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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is a good par meter that works well with freshwater planted tanks? Most of the ones i find seem tuned for reef which I presume means they focus on blue spectrum....
 

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What is a good par meter that works well with freshwater planted tanks? Most of the ones i find seem tuned for reef which I presume means they focus on blue spectrum....

"PAR" meters by definition don't focus on any spectrum except 400-

700nm.
2 best choices:
Seneye or any Apogee w/the new sensor..



"Old" apogees are fine unless you run a lot of 660nm or less red but at that point the Seneye is equiv.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are there specific model numbers ? How do you tell if the apogee has the new sensor ?

"PAR" meters by definition don't focus on any spectrum except 400-

700nm.
2 best choices:
Seneye or any Apogee w/the new sensor..



"Old" apogees are fine unless you run a lot of 660nm or less red but at that point the Seneye is equiv.
 

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Are there specific model numbers ? How do you tell if the apogee has the new sensor ?

It's blue. :)


Anyways (BTW if I remember correctly there seems to have been a LARGE increase in prices BUT ???)
it would depend if you want a "stand alone" device or hook it to say a Windows or MAC-x laptop.


https://www.apogeeinstruments.com/mq-510-full-spectrum-underwater-quantum-meter/
Stand alone


https://www.apogeeinstruments.com/sq-520-full-spectrum-smart-quantum-sensor-usb/
teathered.


Bulkreef supply generally runs a Nov. sale on these..


https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/seneye-reef-monitor.html
Needs windows..




If you were going "all in" I'd suggest the even newer one
https://www.apogeeinstruments.com/sq-626-340-1040-nm-usb-output-extended-range-pfd-sensor/


Really not necessary for LEd's since there is generally little out before 400nm and past 700nm.


It's silver.. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do you think it is reasonably accurate for par; reviews are pretty negative.

The Seneye Reef is a pretty cool piece of kit at significantly lower cost than a 'proper' PAR meter. I didn't have any luck using the slides to read pH and ammonia in my tank (apparently it doesn't work well at very low KH), but worth it for the PAR meter functionality alone.
 

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Do you think it is reasonably accurate for par; reviews are pretty negative.
The Seneye is used by quite a number of us here on TPT, but 'group think' might be misleading us. Where did you see negative reviews? I'd like to look at them.
 

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I take the Seneye PUR values at their word (maybe mistakenly), since I have no way to calibrate.
 
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I take the Seneye PUR values at their word (maybe mistakenly), since I have no way to calibrate.
Same here. My feeling is that the results are good enough for our purposes. I actually bought it for setting up my indoor hydroponics where I needed to balance light intensity, evenness of illumination, and also to balance the spectrum with a combination of "full spectrum" white LEDS and red & blue strips. It worked really well for this. Seneye tech support were sure the readings should be equally accurate in and out of water.

If you need to accurately measure light output for reviewing lamps or scientific studies then get something else. But for home / hobby use, the Seneye is (I think) more than good enough, especially given the cost. If money were no object, I would of course have bought the latest Apogee though!
 

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Seneye tech support were sure the readings should be equally accurate in and out of water.
THAT is new information.. thanks.
Only question I have is that the red led blinks when it's out of the water..
and is in the sensor window area..
 

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THAT is new information.. thanks.
---------------------------------
My message to Seneye Tech support:
---------------------------------

Hi there,

I recently bought a Seneye Reef device, mainly for measuring light in my freshwater planted aquarium, but also to hopefully get some idea of light levels and spectra in my home indoor hydroponic setup which uses LED grow-lights.

I’m assuming that the device is calibrated to give correct PAR measurements when submerged in water, and that PAR readings taken out of water may not be accurate. Is this correct? Is there a calibration factor I can apply to correct readings taken with the sensor dry? Will the spectrum readings be affected, and if so, in what way?

Kind regards, James

---------------------------------
Seneye's reply:
---------------------------------

Hi James,

Thanks for getting in contact with us,
The device does not need to be calibrated and is designed to take light readings in the water but it should also work out of the water, for more info on how to use the device please take a look at the link below:
https://answers.seneye.com/en/Seney...ht_meter_functions/using_the_reef_light_meter

If you have any further questions please let us know.

Kind regards,

Seneye Support Team
Seneye ltd, Norwich Airport P & R building, 10 Buck Courtney Cresent, Norwich, NR6 6JT, UK.
+44 (0)1223 911075

---------------------------------

To be honest, I am not 100% convinced that this is true given that other units need a calibration factor to compensate for in water / out of water use. But like I said above, the reading are good enough for my purposes (I think!).

