Lighting calculator

EA James

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Morning all

I'd like to know if there is a easy way to work out how much light i'm putting into my tank, like a calculator of some sort?
I've had a bit of a search on here and the web but can't seem to find what i'm looking for, preferably something not too technical! something beginner friendly.
I have a Fluval Aquasky on my EA1200 and i'm thinking about getting a co2 set up but i'd like to know what is officially classed as high light

Cheers, James
 

Zeus.

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If the suppliers gave the PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation )output it would be easy, but they don't and use watts to compare which is very poor comparison, or Lumens which is better than watts but until they supply PAR as standard its a bit of hit and miss IMO

Watts and Lumens output isnt related directly to the output of light the plants use but PAR is
 

EA James

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Tried this but don't know what my bulb type is, i know its LED but it lists a good few options that i have no idea what they are! Hence the 'beginner friendly' bit!

Lumens which is better than watts but until they supply PAR as standard its a bit of hit and miss IMO
So not worth the worry then? I guess like nearly everything planted tank related its trial and error then? Let the plants tell me kinda thing?
 

hypnogogia

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Tried this but don't know what my bulb type is, i know its LED but it lists a good few options that i have no idea what they are! Hence the 'beginner friendly' bit!
Does the information on the spec pages of your light not give you that information? Which version of the aqua sky do you have?
 

tiger15

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Get a light meter that measures LUX (lumen per square meter) and look up conversion factors to PAR based on lamp type. In my research of one source, LED white light has a dividing factor of 69, fluorescent 75, sunlight 54, etc. Not an exact PAR measurement but will give you ball part figures useful for comparison of different light settings and localities. You can take measurement only in air though when you lower the tank water level with the understanding that actual PAR will be higher under water due to glass reflection.

Lux meter is much cheaper than PAR meter and you have many brands to choose such as this, and I found it the most useful instrument I have to grow plants.

https://www.amazon.com/Dr-meter-LX1...1&keywords=lumen+meter&qid=1589799078&sr=8-12
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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Nottingham
Morning all

I'd like to know if there is a easy way to work out how much light i'm putting into my tank, like a calculator of some sort?
I've had a bit of a search on here and the web but can't seem to find what i'm looking for, preferably something not too technical! something beginner friendly.
I have a Fluval Aquasky on my EA1200 and i'm thinking about getting a co2 set up but i'd like to know what is officially classed as high light

Cheers, James
The Fluval Aquasky would be considered low light, and in a 600mm deep tank like the EA1200, it’d probabaly be insufficient to grow plants well.

It certainly wouldn’t be strong enough to get to the substrate, so carpeting plants would be out. It’s also very narrow, so stem plant at the rear would struggle.

I have the the Plant 3.0 which is around twice the output of the Aquasky on a tank only 600 x 300 x 300, and even that struggles at the substrate level, and also struggles to cast sufficient light to the rear of the tank.

On a tank as wide and deep as the EA1200 you really need to be looking at a higher output class of light than the Fluvals. Consider lights from Twinstar, ADA, Chihiros etc
 

EA James

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@Wookii Really? At 100% the light seems so bright! I'm quite worried now as I've just rescaped the tank and its looking great, and yesterday i bought a co2 kit from co2art so if the lighting isn't good enough this could all go horribly wrong! I've just had a brief search and it looks like i could be looking at about £500 for one that you've mentioned, i can't justify that right now.

All the plants near the bottom are low light plants and i haven't got anything too demanding as i planned on it being a low tech initially

My plants did struggle before but i just thought that was down to my lack of research and understanding (I'm still new and learning!) I've done a lot of reading and think I've got a better understanding now, or at least i thought i did!!!
 

Wookii

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@Wookii Really? At 100% the light seems so bright! I'm quite worried now as I've just rescaped the tank and its looking great, and yesterday i bought a co2 kit from co2art so if the lighting isn't good enough this could all go horribly wrong! I've just had a brief search and it looks like i could be looking at about £500 for one that you've mentioned, i can't justify that right now.

All the plants near the bottom are low light plants and i haven't got anything too demanding as i planned on it being a low tech initially

My plants did struggle before but i just thought that was down to my lack of research and understanding (I'm still new and learning!) I've done a lot of reading and think I've got a better understanding now, or at least i thought i did!!!
As we don’t have PAR data for all lights, you can just look at the specific light ratings we have available to get a very loose and general idea of light output

Fluval Aquasky (14534): 35W/2400 lumen
Fluval Plant 2.0 (14523): 59W/4250 lumen
Twinstar 1200SA: 108W/6400 lumen
Chihiros WRGB II1200: 130W/7700 lumen
2 x ADA Solar RGB: 260W/7000 lumen
2 x Chihiros Vivid II: 260W/11,000 lumen

As I say, this only gives a very loose idea, and should not be taken as gospel - PAR matters more, though PAR measurements are also not created equal as I’ve discovered.

The overriding point though is just to demonstrate the output of the Aquasky versus other lights that might more commonly be used on an EA1200 planted tanks.

As for cost, yep, they can be pricey, particularly the ADA variants. Chihiros offers the biggest ‘bang-for-buck’, but often has more questionable quality, and no local support (as I’ve personally discovered only recently). That list is also by no means exhaustive.

Outside of that, there are various DIY options to save cost, though of course what you save in cash, you pay in time and hassle.
 

EA James

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@Wookii sorry about the delayed reply.

Thankyou for taking the time to explain this, so me just thinking the lights 'look' bright enough is no good!

