Current USA; 07-10-2013 at 12:51 AM.. Reason: resized images
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:44 AM   #3
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Love your new fixture! Nice write up.. looking forward to the high output plant light too!
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:12 PM   #4
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I have the LED+ on my Mr. Aqua 12 Long... so its maybe about 7 to 9 inches most from the substrate... so far it's great...i bought some emersed Persicaria 'Kawagoeanum' with all the leaves being green, and they are slowly adjusting to being submerged and the leaves are all starting to turn red... which only happens if there is enough light for them to turn red from what i've read.
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:46 AM   #5
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Just out of question for smaller shallower tanks, what is the par value for 6"? What size light are you guys testing for the par data you are currently putting out?
Also, the ground cover you are currently growing in the cube appears to be Hemianthus micranthemoides commonly known as pearl weed due to the size of the leaves and the growth pattern.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:37 PM   #6
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Thanks for your comments guys!

Par at 6" is about 75 micromoles. We used the 18" to test for par data but the length of the light doesn't affect measurements much.

The ground cover is hemianthus callitrichoides. It will be more obvious when it grows in.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:06 PM   #7
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I am running two LED+ units on my 12 G Long that is still in DSM. The HC and Glosso is growing at a noticeable rate and looks fantastic. This is my first experience with LED lighting and I will never go back to metal halide or florescent lighting again. Props to Current USA for offering LED lighting at a price point that reels in the LED newbies.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:42 PM   #8
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Thanks for the praise! We love hearing our customers say that, when we help change the hobby over to LEDs we're indirectly helping our environment as well. We will strive to continue making more affordable and able products!
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:35 AM   #9
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Thanks a lot for the PAR values.

Were the measurements taken directly under the light? Empty or filled tank?

Any possibility of getting PAR values at "default FW setting": 100% yellow might not fit in with my decor
Thanks!

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Old 07-12-2013, 03:31 AM   #10
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the 100% yellow isn't actually yellow, it's just all the LEDs turned up to the max (white, red blue and green) The color is perfect for planted tanks in my opinion and should be the "default FW setting." I love this light on my 16gallon bowfront and I'm gonna try one on my new 29gallon. I hope its enough light. Really interested in the "plant fixture."
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:02 AM   #11
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Thanks, I was speaking out of ignorance. I did learn something today

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Old 07-12-2013, 05:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
Thanks a lot for the PAR values.

Were the measurements taken directly under the light? Empty or filled tank?

Any possibility of getting PAR values at "default FW setting": 100% yellow might not fit in with my decor
Thanks!

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Hey OVT,

The measurements were taken both directly under the light and in a filled tank. Both with same results +/- 2 micromoles.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJBTEXAS View Post
the 100% yellow isn't actually yellow, it's just all the LEDs turned up to the max (white, red blue and green) The color is perfect for planted tanks in my opinion and should be the "default FW setting." I love this light on my 16gallon bowfront and I'm gonna try one on my new 29gallon. I hope its enough light. Really interested in the "plant fixture."
JJBTEXAS hit the nail on the head for this one. "yellow setting" is actually the default setting and when you turn your light on for the first time, that should be the setting it's on. We designed it so that setting would be perfect for the planted tank.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:27 PM   #14
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I just ordered one of these lights for my 12 gallon long. How many hours do these lights have in them? I wasn't able to find that info anywhere.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Current USA View Post
Thanks for your comments guys!

Par at 6" is about 75 micromoles. We used the 18" to test for par data but the length of the light doesn't affect measurements much.

The ground cover is hemianthus callitrichoides. It will be more obvious when it grows in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by trixella View Post
I just ordered one of these lights for my 12 gallon long. How many hours do these lights have in them? I wasn't able to find that info anywhere.

I do about 8 to 9 hours a day max... unless you are using the night light feature then it's ok to leave them on longer from my experience... at that height it's pretty much a highlight set up... I do 4 hours on 2 hours off and 5 hours on again... otherwise you'll be fighting algae.
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