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Old 07/19/2017, 03:21 AM   #1
br88dy
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PAR Readings

Disclaimer: My first reading was with my Photon 24" V2 AND my 2 supplemental 24" T5 bulbs (1 ATI True Actinic, 1 ATI Purple Plus). Meaning, this first series of numbers won't apply to most Photon V2 owners out there. However, I plan on making a second post in this thread within the next 24-48 hours that has PAR numbers for just the Photon V2.

Another thing to note: I have an all in one 40 breeder, so the display portion of my tank is 30 inches wide, 18 inches deep, and 17 inches tall (note that my water level is an inch below the rim, making the display water volume 17 inches tall because of my overflow). I took many PAR readings, triple checked them all, and am confident these results are accurate.

I used an Apogee PAR meter. My supplemental T5's are 8.5 inches above the water line, and the Photon V2 is 10 inches above the water line. I turned off my pumps and had zero surface disruption. I know it's recommended to have your V2 12" above the water line, but I'm worried if I raise the light fixture my T5's might lose all effectiveness. So, I'll leave the hybrid fixture where it is. After taking these readings I honestly think it'd be best to add 2 more T5 bulbs and reduce the intensity on my V2, a little. That discussion will come in another post in this thread.

-Photo Period: 12:30PM-9PM (Working towards getting my tank on a 12PM-9PM schedule).
-Each image below shows a horizontal 5X5 quadrant. I took readings at 3 different depths with this 5X5 quadrant. All readings were evenly spaced in equal increments left to right and front to back. So, left to right it was something like every 6 inches, front to back was every 3.5 inches. Readings started at each pane of glass and worked towards the other pane.

-Channel intensities:
Ch1: 20
Ch2: 30
Ch3: 40
Ch4: 5
Ch5: 40
Ch6: 40


-I noticed my hybrid fixture is more intense on the right half than it is on the left. I can't definitively say it's the V2 that's more intense on the right side of the fixture, but the T5's are perfectly centered with the V2's. Who knows why my PAR readings are higher on the right than they are on the left. I triple checked all of my readings, so I have no problem backing up the readings I've posted. It wasn't enough to worry about, just something I noticed.
-My V2 is dominantly blue, very little white (because of my 2 T5 bulbs), with a little help from the green and red channels.
-Some of the readings seem weird, but, I assure you I checked each position plenty of times to confirm any "odd" readings.

1 Inch Deep


9 Inches Deep


17 Inches Deep


Be back soon to provide more in depth readings without the T5's. Also, a bonus post of readings with my Kessil A360W that is mounted in the corner of my tank and points inward. I couldn't sell it so I decided to use its awesome ripple effects and to reduce shadows on my new Acro frags.


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Old 07/19/2017, 10:23 AM   #2
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Interesting, is your overflow box on the left side of the tank by any chance? Light tends to reflect off of the glass, which intensifies PAR around the edges of the tank.


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Old 07/19/2017, 10:55 AM   #3
br88dy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reef_Breeders View Post
Interesting, is your overflow box on the left side of the tank by any chance? Light tends to reflect off of the glass, which intensifies PAR around the edges of the tank.
I actually thought about that too! But it's on the right side of my tank. No big deal. I'll get a better understanding once I measure just the V2.


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Old 07/19/2017, 06:38 PM   #4
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Entirely possible that the T-5s are brighter on the end where the power comes in, OR, possibly you have the bulbs in backwards? There is actually a correct way to put them in, the label on the bulb should be closest to the end where the plug goes into the light if I remember correctly.

The 24-V2 has one central driver, so it is almost impossible for one side to be dimmer- each side relies on the other to complete the circuit.


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Old 07/20/2017, 10:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reef_Breeders View Post
Entirely possible that the T-5s are brighter on the end where the power comes in, OR, possibly you have the bulbs in backwards? There is actually a correct way to put them in, the label on the bulb should be closest to the end where the plug goes into the light if I remember correctly.
I didn't even know that was a thing. I'll check that out later. Thanks!


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Old 07/20/2017, 06:08 PM   #6
br88dy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reef_Breeders View Post
The 24-V2 has one central driver, so it is almost impossible for one side to be dimmer- each side relies on the other to complete the circuit.
I took a look at how I mounted the light and I noticed the light is closer to the overflow than it is to the left side of my tank. It actually works out great because all of my Acros are currently mounted on that side of the tank, so I'll probably leave it there. It's only bout 1.5" difference, but enough for an Apogee unit to notice. Thanks for your help!

