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Marineland Planted Aquarium LED PAR Readings

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by thegasman, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. thegasman

    thegasman Subscriber

    Aug 25, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Local Time:
    11:08 AM
    I finally rented a PAR meter from Aquatouch here in Arizona today. I tested my 34 gallon 20" cube tank that is lit with two Marineland Planted Tank LED lights.

    I didn't get to crazy about being scientific with my testing since I just wanted to know if I have high light, medium light or low light at the substrate. I figured that I have decent light based on very good plant growth including HC. My readings were taken through water. I had a slight protein film on the water surface during the test. My fixtures are about two inches above the water line.

    At the substrate (about 16" from the fixture), directly under one of the LED fixtures, my PAR reading was 140. I also tested directly under the fixture with only one of the fixtures on the tank and my PAR reading was 124.

    At the substrate, about 5" from the center of one of the fixtures (not the area between the two fixtures), my PAR reading was 75.

    I couldn't test any other areas of the tank without disturbing my plants and hardscape.

    Based on my unscientific findings, I feel that my lighting puts me in the high light range.*I kind of figured this was the case based on Marineland's published PAR data and my plant growth, but due to my curiosity and skepticism of manufactures data, I had to know for sure. I can now say that Marineland's PAR data is fairly accurate and can be used as a base for determining if their fixtures will meet your needs.

    I would think that one of these fixtures, that spans just about the entire length of the*aquarium, can provide fairly high light for up to a 12" wide (front to back) by 20" deep tank. Anything wider would most likely need more than one fixture if you want high light.

    With all that said, I know that one could build a better LED fixture for less money, but I didn't want to go that route. With my test results, the good looks, the built in timer and great plant growth, I'm very happy with my lighting. Hopefully they will last a long time!

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