Is A PAR Meter Necessary?

Should I Buy A Par Meter? Yes, you should have a PAR meter that is necessary for your fish tank:

  • Without a PAR meter, you can’t correctly set the position of your light
  • If you don’t have a PAR meter, you can’t accurately set the proper lighting height above the canopy
  • In the absence of a PAR meter, it is impossible to effectively adjust the dimming of your lighting
  • Without the aid of a PAR meter, it is impossible to discern if your lights are in need of cleaning or maintenance.

In light of the above in mind, it is essential to not only possess excellent grow lights but also great and easy lighting measuring equipment.

Apogee Instruments MQ-510 Underwater Full-Spectrum Quantum PAR Meter - Digital Light Meter for Aquarium Lighting & Aquarium Plant Care
  • DR BRUCE BUGBEE: Apogee PAR meters have been designed and refined by...
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: The MQ-510 is preferred by scientists and serious...
  • FEATURES: The rugged detector measures photosynthetic photons from...
  • RUGGED DESIGN: The sensor head is made of machined aluminum and fully...
  • MANUFACTURED IN THE USA: All meters are backed by our four-year...

Last update on 2024-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What is PAR?

PAR is an abbreviation to mean Photosynthetic Available Radiation or Photosynthetic Active Radiation. In the context of maintaining the aquarium healthy, PAR represents the quantity or intensity of light that falls within the correct spectrum that corals can benefit from.

On the other hand, lumens represent the brightness of visible light for humans, or the degree of brightness a light appears to us. Also, the difference between them is easy: PAR is usable for corals, whereas lumens can be visible to humans.

So, it’s essential to remember that human beings can be extremely inadequate in measuring it!

Is a PAR meter necessary?

Why is it important to use a PAR Meter? We often forget the significance of lighting in the course of our everyday lives. Because we buy our food at the grocery store We don’t often realize that food would not exist without illumination.

Sure, we’ve invented devices that convert electrical energy into luminescence. However, we wouldn’t have had the capability to create these devices if we weren’t around in the first place.

Without light, there wouldn’t be any photosynthesis as well, without the photosynthesis process we would not have oxygen for breathing.

Isn’t that fascinating?

All reefers must pay attention to how important photosynthesis as well as light is in the future in their lives if they value their corals and would like to see them grow and shine.

Is a PAR meter necessary? PAR levels are crucial to determine the following: (1) adding new coral to tanks and (2) the comparison of light fixtures against each other.

When you add the new corals to an existing tank, it’s crucial to duplicate the PAR levels that the corals were accustomed to in their previous tank.

If you are buying or purchasing an existing coral, it is important to know the current level and then locate a place in your tank where the levels match.

If you prefer having coral at a different spot in your tank, begin with a spot that corresponds to the levels of the previous one. As time passes, gradually shift it upwards or downwards into the water column till your desired position is attained.

At present, many popular light fixtures provide plenty of PAR. But, if you’re contemplating a less-known or reputable brand, examining PAR information can help you ensure that you’re getting a light that can grow the coral you’d like to see grow.

If you are looking at this information when analyzing this data, light balance and distribution are generally more important than the max PAR. A quality light should provide uniform PAR numbers across the area of coverage.

However lighting that is of poor quality can give high numbers directly beneath the light, but significantly lower values as you move further away from the source of light.

Lighting For Our Giesemann Reef Tank

Is a PAR meter necessary

I had to consider the importance of lighting in my brand-new Giesemann reef tank, too. It was vital to do it right from the beginning so I wouldn’t run into any difficulties later.

Lighting can cause a lot of trouble when you don’t take proper care of it.

If you invest the money and take the time to set the lighting correctly your corals will develop more effectively. In the event that you don’t, you could be losing them in the future by burning the corals with excessive light or by burning them out with too little light.

It’s very difficult to deal with such a problem down the line. You can do everything within your reef tank but suffer from dead corals due to inadequate lighting.

When you consider how much you need to put into the reef tank it could be a huge hassle.

I’m a huge fan of the combo of T5 + LED and to build this one, I’ll utilize the same setup. This is the Philips Coral Care 2 installed with Giesemann STELLAR fixture, which has four T5 bulls.

They’re great when used together. I appreciate the versatility of having a LED that is able to change from zero to 100%, and the option of adjusting the color to what I am most fond of.

Is it enough to simply mount the lights and switch the lights on?

Even if you have bulb T5s without adjustment of intensity, you’ll need to determine the ideal height for optimal PAR levels. As I’ll be using an SPS-dominated tank, I’m aiming to get a maximum of 250-350 PAR throughout the tank.

Do you choose to stick to your height recommendation and just hope for the most optimal results?

There’s a better way.

