Greggz 120G Rainbow Fish Tank (New PAR reading...6-15-2019) - Page 169 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #2521 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 12:04 AM
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Greggz! Look, I'm asking you politely!!! I/We need some pointers on how to take pics like yours asap!!!

On a serious note I think the pics posted in this thread are incredible! Also, if you want to add shrimp again I can give you some advice (that feels weird just saying it given your experience.) All you'll need is

1. A flat rock/slate
2. Led moon lights
3. Timer

I once had a tank with angels who'd mercilessly kill any shrimp they could catch with an exploding population of cherries using just the above.
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post #2522 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RollaPrime View Post
Greggz! Look, I'm asking you politely!!! I/We need some pointers on how to take pics like yours asap!!!

On a serious note I think the pics posted in this thread are incredible! Also, if you want to add shrimp again I can give you some advice (that feels weird just saying it given your experience.) All you'll need is

1. A flat rock/slate
2. Led moon lights
3. Timer

I once had a tank with angels who'd mercilessly kill any shrimp they could catch with an exploding population of cherries using just the above.
I can use all the advice I can get on shrimp. So are you saying the shrimp will hide under the slate? And I do have LED moon lights and a pretty fancy smart timer. Tell me more.

Now as to pics, I just use my Samsung Note 8. I am no expert, but here is what I do. Make sure the glass is clean. No ambient light/reflections....best when it's dark outside and lights off in fish room. Lights up in tank all the way. More light = better clear details. And good color of light makes a large difference.

For fish, take LOTS of pictures. I might take 40 pics of the Bows and get 2 or 3 really good ones. It's mostly sheer luck.

I use PRO mode camera setting. You really need to mess around with your settings to see what comes out looking the most like what you see in real life. Mine is at ISO 200, WB 4800K, brightness -1.5 for full tank shots. Brightness 0.0 for fish shots (more light better/clearer detail).

Only post processing is cropping and maybe a brightness adjustment. So take that for what it is worth, you might find better techniques that work for you.

Now of course, the most helpful thing is to have good subject matter! I am always working on that.


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Last edited by Greggz; 06-13-2019 at 12:52 AM. Reason: typo
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post #2523 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
I can use all the advice I can get on shrimp. So are you saying the shrimp will hide under the slate? And I do have LED moon lights and a pretty fancy smart timer. Tell me more.
In my 55G I had a few rocks placed diagonally against the back of the aquarium and later on one of the sides of the aquarium. Buried/rooted in the substrate to secure it and adjusted so that fish couldn't access it. Once that is set up you need a dimly lit led that comes on before an hour before your lighting, in my experience the shrimp used that as a signal and basically went into hiding as the angels and bleeding hearts stirred.

But most importantly, add the shrimp when the lights are off for the night, that way they get to "feel" out the tank and their new surroundings and also find the hiding spots. I actually got this advice from a youtuber back when I had a youtube account. Both my tetras and angels were vicious to the point where if they caught a shrimp out and about, they wouldn't hesitate to eat it but because of the setup I found myself dropping off shrimp to my lfs regularly or store credit, because I had too many.

I once disturbed one of these rocks during a water change and was shocked at the amount of shrimp that came rushing out. There were so many that the tetras and angelfish didn't know where to begin. I lost a several but turned off the lights to save the rest, sure enough they all returned to their favorte spots within an hour.


I hope some of that helps


I'll be trying out some of your photo techniques soon!
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post #2524 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 02:27 PM
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Good comment on the slate @RollaPrime, I need to try this . One of my dwarf neon rainbows has been decimating my amanos. He can't eat them as they're too big, but he gets them about 1/2 way into his mouth, then spits them out in 15 minutes because he can't swallow them.

The tank's looking great @gregzz!
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post #2525 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Mentioned I was replacing some T5 bulbs. I let the new ones burn in for a week, then took some readings this morning. I knew what I was expecting, but went in with an open mind………and turns out things are not what I expected.

First up the Giesemann Super Flora. Last time I measured it, I literally just put in that day. That was about 16 months ago, and it was 108 PAR/68 PUR. The reading was taken about 2” below the water line, about 10” from the bulb.

