Seneye Par Meter vs... anybody else? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-08-2020, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Seneye Par Meter vs... anybody else?

So I am tired of not knowing ppfd in my tanks. I want to know exactly what my lights are putting out and where in the tank. This is not purely for my own one time edification. I plan on a bigger aquarium down the line with DIY lighting. I will definitely need a par meter at that point so I figured it might be good to get one now and actually get to enjoy it.

My question is thus, what is the best and cheapest par meter. Seneye Reef Monitor costs 200 dollars, uses a computer and gives me stats on things like kelvin and lux (plus other things I care less about).

The Apogee SQ-420 also uses a computer and costs 234 dollars but only gives ppfd and nothing else. I have seen test videos online and they both seem very similar to each other. I think there is 1 or 2 other meters out there very similar in cost and performance to the Apogee sensor (possibly clones) but nothing else that I have seen offers better functionality at this price range.

Is there anything else I should consider at this point or should I just pull the trigger on the Seneye?

Thoughts?


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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-08-2020, 01:30 AM
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Before I bought my Seneye, I went through the same thing that you are going through now: trying to find decent quality at a price lower than the Seneye. Finally came to the conclusion that there is nothing (even considered some DIY options here and there on TPT). Fortunately, when I bought mine it was on sale for ~$150, but that was over two years ago. I haven't regretted the purchase. I believe that, for those that like knowing as much detail as possible about their tanks, the first priority should be to consider that a light purchase should include both the light and the Seneye.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-08-2020, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
So I am tired of not knowing ppfd in my tanks. I want to know exactly what my lights are putting out and where in the tank. This is not purely for my own one time edification. I plan on a bigger aquarium down the line with DIY lighting. I will definitely need a par meter at that point so I figured it might be good to get one now and actually get to enjoy it.


The Apogee SQ-420 also uses a computer and costs 234 dollars but only gives ppfd and nothing else. I have seen test videos online and they both seem very similar to each other. I think there is 1 or 2 other meters out there very similar in cost and performance to the Apogee sensor (possibly clones) but nothing else that I have seen offers better functionality at this price range.
You prob. really won't use any of the functionality of the sensor besides PPFD...
pH ammonia cards are too "expensive".YMMV
I have an issue w/ LUX measurements (but who really needs them)
The K measurements.. some people seem to get them spot on but I don't "believe" mine are.. though w/out a real spectrophotometer..????
Cosine correction is a good thing and Seneye lacks it.
and then there is the red "thing"..
https://www.seneye.com/light/par

Like Deanna I bought it on sale.
Actually the 420 was also heavily discounted at the time but still a good $100+ more than the Seneye
and in general use was just as accurate, oddly enough given it's inherent weaknesses.

I can't definitively say I regret the Seneye but if I went back in time I'd prob. get the new Apogee instead.
Bottom line is I take the Apogee more serious than the Seneye but to be fair I would be somewhat of an outlier in this.

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Last edited by jeffkrol; 03-08-2020 at 06:37 AM. Reason: edit
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-08-2020, 05:33 AM
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Bulk reef supply has done some comparisons between seneye and apogee. I think both will work for my needs. I have the seneye it worked well to start a new tank. I was able to start my light at a low setting and slowly work it up to a target par, and was able to monitor ammonia and ph while the tank was cycling. I agree the slides are a little expensive to continually renew but was really nice to monitor a new tank.


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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-08-2020, 02:28 PM
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I'm not saying this would be the way to go for the OP, but as an Apex owner, I would get the Apex PMK: https://www.neptunesystems.com/pmk-par-monitoring-kit/

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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-08-2020, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not saying this would be the way to go for the OP, but as an Apex owner, I would get the Apex PMK: https://www.neptunesystems.com/pmk-par-monitoring-kit/
I don't need the continious monitoring functioning, but does the apex have any more technical capability regarding light and spectrum compared to the Apogee or seneye?


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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-08-2020, 08:41 PM
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When A/Bíing a Seneye par meter with an Apogee QM510, the seneye read a very consistent 60% or so BELOW what the Apogee was reading. Tested on both metal
Halide and t5ho light sources with well over 100 readings each. At a roughly $300 price tag difference is that percentage difference in the testing data significant enough to warrant paying the higher price of the Apogee? You bet! For me it sure was anyway.


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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-08-2020, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
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When A/B’ing a Seneye par meter with an Apogee QM510, the seneye read a very consistent 60% or so BELOW what the Apogee was reading. Tested on both metal
Halide and t5ho light sources with well over 100 readings each. At a roughly $300 price tag difference is that percentage difference in the testing data significant enough to warrant paying the higher price of the Apogee? You bet! For me it sure was anyway.


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That post reads like an advertisement for apogee knocking the competition. I have read no source who would make claims like that, let alone 100 measurements with no data shown to backup the statement.

It sounds like a systematic error that you were making when using the seneye, perhaps it was not sitting flat or tilted to directly face the light. Apogee may very well be a better PAR meter but both can get you an accurate PAR value (not 40% different) if used properly, of course nothing is close to a professional spectrophotmeter used in real laboratories that costs thousands.

