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ADA lighting at Aqua Forest and nice low PAr values-who knew?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Tom Barr, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Coralite

    Coralite Junior Poster

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    It would be very funny to hear what Sanjay Joshi from Davis has to say, I doubt he has ever even had a tank. The real Photon Man has a very similar academic background but he teaches at Penn State.

    What a weird coincidence:p
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Ahaha,

    Yes, pretty weird! What are the odds?

    Fricking strange!
    :eek: :eek: :eek:

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. David Hui

    David Hui Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom,

    I have a 150W ADA Solar I and Giesemann Nova II side by side. They are really different as light output go. The Nova is much brighter. I am pretty sure the different is in the ballast. ADA uses an electronic and Giesemann uses magnetic.

    David
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    David, did you want to borrow the Apogee meter? Want to?
    I think this would be easier and take less time.

    I can ship it to you etc, or stop by etc.
    The test is rather simple.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Shad0w

    Shad0w Junior Poster

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    Just wondering, have you measure the power used by ADA light set? does it really 150W? I was thinking since you measured that light output only half other brand HQI light set (same 150W light set), where does the other half of the power goes? Does ADA light set produce more heat?
     
  6. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    It could be any number of reasons.

    With it being a PAR measurement of the output then it must be either:

    A - They use a lower wattage ballast than they state the unit is

    I doubt this very much - trade descriptions etc.

    B - They use poorer quality bulbs or ones that are forced to output less

    Again I doubt this as anyone putting replacement non ADA brand in would suddenly smell a rat

    C - The reflector is purposefully poor to put less of the light down

    This is my bet as then the poor folks who adore ADA and still believe that highlight is King are happy with their 'high power' unit and the specs they read on the pack without knowing they have been 'lured' into the reality of not needing so much light :)

    AC
     
  7. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    So much for "nature" then if they're willing to waste all that extra power. Wouldn't it be easier marketing for them to put out something with half the power with more efficient reflectors and then blather on about how their product is so much better than the others that they can do what the other lights do with half the power?

    -
    S

     
  8. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Nope...If you want to sell something then you make it as attractive as you can to the consumer. then you have more chance of selling it.

    The high majority of aquascapers will not listen. If you tell them they don't need highlight they will shoot you down in a barrage of Nm, K, CRI and Lumens statements. They follow the Finch article which suggests that Amano himself uses some super high levels.

    So to make money you sell a product where someone reads the tech specs and says Superb....8WPG(exagerating here) now thats what I want. then you sell the product with the exact specs listed but change something that doesn't need listing like a reflector etc (No need to say anything about the reflector) which changes the actual to more like 2WPG

    Why not just sell the superdooper total 8WPG article with a top reflector you ask?.

    Because by reducing the output without changing the power specs the super high light lover bangs his lights on. Boasts about his super high light.

    He thinks he is using the super high light that he thinks Amano is using when in fact he is using the much lower light that Amano actually uses.

    After a month he boasts how since he changed to an ADA light unit all his algae problems have gone away and plant growth is more lush. It's also improved his CO2 somehow :D

    Others say WOW and then go and buy it because if it makes such improvements its worth the money.

    No point selling someone something that is better if they don't believe it is better ;)

    AC
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    It's like a car, that has 600 horsepower.
    Vs say a car which uses say 200 hp, and gets far more miles per gal.
    Both do the same job, but one does it for much less and waste much less.
    I do not need a Hummer for travel, but some people want one.

    Same thing with light.
    More is perceived as "better", perhaps more macho?

    "I have 8 watts/gal", "I spent 800$ for this special light from Japan", blah blah.........

    You can try it, then try less and see that it works very well also.

    It's sort of totally counter to the entire idea that less is better. More light, add enriched CO2, frequent water changes similar to EI, and enriched sediments, but then claim lean on the water column.

    Does not add up. If you start with a philosophy or moral bearing, stick with it.
    Perhaps you want to amplify growth, then it's horticulture.......not nature.

    So state that, not "natural" "nature" etc.

