What PAR numbers for each light level - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-15-2020, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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What PAR numbers for each light level

One thing that is bugging me is determining how strong a light really is.

What PAR levels do you guys find correspond to low, medium, and high light? High level being able to grow high light plants and also get the full coloration to show (Reds, oranges, etc.).

At what point does CO2 become necessary/actually beneficial.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-15-2020, 09:34 AM
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Dennis Wong from advanced planted tank site has an article that calls this out. 30 is low, 50 is med and 90 is high.


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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-15-2020, 01:53 PM
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Well I test lights for my aquarium club. And many LEDís that are 300 par
I would consider 50 par a really low light led.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-15-2020, 02:53 PM
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I look at this way:

Low CO2 (<20ppm) substrate readings
Low Light: 15-30 PAR
Med Light: 30-50 PAR (no more for low CO2 setups)

High CO2 (30-40ppm) substrate readings
Low Light: 30-50 PAR
Med Light: 50-80 PAR
High Light: >80PAR
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-15-2020, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
I look at this way:

Low CO2 (<20ppm) substrate readings
Low Light: 15-30 PAR
Med Light: 30-50 PAR (no more for low CO2 setups)

High CO2 (30-40ppm) substrate readings
Low Light: 30-50 PAR


Med Light: 50-80 PAR
High Light: >80PAR
Are you considering these all as substrate readings?
...
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-15-2020, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Jah410 View Post
Are you considering these all as substrate readings?
...
Yes
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-15-2020, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jah410 View Post
One thing that is bugging me is determining how strong a light really is.

What PAR levels do you guys find correspond to low, medium, and high light? High level being able to grow high light plants and also get the full coloration to show (Reds, oranges, etc.).

At what point does CO2 become necessary/actually beneficial.
From my experience co2 is beneficial at all light levels. There is a shortage of it regardless of light. Some plants that won't grow in low-tech, will grow in a Walstad-type setup because of the add'l co2 generated from the dirt.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 12:28 AM
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By the way, dirt does not produce co2 (carbon dioxide). Plants will use carbon from multiple sources, including the carbon in the dirt and the mulm of decaying plant matter. The plants will also use the carbon in the carbonate hardness, which is why KH can sometimes diminish in a high tech tank. But CO2 is beneficial at all light levels. Plants cannot photosynthesize without light, nutrients and a carbon source. The most common source of carbon in low tech tanks is carbonic acid H2CO3. But some slow growers do better with this type of carbon (like anubias, crypts, mosses, ferns etc), while other plants will simply not survive without the addition of co2. But all plants need a source of carbon. That's why adding co2 regardless of your light level is never a waste.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 12:24 PM
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By the way, dirt does not produce co2 (carbon dioxide). .
So using the correct soil, are you saying that co2 is not produced from decomposition of organic matter? Are you saying the co2 levels in a dirt/soil tank don't have the ability to be higher than one with an inert substrate and no co2 injection?


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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-24-2020, 07:57 PM
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So using the correct soil, are you saying that co2 is not produced from decomposition of organic matter? Are you saying the co2 levels in a dirt/soil tank don't have the ability to be higher than one with an inert substrate and no co2 injection?
There is very limited CO2 in submerged dirt. That is why aquarium plants have developed a mechanism to tap other carbon sources. Two major sources of carbon are 1) the extraction of bicarbonate and 2) carbonic acid from decaying plant matter. Carbon and CO2 are not the same thing.

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-24-2020, 08:12 PM
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There is very limited CO2 in submerged dirt. That is why aquarium plants have developed a mechanism to tap other carbon sources. Two major sources of carbon are 1) the extraction of bicarbonate and 2) carbonic acid from decaying plant matter. Carbon and CO2 are not the same thing.
You could throw all the science at it that you want, but it's FACT that tanks with the correct soil have increased co2 available to plants above and beyond what they will have in a tank with an inert base and no injection. This has been studied by Walstad as well as plenty of hobbyist tanks. I have no desire to go back and forth on the exact reason you think it's not so. It really can't be refuted when it happens in thousands of tanks. Not sure what you mean by very limited but tanks can generate upwards of 8 to 10 ppm of co2, which can make the difference between some plants growing or not.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-24-2020, 08:47 PM
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Sorry, you’re fundamentally misunderstanding why dirted tanks do better because you’re confusing carbon with co2. They are not the same thing.

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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-24-2020, 10:25 PM
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Sorry, you’re fundamentally misunderstanding why dirted tanks do better because you’re confusing carbon with co2. They are not the same thing.
I think one is a solid and one is a gas. I'm just not 100% sure which one. I'm gonna guess and say the co2 is the gas.

So if your saying I'm misunderstanding then your also saying D.Walstad is misunderstanding and her book is wrong. As well as well as anyone else achieving higher levels of co2 in a soil-based tank?


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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-24-2020, 11:15 PM
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Worth reading
https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2018/0...limate-change/

Though how it pertains to waterlogged souls is ??

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-24-2020, 11:45 PM
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I think one is a solid and one is a gas. I'm just not 100% sure which one. I'm gonna guess and say the co2 is the gas.
So if your saying I'm misunderstanding then your also saying D.Walstad is misunderstanding and her book is wrong. As well as well as anyone else achieving higher levels of co2 in a soil-based tank?
Again, youíre deeply missing the point. Iím in agreement with Walstad. Youíre making a misleading statement when you claim dirt creates or contain co2 in a submerged aquatic environment. Not even Walstad is making that claim. Dirt does not create/contain co2, but it contains a very valuable supply of carbon. Carbon (c) is not carbon dioxide (CO2). Plants only use the C portion of CO2. But I see that youíve only been on the forum for 2 years and you already have more than 2200 posts, which says a lot.
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