Well, these Giesemann’s truly are PAR beasts. Today the reading was PAR 133/64 PUR. It had actually gone up after burning in. So then I tested a brand new Super Flora that has been burned in for a week. Reading was PAR 134/64 PUR. Yep, the same reading as the 16 month old bulb. Needless to say, the old bulb is staying in until it burns out.

Next came the Giesemann Tropic. Same deal. Last time when literally just put into the fixture, PAR 95/PUR 58. Same bulb today PAR 123/58 PUR. Brand new bulb that was burned in, PAR 123/58 PUR. Here we go again, old bulb is staying.

Next was a 2 year old ATI Purple Plus. Last reading was PAR 80/74 PUR. Today’s reading PAR 80/74 PUR. No difference in two years. But here’s a twist. I also let a Giesemann Super Purple burn in last week. Reading was PAR 107, PUR 76. Once again, Giesemann are PAR beasts.

So next the Powerveg 660. Last time was PAR 55/80 PUR. This time PAR 45/79 PUR. So this one did lose a little PAR. Then tested another colored bulb, the Plantmax 3000K……PAR 89/61 PUR, same as last time it was tested. So a little less color, but quite a bit more PAR.

Also tested the Truelumen Flora. Tested this one the day it went in 9 months ago….PAR 76/67 PUR. Today, PAR 85/PUR 72. Once again, PAR actually higher once it burned in.

So what do it mean? T5 bulbs keep their PAR a lot longer than most imagine. I thought they would all probably need to be replaced, but they are all staying in. And there is no question you can really vary your PAR with your bulb selection.

For instance, I tested my substrate PAR with both 4 bulbs and 6 bulbs running, and two configurations.

Giesemann Tropic
Giesemann Super Flora
Powerveg 660
ATI Purple Plus
Truelumen Flora
Truelumen Flora

This morning the reading with 4 bulbs (Giesemann’s & Truelumen’s) was PAR 93/62 PUR.

All six bulbs running was PAR 110/64 PUR.

Next I just swapped out the center two bulbs. Replaced the Powerveg with the Plantmax 3000, and the ATI Purple Plus with the Giesemann Super Purple.

Well here’s what we get. PAR goes from 110 to 144. Going to put my seat belt on and let it ride like this for a few weeks and see what happens. If I need to, I can swap one or two bulbs out and lower it a bit. And if I really wanted to go nuts, I could replace the Truelumen Flora's in the front with Giesemann Super Flora's. Guessing that would be another significant increase.



In other news, I posted to a thread recently about Rainbows jumping. Made the statement that Rainbows are known jumpers, but with a full canopy it’s of little concern. Well was out of town all week, and was checking the tank out yesterday and couldn’t find one Rainbow. Looked and looked, and it just wasn’t in the tank.

So starting searching behind the tank (which is tricky!) and there he was, my beautiful M. Picta laying there all dried up. First one I have had jump in quite some time, and like usual something always seems to happen when I am away. Very upsetting, so now looking at options to close off where the canopy is open to the rear.

And I hope that all the dads out there enjoy a wonderful Father's Day!


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Last edited by Greggz; 06-15-2019 at 07:44 PM. Reason: typo
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post #2526 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 07:45 PM
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To close up the back portion on my canopy I installed a horizontal piece of 1/4" thick plexiglass, say 1" x 4', about three inches above the back, then various smaller vertical strips were mounted with velco to this back piece down to the tank. The smaller pieces allowed me to work them around pipes, dosing tubes, cords, etc, with filler pieces above. They're easy to cut to size. It's worked quite well.
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Last edited by Ken Keating1; 06-15-2019 at 11:46 PM. Reason: Grammar
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post #2527 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 10:18 PM
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BRS did a video on T5ís and how long they last.
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post #2528 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 10:46 PM
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@Greggz - interesting info regarding the PAR / PUR levels of 1.5 to 2 year old bulbs. In some ways, it does not surprise me as I remember Dennis Wong saying he has not changed his bulbs in a long time or one other user (Maybe Joe?) that said they waited until the bulb burned out. I can understand generic Menards bulbs lasting 1 year but the specialty bulbs you are using, especially the higher quality brands, it does not surprise me at all that they are still running at full power.

As for the 144 PAR - should be interesting. I bumped my lights up a little more hoping for a bit more color. Never really bothered to check the PAR level though. My guess is you may get a little hair algae that likely will last a week or so.