Only question I have is that the red led blinks when it's out of the water. and is in the sensor window area..
Yes, the red sensor LED blinks. I think that's how it reads the slides for pH and ammonia levels. But this doesn't affect the light readings. You can disable the alert LEDs (e.g out of water, high ammonia, different to the sensor LED) via the software.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Both reef and amazon have a ton of negative reviews; most are on things like the ph meter but a couple note that the par metering was way off when compared to other devices.

The Seneye is used by quite a number of us here on TPT, but 'group think' might be misleading us. Where did you see negative reviews? I'd like to look at them.
 

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Both reef and amazon have a ton of negative reviews; most are on things like the ph meter but a couple note that the par metering was way off when compared to other devices.
I'd be interested in some of the reef reviews ...if you're willing to take the time to supply them. It would be interesting to see how those reviewers calibrated the comparison products and the Seneye.

I don't pay much attention to Amazon reviews. They are generally written about a day after an item arrives, without gaining experience with the products and are not well considered.
 

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I'd be interested in some of the reef reviews ...if you're willing to take the time to supply them. It would be interesting to see how those reviewers calibrated the comparison products and the Seneye.

I don't pay much attention to Amazon reviews. They are generally written about a day after an item arrives, without gaining experience with the products and are not well considered.

bulkreefsupply did a good test..
ONE thing about it though is

1)Li-Cor software wasn't applying the underwater correction factor. A bug Li-Cor fixed but was
there for quite some time.
Which was 1.3 I believe
24%-ish under estimate or something like that

2)"New" Apogee also had a bug in some lots of their new sensor.




Seneye has its own share of oddities..
Don't think "LUX" is correct based on numerous lux converted to par data.
Also calls cyan only light 5000k.. ;)



Apogee Instruments Inc.
3 years ago
We’ve investigated the issues raised with our PAR meters in this video and have posted an announcement on our website (see link below). We wanted to conduct our own testing using precision spectroradiometers, since the reference sensor used in the video was having software problems causing the other meters to look significantly worse than they are. In this process, we found that the Licor meter's software error explained some of the bad numbers in the video, but our testing also uncovered a small manufacturing defect in our 500 series sensors that has been causing low readings when measuring individual bulbs that are in the 400-420 nm range (such as deep-blue and violet "actinic" bulbs). This has been corrected in our sensors going forward, but if you already own an Apogee 500 series PAR meter and want to see if this issue significantly affects the measurements you are making, please see our site for more details. http://www.apogeeinstruments.com/apogee-instruments-500-quantum-series-product-announcement/
another test:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2626700

Note.. REPLACED above link, had the wrong one originally.

SADLY, not sure if any are err valid that long ago (2017).

ONE major thing is the Seneye is not cosine corrected..and the others are.
It's pretty directional so tilts/shifts really mess w/ the readings.

https://www.seneye.com/light/par
 

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@jeffkrol

Thanks. I had watched that video before buying my Seneye and, based upon this and other research, came to the conclusion that the Seneye value was higher than their competitors if only concerned about light readings directly (or slightly outside) under the light, which was my primary interest. It seems that this is still the case.
 

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I have the seneye and it works well enough. Have used a couple others. Honestly, exact PAR values are irrelevant. It does not matter if your lighting produces 90 vs 100 par. A balanced tank will not care. The main concern is knowing the range. Are we talking 20ish par, 50ish, 100ish, 300...? As long as the meter used will get you close (IMO within 20%), it's all you need.
 

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I have the seneye and it works well enough. Have used a couple others. Honestly, exact PAR values are irrelevant. It does not matter if your lighting produces 90 vs 100 par. A balanced tank will not care. The main concern is knowing the range. Are we talking 20ish par, 50ish, 100ish, 300...? As long as the meter used will get you close (IMO within 20%), it's all you need.
Right. You don't need precise values of PAR as ballpark figures are sufficient to determine if you can grow low, medium or high light plants.

You don't need an expensive PAR meter over $300 to measure precise PAR underwater. A cheap substitute I use is a LUX meter sold under $30 for photography to measure LUX and convert LUX to PAR. The conversion factors vary with the light sources and for LEDs, PAR can be estimated by dividing LUX by a conversion factor of 70. Since the LUX meter cannot measure underwater, you have to drain down the tank to measure LUX in air, considering that actual PAR will increase when the tank is filled due to reflection from glass containment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You don't need a precise number - i agree. But if the error is large or wildly inconsistent across different lights then it becomes irrelevant. I'm not claiming this is the case but the relatively low reviews on reef-bulk and amazon left me concern.

I have the seneye and it works well enough. Have used a couple others. Honestly, exact PAR values are irrelevant. It does not matter if your lighting produces 90 vs 100 par. A balanced tank will not care. The main concern is knowing the range. Are we talking 20ish par, 50ish, 100ish, 300...? As long as the meter used will get you close (IMO within 20%), it's all you need.
 
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