I still have the original lighting that came with the tank, could i use these with my aqausky?
1590142357856.png


DIY option wouldn't be any good as i would have no idea where to start!
Thanks again
 

Wookii

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@Wookii sorry about the delayed reply.

Thankyou for taking the time to explain this, so me just thinking the lights 'look' bright enough is no good!

I still have the original lighting that came with the tank, could i use these with my aqausky?
View attachment 148962

DIY option wouldn't be any good as i would have no idea where to start!
Thanks again
I don't know anything about those lights to be honest, maybe @Siege can comment, but if you have them already, using those either side of the Aquasky would certainly be a lot better than using the Aquasky on its own, it would give greater spread across the tank width, and more overall light output.
 

EA James

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I don't know anything about those lights to be honest, maybe @Siege can comment, but if you have them already, using those either side of the Aquasky would certainly be a lot better than using the Aquasky on its own, it would give greater spread across the tank width, and more overall light output.
That's what i thought, the aquasky is centrally mounted where as the mounts for the EA tubes are positioned further out
1590144582766.png

This seems like a crazy amount of lighting to me but i know scientifically it isn't, it doesn't make sense in my little brain haha
 

Wookii

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That's what i thought, the aquasky is centrally mounted where as the mounts for the EA tubes are positioned further out
View attachment 148967
This seems like a crazy amount of lighting to me but i know scientifically it isn't, it doesn't make sense in my little brain haha
Our eyes are an unreliable measure of brightness as they do not see light in a linear way. You could compare your Aquasky to a light with twice the output, but it won't appear twice as bright. Ultimately your plants will tell you if you have enough light or not, in the way they grow.
 

Siege

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Ahhh, I see.

I think everyone assumed it was the Aquascaper tank when you said EA 1200. When it is actually the Freshwater model with a lid!

it is much deeper than the Aquascaper so lighting will always be an issue. You will also be limited with choice of lighting due to the lid. So yes keep your Fluval and add the standard lights that came with the tank.

You will always struggle with carpeting plants, so choose these carefully. Perhaps look at crypt Parva, Tenelum Green to start with.

id suggest getting your co2 on and see how you go (Go inline diffuser if you can).

It is easier to grow plants in high co2 and low lighting than the other way round! 👍
 

EA James

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Our eyes are an unreliable measure of brightness
Apparently so! Thanks for your help, i appreciate it 👍

@Siege yes sorry i should have said that, I've just been looking at lights but they all seem to be for open top tanks so i was starting to panic!

It is easier to grow plants in high co2 and low lighting than the other way round! 👍
That's VERY good to know!

(Go inline diffuser if you can).
I've gone for the in tank as i thought that'd be easier for me, i think it looks kinda cool too

You will always struggle with carpeting plants
I've just posted a thread about my rescape in the aquascaping section, if you could take a look i'd be grateful

Thank you for your help
 

Wookii

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Have to admit, I assumed it was an Aquascaper tank until I saw the picture.

One other 'cheaper' option given that you probably can't use most of the lights I previously listed in a covered tank (they need air circulation to their heat sinks, and may not all be IP65 rated), is older style T5 tubes. They should be very easy to retrofit. Though they can't be ramped up and down for lights on and off, if you have your Aquasky doing that, then have the T5's on a timer to come on once the Aquasky is fully ramped up.
 

EA James

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older style T5 tubes
Am i right in thinking these are literally just the tubes? My EA lights are wired straight onto a plug so i just plug in and away i go.
I've only had the above lights before so i don't know what i'm looking for!

Also the EA lights are 20 watts each so that's 40, add the 35 from the Aquasky still only gives me 75 watts.

Sorry but the questions might seem stupid!
 

Wookii

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Am i right in thinking these are literally just the tubes? My EA lights are wired straight onto a plug so i just plug in and away i go.
I've only had the above lights before so i don't know what i'm looking for!

Also the EA lights are 20 watts each so that's 40, add the 35 from the Aquasky still only gives me 75 watts.

Sorry but the questions might seem stupid!
Sorry, by T5 tubes, I mean fluorescent tubes, like this (just one example, there are lot of different types available):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/JBL-1200mm-54-sunlight-fluorescent-aquarium/dp/B000H6SSJW?th=1

Then you'd just need some sort of retrofit kit, like this:

https://www.swelluk.com/arcadia-t5-starter-unit/

The tubes might clip into the tube holders already in your tank hood. I believe you can get more tubes holder for that tank also, the EA website says it can take up to 4 tubes.

Before you go adding all this extra light though, make sure you actually need it - your full tank shot looks fairly low plant mass. Do you intend to add a lot more plants? If not, you may find your current lights combined are enough for Anubias etc
 

jaypeecee

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I have a Fluval Aquasky on my EA1200 and i'm thinking about getting a co2 set up but i'd like to know what is officially classed as high light
Hi @EA James

You know the saying - how long's a piece of string? That just about sums it up. There is no such classification (of 'high light') to the best of my knowledge and aquarium lighting is probably the area of our hobby that I find most interesting.

If the output of a lighting fixture is known in lumens, I reckon it should be possible to estimate PAR (PPF*) if the spectrum of that fixture is known. But, without the spectrum, it would be guesswork. I have it on my 'wish list' to purchase one of the Apogee PAR sensors in the not-too-distant future. I already have a low-cost spectrometer.

*PPF = Photosynthetic Photon Flux (micromoles/sec)

JPC
 
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