Setting Up a Reef Tank Light Using a PAR Meter

I must admit, I’m a control freak.

And you must be in order for your tank to flourish and not just be able to survive.

If you’re like me, then you enjoy taking measurements and then adjusting everything from micronutrient doses to the temperature of the water.

Why does lighting, which is crucial to the health of corals, have to be any different?

The positive side is, it doesn’t need to be. With the help of Apogee’s PAR Meter MQ510 Full-Spectrum, You can alter the lighting in the most effective method to give your corals the amount of light they require.

Nothing more, nothing less.

It is the Apogee MQ510 is a brand new kind of PAR meter which is specially created to measure light from underwater in aquariums. It was designed with an adjustment factor to account for the effects of immersion in comparison to other sensors. Its sensitivity ranges from 389-692nm. We’ve decided to use it in the field of PAR meters.

Why?

Utilizing the PAR meter, you can quickly assess the intensity of light in the most important areas of your aquarium. Since light reflects and can cause hotspots to appear within your tank, it is difficult to really know if you have areas that are burning your corals. Because we aren’t able to detect these spots using our eyes, it is necessary to utilize this type of instrument.

It’s also very simple to use. It’s as simple as putting the sensor onto the wand and then submerging it in the area you’re looking to measure it.

Another reason to do this…

As with everything else about reefing, every tank is different. There are a variety of variables that affect lighting distribution within the tank, and each of these elements is unique to each. This means that every tank has its own lighting requirements. This tool can be an essential tool when it comes to tank lighting.

Investing In a PAR Meter – The Wisest Investment

Let us forget the reality that a reef tank needs a lot of time and effort. It also requires a large amount of money.

You want this investment secure Don’t you?

If I were to purchase a high-end automobile, I wouldn’t cut out on insurance. It may not be the most logical idea, but the investment in the PAR meter is similar to buying insurance.

You must ensure that the light you use is within the ideal parameters that your corals require. It is extremely difficult to recreate the ocean’s environment as anyone with a reef aquarium can verify.

However, setting up your lighting without the use of a PAR meter is guesswork. You won’t know if something isn’t right until it’s too late.

Similar to the tests on drinking water to ensure we have the right chemical balance, we must test our lighting to ensure we have the right levels throughout the tank.

Take a look at all the money you’re planning to put into the reef aquarium. You do not want to wake up to find your corals are dying due to hotspots that you didn’t know about, I’m certain of it.

This Apogee PAR Meter MQ-510 Full-Spectrum is the perfect way to ensure this. The assurance that your investment isn’t going to be damaged by the light source is a reason enough to justify the cost.

Since you’ll have healthy and flourishing corals You can earn money quickly by selling the frags of your aquarium. It’s a worthwhile cost.

Another benefit of making use of the PAR meter is the possibility of replacing bulbs with T5 when they begin to dim in intensity.

It is recommended to replace them every year, but studies show that the PAR generated by T5 bulbs starts to decline around the two-year date.

Now you know absolutely!

You’ll have to replace them once they start to get worn out, improving the efficiency of your operational expenses. I’d say that this meter will make you money.

However, for me knowing that I can control the lighting to a level that not only keeps the corals healthy but also allows them to flourish helps me sleep well in the evening.

Apogee Instruments MQ-510 Underwater Full-Spectrum Quantum PAR Meter - Digital Light Meter for Aquarium Lighting & Aquarium Plant Care
  • DR BRUCE BUGBEE: Apogee PAR meters have been designed and refined by...
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: The MQ-510 is preferred by scientists and serious...
  • FEATURES: The rugged detector measures photosynthetic photons from...
  • RUGGED DESIGN: The sensor head is made of machined aluminum and fully...
  • MANUFACTURED IN THE USA: All meters are backed by our four-year...

Last update on 2024-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Are The Settings for Our Tank

Utilizing using the Apogee PAR Meter MQ-510 I was able to determine that the ideal size for this fixture would be 9″ above the surface of the water. This gave me an ideal 250-350 PAR throughout the tank.

I’m using a shallow aquascape, which meant I needed to use the lights at maximum intensity to reach the ideal levels on the rock where I planned to put the corals.

In that middle, this fixture was able to give me the equivalent of 550 PAR. Because of the PAR meter, I was able to avoid this hotspot by lifting the fixture.

I am satisfied with the lighting and the quality of its operation. A 6-foot tank requires three pieces from Coral Care Gen 2, as per Philips’s suggestions. In conjunction together with Giesemann Stellar, 2 units will suffice.

I don’t need to spend additional money to purchase a new fixture.

I appreciate the degree of control I’ve got due to my PAR meter. I know precisely how to place the lights to ensure optimal performance.