I took some PAR readings today of the V2, but I later noticed my T5 fixtures are partially blocking the outside LED's of the V2. So , I need to go back and rent the meter and take more readings before I can post accurate results. The readings in the center/top of the tank were in the 250's though, just in case anyone wanted some quick info. My 2 T5 bulbs were giving me 50 more PAR where my acros are sitting.


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Old 07/21/2017, 06:51 AM   #7
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br88dy, are you renting the PAR meter from a local LFS? I'm curious which model it is?

I got mine a long time ago when RC did a huge bulk purchase from Apogee. Mine is a QMSS-E. I know the reading of blue is off by 10% or a bit more and violet is off by more. But it gets the job done. I use mine some for myself, but I also do readings for local club members (in exchange for a frag). I haven't mapped my new V2 or the led strips I added. I may do that and we can compare. I'd be interested in a 100% white and the 100% both blue channels at the water surface (sensor just above the water). That would give us a good starting point to compare.


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Old 07/22/2017, 03:34 PM   #8
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Logan, have you and your crew done much in the way of PAR testing at different depths with the V2? I'm about to borrow my local clubs meter but just curious. Also Ron, have you posted your PAR results from any recent V2 settings?


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Old 07/23/2017, 04:19 AM   #9
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No I haven't. I'll do what I can and post some numbers later today.

My concern/problem is two fold.

First, my tanks is only 20" deep and has a 2"+ sand bed, so I can't get too deep.

Second, my rockscape is significantly high (especially in the middle of the tank) and the corals have been growing for 9 months now so that makes getting even close to the rocks very difficult. But I'll map out what I can.


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Old 07/23/2017, 12:26 PM   #10
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Hey guys. Was busy with birthday stuff this whole weekend. I'll get my hands on the Apogee again this week and do some testing. The unit I used is the MQ-200. Not sure about how accurate it is.


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Old 07/25/2017, 10:30 AM   #11
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I'm about to borrow my local clubs par meter so I'll also put mine up.



Last edited by youcallmenny; 07/27/2017 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 07/27/2017, 10:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youcallmenny View Post
Logan, have you and your crew done much in the way of PAR testing at different depths with the V2? I'm about to borrow my local clubs meter but just curious. Also Ron, have you posted your PAR results from any recent V2 settings?
Yes, that is how we made the PAR chart that is on our website for each light


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Old 07/28/2017, 07:59 AM   #13
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I didn't do too many PAR readings in my tank, but I have some of just the V2 and some of the V2 with my blue & white led strip at the front edge of the tank and some with the all blue led strip just a few inches off the back edge of the tank.

I set this up during my midday settings. So these are NOT the max that a V2 can do. I run both blue channels at 90%, the white and violet channels at 40% and the red and green channels at 10%. I know I always talk about not using the red and green channels. But I've now started using them just for the 4 hours of midday power levels. I still don't use them at all during the 4 hour sunrise or the 5 hour sunset. Also my tank is only 20" deep, I have 2" of sand on the bottom and I run the water about 2" below the top (I do have significant water movement at the surface).

I also found that if I measured shallow PAR readings, there was a significant difference if I was between led clusters or in the middle of a cluster. Example: at just 1" under water at the front glass I got a 180 reading at a cluster and a 120 reading in between the led clusters. But mine may be a bit further apart because it is the 50" version. I have 2.75" between the front white leds from one cluster to the next. I'd be curious to know the gaps of the shorter fixtures?

I have a significant rockscape up the back of the tank that is higher in the middle and lower in the corners. At 12" deep 5" off the end of the fixture along the back glass I got PAR of 30 and 55 (with the extra led strip). From here on, if I state 2 readings, the second one is always with the led strips on. At 8" deep in the middle of the tank along the overflow I got PAR of 70 and 150.

Down the centerline of the fixture (slightly forward over the tank):
8" deep middle of the fixture 230 (that's as deep as I can get). At 1" I got 480. I have blue morphed Little Money zoas (normally green) near the surface on a tonga branch rock that are getting PAR of 350. At the ends of the tank, 5" past the end of the fixture, I got Par of 200 at 12" deep at one end and 150 at 14" deep at the other end.

At the front of the tank I could get 16" deep. At one end I got 80 and 90+ (with led strip), at 1/3rd, the middle and at 2/3rds I got 120 and 150 and at the other end I was back to 80 and 90.

I then took readings at various corals:
war coral..... 280
frogspawn..... 340
blue acro..... 270
rainbow digi..... 200
green bubble coral..... 280
RBT anemone..... 110
rock flower anemone..... 110
utter chaos zoa..... 250
yellow fiji leather..... 200
hollywood stunner..... 160


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