    If you want to use less, reduce waste etc, start with light, then consider non CO2, maybe Excel, etc........then perhaps CO2 if you want more growing/gardening choices etc, then enriched sediments, water column dosing and judicious use of wastewater, no RO units etc........little testing.........light stocking of fish etc.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Shad0w

    Shad0w Junior Poster

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    Correct me If I'm wrong. If the problem with reflector, that mean if you have ADA light set and change the light bulb to off the shelf light bulb, you would still measure half the power. Am I right? That would be interesting to try. :D too bad ADA stuff is beyond my reach :p

    How low is low, if I may ask? How many watt/par/etc does those light loving foreground plant can grow and stay low? I think it would be interesting if someone come up with table for different tank sizes vs wattage requirement to grow certain foreground plant.

    All my tanks are consider high light but it is not because ADA example. It is because lack of wattage information on how low does certain foreground plan stay low. I end up using high light so that I no need to worry my foreground plant grow tall.
     
  11. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Please note that me saying that it is the reflector is pure speculation but does make sense. If you sell a 150W MH then people want a 150W MH!!! If you put a poor reflector on then you aren't breaking any rules and the ADA lover will more than likely think that it is a technically advanced new style of super efficient technology. It wouldn't make sense for a company to coat the inside of their tubes/bulbs or use less clear glass etc because like before when the user put a different brand in they would suddenly smell a rat. The ADA tubes/bulbs will be comparable with other tubes/bulbs.

    We are assessing the lights from the PAR readings Tom took from the AFA tanks where he measured 35-40Mmol along the front at substrate level so that is the low light we are talking. 35-40 in the front with no shading/overhanging plants 150Mmol at the top (This is Tom's first post on page 1)

    How low is low? I don't hink many can answer that. this is an unknown really unless someone wants to downgrade and downgrade until they see what the 'bare minimum' is. Even then we will be talking bare minimum PAR.

    Of course that means we can't do a table because say 20Mmol was the limit. We can't equate that to a wattage because:

    T8 vs T5 vs Mh vs LED debate i.e. how much more each is etc. height as well

    My favourite variable is the brand/model of tube itself. A top quality tube will be much much higher in PAR BUT top quality may not necessarily mean top brand. I would bet that almost all Aquarium branded tubes are obliterated in a match up with some of the better 'non aquarium tubes'!!! Bold statement but I would put money on it. However there will be some exceptions :)

    What we tend to say in the UK is 2 x T8 tubes that are the full length of the tank suffice to grow anything over a standard depth tank. Therefore we are basically saying that 1.5 - 2WPG is fine and that is T8.

    Of course this does not mean that if you have Nymphea Rubra in the tank that you can grow HC on the substrate. We are talking pretty good plant planning and pruning to make sure there isn't shading in the wrong places.

    As for the lack of information this is one that may never be known. We still don't know what decide whether these plants carpet or grow tall. It could be the plant growing tall searching for better CO2. It could be the plant growing tall looking for more light. My guess is the first because some people would struggle to carpet even if they used super highlight and had only HC in their tank so no possibilty of shading.

    This also works with emersed HC. You can put it under minimal light. It will grow slow but it will grow flat not tall. Suggests the CO2 is the key to carpeting to me.

    Glosso on the other hand seems to grow tall when emersed so that kinda contradicts the HC statement ;)

    Thats why Tom's here :) I am in no position to test or experiment etc.

    These links have some quite interesting detail on just how hard it is to compare:

    MH tests
    CnidarianReef: Lamp Tests

    T5 tests (29 pages of posts here but gives a gist just by looking through the first page)
    Reef Central Online Community - T5 lamp PAR readings

    This is why we still use the WPG in general :D

    AC
     
  12. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Prolific Poster

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    It took me a little while to realise this for myself, but this is the advice I give out to anyway regarding light levels.

    I have two T8 tubes the length of my 120cm, which are in an old Arcadia luminaire, so the reflectors are not too good. I still get plenty of fast growth from my stems, lots of growth in general and lots of pearling at he higher levels of the tank.

    Dave.
     
  13. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    When I say 'we' what I mean is I read Dave in a few posts say it and adopted it as an easy way of explaining what I mean by adequate.

    AC
     
  14. Martin in China

    Martin in China Junior Poster

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    think of your garden

    Why don't we fert our garden in winter?....is it because it's cold?....maybe.....but also because there is less light and plants don't need ferts because they are not growing. In green houses we turn on light to get growth for crops and than we need to fert to help plants growing.
    Same principal is in fish tanks....simple actually if you think about it, although I made all the mistakes as almost anyone and I'm still learning.
     
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