Sorry about the jumper. I know it's just a fish, but it does bother me more than I thought it would when something like that happens. My curved glass lids seem to have helped but I suspect it would not work in your case. The plexy glass is probably the best solution for you.


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post #2529 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by EdWiser View Post
BRS did a video on T5ís and how long they last.
I've actually seen that video before, which is why I expected the PAR to be lower.

But based on my measurements, T5's need to be changed far less than most would assume. All measurements were taken with the same meter, and it was really amazing how the values were almost exactly the same one and two years later.

The other lesson is that different brands/colors of bulbs can produce a wide range of PAR values. If you really want to bring the heat, load up on Giesemann's.

Bump:
Quote:
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As for the 144 PAR - should be interesting. I bumped my lights up a little more hoping for a bit more color. Never really bothered to check the PAR level though. My guess is you may get a little hair algae that likely will last a week or so.

Sorry about the jumper. I know it's just a fish, but it does bother me more than I thought it would when something like that happens. My curved glass lids seem to have helped but I suspect it would not work in your case. The plexy glass is probably the best solution for you.
Yeah it might be a short experiment. I figured with my changes in dosing, why not give it a whirl and see what happens? Maybe the tank can withstand more PAR at leaner levels?? Only one way too find out.

And yes I was really, really upset about losing that fish. They are pretty rare in the hobby, and you don't see too many full grown mature adults.

I might go with egg crate, which is a little easier to work with and trim to size.


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post #2530 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:39 AM
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@Greggz: what is your total PAR at the substrate and how deep is that?
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post #2531 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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@Greggz: what is your total PAR at the substrate and how deep is that?
Well right now today it is at PAR 144 after I swapped in a few different bulbs.

But it's usually about PAR 110.

Lights are 8" above water surface, and 30" from the substrate.
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post #2532 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:59 AM
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I bumped my lights up a little more hoping for a bit more color. Never really bothered to check the PAR level though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Yeah it might be a short experiment. I figured with my changes in dosing, why not give it a whirl and see what happens? Maybe the tank can withstand more PAR at leaner levels?? Only one way too find out.
I'll have to revise the "Boes" contract now, to include 6M insurance coverage just like vendors @ work!

Sorry you had a jumper.

You could go with a "Donald" like method and install 10KV fencing along the back of the tank!

Upping the PAR:
I've been contemplating this for quite some time.
Speaking with Cavan and many others as to the best method.
My present schedule using StormX is a 6.5 hour photo period.
I really can't change this it controls 3 tanks and has limitations.
Could build some more LED pucks and have them only turn on for 2 hours in the middle of my existing photo-period for just two hours.
Uncontrolled and non-dimming my estimated PAR would be about 230 for 2 hours peak.
It involves milling down some heat sink material that I have been too lazy to accomplish.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #2533 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 02:06 AM
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And yes I was really, really upset about losing that fish. They are pretty rare in the hobby, and you don't see too many full grown mature adults.


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post #2534 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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I'll have to revise the "Boes" contract now, to include 6M insurance coverage just like vendors @ work!

Sorry you had a jumper.

You could go with a "Donald" like method and install 10KV fencing along the back of the tank!
LOL yes I am going to build a wall!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Upping the PAR:
I've been contemplating this for quite some time.
Speaking with Cavan and many others as to the best method.
My present schedule using StormX is a 6.5 hour photo period.
I really can't change this it controls 3 tanks and has limitations.
Could build some more LED pucks and have them only turn on for 2 hours in the middle of my existing photo-period for just two hours.
Uncontrolled and non-dimming my estimated PAR would be about 230 for 2 hours peak.
It involves milling down some heat sink material that I have been too lazy to accomplish.
I have been thinking about trying higher PAR for some time now. Not that I think I need it, but I want to see what might happen.

And I agree, rolling them on and less peak period might be the way to go.

So I reprogrammed my lighting schedule a few minutes ago. Rolling on two bulbs for 1/2 hour, then four bulbs for another hour. Then five hours with all six at full PAR. Then roll it back down same way.

So 8 hours total, but only five at full 144 PAR. Figure start there and see what happens.


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post #2535 of 2582 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 02:51 AM
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[QUOTE=Maryland Guppy;11217153]
You could go with a "Donald" like method and install 10KV fencing along the back of the tank!

Lol! No, @Greggz is smarter than that

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