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I FINALLY have the PAR/ lighting that I want!

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by thegasman, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. thegasman

    thegasman Subscriber

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    So I replaced the two 20" Marineland Planted Aquarium LED's that I had on my 20" cube tank. I went with two of the 2X 18W 20" Aquaticlife fixtures. I'm running one with the stock 6K and 650nm roseate lamps and one has a 6K and 460/620nm purple lamp. I love the color with the purple lamp. It really makes the fish color pop. The plants are pearling nicely as well.

    With the Marineland LED's the colors in the tank were drab. Those two fixtures were also giving me about 140 PAR at the substrate. Luckily, I only had a little GSA on the glass. Plant growth was very, very good...too good.

    With the two Aquaticlife fixtures I was getting about 90 PAR at the substrate. That was still more than I wanted. I tried putting window screen over the entire acrylic lens on the fixture and that dropped the PAR down to 45 to 50. My goal was a PAR level of 60 so I decided to try something else. I went ahead and cut four one inch strips of window screen that would run the length of the fixture. I mounted one piece of one inch screen directly under each bulb and tested the PAR level. BAM! My PAR level was just about dead on to the 60 that I was aiming for! I have readings from 58 to 62 all along the substrate.

    I'm hoping that this will reduce the amount of trimming that I have to do each week and get rid of the little bit of GSA that I get on the glass.

    I purchased a 10K lamp also, but haven't tried it yet. I was thinking of replacing one of the 6K lamps with the 10K. Any thoughts on this?
     
  2. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    How has this been working for you? I had a similar issue so I taped a layer of parchment paper on the lamp cover (the cold side). I'll see how well my methods works...
     
  3. thegasman

    thegasman Subscriber

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    It worked well, but I've gone back to the higher light set up. I found that over time, my plants have better color and growth with the higher light. The plants have a more full/ larger leaf look that I prefer.
     
  4. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    So you went back to 140 PAR at substrate? Any algae issues?

    What's your CO2 level?
     
  5. thegasman

    thegasman Subscriber

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    Yes I did. No algae issues. I'll get a little GSA on the glass, but increasing the phosphate level has just about eliminated this. My CO2 is around 37 ppm. The 140 PAR is directly under the fixtures. Here's a post that I did about my PAR test-

    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/11619-Marineland-Planted-Aquarium-LED-PAR-Readings
     
  6. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    I have 50 PAR at the substrate and as much as 60-70 at the taller plant leaves (2/3 of the tank height.) The tank is about 10 days old and I am dosing Excel; trying to make this a lower maintenance tank so no CO2. Once the tank establishes I'll see if I can cut back on Excel and eventually go to a true NPT setup but I think I may have too much light for that...

    Absolutely no algae whatsoever so far, which is encouraging, but I think Excel has something to do with it.
     
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