co2 or par meter? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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co2 or par meter?

my tank is a 38 gallon 36"x 12"x 20"
2 36watt t5ho bulbs 8"s above tank for what i assume is medium lighting, which is the goal.
50-50 flourite gravel mix for substrate
EI dosing with excel for co2
RM root tabs soon to be in tank as well

the pressurized co2 would probably do some good things to the plants but ive seen some seriously great tanks without it. which kinda leans me towards the meter, plus the immense fun id have playing with lights doesnt hurt either.

what do you, oh masters of the planted tank universe, think would be the smartest choice? co2 or par meter?

kind of a bad question i know ,but its what i got .


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 04:16 AM
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Pressurized CO2, for sure. PAR meters are nice toys, but you can likely borrow one from someone if you're really that interested in finding out what your PAR levels are...
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 04:41 AM
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CO2 and a drop checker. You probably have too much light. Your tank is only 12" tall?

A par meter is handy but you'll use it once or twice.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 04:42 AM
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^^ +1 CO2 for sure. even 8" above the tank your HO fixture is going to put out tons of light, and with EI dosing the CO2 will be needed. excel helps to a certain extent, but not enough with a setup like yours

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
CO2 and a drop checker. You probably have too much light. Your tank is only 12" tall?
i thought it was length x width x height. 36" long x 12" front to back x 20" tall


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 10:31 AM
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Do some homework on people who didn't use Chow but got excellent tanks. Barreport.com is one of them. I don't think you necessaraly need co2 all the time. There are pleasing tanks that don't use it


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...DIY co2 sucks
...ricca sucks
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by accordztech View Post
Do some homework on people who didn't use Chow but got excellent tanks. Barreport.com is one of them. I don't think you necessaraly need co2 all the time. There are pleasing tanks that don't use it
And you'll probably find the number of people who don't use a PAR meter but have pleasing tanks is at least 100x greater again.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by austinramirez View Post
^^ +1 CO2 for sure. even 8" above the tank your HO fixture is going to put out tons of light, and with EI dosing the CO2 will be needed. excel helps to a certain extent, but not enough with a setup like yours
I don't know about It still having a ton of light at that height. Tom Barr had some convincing evidence that even a metal halide at that height was low light intensity according to his par unit


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...DIY co2 sucks
...ricca sucks
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by accordztech View Post
I don't know about It still having a ton of light at that height. Tom Barr had some convincing evidence that even a metal halide at that height was low light intensity according to his par unit
according to hoppy's chart in the sticky and a little bad math on my part i should be right around the medium lighting category, maybe med-high.

with a par meter and the excel i believe i could be fine if i knew for sure where my lights are on this tank and i am setting up another tank 10gal for experimentations.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 02:28 AM
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Personally, I would never even consider spending all that money on a PAR meter that I'd use once or twice if I didn't have pressurized CO2 yet.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 02:33 AM
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Co2

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 03:18 AM
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I'm a widget freak who builds his own LED arrays, helps others build LED arrays, and in general loves to fiddle with anything light related. When I borrow a PAR meter, I'm out in the yard checking the PAR around the shrubs, under trees, in goldfish ponds, in fishing ponds, you name it, I'll check it.


But you should still get the CO2 in my opinion


My experience is this:

1) A PAR meter will inevitably CAUSE you pain. Loaning out a $300 tool is something that you can expect to happen. People will nag the crap out of you when they find out you have it lol. And even when you have it with you, you'll be worried about your tank's PAR-- are these numbers too much for this plant, too little for that plant..... ----- you end up dying the death of a thousand cuts if you sweat the details of PAR meter numbers. They are useful. But not $300 if you only have 1 tank and don't do fancy light builds all the time.

2) CO2 will make life a lot LESS painful. Regardless of your light level, the correct amount of CO2 can only HELP your tank. Nobody ever wants to borrow it (unless they are drunk on their own homebrew) and I've never seen anybody regret a good pressurized CO2 system.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfishsc View Post
I'm a widget freak who builds his own LED arrays, helps others build LED arrays, and in general loves to fiddle with anything light related. When I borrow a PAR meter, I'm out in the yard checking the PAR around the shrubs, under trees, in goldfish ponds, in fishing ponds, you name it, I'll check it.


But you should still get the CO2 in my opinion


My experience is this:

1) A PAR meter will inevitably CAUSE you pain. Loaning out a $300 tool is something that you can expect to happen. People will nag the crap out of you when they find out you have it lol. And even when you have it with you, you'll be worried about your tank's PAR-- are these numbers too much for this plant, too little for that plant..... ----- you end up dying the death of a thousand cuts if you sweat the details of PAR meter numbers. They are useful. But not $300 if you only have 1 tank and don't do fancy light builds all the time.

2) CO2 will make life a lot LESS painful. Regardless of your light level, the correct amount of CO2 can only HELP your tank. Nobody ever wants to borrow it (unless they are drunk on their own homebrew) and I've never seen anybody regret a good pressurized CO2 system.

just the kind of answer i was looking for, thank you.
well, im off to buy some co2!!! but will be getting a par meter later i guess just to have some fun


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