So! Thanks to the "Brotherhood of the Traveling PAR Meter" (and majorly @Greggz
), I now have some PAR data for this tank!
Lighting is 2x
24" Current Satellite Plus Pros with my chosen "daylight" setting of White:95 Red:100 Green:50 Blue:0
Mirroring what @Immortal1
saw in his Seneye Review Thread
, the PUR seems pretty low for these units at high a W setting. I'm sure B at 0 doesn't help this cause and I forgot why I took off B at the time. I think it was @jeffkrol
complaining about 'purple' tanks
. B is present during my Sunrise and Sunset cycle times but that's another story. Regardless, bumping B to 100, due to the only 9 RGB LEDs vs 20 whites, results in a neglible PUR change at this level of PAR. This is definitely where @KZB
's additional R/B LED bars or those Sunblaster toting guys @Quagulator
, @Ken Keating1
, are kicking up the PUR. To heck with purple tanks, I love it! There, I said it. I even love purple plants! Sorry, jeffkrol. I have fallen to the dark side.
First up: a full tank shot to show where things are:
It's no secret that right now, my prized plants are my cat like crypt flamingo (because it gives no care of what you want it to do) and my rotala ramosior florida so I start near there. Middle front. What's not presented in this picture is that the PAR is constantly fluctuating between this and 90 due to swaying whatevers (floaters,stems,filter ripples) above it. The sensor's location is well, I should've measured it, but I'm guessing around 14 inches deep given a 16 inch height of a 20G high. This sort of reflect somewhat closely to the claimed 100 PAR @ 12 inches on Current's site
. As far front as the sensor is, I don't think the back unit is adding any significant light to this area. I learned that shading drastically reduces PAR from this endeavor.
Let's see what happens if I move the meter a little more in and nestled between my two plants. This position is being shaded by the relatively tall midground stuff behind it and a floater or two on the extreme left. Said midground stuff is probably also blocking the back unit from shining on this area. Reflecting what I said about shading affecting PAR, I lose almost 1/3 of my light here.
Alright, let's go over to the open carpet! No shade here! These montecarlos are getting everything the light has to offer. Probably even some wash from the back unit. The PAR reading reflects this. OR is it that I'm coming to the conclusion based on the PAR reading?
Fine, then the AR should be getting a good hit since it's closer to the surface? Oh, no, what a surprise. I think the rotala macrandra is shading it. Even in an area where it's supposed to benefit from both back and front units, I think missing the left leds and not having the right leds being near the end of the tank, is severely affecting it.
Okay, enough of this. What DOES having two units give me near the surface of the water? Here's what the top most stems get. Between the rotala colorata, rotala macrandra, a stem of rotala ramosior, they're really soaking up the rays. A nice fat, combined 300 PAR.
I took the sensor back to the middle over the hydrocotyle and I thought I had made a snap of that, but I guess not. It was hovering around the mere 120s I think and not the high 100s or low 200s that I expected. I thought about it and I suspect again, it's due to the surroundings. Big fat floaters on the left and the rotala stems on the right soaking up 300 PAR. At this point, I was pretty satisfied that I got a handle on what's happening in this tank and life was interrupting so I had to finish up. I was both surprised and a little disappointed. Surprised that I hit close to 100 on the first reading. Disappointed that I didn't get higher PUR and higher readings in other areas or closer to the surface. But not so disappointed, when I started to figure what was going on. For PUR, I guess that's the nature of the light and I suppose I already had a preview by Immortal1's readings. As for higher PAR readings, I've always been mindful of where I place some of my plants to get the better light (i.e. aware of my floaters), but I don't think I've thought about neighbor shading so much. It was definitely beneficial to have one of these seneyes around to confirm or remind me of things.
So what did I learn from all this?
I guess it's time for a trim!
to be continued ...