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What PAR would you recommend?

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by George Farmer, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    Hi Tom,

    It's been a while...

    This is my latest set-up, 60 x 30 x 36cm.

    [​IMG]

    I've recently upgraded the lighting from 2 x 24w HO T5 to 2 x TMC LED tiles.

    They provide more than enough light at max output. The supplied controllers can adjust light output from 0 - 100%.

    CO2 is via an inline diffuser, ferts TPN+. Circulation 20x turnover (Fluval G6).

    I am borrowing a PAR meter soon and have the ability to set the intensity of these LED units (0 - 100%), as well as raising or lowering the units, of course.

    My question is what PAR is recommended at the substrate?

    I want healthy growth, but not too rampant...

    All plants are pretty easy - hairgrass, crypts, rotala, needle fern.
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi George,

    Very nice tank...

    Not Tom of course, but I have found with my meter that as little as 20-30 micromoles will grow stauro repens 49 with no issues.

    I personally would go for no more than 45-50 at substrate. This will provide plenty of light for almost any species.

    When I had PAR of 100 or so at the substrate it was difficult to supply enough c02 and growth was out of control.

    I am now low light at 25-30 max at substrate.

    Can't wait until you can share the meter readings for your new lights.
     
  3. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    Thanks, Gerry. Really appreciate the quick reply.

    I look forward to sharing the results.

    Do you mind if I quote your reply in my journal on the UKAPS forum, please?
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi George,

    NP, public domain and all that :)

    I would add that I am/was dosing EI plus TPN as micros as well as c02 injection.

    If you go to the EI chart for a 180, simply multiply that by 1.5 or 2 and you have my dosing routine :) I go heavy just in case...
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi George,

    How far above the substrate are those lights?

    When I had 3x150 MH I was suspend almost 40" above a 24" deep tank to get to 50 PAR at substrate...

    In my tiny testing with various fixtures I came to the conclusion that many lights put out much more PAR than we think....

    The fact that yours seems so high suggests you may suspect the same :)
     
  6. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    Hi Gerryd

    Apologies for the delay. I've been in Germany for an aquascaping contest for the last few days!

    The lights are suspended 30cm from the water surface.

    The PAR reading is surprisingly consistent throughout the substrate footprint ranging from 80 to 100 umol at 100% intensity, even in the extreme corners. I am impressed!

    I have dropped the intensity to 50% using the controllers, giving me 40-50 PAR at the substrate.

    Plant growth is great, and no algae issues... [crosses fingers]

    I'm doing 7ml TPN+ per day but am considering EI with Easy Life Profito for trace.

    The reason is that I'm running 30+ppm CO2 through an inline diffuser with great circulation but experiencing limited pearling.

    I love TPN+ for the convenience but can't help thinking I may be lean on NPK.

    What's the recommended EI dosing for a 50 litre tank these days?
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    With the layout and species chosen there, you have no business with more than 30-40micromols.
    Dwarf hairgrass is a pretty low light plant.
    Ferns and mosses?

    These plants need no more than 30.

    Tank full of stems? Maybe 40-50micromols along the bottom.

    Ferts are ferts.

    I'd tweak the CO2 slow and methodically and watch the fish and plants carefully.
    Small incremental adjustments is the best way.

    Also, clean the diffuser once a month at the min, all disc provide a large difference in the bubble size fraction, which in turn, changes how well the CO2 is diffused.
    So clean them often, put another way, you cannot really over clean a disc.
    I use Tilex, seems to work the best IME.
    I'd also do about 8-9 hours max photoperiod.

    I do not think you really need a lot of ferts, not much plant biomass yet.
     
  8. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    Thanks, Tom.

    I'm after quick growth as I have a deadline to make and need it complete in a couple of weeks, ideally.

    I am running an inline diffuser, as opposed to the regular ceramic disc. Have you experience of cleaning them?

    Photoperiod is 8hr.

    No Tilex over here, I'm afraid.
     
  9. Florin Ilia

    Florin Ilia Lifetime Charter Member
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    George, sorry to go offtopic here but I was wondering if you could share some feedback on your LEDs.

    I assume you have the GroBeam 1000 ND model? (planted tanks model). Are they as amazing as the brochure says they are? Don't they give too much light around the tank/blind you when you watch from tank level?

    Thanks for any tips.
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I had one of those in lines, they look okay, but like any and most all disc types, they crack and wear out with higher usage.
    Everty Rhinox I've owned has done this, not sure about ADA's 50mm.

    Others have somewhere, at some point.

    If you watch it and keep a good eye, you shoudl be fine.
    Bleach works well also if you soak it longer.
     
  11. PaulB

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    Hi George, do you still have the tank running? How did the lighting system go, did it grow the plants well?
     

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