Edit: I own a Seneye Reef, the measurements of my Twinstar 600s match manufacturer specs and other reports from hobbyists on these forums for PAR so I have no reason to doubt it is measuring accurately.
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Last edited by cl3537; 03-08-2020 at 10:26 PM. Reason: ...
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-08-2020, 10:35 PM
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That post reads like an advertisement for apogee knocking the competition. I have read no source who would make claims like that, let alone 100 measurements with no data shown to backup the statement.

It sounds like a systematic error that you were making when using the seneye, perhaps it was not sitting flat or tilted to directly face the light. Apogee may very well be a better PAR meter but both can get you an accurate PAR value (not 40% different) if used properly, of course nothing is close to a professional spectrophotmeter used in real laboratories that costs thousands.

Edit: I own a Seneye Reef, the measurements of my Twinstar 600s match manufacturer specs and other reports from hobbyists on these forums for PAR so I have no reason to doubt it is measuring accurately.


I donít have peer reviewed data to
Back it up. Nor do I care. I tried both meters before purchasing one. Jotting numbers down for personal use is all I felt would be necessary. Buy whatever you want. I donít care. Donít use a par meter at all and guess. Use a lux meter. Sell your tank and quit the hobby.
Makes no difference to me. I donít need to submit my own personal results to a university study in order to please the masses. The OP asked for thoughts. I shared mine. Donít like them? Tough


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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-08-2020, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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When A/Bíing a Seneye par meter with an Apogee QM510, the seneye read a very consistent 60% or so BELOW what the Apogee was reading. Tested on both metal
Halide and t5ho light sources with well over 100 readings each. At a roughly $300 price tag difference is that percentage difference in the testing data significant enough to warrant paying the higher price of the Apogee? You bet! For me it sure was anyway.


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I wish I could try before I buy. I don't even know where to go to do something like that. The Apogee Full Spectrum Quantum 510 is not even close to my price range unfortunately. At 500 dollars its way more then I want to spend. It covers a bigger slice of the spectrum (my guess why you were seeing such dramatically different results) but its also at the far ends of the spectrum and thus less useful for plants.

The seneye is more comparable to the Apogee 420, each measures a similar slice of the spectrum and in all the videos I have watched folks say they are pretty consistent with each other.

Right now I am leaning towards the apogee for two reasons. 1) Jeffkol raised the issue that the kelvin measurement might not be accurate (frankly the major draw for me for the seneye) and 2) the Apogee sensor is physically smaller which will be easier to attach to a wand and easier to use it in small tanks and tight locations. To be clear this is the Apogee 420 I am talking about. Not any of the full spectrum models.


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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-08-2020, 11:55 PM
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At the end of the day either one will get you close and you will still have too watch plants and adjust as necessary.


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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-08-2020, 11:59 PM
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I wish I could try before I buy. I don't even know where to go to do something like that. The Apogee Full Spectrum Quantum 510 is not even close to my price range unfortunately. At 500 dollars its way more then I want to spend. It covers a bigger slice of the spectrum (my guess why you were seeing such dramatically different results) but its also at the far ends of the spectrum and thus less useful for plants.



The seneye is more comparable to the Apogee 420, each measures a similar slice of the spectrum and in all the videos I have watched folks say they are pretty consistent with each other.



Right now I am leaning towards the apogee for two reasons. 1) Jeffkol raised the issue that the kelvin measurement might not be accurate (frankly the major draw for me for the seneye) and 2) the Apogee sensor is physically smaller which will be easier to attach to a wand and easier to use it in small tanks and tight locations. To be clear this is the Apogee 420 I am talking about. Not any of the full spectrum models.


Totally understandable. I was fortunate enough to know a local with both and he allowed me to borrow them before buying. I had some big questions regarding my lighting and got a deal I couldnít refuse on the qm510 (brand new with wand for 390, from a retailer. Just happened to be on sale). Iíd have been content to just have my readings I got from when I borrowed it, but I didnít think Iíd find a deal like that again so I jumped on it


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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-09-2020, 12:14 AM
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The seneye is more comparable to the Apogee 420, each measures a similar slice of the spectrum and in all the videos I have watched folks say they are pretty consistent with each other.

Gak.. did it again..

My response was referring to the "newest" (more expensive) sensor..
sorry...

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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-09-2020, 12:16 AM
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my Twinstar 600s

Good to see you posting.

Have you tried this timer/dimmer for the 600: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...l#post11302845? It's quite good.

You'll also need this adapter: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1.

For those with the Beamswork Fspec, this dimmer/timer also works well with that.
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-09-2020, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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Gak.. did it again..

My response was referring to the "newest" (more expensive) sensor..
sorry...
Its all good. What I said though still rings true for me, if the kelvin reading can't be trusted then the seneye is on similar footing as the apogee and the apogee I can see being easier to make a wand for and fit into small places. Whereas the seneye looks a bit more awkward to use.

I will sit on this for another day or so, if anyone else has comments either way I definitely want to hear them, but I am leaning towards the apogee for the reasons stated.


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