How Much PAR Do I Need for Coral?

Is a PAR meter necessary? How much PAR do I need for coral?

What exactly do PAR numbers really mean? The majority of the time low values are thought to be between 100 and 200 and high values generally exceed 200. How do you know the requirements of your corals? As a guideline, corals need some of the PAR levels:

  • Soft Corals (zoanthids palythoas, zoanthids, and leathers) 50-150 PAR
  • LPS Corals: 50-150 PAR
  • Hard Corals (stony corals and small polyps stony) 200-500 PAR

But, most corals are adaptable and adjust to a variety of light levels given the right time to adjust. For instance, Euphyllia (hammers or frogspawn torch, etc.) can manage PAR levels ranging from 1,000 to 1000 and have sufficient time to adapt.

How Important Is it to a Successful Reef?

This is a tense issue among reef aquarium enthusiasts. There’s no doubt PAR is crucial. However, we believe that certain individuals place too much emphasis on it, and often over-emphasize the significance of the principles.

Corals are extraordinarily resilient species. They can adapt to a range of light levels over the course of time. Wild, they have locations in which SPS corals can be found in full sun as well as being exposed to air at low tide.

Remember that this often happens when the sun shines extremely brightly on the Equator. If one believes that their light is able to outpower the sun’s energy along the equator, where corals are exposed it is likely that they are wrong.

That is to say, You shouldn’t expose SPS or other coral’s excessive light, but they are able to be exposed too fast. Corals are extremely adept at light. They require time to adjust to the changes in intensity.

Chasing PAR values isn’t what corals are most likely to need. Corals need careful observation and adjustments based on particular needs and reactions.

In the case that the coral begins to lose color, you might want to reduce the intensity of light. This could be accomplished by moving the coral further into the water column, or towards the edges of the tank, where PAR is usually lower.

However, when a coral begins changing color, it might require more lighting. (Water quality can be the cause in this situation too.)

In addition, many individuals buy waterproof PAR meters. Although these devices can assist you in knowing the various ranges within the aquarium careful observation is vital. By monitoring your corals over time, you’ll be able to understand their needs.

That’s it! PAR can offer valuable information and aid in understanding the differences from one light to the next. But it’s not the only aspect to consider. Continuously monitoring your corals is vital to understand how your corals behave and develop!

FAQs

What does a PAR meter do?

PAR Meters measure the brightness of light, but they do not reveal what quality spectrum light emits.

What is the difference between a PAR meter and a spectrometer?

The primary distinction between the PAR detector and a spectroradiometer lies in what they can detect. PAR sensors are utilized to quantify the number of photons that hit an area within the 400-700 nm range. 700 nm. Spectroradiometers determine the number of photons that are reflected within the spectrum of their responses

Does the PAR meter work with LED?

PAR could be utilized to measure any kind of grow lights, including LEDs which are more difficult to measure using standard lumens and lux meters.

What is the difference between a LUX meter and a PAR meter?

The PAR meter indicates the light required by plants and flowers for photosynthesis. It determines the potential for growth in the sense of. PAR is a short form for Photosynthetically active radiation. Lumen and lux can be used by humans to determine what amount of light.

Conclusion – PAR Meter, Yes or No?

Is A PAR Meter Necessary? A PAR meter is an essential instrument for reefers, as how you decide to set the light will play an important part in determining how long your corals live or flourish.

Although there are many aspects that play a significant impact on the health of the reef tank, the light source has been identified as one of the most significant. This is logical as it’s why corals are still alive in the first place.

I’ll never want to return to the times in which I had to perform an improbable job when installing the lighting, and then prayed for the most effective.

Do you know what I’m talking about?

Because every reef tank is not identical in regards to light distribution, the PAR meter allows you to adjust the setting to match the one required for your particular tank. In terms of PAR meters, they are you should consider the Apogee PAR Meter MQ-510 Full-Spectrum as the top one available.

The savings by not burning or feeding your corals is sufficient to cover the cost in addition to the fact that they can be rented for less than half the price.

However, being confident that the corals are alive and healthy due to the optimal PAR levels in the tank is an experience that you cannot place a value on.

Apogee Instruments MQ-510 Underwater Full-Spectrum Quantum PAR Meter - Digital Light Meter for Aquarium Lighting & Aquarium Plant Care
  • DR BRUCE BUGBEE: Apogee PAR meters have been designed and refined by...
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: The MQ-510 is preferred by scientists and serious...
  • FEATURES: The rugged detector measures photosynthetic photons from...
  • RUGGED DESIGN: The sensor head is made of machined aluminum and fully...
  • MANUFACTURED IN THE USA: All meters are backed by our four-year...

Last update on 2024-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of FishCampRehab.com, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.